AS in Computer Programming: Degree Overview

Oct 10, 2019

Associate's degrees in computer programming provide basic education in the principles of computer information processing. They prepare students for entry-level positions or bachelor's degree programs in computer-related fields.

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Essential Information

Associate of Science (AS) programs in computer programming provide training in contemporary computer programming languages and general programming concepts. Specialization options include Java and web development. Students often have opportunities to get real-world experience through internships. A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for admission, and it can help to have a strong background in math and science.

Associate's Degree in Computer Programming

In these programs, students often have access to state-of-the-art equipment, which provides hands-on training to supplement theoretical studies. Coursework could cover the following topics:

  • Visual Basic programming
  • Information security
  • C# programming
  • Operating systems
  • Java programming
  • Networking essentials

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of computer programmers is expected to decline by 7% from 2018-2028 ( The BLS reported that computer programmers earned a mean annual salary of $89,580 as of May 2018. Earnings and employment outlook may vary by location and industry.

Continuing Education Information

Although computer programmers may find employment after completing an associate's degree, many employers prefer applicants with bachelor's degrees, especially for higher level positions. Therefore, many graduates of AS programs pursue bachelor's degrees in computer science-related fields.

Certification is another way for programmers to advance their education and be more attractive to potential employers. Many software and product vendors offer certification to employees of companies that use their products.

Through practical computer training and core class work, AS programs in computer programming help students build the necessary skills for entry-level positions in the field. In order to get more advanced jobs, they may need to enroll in a bachelor's degree program or earn certification in a particular specialization area.

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