Computer programming technology may be offered in several associate's degree formats, including Associate in Science (AS), Associate of Applied Science (AAS) or Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS). Students in these programs spend time in classroom settings as well as in computer labs, where they gain practical experience. Enrollees also might participate in cooperative education and internships, where they can apply their programming skills in a real-world environment
A high school diploma or equivalent is usually required for admission. Applicants might also need to demonstrate proficiency in math, English and computer technology.
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Associate of Computer Programming Technology Overview
These associate-level programs teach students to repair, update, and create new software. Students can also expect to learn to program in Visual Basic, SQL, C++ and other high- and low-level computer programming languages. In addition students become familiar with network design, system analysis, computer security, and other related topics. Possible course topics can include but are not limited to:
- Programming logic and design
- Copyright and ethical issues
- Visual Basic, Oracle SQL, C++ programming
- Network design
- System analysis
- Computer security
Popular Career Options
Graduates of associate's degree programs in computer programming might have learned to write and use various computer programs, and they could be prepared for entry-level positions in a variety of industries. They might pursue work in settings where the use of various programming languages, as well as the installation, maintenance and repair of computer programs, is necessary. Some career titles could include:
- Computer programmer
- Programmer analyst
- Software programmer
- Systems programmer
Employment Outlook and Salary
Employment for computer programmers is expected to decline by 8% between 2014 and 2024, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The mean annual salary for these professionals was $84,360 in 2015.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Although computer programmers may find work with only an associate's degree in computer programming technology, employers may prefer that their programmers have a bachelor's degree in a related field. Some common bachelor's degree programs may have majors in computer information systems, computer science or software engineering.
Voluntary certification can improve a programmer's employment opportunities because it demonstrates knowledge of the profession and of industry standards. Certification may be obtained through computer and software vendors, independent certifying agencies or training programs.
By providing both lecture-based and practical hands-on training in computer programming, AS, AAS and AOS degrees in the field prepare graduates for entry-level programming positions, bachelor's degree programs, and vendor certifications in industry-specific software.