Associate of Computer Programming and Applications: Degree Overview

Associate's degree programs in computer programming and applications aim to teach database theory and design, programming and web design. Get more information about the curriculum and post-graduation options.

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Essential Information

In associate's degree programs in computer programming and applications, students learn to customize various software applications to be used in business settings. Over the course of these programs, students develop a portfolio of customized applications that can later be presented to prospective employers. Students commonly participate in a capstone experience near graduation.

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Associate of Computer Programming and Applications

These associate's degree programs are designed to be completed in approximately two years. Applicants must have a high school diploma or a GED equivalent. An official transcript of all coursework must be submitted prior to admission. The focus of the programs is on database theory, networking technology and math. Students might also receive hands-on training in programming languages, such as Java, Visual Basic, Perl and .Net. General topics of study may include:

  • Computer programming and logic
  • System analysis and design
  • Data structures
  • Database implementation
  • Linux installation, configuration and administration
  • MS Excel, MS Word

Popular Career Options

Earning an associate's degree in computer programming and applications prepares a graduate for entry-level positions in finance, business and accounting. Graduates could search for career opportunities with banks, airlines, utility companies, stock brokerages and hospitals. Some job titles include:

  • Systems analyst
  • Computer programmer
  • Computer specialist
  • Operations research analyst
  • Programmer analyst

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer programmers should expect an 8% decrease in employment during the 2014-2024 decade. Systems analysts are expected to see job growth of 21% in that same time period, which is faster than the average for all occupations. As reported by the BLS in May of 2015, systems analysts received a mean annual salary of $90,180 and computer programmers $84,360.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates with an associate's degree in computer programming may wish to enroll in a bachelor's or master's degree program to ensure marketability and advancement in current positions. Relevant programs could include subjects like software engineering, computer information systems or computer science. Master's degree programs may often be found in online format. A doctoral degree may be appropriate for individuals wishing to enter research or teach at the college level.

Alternatively, graduates can demonstrate their skills by earning professional certifications. For instance, they can sit for the Sun Certified Java Programmer and Microsoft Certified Application Developer exams.

In an associate's degree program in computer programming and applications, students study basic programming languages and other IT-related concepts to prepare for entry-level IT jobs or advanced education opportunities.

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