In addition to computer classes, students must complete a few general education courses in the liberal arts. High school graduates or GED holders have sufficient education for admission into an associate degree program. Although most employers require a bachelor's degree or higher for computer engineering positions, students with an associate's degree may qualify for a programming position. These associate's programs typically require 2 years to complete.
Associate of Information Systems Technology
Courses teach students to utilize engineering practices, formulating software solutions for information systems technology problems. They learn to solve programming problems, communicate within a team environment, troubleshoot engineering problems, recognize common issues and analyze data for consistency. Curricula explore the basics of computer literacy, Windows software applications, information systems technology, software engineering principles and databases. Courses that students may encounter include:
- Java programming
- Visual Basic
- Computer logic
- Database management
- Software development
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most employers require a bachelor's degree or higher for careers in computer software engineering. However, students can gain a programming position with the completion of an associate degree. Programmers are responsible for writing code and analyzing coding problems within software. They may also be responsible for repairing or modifying old codes, as well as testing and debugging coding problems within certain parts of software. Programmers can find job opportunities in an array of industries, including computer design services and software publishers.
According to the BLS, software developers are projected to see a 21% increase in employment from 2018-2028. However, computer programmers may see a decrease of 7% from 2018-2028, due to offshore outsourcing and technology advances. Additionally, programmers earned a median annual wage of $84,280 in May 2018. Application software developers earned a median wage of $103,620, while the median wage for systems software developers was $110,000 in May 2018, stated the BLS.
Continuing Education Information
For many working in the computer software industry, a bachelor's degree or higher will significantly increase job prospects. Bachelor's degree programs in software engineering explore concepts in the construction and design of software systems, including software testing, processing and programming.
Associate's degrees in information system technology teach students the fundamental concepts behind programming languages and software development. Obtaining higher education in the field often opens up more employment opportunities for graduates.