Course work in software engineering at the associate's degree level prepares students for technician positions in the software engineering field. Graduates may be prepared for entry-level employment or for transfer to a four-year bachelor's program. The main admissions requirement at most schools is a high school diploma or its GED equivalent. Through hands-on training, programs can help students develop the skills needed to test, analyze and troubleshoot systems. Associate's degree programs generally take two years to complete.
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Associate's Degree in Software Engineering
Associate of Applied Science (AAS) and Associate of Engineering (AE) programs in software engineering are typically focused on training students to maintain and develop software applications and systems. Students may also study some basic computer concepts and advanced mathematics. Other courses cover topics such as business, project planning, conflict management and team work. The core computer courses may cover topics that include:
- Database management
- Network administration and network infrastructures
- Web design
- Computer security
- C++ programming
Popular Career Options
Graduates may also qualify for entry-level management positions in a technical capacity. Individuals may work in software design, testing, maintenance or installation. Jobs may be found with small or large companies, government agencies and non-profit companies in:
- Maintenance and development
- System engineering
- Database administration
- Web development
Employment Outlook and Salary
These programs can prepare graduates for entry-level computer technician positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of computer support specialists and technicians is expected to increase by 12% between 2014 and 2024. Computer support specialists earned a median salary of $51,470 as of May 2015.
Continuing Education Information
According to the BLS, employers may prefer individuals who hold a bachelor's degree for software engineering positions. A graduate of an associate degree program may be able to transfer into a bachelor's degree program in software engineering, computer science, computer information systems or mathematics.
Professionals in this field may be able to strengthen their employment qualifications with certifications that help to prove their skills and knowledge. Certifications may be available through product vendors or professional organizations.
Students may enroll in an AAS or AE degree program in software engineering to either prepare for an entry level job as a computer support specialist, or earn credits that may be transferred to a related bachelors degree programs.