Computer Systems Associate Degree Program Overviews

Oct 19, 2019

An associate degree program in computer information systems provides individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to operate various computer software systems and applications.

Essential Information

Students in a 2-year associate's degree program in computer information systems learn how to diagnose, repair and maintain computer software and hardware systems. Much of the learning is hands-on, taking place in the school's computer labs. General education requirements must also be met.

These programs are typically open to students with advanced knowledge of computer information technology or those with little to no knowledge in the field. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED. Assessment or placement tests and completed basic introductory computer courses may be necessary before admission.

Computer Systems Associate Degree Program

Courses included within the curriculum provide students with training in operating basic software applications, performing upgrades, troubleshooting operating systems and configuring computer programs. Some courses might include:

  • Spreadsheet applications
  • Internet basic principles
  • Visual Basic
  • Data communications
  • Desktop publishing
  • Web design

Popular Career Options

Graduates with a basic understanding of computer systems qualify for several entry-level positions within the information technology field. Some of these might include:

  • Computer technician
  • Systems administrator
  • Network administrator
  • Database manager
  • Applications support specialist

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that computer network support specialists earned a mean annual wage of $68,050 in May 2018. From 2018-2028, computer support specialists were projected to see a 10% increase in employment opportunities.

Certification Options

Some associate degree programs in computer information systems are designed to prepare graduates for specific industry certification. Credentials are offered through software companies, hardware manufacturers and industry standards organizations. End-user support certifications include Microsoft's Office Specialist or Technology Associate, while those emphasizing systems support include CompTIA's A+ or Network+ credentials. An associate degree in computer systems generally provides students with the basic knowledge and skills necessary to qualify for these designations.

Computer information systems associate programs are typically offered by community colleges and vocational schools. Students learn about relevant topics in the field and are eligible to work as computer network support specialists and database managers, among other roles.

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