Online Associate Degree in Computer Technology: Program Info

Dec 03, 2019

Essential Information

Many schools offer online degree programs in computer technology. These programs often can be completed entirely through distance learning, but some schools offer programs that combine online and on-campus classes. Many programs also call for an internship so students can gain real-world experience in the field. These degree programs require, on average, about two years to complete, and students may need to purchase special hardware and software to meet course requirements.

An associate's degree program in computer technology may include courses in programming, computer repair and computer system maintenance. Business-related courses, covering topics such as the use of spreadsheets and word processing software, are part of an associate's degree program as well.

Associate Degrees in Computer Technology

An Associate of Applied Science in Computer Technology program teaches students about the components and security issues of computer networks, programming and electronic communications. These programs may be available online or in a hybrid format, meaning that students must take courses on campus in addition to the online work. Students learn about programming techniques and the installation and maintenance of networks and operating systems.

Program Information and Requirements

These programs require completion of 60-70 credits and may be completed in as little as 18 months or as many as four years. Depending on the school, students may be required to select a specific concentration area, like programming or networking. An internship, which cannot be completed online, may be required.

Schools often suggest or require that students have a specific operating system and high-speed Internet connection to access online courses. Communication is often through electronic means, and students may need to sign up for an e-mail account through the school or university offering the program. A Web camera may be required for courses that are synchronous, in which communication with instructors and students is instantaneous. If textbooks or additional software are required for courses, students will be notified when they sign up or when classes begin.

Course Topics

This associate-level program combines business-related concepts with technical courses in networking and programming. Students may be required to complete courses in office automation, computer information systems and business or personal computers.

Local Area Network

In courses about local area networks (LANs), students study the required parts of a LAN, including hardware and applications. Students explore topics of security, resource sharing and connection in this class. An advanced class might focus on the design of a network and the determination of costs related to its creation.

Visual Basic Programming

This course provides an introduction to visual basic programming language. Students work with various programs, learning to identify and solve problems, code and remove bugs. Another focal area in this course is documentation.

Operating Systems

Students in this type of online course learn to compare existing and new operating systems and their features. In advanced courses, students learn to install operating systems and monitor their performance and security. The course may require students to obtain and operate software for single and multiple users.

Career Information

For graduates of associate degree programs in computer technology, potential careers include network and system administration and computer repair. Network and system administrators maintain the efficiency of computer networks and provide technical support in companies large and small. In 2018, network and computer system administrators earned a median of $82,050 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Computer repair technicians provide maintenance for computer systems, including network servers and personal computers in homes and businesses. According to the BLS, these professionals earned a median salary of $38,480 in 2018.

Continuing Education Information

Students interested in further education in computer technology may find bachelor's degrees in computer information systems, network systems or programming available online or in traditional settings. Bachelor's degrees often require 120 credit hours or more and may be completed in as little as four years, although some schools allow a longer time frame for online students. Bachelor's degrees also require general education courses, like English, mathematics and science.

Online associate's degree programs in computer technology equip students with skills in programming, operating systems and local area networks. Graduates may qualify for work as computer repair technicians or network and computer system administrators. Bachelor's degree programs are also available in the field for interested graduates.

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