Software Development Associate Degree Program Summary

Associate degrees in software development qualify graduates for entry-level positions as IT support technicians, help desk specialists, system administrators, computer programmers, and application developers.

Essential Information

A common two-year degree program is the Associate of Applied Science in Software Development. Students in software development associate programs can obtain skills in software design, core programming implementations, integration and data migration, product documentation and testing, and cost-benefit analysis. Foundational computer courses and courses that cover different programming languages, such as Python, Java, and more may also be included.

In addition to standard admissions requirements at the community college level, like a high school diploma, program applicants are often required to prove proficiency in English and mathematics, and have a minimum 2.0 cumulative high school grade point average (GPA), or higher.


Associate in Software Development Coursework

Software development associate degree programs cover such rudimentary tasks as navigating the World Wide Web, and prepare students in fundamentals such as operating systems. Courses might entail hands-on training in spreadsheets and word processors.

Students learn to use programming languages such as Visual Basic to construct stand-alone applications; advanced object oriented programming languages like C++ are stressed. Many associate degree programs will also cover data management, network technologies, and computer hardware. Not all courses are geared toward software development, but could include more rounded studies in accounting management, workplace diversity management, and essential business principles. Other typical classes might consist of the following:

  • Introduction to UNIX and LINUX
  • Oracle SQL
  • Data structures, algorithms, and web development
  • Principles of microeconomics
  • Networking and security
  • Business mathematics

Career Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), software developers who can use up-to-date programming languages will have very good prospects with much higher-than-average job growth of 17% from 2014 to 2024 (www.bls.gov). The BLS breaks down software developers into those specializing in applications software and systems software. In May 2015, the BLS reported median annual salaries of $98,260 for applications software developers and $105,570 for systems software developers.

Continuing Education Information

While the BLS states that a 2-year degree or certificate may sometimes suffice in this industry, software development jobs are more commonly filled by those holding a bachelor's degree. Frequently, a master's degree is required. Accordingly, the pursuit of higher degrees in these fields is encouraged.

An Associate of Applied Science in Software Development covers computer programming languages and other development technologies to prepare students for a career as a software developer or further education.


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