Online education and training programs in computer applications provide an understanding of software programs and applications, including word processing, presentation, graphic design, spreadsheet, Internet design and productivity programs. Students can earn degrees such as an Associate of Science in Computer Applications, Computer Information Technology or Computer Software Specialist Technology, a Bachelor of Science in Computer Applications or Computer Science, or credentials through computer software companies like Microsoft and Cisco.
AS - Computer Applications
Most online associate's degree programs in computer applications can be completed in two years. These programs allow students to become proficient in a broad spectrum of computer-related tasks.
The courses combine basic computer concepts with advanced application techniques, including the following:
- Computer information applications
- Electronic presentations
- Desktop publishing
- Advanced Microsoft Word
- Database management systems
BS - Computer Applications
A 4-year online degree in computer applications usually involves a more detailed curriculum. Often, students are required to use outside textbooks, computer application manuals and other resources to complete assignments. Many programs offer downloadable texts through electronic school libraries.
Students can often choose computer applications electives based on a specific area of interest, including software engineering and systems security and information assurance. A bachelor's degree combines liberal arts courses, basic science courses and core computer courses to give online students a well-rounded education. Courses might include:
- Computer science I
- Introduction to operating systems
- Foundations of network security
- Windows network administration
- Computer ethics
How Online Computer Applications Education Works
Online computer applications degree programs require students to have computers with relevant applications and a reliable Internet connection. Most coursework is conducted through computer application-based assignments and quizzes. For example, students often create word processing documents, spreadsheets and multimedia presentations to demonstrate proficiency.
Because online courses do not provide face-to-face communication between students, many programs include online discussions with classmates and professors. Students typically use online content management systems to upload assignments, discussions and exams. Some programs conduct online final exams, while others require students to take proctored exams at local education centers.
Online AS and BS programs that cover computer applications provide a general introduction to the field of information technology, though BS programs tend to cover more specific areas like software engineering, systems security and information assurance. The online format tends to be more convenient, since lectures, assignments and discussions are all completed virtually.