Online Associate Degree in Computer Science

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In the simplest terms, computer science is the study of computers and how they work. This technical field includes both theory and practice. Still, most programs tend to focus on either the theoretical analysis of computation and algorithms or the practical techniques for making computer applications work. Students in an associate degree program in computer science will also learn about computational complexity theory, computer graphics, programming language theory, computer programming, and complex systems. The associate degree gives students a broad overview of computer science and teaches them the basic skills they’ll need to work in this growing field.

Why an Associate’s Degree?

Graduates of the associate program will be ready to start an entry-level computer science job or transfer to a four-year school. This two-year program is one of the quickest ways to meet the post-secondary education requirement and get into the workforce. Even though there are a lot of jobs for students with an associate degree, it is not unusual for people to go back to school to get their bachelor’s in computer science. If you do this, you might be able to get more jobs and move up in your career.

Inside an Associate Degree Program in Computer Science

Online associate degrees in computer science usually take two years to finish and include many classes, such as an introduction to computer systems, applied calculus, data structures and algorithms, computer architecture, programming, and other technical subjects. Students may have to find time in their schedules for more general education courses and graduation requirements. Some programs offer concentrations and electives that you can choose to take if you want to get more out of your education and move toward specializing.

Like most online programs, computer science majors will be able to access their lectures, class assignments, grades, and tests or quizzes on the web through a learning management system like Blackboard or Moodle. Even though most online classes are self-paced, most have scheduled readings, discussions, or exams to ensure that all students are taking part. To do well in online courses, you need to be able to talk to people and push yourself. Online students can ask for help from their school when they need help with schoolwork, money, or career.

What’s Next for People with an Associate’s Degree in Computer Science?

Getting an online associate’s degree in computer science can lead to several interesting jobs in computer science. Many associate degree workers work as computer support specialists, network and computer systems administrators, or computer programmers. Even though some employers in these fields prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree, many will hire people with at least an associate’s. In May 2014, the average salary for a computer support specialist in the United States was $51,820, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Network and computer systems administrators made $79,770, and computer programmers made $82,690. Keep in mind that more schooling and work experience can lead to job promotions and pay raises.

Most graduates get a bachelor’s degree in computer science to learn more about computers and improve their skills. Earning a bachelor’s degree will help students find better jobs in computer science and other fields. Getting a job may require a bachelor’s or master’s degree, depending on your employer or the area you want to work in.

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