Associate Degree in Computer Analysis: Program Overview
Computer analysts, or computer systems analysts, often work within businesses or corporations to help configure hardware and software, recognize computer system issues, or help with other information technology needs. The associate's degree available in the field is an Associate of Science in Computer Science.
Associate of Science in Computer Science
There are no schools offering associate's degree programs strictly in the field of computer systems analysis or computer analysis. However, individuals who are interested in becoming computer analysts for businesses or organizations can gain the skills necessary through a 2-year computer science degree program. Such programs are designed to provide individuals with an overview of computer systems, computer organization, programming and information systems.
Students enrolled in an associate's degree program in computer science develop the skills and knowledge necessary to recognize and solve information technology issues, develop spreadsheets and data analysis charts, develop algorithms for computer programs, and manage fundamental programming concepts. Many such programs also include several courses related to mathematics and statistics.
Associate's degree programs in computer science are offered through community colleges, vocational schools and even 4-year universities. Each of these types of schools does require incoming students to hold a high school diploma or GED. Students interested in studying computer science should have strong transcripts in mathematics, calculus and algebra.
In addition to completing general education courses, students enrolled in an associate's degree program in computer science must also complete courses related to the practical field of computer analysis, programming and information technology. Some of these include:
- Introduction to computer science
- Computer information systems
- Discrete mathematics
- Introduction to programming
- Intermediate computer science
- Computer science lab
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Computer analysts held more than 512,000 positions in the United States in 2009, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). The largest concentration of computer analysts were employed by computer systems design companies, management departments of companies and enterprises and insurance carriers. The median annual salary in the field in 2009 was $77,080.
Most aspiring computer analysts do earn at least a bachelor's degree in computer science or information technology. Those who are interested in specializing further in the field and becoming system architects, system designers or programmer analysts are especially likely to seek further degrees. Although it is not often required for the career, master's degree programs in computer science and information technology also offer advanced training in computer analysis.
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