Associates Degree in Computer Programming Overview.
Individuals who are interested in working with computers may wish to consider a career in computer programming. With an associate's degree in computer programming, students may be qualified to gain entry-level jobs in the computing field, or may prepare to transfer to a related 4-year program.
Associate's Degree in Computer Programming
In addition to teaching basic programming concepts, these associate's degree programs can help students become skillful with various computer programming languages. Students can develop critical thinking skills, as well as learn computer software maintenance, Internet programming, database creation and data management.
These programs may be offered in various associate's degree formats, including the Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science, and may also be offered through distance learning. A high school diploma or equivalent is usually required for admission.
Curriculum typically includes coursework teaches students to write computer programs and maintain computer functions. In addition to coursework, students may spend extensive lab time gaining hands-on training with computers. Participants may be required to write computer programs from design to completion as capstone experiences. Topics of study may include:
- Java programming
- Computer networking
- Programming and logic
- Systems analysis and design
- Computer security
- Linux operating system
- Computer servicing
- Data structure
- Computer science
Popular Career Options
Computer programming graduates can write computer programs for a variety of purposes. Some common career titles include:
- Computer programmer
- Programmer analyst
- Web developer
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Computer programmer employment is projected to increase 12% over the 2010-2020 decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov). The mean annual pay for programmers in May 2012 was $78,260. The BLS also reported a fast 22% growth rate for web developers (categorized with information security analysts and computer network architects) over the 2010-2020 period. Mean earnings for web developers in May 2012 were $66,100.
Continuing Education and Certification Info
Employers may prefer to hire computer programmers who have completed bachelor's degrees, although an associate's degree may be sufficient, especially when combined with work experience and professional certifications. Some positions, however, may require completion of a relevant bachelor's degree program, such as a program in information systems or computer science.
Certification can demonstrate an individual's knowledge and skill, while also being a bonus on a job resume. Candidates can obtain certification through many software and product vendors when the company's product is being used. Some training programs offer courses that also prepare students for certification examinations.
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