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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree for Computer Applications Specialists

Majors Overview January 20, 2014

Get information on an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree for computer applications specialists and its coursework, career choices, and continuing education choices.

A.A. Programs in Computer Applications Specialist

The focus of computer applications specialist degree programs is centered on the business applications of information technology. While few schools offer computer applications specialist AOS (Associate of Occupational Studies) programs, those that do grant AAS (Associate of Applied Science), AS (Associate of Science) and AA degrees in the field. These programs, which typically take about two years to complete, train students in the fundamentals of computer applications, with a stress on database management, business software, system analysis and programming languages.

Skills in communication, records management and mathematics are also developed by students thereby augmenting training in the correct use of computer software. Technical schools and community colleges usually offer these degree programs. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.


Coursework combines classroom lectures and laboratory instruction wherein students learn from practical work done on the computers. Programs may also require students to get additional training and experience by participating in supervised internships. Coursework typically includes topic areas such as:

•Internet basics
•Java programming
•Information processing
•Administrative procedures
•Desktop publishing
•LAN networking
•Computer information systems
•Microsoft office products
•Web construction

Career Choices

Those who successfully complete this program can choose from various career choices in a variety of business organizations, including occupations in industrial, educational, or professional office environments. Interested candidates can aim for career titles such as:

•Help desk technician
•PC support specialist
•Software trainer
•Software support specialist
•Software technician support

Continuing Education Choices

Once they complete the program, enrolled students can join the workforce in the office or business setting; alternately, they may opt for continued education. They may opt for specializations such as network security or network support among other areas of computer use. They may also seek to enroll in bachelor’s degree programs in computer-related areas of concentration. Promotions and advancement usually result from professional certifications, continued training and work experience.

Computer product vendors and certifying organizations provide certification; additionally, students can join training programs devised to prepare them for certification in specific areas of concentration. For example, those who complete this program may be trained for Microsoft Office User Specialist (MOUS) or Cisco certifications.

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