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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Computer Programming

Majors Overview January 27, 2014

Those who enjoy working with computers should consider a computer programming career. Graduates of an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree program in computer programming can continue their education by enrolling in a related four-year program, or find entry-level work in the computing field.

A.A. Programs in Computer Programming

A student enrolled in these associate’s degree programs can not only learn basic programming concepts but also become adept at using a variety of various computer programming languages. Students can expect to hone their critical thinking abilities, in addition to learning database management, database creation, Internet programming and computer software maintenance.

Schools may offer these associate’s degree programs in a variety of formats including the Associate of Applied Science and Associate of Science, in addition to distance learning options. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.


Coursework typically focuses on teaching students about writing computer programs and maintaining computer functions. Coursework is also augmented by extensive lab work in which student gain hands-on experience working with computers. Schools may require students to participate in capstone experiences that involve writing computer programs from the design-stage through to completion. Coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Programming and logic
•Computer science
•Data structure
•Computer servicing
•Linux operating system
•Computer networking
•Java programming
•Computer security
•Systems analysis and design

Career Choices

Graduates of an associate’s degree in computer programming can write computer programs devised to achieve various objectives. Career titles in the field commonly include:

•Web developer
•Programmer analyst
•Computer programmer

Certification and Continuing Education Choices

While an associate’s degree combined with work experience and professional certification may help candidates seek entry-level jobs in the field, most companies prefer to hire holders of bachelor’s degrees in computer science or information systems.

Graduates can seek professional certification as a means to showcase their skills and knowledge before potential job givers; certification will be a valuable addition to a candidate’s resume. Many product and software vendors offer certifications to companies that buy their products. Students can also enroll in training programs devised to prepare them to sit certification exams.

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