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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Information Technology

Majors Overview January 10, 2014

Programs in information technology (IT) prepare students with the skills needed to work with the latest technology in telecommunications, programming, networking, and more. An Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree in information technology may prepare students for entry-level work in several industries.

A.A. Programs in Information Technology

Students enrolled in an Associate’s Degree Programs in Information Technology are provided with the knowledge and training they would need to be able to assess the nature of computer systems needed in non-networked and networked settings. Graduates can expect to become adept at designing, installing, upgrading and troubleshooting the suitable solutions depending on the organization’s needs and their own assessments.

The communications, organizational and interpersonal skills they need to achieve success in the profession are also developed by the enrolled students. They can expect to become an expert at importing, analyzing, organizing and storing data and communication into the system. It usually takes about two years to complete this program whose admission criteria require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Coursework

Coursework combines classroom lectures, lab studies and hands-on training. The program may allow participation by students in cooperative education or internship programs. Students are expected to complete individual or team design projects to be employed on computer systems. Coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Information security
•Global issues
•Computer networks
•Data structures and algorithms
•Problem solving
•Database management systems
•Information systems and technologies
•Web page construction

Career Choices

Information technology specialists can seek entry-level jobs in many work settings. Given the dynamic nature of computer technology, recruiters give greater preference to candidates with experience and formal training. These professionals may aspire for career titles such as:

•Personal computer technician
•Systems analyst
•Network administrator
•Computer systems administrator
•Computer support specialist

Continuing Education Choices

Those who successfully complete associate’s degree programs may choose to join the workforce immediately on graduating or choose to continue their education by earning a bachelor’s degree that is often preferred by employers of network architects and administrators, among other positions. Interested candidates may choose to augment their education with professional certification and work experience to enhance their chances of career advancement in their chosen professions.

Certifications are usually offered through training programs, independent certifying organizations and computer product vendors. While certifications may not be provided by training programs, students may use the courses as preparation to sit exams for specific certification.

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