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Degree Overview: Associate of Computer Information Technology

Majors Overview August 14, 2013

The associate degree program in computer information technology will prepare students for a wide range of jobs in today’s fast-paced and expanding information technology (IT) industry. A technical school or community college is likely to offer a computer information technology associate degree program.

Associate Degree Program in Computer Information Technology

Students enrolled in a computer information technology associate degree program are imparted the knowledge and skills needed to pursue careers in the computer industry. Students are offered a broad overview of the field in these two-year programs that will help them choose their most appropriate area of specialization. Schools offer Computer information technology programs as either an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) programs.

Students enrolled in these programs can expect to receive training for entry-level jobs in areas such as network maintenance, application support, software development, information technology and E-commerce. Graduates can expect to become adept at installing and upgrading hardware and software, and developing computer networks along with assessing the computer and information needs of a business firm.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold no more than a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma. However, students enrolled in some computer information technology programs are expected to complete basic learning strategy and college writing courses, as well as take math or algebra competency tests. Proficiency in using computers is also expected of students who seek enrollment in the program.

Program Coursework

Students will gain hands-on experience and complete coursework by spending time in computer labs. In addition, they will complete externships for real-time experience in the field. Program course topics may include the following:

•Routing for computer networks
•Database management
•Programming
•Desktop application maintenance
•Hardware fundamentals

Career Options

From 2010 to 2020, demand for individuals with skills in IT was expected to increase at a faster-than-average pace, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). With on-the-job training and experience, computer information technology associate degree program graduates will be able to find employment in the information technology industry, possible career options include:

•Cisco support technician
•Computer programmer
•LAN administrator
•Computer support specialist

Information on Continuing Education

Typically, management positions in the information technology fields require the completion of a bachelor or master degree program in computer-related fields. Individuals can also choose to pursue Mater of Business Administration (MBA) programs. Employers generally prefer employees with industry certifications, like the ones that software and computer vendors offer to users. Depending on the computer information technology programs, some will prepare students for industry certifications, including Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) or Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP).

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