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Information on Associate Degree Programs in Information Technology

Majors Overview January 12, 2014

Students will be taught how to install software, network multiple systems together, configure equipment, and run computer operating systems. There are many technology fields for graduates to enter, such as systems design, programming, or information security.

A.A. Programs in Information Technology

Students enrolled in Associate degree programs in information technology or network systems are prepared for working with computers and related technologies. Students can expect to become adept at analyzing technology systems, identifying potential problems, running updates and replacing faulty computer components. They are also imparted training in the maintenance of wide area networks (WAN) and local area networks (LAN). Schools don’t often use solutions development in the titles of the programs they offer. However, they offer training relevant to software development and application architecture among other solutions development theory programs. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Coursework

Given the breadth of the information technology field of study, general topics are the focus of a majority of associate degree programs; these include topic areas such as networking, maintenance, computer components and operating systems as well as subjects such as:

•Programming languages
•Software development
•Information systems management
•Database management
•Database design
•Technical support concepts
•Network security
•System administration

Career Choices

Those who successfully complete associate degree programs can seek entry-level jobs in the information technology (IT) departments of a majority of government organizations, schools and businesses. Some may prefer to set up computer repair businesses of their own while others might prefer to work as independent contractors. They may seek job titles such as:

•Network operations analyst
•Computer support specialist
•Network systems administrator

Continuing Education Choices

Employers for lower-level positions consider technology professionals with associate’s degrees; however, many recruiters are increasingly showing a preference for bachelor’s and master’s degree holders in information technology, computer sciences or information systems management (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). Those who have completed academic training in both information technology as well as business will still better chances of getting employed.

To stay competitive in a dynamic industry, professionals must stay abreast of advancements such as legal issues, systems changes and software updates related to the technology industry through participation in continual training. Professional certification while not mandatory is a preferred option of many professionals in their field of choice. Thus certification in programming languages is sought by programmers. Certification programs are generally provided by product manufacturers and trade organizations. Passage of practical written tests or written exams is necessary to obtaining certification.

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