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

Majors Overview January 9, 2014

An Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree program for software developers will teach students software technology and design, as well as its application within information systems. Graduates are usually qualified for entry-level work or further education.

A.A. Programs in Information Systems Technology: Software Developer

Students enrolled in Associate degree programs are involved in the exploration of systems analysis and programming languages. Students can expect to become adept at utilizing engineering practices, and learn to devise software solutions to resolve problems related to information technology. They also become an expert at analysis of data for consistency, recognition of common issues, troubleshooting of engineering problems, communicating within a team setting and resolving programming problems. Admission criteria require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.


The focus of coursework includes databases, software engineering principles, information systems technology, windows software applications, and the basics of computer literacy. Courses may include topic areas such as:

•Visual Basic
•Software development
•Database management
•Java programming
•Computer logic

Job and Wage Outlook

Employers of computer software engineers usually seek candidates who hold at least a bachelor’s degree or higher (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). However, those who hold associate’s degrees can hope to find entry-level programming jobs.

Programmers are expected to write code and analyze coding problems within the software. They are also expected to repair or modify old codes, as well as test and debug coding problems within certain portions of the software. Programmers can choose from a range of job opportunities in various industries, including software publishing and computer design.

Job growth of 21% has been projected for programmers and computer software engineers during the period from 2008 to 2018 (BLS). However the job market is expected to decline by 3% during the same time-period for computer programmers; the pessimistic projection is owed to technology advances and offshore outsourcing. In May 2010, programmers took home an average annual wage of $71,380, while the median wage earned by application software developers was $87,790, and that for systems software developers was $94,180 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Individuals employed in the computer software industry can boost their employment opportunities by earning a bachelor’s degree or higher. Coursework in bachelor’s degree programs in software engineering includes programming, processing and software testing, among other concepts useful to the construction and design of software systems.

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