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Degree Overview: Associate of Computer Science

Majors Overview August 29, 2013

Students who love computers and enjoy experiencing all of the various aspects of working with computers might want to consider a computer science career. Computer science associate degree program will prepare students to further their education to a bachelor degree program in computer science and entry-level positions working with computers.

Associate Degree Program in Computer Science

Students enrolled in a computer science program are taught through a combination of theory and practice about the usage, programming and maintenance of computers, where they can seek entry-level jobs in various fields. Schools may offer many variations of a computer science associate degree program including an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.), and Associate of Science (A.S.).

Students may want to enroll in programs that will allow them to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation or transfer to a four-year bachelor degree program, and continued education beyond that to earn a master’s degree. 2+2 programs are also offered by some schools to serve individuals who want to transfer. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma.

Program Coursework

An associate degree program in computer science will offer students opportunities to work in computer labs to gain hands-on experience learning about computer science. In addition, students will be able to participate in internships with local business where they can put their classroom knowledge to use in real-world situations. Depending on the courses, some may be offered online. Program course topics may include the following:

•Visual programming
•Java for computer science
•Algorithms and data structures
•Object-oriented programming
•Database management systems

Career Options

Associate degree program graduates will have many career options in the computer science field. Computer science associate degree program will prepare graduates for careers in different positions, including:

•Systems analysts
•Computer support specialists
•Computer programmers

Information on Continuing Education

Although most employers prefer that computer programmers or technicians to have a bachelor’s degree, employees might be hired with some experience and an associate’s degree. Employers usually offer additional on-the-job training.
Individuals who are interested can also choose to pursue a four-year bachelor’s degree in computer science and become systems administrators or managers, advanced computer programmers, or computer software engineers. Certification that can be earned through software vendors, certifying agencies, and training institutions, will improve career advancement and employment opportunities.

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