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Degree Overview: Associate of Science (A.S.) Degree in Computer Information Systems

Majors Overview December 9, 2013

Individuals will be provided with the necessary knowledge and skills to operate several computer applications and software systems. Normally these programs are offered by vocational schools and community colleges. Employment opportunities may increase with optional certification.

A.S. Programs in Computer Information Systems

Students enrolled in an associate degree program in computer technology are provided training in basic information systems, even as they are introduced to topic areas in advanced computing. Students can expect to become adept at diagnosis, repair and maintenance of computer hardware and software systems, operation of basic software applications, performance of upgrades, troubleshooting of operating systems and configuration of computer programs. These programs are thus devised to satisfy the requirements of contemporary businesses whose employees are required to have knowledge about the fundamentals of computer information systems, such as word processing applications and spreadsheets.

Education Requirements

Those seeking admission to Associate degree programs in computer information systems are typically required to have advanced knowledge of computer information technology; the programs are also suitable for individuals without any experience whatsoever in the field. Passage of placement or assessment tests is required for admission to some programs that may also require the completion of basic introductory computer courses or establishment of an academic program founded on career objectives. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.


Coursework in an associate degree program is devised to introduce students to computer software and hardware systems to augment training in networking and specific computer applications. Coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Internet basic principles
•Web design
•Desktop publishing
•Data communications
•Spreadsheet applications
•Visual Basic
•Computer hardware

Career Choices

A basic understanding of computer systems gained in the associate degree program will help graduates seek various entry-level jobs in the information technology field including:

•Systems administrator
•Applications support specialist
•Database manager
•Computer technician
•Network administrator

Certification Choices

Graduates of some associate degree programs in computer information systems can use the coursework as preparation for industry certification offered through industry standards organizations, hardware manufacturers and software companies. They can aim for end-user support certifications such as Microsoft’s Technology Associate or Office Specialist; alternatively, they may seek CompTIA’s Network+ or A+ credentials that emphasize systems support skills and knowledge as provided by an associate degree in computer systems.

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