How to Get an Online Associate’s Degree in Computer Programming
For most, reading code is like trying to read Latin. It won’t make any sense to someone who has no background in it. While writing and reading code is no easy task, it can be really fun and interesting for the right person. If you have always wondered what all those lines of letters and symbols mean, then getting an associate’s degree will give you a glimpse of how to crack codes. These codes all mean something, and computer programmers are able to look at a code and instantly know what it’s for. Codes can tell someone whether something is out of place that’s preventing the program from running smoothly.
If you love computers and want to work in the programming field, getting an associate’s degree in computer programming would be a great step for you. Because everyone uses computer programs at home and in the workplace, job security is not a problem in this field. You can surely get an entry-level position after graduation.
Computer programming is a well-paying career, but like most, the salary goes up with more work experience and education. With that said, you can move on to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the field after finishing your associate’s if you plan on remaining competitive. These days, competition is fierce in this field due to limited openings, so the more you know, the better off you’ll be. Needless to say, most employers today prefer candidates to have at least a bachelor’s degree in the field. The associate’s degree will give you a strong foundation of what you can expect to learn in depth at the bachelor’s level.
The associate’s degree typically takes two years of full-time study to complete. However, if you choose to earn your credential online, you may be able to complete it earlier. Depending on how many classes you can take per quarter/semester, you may be able to finish a lot quicker.
If you are busy but looking to go to school while still attending to your personal obligations, pursuing an associate’s degree in computer programming online could be a great option. Distance learning can work really well for those who are motivated and independent learners. It is important to make sure that the college you choose is accredited so that the credits you earn can be easily transferred to a four-year college should you decide to continue your education. By virtually attending classes online, you will have access to all course materials and participate in class discussions just like you would normally in a traditional classroom setting. By pursuing your degree online, you would be able to log into the classroom portal from anywhere and anytime to complete required coursework and exams. Students can easily communicate with other students and their professors via chat platforms and email.
Common Associate’s in Computer Programming Curriculum
Have you decided to pursue an associate’s degree in computer programming? You might be wondering what kind of classes you will be expected to take for graduation. Some topics you’ll learn include but are not limited to:
- Programming languages
- SQL concepts
- Operating systems
- Database management
The list goes on, but this gives you a quick glance of the variety of things you will become familiar with by the time you finish your degree. Computer programmers also get a chance to hone their attention to detail in school. This skill is extremely important in the working world, because even just one comma out of place in your code can throw the whole program off! Patience and passion for the subject are both also key to success in this field.
In addition to computer programming related courses, you may also be required to take some electives and general education classes before graduating. These classes will help you develop a well-rounded foundation of knowledge that will be useful in understanding real-life situations and succeeding in your job in the future. Many of these general education course requirements can be waived if you took AP classes and passed their respective exams in high school. If this sounds like it might be you, we recommend checking with your college counselor to see which classes you might not have to retake.
Associate’s in Computer Programming Careers
After earning your associate’s degree, you can continue directly into your bachelor’s degree program if you choose to do so. Otherwise, you can get an entry-level position in computer programming. It is important to keep in mind that salary will depend on a variety of factors such as location, industry experience, and education level. The average annual income for a computer programmer is around $64,000.
Programmers can be found working for a variety of companies like Microsoft and Google. They may also work in smaller start-up companies. Sometimes, they work independently, while other times, they also work with a team. So, being a strong independent worker and team player is important if you want to become a computer programmer.
Computer programmers are responsible for writing all the instructions that a machine must follow in order to do something. As mentioned earlier, this career is a very detail-oriented and demanding one, but can also be exhilarating for the right person. If you like a little challenge and competition, you will likely do just fine in this career path.