How to Get an Online Associate’s Degree in Computer Science
Do you have a passion for working with computers and possibly desire to start your own business? If so, getting an associate’s degree in computer science may just be the perfect way to begin. With computers being so prevalent in our lives both at work and at home, they are essentially the driving force behind our entire economy. Anyone who is familiar with the inner workings of these vital machines and knows how to read and write the code that they work off of is going to be in high demand.
If you are looking for a job that allows you to telecommute and work on a flexible schedule, pursuing an associate’s degree in computer science may allow you to get a job that allows you to work from home in your pajamas. With that said, you would essentially be able to live and work from anywhere in the world.
To earn an associate’s degree in computer science, you will have to learn all the major programming languages such as Java, C++, SQL, XML, and HTML. It can be extremely challenging, but also rewarding for the right person. If you are interested in computers, you will most likely thrive in this field. In fact, you may already know some of this information already! In addition to computer programming languages, you will also learn problem solving skills, operating systems, database theory, network security, data structures and algorithms, and so much more. With so much to learn in this industry, you won’t be bored with your classes!
Learn skills that enable you to oversee the operation of computer hardware systems, including mainframes, minicomputers, or networks of personal computers.
Common Associate’s in Computer Science Curriculum
Specific coursework for the associate’s degree in computer science will vary from college to college, but generally speaking, students will learn the following:
- Introduction to Computer Science and Programming
- Discrete Mathematics
- Object-Oriented Programming
- Applied Calculus
- Data Telecommunications and Computer Networks
- Introduction to Assembly Language Programming
Ideally, computer science students are not only well-versed with computers, but also have a way with numbers.
In addition to computer science-related courses, students will also have general education requirements and electives to complete, which will vary from college to college. These classes are usually not directly computer science related. They are designed to give students the opportunity to explore other fields while getting a well-rounded foundation of knowledge that will come in handy when it comes to understanding real-life situations and succeeding in whatever career you choose to be in. For example, students may have an introductory course in math, science, history, language, and fine arts, to name a few.
The associate’s degree for computer science generally takes two years of full-time study to complete, but may also be completed sooner if classes are taken online. Depending on how many classes you can squeeze in per quarter/semester, you may be able to finish earlier. After earning your associate’s, you have the option of either going into an entry-level position or continue your education to earn your bachelor’s in a related field. The associate’s degree is designed to prepare students to excel in the workforce, or provide a good foundation for higher education.
Associate’s in Computer Science Careers
A computer science associate degree will prepare you for many different types of careers. Many graduates begin work in database administration. By doing so, they are able to figure out the best way to store their client’s data. As more and more companies grow and have more information they need to store, the demand for such professionals will be needed to fill more positions. Basically, it’s safe to say that with at least a computer science degree, you will likely not have much trouble securing a good job.
Coming out with an associate’s degree, you may consider the following career options that are popular and high in demand today:
- Computer support specialist
- Web developer
- Computer programmer
While higher education is not mandatory for success in this field, it is definitely highly recommended and regarded when it comes to looking for and qualifying for work. When coupled with work experience, the credential gives you a one-up compared to those who are applying for jobs coming out of high school. Sometimes, employers will even offer entry-level candidates with at least an associate degree better pay and benefits.
If you have always dreamed of starting your own business and being your own boss, you may want to consider getting into computer consulting. It is a field that is growing faster than average, and many people are outsourcing their work to freelancers to get work done efficiently without having to work in on-site.
Getting an associate degree in computer science will not be a breeze, but there is no doubt that the rewards are well worth it. If you love a career that is full of challenge and interesting work related to computers, then this degree may be perfect for you.