How to Get an Online Associate’s Degree in Software Engineering

With technology advancing and changing so quickly over the years, it is hard to even try to imagine what life was like before Microsoft Windows. Anyone remember the green and black DOS screens, and having to use the up and down arrows and specific codes to get anything done? Those days are long gone. Technology has gotten so much easier to use, and it all started when Bill Gates invented Microsoft Windows. This innovation changed the computer world forever.

Have you dreamt of following the footsteps of Bill Gates? If it excites you to work on new software programs, it may be worth doing some research on earning an associate’s degree in software engineering. It may just be the perfect career path for you.

In recent years, software engineering has become a “hot career” so to speak. Why? The computer world is changing so rapidly, so there is a high demand for engineers to constantly innovate and improve what currently exists. Everyone uses computers nowadays, and because of that, new softwares are needed to accommodate updated technology. As a software engineer, you would be responsible for creating these programs and making sure that they run smoothly for the users.

With more and more people relying on technology to maneuver through their everyday lives, the field of software engineering is expected to grow tremendously over the years. With that said, if you are interested in creating software, you should not have any issues securing a job.

An associate’s degree in software engineering 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 a busy person looking to attend school while still attending to your personal obligations, pursuing an associate’s degree in software engineering online could be a great option. Distance learning can work really well for those who are motivated and independent learners. It is essential 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. The main difference is that 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 Software Engineering Curriculum

Want to be the next Bill Gates and wondering what it takes to get there? Well, beginning with an associate’s degree in software engineering is a great start. In this program, you can expect to take coursework in the following subjects:

  • Java
  • C++
  • Principles of software engineering
  • Advanced mathematics
  • Web development
  • Computer hardware and software installation
  • Networking
  • Data structures
  • Emerging technologies
  • Systems thinking

Of course, there are many other classes not listed above for you to explore, but these are just some of the popular classes available for you to take. As you can see, these subjects may not sound easy breezy for the everyday person; rather, they are challenging (but rewarding for the right student!) for good reason. Most people that get a software engineering associate’s degree move on to get their bachelor’s in the industry because it is a degree where you will generally earn more with a higher degree. With that said, courses at the associate’s level will still be challenging, to prepare students for higher education and a competitive field. There is so much to learn about software engineering, and taking the time to pursue your education will very likely pay off in the long run.

In addition to engineering-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 engineering related, but will help you develop a well-rounded foundation of knowledge that will be useful in understanding real-life situations and succeeding in whatever career you choose to be in. For example, students may have an introductory course in social sciences, history, language, and fine arts, to name a few.

Associate’s in Software Engineering Careers

In addition to a challenging and rewarding career, salary is another huge perk when it comes to pursuing the field of software engineering. Not only is the field expected to boom over the years, people in the industry are already making a very competitive income. Of course, the income figures will vary depending on level of education and where you work. For example, with a bachelor’s degree after completing your associate’s, you could potentially make around $77,000 if you specialize in applications, $82,000 if you specialize in systems, and $66,000 if you specialize in programming. If you are lucky enough to work for a huge company like Google or Microsoft, your perks might be worth as much, if not more, than your yearly income! It doesn’t get sweeter than that.

Because engineering is a field where level of education matters along with experience, it is highly encouraged that students continue to pursue higher education after completing their associate’s degrees. With the field getting more and more competitive, it really helps to make students stand out from the crowd (especially those with only a high school diploma or associate’s degree) when they have higher credentials.