Within information technology studies, you could pick a focus like application development, security, server administration, or website design and development. Associate degrees in the field can cover a lot of territory depending on your interests. In addition to core education classes, you might choose subjects such as computer platform technologies, business systems analysis and design, hardware and software development, digital game development, IT business applications, web server design, programming, or database concepts and design.
Earning associate degrees in information technology
Career options for those with an associate-level education include computer support specialist. Some associate degrees in information technology are designed to get you into the work force, while others lay the foundation for transition to a bachelor's degree. Bachelor's degree programs normally have concentrations such as networking and security, web application development, or even business administration.
Master's degrees in information technology often include business studies or a specialization in one area of IT, with the goal of advancing into management. A Ph.D. in the field is generally research intensive and can be multidisciplinary in nature. A Doctor of Science, which uses advanced research to solve real-world problems, is appropriate for leadership and consulting roles or higher education faculty positions.
IT career options, outlook and salary
Education requirements for tech careers vary by industry and even by company; some employers accept an associate degree while many prefer a bachelor's degree or higher. For example, network administrators typically need a bachelor's degree, although an associate degree, or certification with experience, may qualify for some jobs. Most administrators start their careers as computer support specialists, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The BLS projects higher than average job growth for the following IT careers, shown with the projected growth rate for 2010-2200:
- Computer support specialists: 18.1 percent
- Database administrators: 30.6 percent
- Network and computer systems administrators: 27.8 percent
Median 2010 salaries reported by the BLS for these occupations are shown here:
- Computer support specialist: $46,260
- Database administrator: $73,490
- Network and computer systems administrator: $69,160
It makes sense to use a computer and study online to prepare for a high-tech career. Whether your goal is to enter the job market as quickly as possible or to continue working while you build your qualifications, studying online is a convenient way to earn your associate degree in information technology.