Guide to Getting Your Information Technology Associate Degree Online
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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects information technology occupations to increase 13% by 2030, a rate faster than the average for most other jobs. The BLS also reports that information technology professionals earned a median annual salary of $91,250 in 2020. However, keep in mind that an individual's earning potential can vary based on education and experience level.
Earning an information technology associate degree online can help you develop the knowledge and skills needed to launch an information technology career or pursue a bachelor's degree. If you're interested in pursuing a career in information technology, read on to learn more about how an associate degree can help you achieve your goals.
What Will You Learn in an Information Technology Associate Degree Online Program?
Components of an online information technology associate degree program vary by school. Typical courses include:
- Networking and telecommunications
- Web design and development
- Computer systems
- Database management
The following list details a few common courses in information technology associate degrees online.
This course emphasizes training in HTML5, cascading style sheets, accessibility, and responsive web design. Coursework challenges students to apply web design skills and create websites. The course includes an overview of web design for many operating systems.
Students develop proficiency in microcomputer operating systems. Coursework explores disk and file management, system configurations, menu-driven processing, and graphical user interfaces. The curriculum may include an overview of the communication process between software applications and databases, providing a holistic view of computer operating systems and enhancing students' skills to identify and troubleshoot computing issues.
This course offers students an introduction to data communication and network technologies. Students explore digital networking topics like communication management and network security. They develop skills in identifying network issues, troubleshooting, and general network support principles.
This course emphasizes database modeling and design, the languages of database management systems, and techniques for implementing and maintaining databases. Understanding these concepts is essential to designing and administering efficient database management systems. Organizations rely on effective data management to make business decisions.
Keeping data secure is essential to protecting an organization and its customer's private information. When security breaks down, it can negatively impact business processes and profitability. This course provides a comprehensive overview of malicious attacks, common vulnerabilities, and effective methods to identify and mitigate their impact on a system.
Core Skills Gained
The core curriculum of an information technology associate degree online program provides an introduction to key industry topics:
An information technologist implements and maintains networks and operating systems, so possessing strong skills in identifying issues and troubleshooting them are essential to a successful career.
Understanding the basics of common coding languages is critical to most positions in information technology. Possessing a strong knowledge of various operating systems ensures students qualify for positions across multiple industries.
What Can You Do With an Associate Degree in Information Technology?
Most organizations rely on technology to run their business, so employers often seek the help of IT professionals. Earning an online associate degree in information technology is the first step to launching a career.
A growing number of employers may prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree in information technology. However, an associate degree may still qualify individuals for some entry-level positions, such as those below:
Median Annual Pay: $55,510
A computer support specialist tests and evaluates network systems, conducts routine maintenance, troubleshoots issues, and trains users. An associate degree may qualify individuals for this position, but some employers prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree.
Median Annual Pay: $77,200
A web developer's primary tasks include creating, testing, and executing websites for clients. Proficiency in coding languages, such as HTML or XL, is essential. Web developers may also monitor website activity and track metrics.
Annual Average Salary: $45,445
A help desk specialist's primary tasks include answering client questions and providing solutions to technical issues. Essential skills include a basic understanding of software programs and communication skills to work effectively with clients.
Median Annual Pay: $84,810
A system administrator organizes, installs, and supports networks. Other duties may include training users and troubleshooting network problems. A bachelor's degree is becoming the typical minimum requirement, but some employers may continue to accept candidates with an associate degree.
Annual Average Salary: $48,259
A network support specialist's primary tasks include system maintenance and troubleshooting technical issues. They also work with organizations to maintain the overall network. Many employers require workers to possess a certificate in networking.
Transferring to a Four-Year Degree Program After Getting Your Information Technology Associate Degree Online
An online associate degree in information technology may prepare students for some entry-level positions. However, a growing number of employers require a bachelor's degree. Therefore, graduates in this field should consider continuing their education after they have earned their associate degree.
The following section looks at common four-year degree programs individuals may consider pursuing in information technology:
Bachelor's in Information Technology
This bachelor's degree builds on basic concepts taught in an associate program. By earning this degree, individuals hone their skills in database management, network security, and troubleshooting programming or network issues.
Bachelor's Degree in Information Systems
The information systems bachelor's program builds on the basic concepts of how information systems work. It trains students to design, develop, and support complex systems.
Bachelor's in Web Development
By earning a bachelor's degree, individuals develop advanced coding and web design skills. They may also gain a competitive advantage over other candidates.
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