Technology suffuses everyday life, influencing how we learn, entertain, and engage with people and current events. This ubiquity also affects how we work. By pursuing an online computer science associate degree, you learn how digital systems function. You also develop programming and troubleshooting skills to create and manage individual programs and sprawling networks.
Associate credentials provide the groundwork for bachelor's and graduate training. They also let you apply for entry-level positions in the computer services and information technology fields. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer support specialist positions are projected to grow 11% through 2026. With specialized training, you can pursue web development careers, which are projected to expand 15%.
For more degree and career info, jump to:
- Choosing an Online Computer Science Associate Degree Program
- What Will I Learn in an Online Associate in Computer Science Program?
- Online Associate in Computer Science Careers
- Educational Paths for Online Computer Science Associate Programs
Best Online Associate in Computer Science Programs
Online Associate in Computer Science Degree Program Ranking Guidelines: We selected the degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.
1. Troy University
Troy students pursuing an associate of science in general education with a computer science emphasis can choose from three concentration options: cybersecurity, advanced programming, and careers in computer technology. The school's 48-credit online computer science associate degree combines general studies coursework in calculus, physics, and chemistry with career-focused classes in software engineering, data structure, and web development. Each concentration requires learners to select two courses from 11 upper-level computer science electives.
Students may earn their degree online or through a hybrid program, completing some courses at the university’s Alabama campus. Online candidates use the Canvas learning management system to complete and submit assignments, and all new students complete the Getting Started with Canvas course before enrolling in classes. Troy is a public university known for its military-friendly policies and offers several institutional scholarships for military personnel, veterans, and their families. Distance learners enjoy several exclusive aid opportunities.
Troy holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
2. South Texas College
South Texas College makes it easy for graduates who earn an associate degree in computer science to transfer to the college's undergraduate computer science or computer software engineering programs. Consisting of 62 credits, the associate curriculum emphasizes programming fundamentals, calculus, and logic, while also introducing general education topics like U.S. and Texas history. Candidates may begin their studies on one of five yearly start dates, and full-time learners who follow the college's recommended course sequence can earn their degrees in five semesters.
South Texas College charges in-district, out-of-district, and nonresident tuition rates. Starr and Hidalgo county residents qualify for in-district tuition. In-district learners save approximately 66% on tuition compared to out-of-state students. Distance learners must complete online orientation and placement testing, although new students who possess exemplary SAT or ACT scores need not sit for placement tests.
South Texas College holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
3. Bucks County Community College
This Pennsylvania college offers an associate of science in computer science that builds proficiency in three main areas: calculus, programming fundamentals, and business integration. This 62-credit associate degree in computer science follows a synchronous format and features courses in BASIC, database design, algorithm development, and discrete mathematics. Candidates also complete general education courses in science, arts, and the humanities. Full-time students take 15 credits per semester and graduate in two years. Students may personalize their degree track through elective coursework.
Bucks also boasts a robust foreign language program. Distance learners can study French, Italian, Spanish, or Japanese.
Bucks County residents save approximately 50% on tuition, and all online students pay a per-credit technology support fee. Active military personnel and veterans receive generous financial aid benefits, and the college offers several need-based scholarship opportunities.
Bucks holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
4. Ocean County College
Toms River, New Jersey
This New Jersey institution designed its AS in computer science core curriculum with transferability in mind, helping graduates successfully transfer credits to other schools. The 64-credit program introduces concepts in programming, computer architecture, database management, and discrete mathematics. Students also complete general education courses in English, calculus, and physics and may customize their studies through five elective credits. OCC delivers all online courses and a web-based orientation through the Canvas learning management system. Distance learners also enjoy access to 24/7 technology assistance.
OCC's online classes use the same academic calendar as its on-campus courses. Students may earn their degrees entirely online or take a mixture of online and in-person classes at the Toms River campus. Ocean County residents pay the lowest per-credit tuition rate, while out-of-state students pay approximately 75% more.
OCC holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
5. Northwest Iowa Community College
NCC's 67-credit associate of science in computer science program allows candidates to choose between programming and networking concentrations. Students following both tracks begin specialized coursework during their second year. Learners pursuing a programming concentration complete upper-division courses that address database development and data structures, while the networking concentration emphasizes operating systems and network security. Both tracks feature the same core curriculum -- delivered synchronously -- built on networking essentials and general education. Full-time students graduate in four semesters.
Iowa and out-of-state residents pay the same tuition rate, as do full- and part-time students. Additionally, online students save approximately 5% on tuition, as compared to their on-campus counterparts. Prospective NCC students must possess a high school diploma or GED certificate.
NCC holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
6. Anne Arundel Community College
Computer science and software development students at AACC enjoy three learning pathways: two associate degree options and one certificate option. Degree-seeking students can complete either an associate in computer science or a general transfer degree with a concentration in computer science or information systems. Intended for students seeking career advancement, the certificate track includes advanced scientific programming coursework.
In addition to degree and certificate options, AACC offers an honors program that awards a scholarship and a special diploma. Candidates seeking admission into the honors program must earn a minimum 3.4 GPA on their first 12 undergraduate credits. Additionally, all honors students must complete a final project under faculty supervision.
Anne Arundel County residents pay significantly reduced tuition rates, while other Maryland residents pay less than out-of-state and international students.
AACC holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
7. Lone Star College System
The Woodlands, Texas
Developed for individuals who ultimately plan to pursue a four-year computer science degree, LSC's 60-credit associate of science in computer science takes two years to complete. Presented in a synchronous format, the curriculum features three foundational programming courses and a general education component that covers history, precalculus, English, and physics. All course credits transfer easily to other public Texas colleges and universities. Candidates may explore their transfer options in depth by speaking to an advisor or attending a workshop at one of LSC's six Houston-area transfer centers.
Full-time LSC students pay less for their degrees than part-time students, and in-district learners enjoy significant tuition discounts. While online students do not qualify for institutional scholarships, Texas residents may apply for merit- and need-based state grants.
LSC holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
8. Rogers State University
This Oklahoma university’s associate in science in computer science provides students with tremendous flexibility in an asynchronous format. The 65-66-credit curriculum includes 18 computer science credits, in which learners explore programming, networking, and network operating systems.
Students can fulfill their general education requirements through a variety of unique course offerings, including Cherokee language, plants and civilization, and historical geology. Most students earn their online computer science associate degree in two years, and graduates can immediately begin coursework toward the university’s bachelor of technology in applied technology.
RSU provides Oklahoma residents with a generous tuition discount, and in-state learners who maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA qualify to receive a renewable scholarship; qualifying students may receive up to $2,000 in institutional financial aid each year. All online students pay an additional fee for each credit they attempt.
RSU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
9. Thomas Edison State University
Trenton, New Jersey
TESU’s 60-credit associate in science in natural sciences and mathematics provides a solid academic foundation for students interested in pursuing a four-year computer science degree after graduation. In addition to major-related coursework, the curriculum covers five general education areas: practical skills, global learning, knowledge of human cultures, the natural world, and mathematics. TESU’s computer science associate degree offers significant academic flexibility, allowing students to fulfill 16 credits of major requirements by completing their choice of computer science courses.
Part-time students pay on a per-credit basis, while full-time students can enjoy significant savings on tuition. Learners may further reduce costs by completing learning and portfolio assessments, which grant college credit for prior professional and life experiences.
TESU holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
10. Trinity Valley Community College
TVCC students can earn an associate degree in computer science with a business or science focus. The 60-credit business-oriented curriculum combines fundamental programming concepts, introductory management principles, and general education coursework. Students who select the science-focused path also complete 60 credits, and most graduates of this track transfer to a four-year bachelor's program. Both programs use a synchronous delivery format. The college also hosts a non-degree certificate program for working professionals.
Faculty deliver online course content through the Canvas learning management system. First-time and returning students complete different admission applications, and returning students may receive college credit based on professional and life experiences. All online students pay a per-course distance learning fee. Learners may qualify to receive one or more scholarships depending on their academic performance and residence status.
TVCC holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
11. Georgia Military College
Candidates pursuing GMC’s AS in computer science become fluent in the Java programming language as they explore integral computer science concepts. Presented in an asynchronous format, this program features 90-94 quarter credits and provides ample opportunities to personalize the curriculum and develop a specialty.
Students can select from dozens of general education electives in the humanities, foreign languages, and science. Learners also take five computer science courses and one upper-level mathematics class. Full-time students generally earn their degrees in two years. While GMC does not offer a bachelor's program in computer science, graduates who earn a computer science associate degree at the college can pursue a four-year degree elsewhere.
GMC awards transfer credit on a case-by-base basis. All students pay the same per-credit tuition rate, regardless of their residency status or the number of credits they attempt each term.
GMC holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
12. Montgomery College
MC created its computer science and technologies AA exclusively for students who plan to transfer to a bachelor's program after graduation. The 60-credit curriculum includes an introduction to discrete structures, programming, design techniques, and calculus. Unlike some schools, MC allows students to select which programming language they want to specialize in. Candidates can also choose between general computer science and information sciences concentrations. Distance learners who follow the college's suggested course sequence typically graduate in two years.
MC uses a three-tiered tuition system for in-county, in-state, and out-of-state students. Full-time learners pay less per credit than part-time students. Maryland and D.C. residents may qualify for residency-based grants or scholarships, and distance learners can apply for institutional financial aid awards. Many web-based courses do not require candidates to purchase textbooks.
MC holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
13. Montgomery County Community College
Blue Bell, Pennsylvania
Students pursuing MCCC’s online associate degree in computer science learn about algorithm design, programming, and other career-oriented technical skills. They also gain a solid general education foundation. The core computer science curriculum consists of three foundational courses and classes in discrete mathematics and computer architecture.
Providing a comprehensive basis for advanced study, the program aligns with state transfer agreement requirements, and graduates can transfer to any Pennsylvania State System school. Full-time candidates can earn their degrees in 1.5 years, while part-time learners require 2.5 years of study.
In-county and other Pennsylvania residents receive generous tuition discounts, although all online learners pay a per-credit technology fee. The university also sponsors several scholarships and hosts an honors program; Montgomery County and Pennsylvania residents can apply for honors scholarships.
MCCC holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
14. Coffeyville Community College
While CCC's online AA emphasizes computer science, the highly customizable program allows students to explore a variety of disciplines. The 64-credit curriculum includes 28 credits of coursework, wherein learners can personalize their degrees by taking up to five computer science courses in addition to a required course in either computer information systems or computer concepts. Classes last 8 or 16 weeks, and candidates use Moodle to access course content and interact with professors and peers. New students may begin their online computer science associate degree during the spring, summer, or fall term.
CCC boasts exceptionally low tuition rates for Kansas residents and out-of-state learners alike. Select Missouri and Oklahoma students qualify for in-state tuition, and individuals over the age of 55 who live in Montgomery or Cherokee County pay a special reduced rate. All distance learners pay a per-course technology fee.
CCC holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
15. St. Charles Community College
SCC's 64-credit computer science transfer program confers an associate degree after four full-time semesters of study. Candidates complete 26 credits of computer science electives, allowing students to fulfill prerequisite guidelines for prospective bachelor's programs. All computer science majors gain a solid foundation in analytical geometry, linear algebra, and English composition. Faculty deliver coursework through Canvas, and distance learners enjoy 24/7 access to tutors and technical support. SCC also uses a system that alerts professors when their students fall behind academically.
Out-of-state SCC students pay twice the in-district tuition rate. The college sponsors a variety of programmatic, need-based, and merit-based scholarships. New students can start to pursue their online computer science associate degrees in the summer, fall, or spring semester.
SCC holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
16. Lord Fairfax Community College
This Virginia institution offers an associate of science degree with a computer science specialization that can be completed in four semesters. Requiring 62-64 credits, the program features an orientation course for IT professionals. Other curriculum highlights include a physical education requirement, two science courses, and two approved electives. Students can fulfill elective requirements by taking additional computer science courses. Faculty deliver all courses synchronously.
LFCC uses a unique tuition structure that grants significant discounts to out-of-state students who work in Virginia. Other out-of-state candidates pay double the in-state rate. The college also maintains transfer agreements with many colleges and universities across the country. However, prospective transfer students should contact an admissions advisor to ensure that credits earned at LFCC will transfer to their intended bachelor's program.
LFCC holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
17. Allan Hancock College
Santa Maria, California
Candidates pursuing an AA in computer science at AHC complete 13 core units in programming and calculus before selecting two computer science electives. Unusual course offerings, such as game programming, may appeal to students seeking careers in the video game industry. While this program was developed with prospective transfer students in mind, all computer science associate degree candidates learn to identify programming errors, code in multiple programming languages, and apply computer science concepts to practical situations.
California residents save approximately 75% on tuition compared to out-of-state students, making AHC an excellent choice for in-state learners. Some California students can further reduce educational costs through the California Dream Act, which provides financial aid to undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. AHC also sponsors a scholarship for students who maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher.
AHC holds regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
18. Faulkner University
Students seeking an education that emphasizes Christian teachings should consider Faulkner University. Requiring 65-69 credits, the university’s online associate of science in computer and information science curriculum includes four courses on the Bible and Christ's life. Core computer science courses emphasize advanced computer programming methods and database development concepts, while general education classes cover natural science, history, and English. Full-time students complete the program in two years, while part-time learners use a modified three-year curriculum.
New students can begin their studies in the fall or spring semester, and the university does not charge an application fee. Transfer students may apply up to 60 credits towards their computer science associate degree. Faulkner University is a private university, and all students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of their residence status.
Faulkner University holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
19. Northwest College
The curriculum for NWC’s computer science AS includes 46 core credits, surveying crucial concepts in computer science and organization, physics, discrete structures, and statistics. Prior to graduation, students may complete an additional 18 credits of general education coursework to prepare for a bachelor's program or explore advanced computer science topics. In addition, all NWC students must take at least one course related to Wyoming's history or government.
Before completing their associate degrees, computer science students receive extensive career planning and transfer assistance. These resources include career assessment tests, research opportunities, and resume reviews. NWC’s internship center helps learners find nearby job openings. Out-of-state students who live in a Western Undergraduate Exchange state receive a discount on tuition. Wyoming learners who demonstrate financial need or academic merit may qualify for full-ride institutional scholarships.
A public institution, NWC holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
20. Jamestown Community College
Jamestown, New York
Blending general education courses, major-related core requirements, and electives, JCC’s 60-credit AS in computer science offers a solid academic foundation for students who intend to transfer to a State University of New York (SUNY) institution. The core computer science curriculum addresses integral concepts and builds skills related to both computer hardware and software, and candidates choose their final computer science course from a list of electives. Upon graduation, degree holders can create simple programs, develop networks, and troubleshoot and debug problems.
New students must take an assessment to determine their mathematics course placement. Remedial math students may take more than two years to earn their degrees. Both in-state and out-of-state full-time learners pay significantly less for their degrees than part-time students. New distance learners may qualify for merit-based scholarships and need-based grants. Some New York residents studying part time may qualify for additional funding.
JCC holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
21. Monroe Community College
Rochester, New York
Second-year students in MCC’s AS degree - transfer program enjoy many elective course options, allowing them to select classes to match the admission requirements of prospective four-year programs. Candidates explore computer science fundamentals as they complete coursework in ethics, collaborate with other students, and build proficiencies in C and C++. In all, students complete 62-64 credits, which they can automatically transfer to the Rochester Institute of Technology and select State University of New York (SUNY) schools.
Ideal MCC applicants should have completed four years of mathematics and three years of laboratory science coursework during high school. Full-time learners pay a set tuition rate, while part-time students pay per credit. Out-of-state students spend approximately twice as much on tuition as New York residents.
MCC holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
22. Cowley County Community College
Arkansas City, Kansas
CC boasts over 30 web-based associate programs, including a 65-credit online associate degree in computer science with associate of arts and associate of science options. Both tracks include general education coursework and allow learners to specialize in C, C++, C#, Java, or Python. The curriculum does not require students to complete specific computer science courses; instead, students have the academic freedom to create individualized degree plans that match their personal interests and career goals.
In addition to degrees, CC offers several computer science certificate programs in areas such as game development and software security. Cowley County residents and other Kansas students pay the lowest tuition rates, although Oklahoma residents also receive significant tuition discounts. The college charges online course fees for each credit distance students attempt. Veterans may use the KanVet online resource to access their Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits.
CC holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
23. Lincoln Land Community College
For more than 20 years, LLCC students have been able to earn degrees entirely online. The college’s computer systems: associate in applied science program offers five career-oriented tracks in security, programming, database, networking, CISCO, and computer science. Each track includes 4-5 specialized courses and a robust general education core. LLCC’s core curriculum also emphasizes economics. Students who follow the recommended course sequence can graduate in two years, and many go on to pursue data processing or information systems careers.
LLCC offers special reduced tuition rates for Illinois District 526 residents, while out-of-state and international candidates pay approximately 300% more for their degrees. Some students over the age of 65 qualify for discounted tuition. All distance learners can apply for institutional scholarships by submitting an essay and recommendation letters. The college’s scholarship committee considers both academic merit and financial need when reviewing applications.
LLCC holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
24. Tompkins Cortland Community College
Dryden, New York
TC3's 62-credit computer information systems AAS degree provides the academic foundation needed to find work in the computer science field. The curriculum introduces multiple programming languages, web design, and database concepts. It also culminates in an internship experience. Full-time students who follow the college's degree path can earn their degrees in four semesters. While new students may begin classes in the fall or spring semester, only those who start in the fall semester can complete the program in two years.
New York residents pay 50% less for tuition than out-of-state residents, and distance students pay a minimal online course fee. Transfer students must have earned a "C" or higher in each course they plan to transfer. Online computer science associate degree seekers also receive access to career coaching resources.
TC3 holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
25. Hazard Community and Technical College
HTC offers five specialization tracks for computer and information technology students in computer science, internet technologies, programming, networking, and information security. All 64-68-credit tracks share the same 15 credits of general education classes and 29 credits of core coursework.
HTC students must complete 25% of their coursework at the college's campus in Hazard, Kentucky. Students can further enrich their studies by completing one of 16 certificates in areas such as A+, computer technician, or productivity software specialist. Other curriculum highlights include courses in video game design and development.
All new students take English and mathematics placement tests. Taking remedial coursework may extend students' degree timeline beyond two years. In-state residents pay the lowest tuition rates, although out-of-state learners who live in counties bordering Kentucky also receive a tuition discount. The college awards over 30 institutional scholarships to incoming students each year.
HTC holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
26. Palomar College
San Marcos, California
Featuring 26 core credits that cover programming fundamentals, data structures, and C++, this California college’s associate in computer science program provides a career-focused introduction to the field. As part of the core curriculum, students select one elective in a second programming language, game design, or iOS development. Degree seekers may also complete an online information technology or management information systems certificate.
Before starting on their computer science online associate degrees, new students complete an online orientation and work with a college counselor to develop a personalized graduation plan. Palomar uses Canvas to deliver web-based content, and distance learners enjoy access to online tutoring and 24/7 technical support.
The college charges out-of-state students an additional fee, and California residents may qualify for tuition assistance or grants.
Palomar holds regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
27. Finger Lakes Community College
Canandaigua, New York
Developed to seamlessly transfer to other State University of New York (SUNY) institutions, FLCC’s computer science degree is ideal for working professionals seeking career advancement and candidates interested in pursuing a bachelor's degree after graduation. The 63-credit online computer science associate degree includes foundational coursework in computer architecture, software development, technical ethics, and computational thinking. The program culminates in a group project where students work as a team in a simulated work environment. Full-time students can graduate in four semesters.
Students considering this degree can sample the college’s courses as a non-matriculated student. FLCC operate as a New York public community college, and out-of-state students pay approximately double the in-state tuition rate. Candidates can begin their studies in the spring, summer, or fall semester. Participants must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA for the duration of the program.
FLCC holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
28. Delaware County Community College
This hybrid AS in computer science requires students to complete 20% of their coursework at the school's Media, Pennsylvania campus. The 65-credit curriculum places emphasizes C++ and Java, while also covering network communications concepts. Full-time learners can finish their online computer science associate degree in two years. Faculty and staff work closely with students to help them find suitable bachelor's programs and explore future careers. Course credits transfer to all Pennsylvania state colleges and universities that award computer science bachelor's degrees.
Like many community colleges, Delaware County Community College uses placement tests to determine students' initial math and English courses, although applicants with high SAT or ACT scores can avoid sitting for placement tests. The college receives funding from 12 area school districts, and students who live in these districts pay lower tuition rates than other candidates.
Delaware County Community College holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
29. Ulster County Community College
Stone Ridge, New York
Part of the State University of New York (SUNY) System, SUNY Ulster makes it easy to enter a four-year program after earning the school's online AS in computer science. Consisting of 64-66 credits, the program includes four computer science electives that allow students to specialize in a programming language or skill that matches their interests or career plans. The core curriculum emphasizes the Java programming language and instills strong interpersonal, communication, and software engineering skills. Courses last three, six, seven, or 10 weeks.
Like other SUNY community colleges, full-time students pay a flat tuition rate while part-time learners pay for each credit they attempt. Full-time students who maintain a minimum 3.3 GPA may receive College Scholars awards during their second year. Additionally, students with excellent high school GPAs can participate in the college's honors program.
SUNY Ulster holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
30. George C. Wallace State Community College-Hanceville
Computer science students at WSCC can select one of four concentrations: internet and networking technology, software support, cybersecurity and computer forensic technology, or programming. In 2018, the college also introduced app development courses into the curriculum. The program features flexible, asynchronous courses, and full-time students who follow the suggested plan complete 64-67 credits and graduate in five semesters. Both degree-seeking and non-degree students can complete a supplemental, one-semester certificate program.
WSCC applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED certificate and submit transcripts. Alabama residents save 50% on their online computer science associate degree, although incoming students may qualify for merit-based scholarships regardless of their residency status. Active military personnel and veterans using their Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits pay in-state tuition rates.
WSCC holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
Choosing an Online Computer Science Associate Degree Program
To earn an associate degree in computer science, online students complete at least 60 credits of general education coursework, major requirements, and electives. This process typically takes two years, but students with transfer credits may earn their credentials in under 12 months. To court working professionals, colleges and universities allow students to earn credits for prior postsecondary work, relevant career experience, standardized test scores, and military training and service.
Computer science associate degree plans contain 20-30 general education credits. Here, students take classes in information literacy, college composition, mathematics, the physical sciences, and liberal arts topics. Degree candidates complete at least 18 credits in the major core, learning the fundamentals of computer languages, organization, and programming. Additional classes include database management systems, introduction to cybersecurity, and object-oriented data structures.
The remaining credits go toward open and guided electives, which students use to pursue advanced computer science topics or take classes in related fields. Schools rarely offer degree concentrations at the associate level. However, as students move on to their bachelor's and graduate degrees, diverse options open up. Popular concentrations include information security, software engineering, big data, game development, and mobile computing. Students can also take on innovative concentrations like bioinformatics, digital marketing, and machine learning/artificial intelligence.
What Will I Learn in an Online Associate in Computer Science Program?
- Object-Oriented Programming: This required course introduces the fundamental concepts and principles of software construction, implementation, testing, and problem analysis. Using the Java programming language, students design, code, and debug document programs. They also learn about control structures, basic data types, and other reusable building blocks for software development. Additional topics include industrial programming, automated unit testing, and object-oriented abstraction.
- Computer Organization: In this fundamental class, students learn how digital computers work and delve into the assembly language programming used in software development. Students also analyze hardware components and related component-switching digital circuits. Furthermore, they examine the current design for general purpose computers, comparing this composition with alternative models like complex instruction set computers and reduced instruction set computers.
- Database Management Systems: A crucial topic for network architects and database administrators, effective systems management focuses on the application of information concepts through relational algebra and data models. Students learn the facilities and languages used in database design and implementation. They also develop a working knowledge of programmatic interfaces and their basic functions.
Online Associate in Computer Science Careers
Students pursuing an online computer science associate degree commonly seek careers in software, web, and mobile development. With the proper concentration, students can prepare for occupations in cybersecurity, educational technology, nursing informatics, computer gaming, and the digital arts. Many of these careers require professional certification/licensure on top of academic credentials.
Web Developer: These professionals design, create, and evaluate websites. In addition to aesthetic considerations, web developers work in teams to manage a site's technical components, including its capacity, performance, and usability. Developers may also create website content depending on their specific roles. In addition to an associate degree, professionals in this field pursue industry training through programs like the Google developers certification.
- Median Annual Salary: $67,990
- Projected Growth Rate: 15%
Database Administrator: Using specialized software, database administrators organize and store digital information, such as client profiles and financial records. They manage data, identify user needs, facilitate access, and secure sensitive information from infiltration. Database administrators also oversee data backup and restoration. To bolster their skill sets and keep up with best practices in the industry, professionals obtain vendor-specific and vendor-neutral certification.
- Median Annual Salary: $87,020
- Projected Growth Rate: 11%
Information Security Analyst: As one of the fastest-growing careers in the U.S., information security analysts may work in government agencies, financial institutions, and multinational corporations. After assessing their organization's security needs, these professionals design, plan, and implement measures (like data encryption programs and firewalls) to protect computer systems and networks. Information security analysts can earn external certification through the International Information System Security Certification Consortium.
- Median Annual Salary: $95,510
- Projected Growth Rate: 28%
Educational Paths for Online Computer Science Associate Programs
While students can apply for some entry-level jobs with an online computer science associate degree, most learners transfer into a bachelor's program to access more career opportunities and higher pay. The BLS shows that professionals with bachelor's credentials earn $17,500 more in annual salary than individuals with an associate degree. Professionals who want to occupy management, postsecondary teaching, and dedicated research positions usually must obtain a master's or doctoral degree. To facilitate a seamless transfer process, most community and technical colleges operate a direct pathway to public universities in their states.
- Computer Programming: A direct continuation of the computer science associate degree, computer programming bachelor's programs increase a student's knowledge in programming languages like Java, SGL, and C#. Students also train in research theories and methods.
- Health Informatics: In this specialized degree, students learn to aggregate, store, organize, and retrieve electronic medical information. Health informatics students also use data analytical skills to improve patient services. Coursework includes clinical classification systems, pharmacology, and medical reimbursements.
- Digital Marketing: A multidisciplinary degree, digital marketing concerns the creation and disbursement of content on websites, mobile applications, and social media platforms to generate consumer interest. Students also learn to analyze audience trends and consumer demographics.
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://benefits.va.gov/gibill/index.asp