25 Best Associates Degree in Computer Programming Online [2020 Guide]

Getting an Associate’s Degree in Computer Programming is the first step to enjoying a potentially lucrative and fast-paced career in technology and the fascinating world of computers.

Associates Degree in Computer Programming Online

These days, it’s easy to get your degree online on your own schedule.

Best Online Computer Programming Associate’s Degree Programs

Taking computer programming classes online opens up doors to all sorts of different career opportunities.

There are several different specialties that you can explore with an Associate’s Degree in Computer Programming.

Associates in Computer Programming

computer programmer working on his computer

Computer Programmers are the wizards behind all of the technological systems that we use. They work as Software Engineers, Systems Programmers, or Developers, and are tasked with designing the framework where we browse our favorite applications.

Many of these programmers are also involved in training others, understanding computer algorithms, and fixing code when something goes wrong. All of our applications are works in progress, so they need to be modified and de-bugged from time to time. Programmers help keep everything on track.

Computer Programmers are generally highly organized people who learn quickly and have an aptitude for anything and everything related to technology. Since they typically work with large groups of people, it’s helpful for them to be team players, and have sharp diplomatic skills.

If you want to work in this field, it’s also good to be naturally curious and a bit of a “computer nerd” in your own time. The more you know about how systems function, the better able you will be to anticipate challenges before they become issues.

The best Computer Programmers are able to make quite a decent living practicing their trade. It’s straightforward to rise up through the ranks in this field if you have the skill, education, and experience.

Associates in Computer Science

web developer working on her computer

Computer science covers a whole host of different professions and is one of the most popular focuses of an Associate’s Degree in Computer Programming. One of the most attractive aspects of this job field is that you can rapidly move up and eventually manage entire teams or departments.

Computer science majors work as Web Developers, Business Analysts, Product Managers, or Network Architects. All of these career paths have entry-level positions available, and if you can move up, you could find yourself making a very decent living.

The best candidates are highly analytical. They are able to quickly identify issues and work out the best way to solve them using the technology at hand. Often, the most ideal solutions are creative applications of existing tools, so it’s essential to think outside of the box while retaining logic.

Those who work in computer science also have to deal with a lot of stressful situations, as they are often the point person for when things go wrong. If you want to explore this career path, you need to be thick-skinned, able to think quickly on your feet, and know the technology that you are using inside and out.

Associates in Software Development

software developers working together in the office

Although you need a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science to qualify for many software development jobs, others can be had with an associate’s degree. This is one area where experience goes a long way, and it’s better to have technical skills in addition to education.

To succeed in software development, you need to have a strong aptitude for math, specifically algebra and calculus. Since many computer programming associate’s degrees offer advanced math classes, you will already be set up with a sound foundation, should you pursue a career as a Software Developer.

It’s also helpful to have a strong understanding of physics and other abstract math concepts. As with many technical jobs, the best candidates are logical and able to use analytical thinking skills to solve problems. You should also be self-motivated, as Software Developers generally work on individual projects by themselves.

Even though Software Developers usually work on their own schedules and with solo projects, they are sometimes called to collaborate with teams on more significant initiatives.

For this reason, the best candidates are able to work effectively with groups and use diplomatic skills to collaborate and fix potential problems before they become too big to handle.

Curriculum For an Associates Degree in Computer Programming Online

Associates Degree in Computer Programming student studying online

Many of the top computer programming colleges offer similar classes to help you succeed in the competitive field of computer programming. Although each institution brings its own electives to the table, the following is an idea of what classes you can expect.

  • Introduction to Programming: This course is imperative to take if you want to understand the basics of computer programming. You’ll get a crash course in popular languages and code.
  • Introduction to Statistics: Math aptitude is one of the core skills of any successful Computer Programmer and understanding how statistics works is imperative to writing good code and formulas.
  • Introduction to Computer Systems: Although those who work in computer programming deal mostly with software, it’s essential to understand how computer hardware works as well. This course will give you some of the basics.
  • Algebra: A solid foundation of math will assist you in writing code and working with numbers. College-level algebra is a must.
  • Database Fundamentals: Databases are one of the significant components of computer systems, and this course will shed light on exactly how they function and teach you how to create functional systems, and how to debug databases.
  • Assembly Language Programming: This entry-level course deals with the communication between computer software and hardware, and gives you a soup to nuts overview of programming.
  • Introduction to Web Programming: Web programming is in a class of its own, and this intro-level course clues students into different types of content, what works for the web, and how to code on an ever-changing platform.
  • Calculus: Like algebra, students will need to brush up on calculus to be useful in computer programming. It’s part of a base of math courses that you will need to take.
  • Software Engineering Basics: This entry-level engineering course will give you a taste of what it’s like to work on the back-end of computers, and you can use it as a foundation for future study.
  • Abstract Mathematics: For many computer programming applications, you will need to be able to use math in unconventional ways. Abstract mathematics allows you to think outside of the box.

These are only a small sampling of the courses you can expect to take as you pursue your Associate’s Degree in Computer Programming. You can take additional electives, and narrow your focus as your schooling continues.

Computer Programming Careers & Salaries

Computer Programming Careers & Salaries

With your associate’s degree in computer programming, the salary will vary depending on your experience and whether or not you pursue additional schooling. The good news is that most people who pursue computer programming find themselves with an excellent income right out of the gate.

Jobs in technology, and specifically computer programming, are quite lucrative because the field is continuously evolving. Those who are able to keep up with technology are valuable resources. Additionally, there is plenty of opportunity for those who want to rise in their chosen career path and manage massive projects or even departments.

Since most computer programming jobs rely on a combination of technical skills and diplomatic aptitude, people who strike the right balance between the two are rare. If you fit the bill, you could find yourself making a comfortable living with only your associate’s degree. Your salary will rise if you get a bachelor’s degree or beyond.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics these are the average salaries for typical jobs in computer programming:

Careers Average Annual Salary
Computer Network Architect $109,020
Software Development $105,590
Information Security Analyst $98,350
Database Administrator $90,070
Systems Analyst $88,740
Computer Programmer $84,280
Network Administrator $82,050
Web Developer $69,430
Computer Support Specialist $53,470
Computer Operators $46,750

Every market is different, and these salaries vary from state to state, but this list should give you a ballpark estimate of what you can reasonably expect from each of these jobs.

Accreditation

Associates Degree in Computer Programming Accreditation

Regional accreditation is one of the best ways that you can ensure that the school that you’re applying to is reputable. Essentially what it means is that the school has been vetted by experts to make sure that its programs are up to scratch and meet strict quality standards.

An impartial team of experts looks at the curriculum and determines if the school is up to scratch. If it is, they bestow the school with regional accreditation, deeming their programs to be worthwhile and exemplary across the board. It’s quite an honor.

Your school can be both nationally and regionally accredited, but regional accreditation tends to matter a little bit more than national. Accredited schools are ones that are taken more seriously on your resume, and carry a lot more weight when it comes to securing that dream job or getting into the higher education school that you want to attend.

Computer Programming Accreditation

computer programmers working together on a project

Although regional accreditation is essential, program accreditation is even more vital. Program accreditation is when different agencies vet the curriculum at any given school and say that it meets a specific standard.

Since these agencies are experts in their field, their stamp of approval means the world when you are looking for a job after graduation.

  • Applied Science Accreditation Commission
  • Computing Accreditation Commission
  • Engineering Accreditation Commission
  • Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission

When pursuing your Associate’s Degree in Computer Programming, you should check that the school has been program accredited before applying.

Computer Programming Professional Organizations

Computer Programmers meeting at a conference

In addition to getting your degree at an online programming school, you should consider joining some professional organizations.

These will allow you to be able to network and meet other computer programming professionals. You also might be able to get work through your associations.

Financial Aid

financial aid for computer programming students

There are plenty of financial aid opportunities available for those who want to pursue their associate’s degrees.

You can apply online for FAFSA financial aid or other types of loans. It’s advisable not to borrow more than you can reasonably pay back, as you will have to start making good on your student loan debt almost immediately after graduation.

You can also apply for grants or scholarships. Depending on what your income level is, you might qualify for an income-based award that allows you to attend school for much less than you’d initially be paying, or even for free in some cases.

Exceptional students who show great promise are also eligible for grants and scholarships. Generally speaking, these are quite competitive, and you need to apply for them well in advance.

Often, students take on a mixture of loans and grants to offset their student loan debt. The good thing about getting your associate’s degree online is that many of the programs cost less than traditional schooling, and you can get some great deals.

There are plenty of options available to you if you can’t afford the cost of an associate’s degree. Check out all of your options and apply!

Computer Programmer working in his office

Is an Associate’s Degree in Computer Programming Worth It?

Given the fact that many people who get an Associate’s Degree in Computer Programming go on to have very lucrative jobs and plenty of security in the field, a lot of people would consider this degree to be worth every penny.

You also can branch off into a number of different disciplines and really write your own ticket.

Can You Be a Computer Programmer with an Associate’s Degree?

Yes, you can be a Computer Programmer with an associate’s degree, although you might start off a little lower, salary-wise, than other programmers.

Fortunately, you can always work your way up, and it’s far better to have a lot of experience than a lot of education.

What Can I Do with an Associate’s Degree in Programming?

web developers working in the office

You can work in almost any area of development and programming. People with this degree can work in creative fields, like web development, or manage entire networks.

Once you start your degree, you can pick a specialty and go from there.

How Much Can I Make With an Associate’s Degree in Computer Programming?

It varies, but you can expect to start off somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000 depending on what state you live in and what your area of expertise is.

You can always move up, and with additional schooling, you should be able to bring in even more money.

Is It Worth Getting an Associate’s Degree in Computer Science?

Computer science is a popular field that encompasses a lot of different professions, and it is certainly worthwhile to look into getting this degree.

Fields that lean heavily on technology tend to be stable and lucrative because we are such a technology-based society. Those who can work computers and operate systems are at a serious advantage.

What Does a Computer Programmer Do?

computer programmer working on his computers

Computer Programmers work with code. They generally write foundational code and interpret systems so that they work better and are easier to operate.

These people are the real architects of everything that we use online.

How Long Does it Take to Get an Associates in Computer Programming?

Typically, it takes two years to get an associate’s degree in any subject, but if you are doing it online, you might find that it takes a little longer or shorter depending on your schedule.

The great thing about getting your degree online is that you have a lot of flexibility with your schedule.

How Much is an Associate’s Degree in Computer Programming?

Every school is different, and the cost will vary greatly depending on if you have grants or scholarships.

Generally speaking, you can expect to pay somewhere between $30,000 and $35,000 for your degree, but this is merely a ballpark estimate. You will want to crunch the numbers for yourself.

Universities Offering Online Associates Degree in Computer Programming

The following universities offer accredited associate’s degrees in computer programming or related fields online.

#1  Atlantic Cape Community College

Atlantic Cape Community College campus

Founded in 1964, Atlantic Cape Community College is a public, two-year college located in New Jersey. It offers associate degrees in everything from air traffic control to the culinary arts, and it boasts a wide variety of certification and professional training programs for education, healthcare, technology, business administration and more.

Atlantic Cape also has clubs and sports to enhance student life, including a championship-level archery team.

  • AAS in Computer Programming

Atlantic Cape Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#2  Cerro Cosso Community College

Cerro Coso Community College campus

Cerro Coso Community College has been serving California since 1973. Not only does it offer associate degrees and professional certification programs for students from all walks of life, but it also has five campuses spread across 18,000 miles to reach as many people as possible.

It even hosts Incarcerated Student Education Programs in two California prisons. Cerro Coso is a public institution.

  • AS in Information Technology

Cerro Coso Community College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

#3  Champlain College

Champlain College campus

Established in 1878, Champlain College is a private university located in Burlington, Vermont. It offers associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in more than 80 subject areas, so it attracts students on both the undergraduate and graduate level.

In addition to its campus-based classes, Champlain College also offers online courses for distance learners. Some degree and certification programs are 100 percent online. Subjects include accounting, marketing, business management, healthcare administration and computer and information systems.

  • Associate’s in Software Development

Champlain College is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

#4  Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College campus

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College has been welcoming students since its inception in 1969. As a public, two-year college, it doesn’t offer bachelor or master’s degrees, but it has more than 116 programs for associate degrees, professional certifications and workplace training.

Cincinnati State also has transfer programs for students who are interested in getting advanced degrees. Many students go on to Cincinnati State, but credits will be transferable at most Ohio schools.

  • AAS in Computer Programming and Database Management – Computer Software Development

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#5  Cochise College

Cochise College campus

Founded in 1964, Cochise College is a public, two-year university where students can obtain certificates and associate degrees. Programs are available for both technical and scientific fields as well as the arts, humanities and liberal studies.

Cochise College has two campuses and three educational centers throughout Arizona. It also offers online courses for distance learners. It even has its own airport; it was built specifically for the school’s aviation program.

  • AAS in Computer Programming

Cochise College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

#6  Colorado Christian University

Colorado Technical University campus

In 1914, Colorado Christian University was founded by Clifton Fowler as Denver Bible Institute. Today, this interdenominational Christian liberal arts university is ranked among the top 2% of colleges nationwide by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.

Aside from that, the Chronicle of Higher Education named this institution as one of the fastest-growing universities.

  • AS in Computer Information Technology

Colorado Christian University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#7  Daytona State College

Daytona State College campus

Part of the Florida College System, Daytona State College is a public university that was founded in 1957. It offers more than 100 programs on the associate and baccalaureate level. It’s also known for having award-winning sports teams and a famous photography museum right on campus.

Degrees are available both online and through traditional, classroom-based learning. There are also a number of blended programs for students who want to enjoy the flexibility of online classes without sacrificing a campus life experience.

  • AS in Computer Programming and Analysis

Daytona State College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#8  Florida National University

Florida National University campus

Established in 1988, Florida National University is a private college located near Miami. Though its student population is primarily Hispanic, it welcomes students of all races and nationalities, and classes are always conducted in English. International students are also encouraged to apply.

FNU offers a wide range of associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Subjects include everything from criminal justice to health services administration. Online degree programs are available.

  • AS in Computer Developer

Florida National University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#9  Franklin University

Franklin University campus

Founded in 1902, Franklin University is a private university located in Columbus, Ohio. Most of its student population is enrolled in virtual programs, but it also offers traditional, campus-based instruction at several locations.

Degrees are available on both the undergraduate and graduate level. There are hundreds of degree programs in total.

  • AS in Computer Science

Franklin University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#10  Great Basin College

Great Basin College campus

Founded in 1967 in Elko, Nevada, Great Basin College is a public university that offers both associate and baccalaureate degrees. It also hosts one-year programs to earn Certificates of Achievement (CA). Another option is to obtain a certain number of credits for Skills Certificates (SC).

Subjects at Great Basin College include art, business, education, health sciences and computer technologies. Nevada residents can take campus-based courses while non-residents can sign up for online versions.

  • AAS in Computer Programming

Great Basin College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

#11  Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College campus

Ivytech Community College offers more than 100 programs for degree- and certificate-seeking students. It also has many different transfer programs into nearby colleges, including a unique “concurrent admission” program that allows students to earn credits at both Ivytech and their future, four-year school.

Ivytech was founded in 1963 as a public institution. It offers associate degrees, professional certificates and continuing education courses.

  • AS in Computer Science

Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#12  Limestone College

Limestone College campus

Established in 1845, Limestone College is a private university located in Gaffney, South Carolina. It operates as a non-denominational Christian school, but it welcomes secular students as well as those interested in religious studies.

Those enrolled at Limestone College can obtain an associate or bachelor’s degree. Areas of study include nursing, computer programming, criminal justice, human resources, liberal studies and more. Online and evening classes are available for students who need flexibility in their schedules.

  • AS in Computer Science Information Technology
  • AS in Computer Science Programming

Limestone College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#13  Lone Star College

Lone Star College campus

Lone Star College is part of a community college system in northern Texas. It’s a public, two-year university that offers associate degrees, workforce certifications and transfer credits that can be applied towards a bachelor’s or master’s program.

More than 20 programs are available completely online for students who want to learn virtually. Others programs will require in-person study at one of the Lone Star College campuses.

The school was founded in 1973 with additional campuses opening in the ’80s and ’90s.

  • AAS in Computer Programming Specialist

Lone Star College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#14  Minnesota State Community and Technical College

Minnesota State Community and Technical College campus

Minnesota State Community and Technical College is part of Minnesota’s “State Colleges and Universities” system. Established in 2003, it’s a relatively recent addition to the network, but it offers many academic programs for both students and professionals.

Degrees are available on the associate level. Certificates and training programs exist for job seekers. The school also offers things like Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) to help students finish their programs faster.

MSCTC is a public, two-year institution.

  • AAS in Computer Programming
  • AAS in Cybersecurity
  • AAS in Information Technology
  • AAS in Information Technology – Database Administration
  • AS in Information Technology

Minnesota State Community and Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#15  Purdue University

Purdue University campus

Purdue University is part of a large and expansive educational system in Indiana. Its main campus was built in 1896, but it has many other campuses and support centers as well as far-reaching online learning programs.

Degrees are available on both the undergraduate and graduate level. There are almost 300 programs to choose from, and their subjects range from “traditional” areas of study to niche specializations for unique careers.

Purdue University is a public institution with more than 43,000 students overall.

  • AAS in Information Technology

Purdue University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#16  Seminole State College of Florida

Seminole State College of Florida campus

With several campuses in central Florida, Seminole State College of Florida is one of the largest public institutions in the state. It was founded in 1965 with more locations being added over the years.

Seminole State offers both associate and bachelor’s degrees in a wide variety of fields. Subjects include everything from interior design to engineering technology and business information management.

  • AS in Computer Programming and Analysis

Seminole State College of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#17  Southeast Tech

Southeast Tech campus

Founded in 1965 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the Southeast Technical Institute is a public university that has earned national recognition for its academic programs. It offers a variety of associate degrees as well as diplomas, certificates and apprenticeships. Subjects range from construction to cardiovascular technology.

For e-learners, Southest Tech also offers online and hybrid classes that can be fit into a preexisting schedule.

  • AAS in Computer Programming

Southeast Tech is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#18  St. Johns River State College

St Johns River State College campus

St. Johns River State College was founded in 1958 in Palatka, Florida. It’s built several additional campuses since then, including ones in St. Augustine and Orange Park. It also offers online classes for students who live out of state.

As a public, four-year institution, St. Johns offers both associate and bachelor’s degrees. Its credits are transferable to many Florida colleges.

  • AS in Computer Programming and Analysis

St. Johns River State College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission.

#19  St Petersburg College

St Petersburg College campus

Established in 1927, St. Petersburg College is a public school that offers both associate and bachelor’s degrees. It also has one-year certification programs as well as workplace training programs that last around 2 – 3 months.

Students can get their degree at St. Petersburg or transfer to another institution after earning a certain number of credits. The school has transfer agreements with several nearby colleges and universities.

  • AS in Computer Programming and Analysis

St. Petersburg College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#20  Stark State College

Stark State College campus

Stark State College is located in Stark County, Ohio. It’s a public institution that was founded in 1960, and it offers a wide variety of degrees, certificates, training programs and continuing education courses. There are more than 230 academic programs at the school in total.

Students can choose between classroom-based learning and online learning through eStarkState, the school’s digital campus.

  • Associate’s in Computer Programming and Database

Stark State College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

#21  Strayer University

Strayer University campus1

Founded in 1892, Strayer University is a private university that emphasizes online learning. While it has campuses in several different states, it’s best known for its wide assortment of virtual programs.

Degrees are available at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s level. Subjects include everything from digital entrepreneurship to information assurance through cybersecurity. There are also several certification programs for professionals or future professionals.

  • AA in Information Technology

Strayer is institutionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#22  University of Toledo

University of Toledo campus

The University of Toledo is a public, four-year university located in Toledo, Ohio. It was established in 1872 as a trade school for the arts, but it’s grown into a large, multidisciplinary institution with many different areas of study.

Degrees are available online or through campus-based instruction. Students can study on both a undergraduate and graduate level, and fields include technical, specialized subjects as well as broad-ranging courses in the arts and humanities.

  • Associate’s in Programming and Software Development

The University of Toledo is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#23  Valencia College

Valencia College campus

Valencia College was founded in 1967 in Orlando, Florida. It’s a public institution that offers more than 120 programs for associate and bachelor’s degrees. It also administers certificates, skill training and continuing education (CE) courses for working professionals who want to bolster their resume.

Another noteworthy feature of Valencia College is that it offers dual enrollment for high school students who want to earn college credits at the same time as high school credits.

  • AS in Computer Programming and Analysis

Valencia College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

#24  Vincennes University

Vincennes University campus

Formerly known as “Jefferson Academy,” Vincennes University is the oldest university in Indiana. It was founded in 1801 as a public college, and it’s been serving both domestic and international students ever since.

Degrees are available on both the associate and baccalaureate level. Subjects include everything from art and agriculture to public relations and political science. Depending on the program, credits might be transferable to other Indiana colleges for students in pursuit of a graduate degree.

  • AS in Information Technology – Programming and Game Development

Vincennes is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#25  Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College

Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College campus

With more than 60 career areas to explore, Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College is one of the most robust two-year schools in the state. It offers a wide variety of programs for degrees, certificates and even GED learning, and its classes are available in-person and online.

Learning options are flexible. There are “FitMyLife” classes offered with both synchronous and asynchronous schedules, and there are a number of blended, hybrid, web-enhanced and interactive television (ITV) courses.

Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College is a public institution that was founded in 1912.

  • Associate’s in Web and Software Developer

Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College is accredited by and is a member of the Higher Learning Commission.

Getting Your Computer Programming Associate’s Degree Online

computer programmer student studying online

If you want to enhance your life and start anew with a lucrative career path, getting an Associate’s Degree in Computer Programming might just be the ticket that you have been looking for.

You can apply your degree in any number of different ways, and you can’t beat the job security.

These days, it’s easier than ever to get your degree online. Why not take the plunge and make a good investment in your future? It’s never too late to go back to school, and there are plenty of jobs in computer science and computer programming just waiting for you!

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Brooke Heeley
Brooke Heeley
Author
Joy Mays
Joy Mays
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