25 Best IT Associates Degrees Online [2020 Information Technology Guide]

With an IT associates degree, you can turn your interest in computers from a hobby into a lifelong career path.

As you explore the structure and function of computer systems, you’ll gain in-demand technical skills, and your understanding of programming and networking will help you stand out to employers.

Best IT Associates Degrees

Information Technology

When a company has a strong information technology system, it’s able to accomplish more. The field of IT relates to the ways that organizations store, organize, and retrieve data. To have a robust IT system, a company needs reliable networking, useful applications, and trustworthy security.

To help organizations achieve those goals, you may want to pursue an associate degree in information technology. You’ll study cyber security, programming, and software. The curriculum will also cover network design and server configuration.

Once you have this degree, you’ll be well prepared for a job as a computer support specialist. In that role, you will take responsibility for answering people’s computer questions. Performing hands-on troubleshooting might be part of your job as well.

Later, you might take a job as a computer analyst or a network administrator. To enhance your standing with hiring committees, you may want to build on your associate degree with an IT bachelor’s program.

Computer Programming

When you try out a new computer application for the first time, do you immediately start thinking about all of the programming efforts that must have gone into building it? If so, then you’d probably enjoy the courses that are part of the curriculum for an associate degree in computer programming.

In classes like Fundamentals of Programming and Object-oriented Programming, you’ll begin to learn the basics of coding computer programs.

Other courses will introduce you to the linguistic principles that govern programming languages, and you’ll develop fluency in one or more languages. Additionally, you’ll learn to identify and repair programming bugs.

With this degree, you might be ready to work as a web developer or a computer programmer. Web development jobs usually require only an associate degree.

For computer programming jobs, you may need to work under a senior programmer’s guidance until you gain more experience or earn a related bachelor’s degree.

Health Information Management

If you can’t decide on a job with computers or one in healthcare, consider bringing those two interests together with an associate degree in health information management. This field involves using digital systems to manage patient data and handle billing issues.

To get started, you’ll need to cover the basics of medical terminology, the healthcare system, and health insurance.

Several of your courses will cover medical coding, and you’ll get to know computer programs that can be used for managing payments and patient records. Because discretion is essential in healthcare settings, it will be important to study privacy laws.

With an associate degree, you could work at the front desk or in the records department of a medical facility. Potential job titles include medical biller, coding specialist, records technician, office administrator, records analyst, or health information technician.

For bachelor’s studies, you could consider healthcare administration or health information management.

Management Information Systems

If your goal is to use computers in a business setting, then an associate degree in management information systems could be right for you.

This program will teach you to do more than simply use software and applications. Rather, you’ll learn how to build and analyze systems in ways that will improve the efficiency and the bottom line of your organization.

There may be classes like Introduction to Information Systems and Database Management. As you move through the program, you’ll learn how data systems can help you perform analyses and formulate reliable plans for your organization.

You’ll also take business classes on topics like accounting, economics, communication, and marketing.

You may be able to take an entry-level job in a company’s information systems department after getting your associate degree. After that, a bachelor’s degree may help you advance.

Programs to consider include management information systems, supply chain management, information technology, or business management.

Software Development

Software enables you to conduct many of your everyday activities on your computer, your phone, and other devices. Businesses rely heavily on software as well.

Of course, without software developers, those programs would never have come to fruition.

With a degree in software development, you, too, will be able to perform the important work of designing new programs. In your college classes, you’ll learn about software design, cloud computing, and databases.

Plus, you will study object-oriented programming and practice using programming languages like C++.

This degree can provide essential skills for a job in systems or application programming.

Many employers prefer bachelor’s degrees for programmers, but your associate degree could prepare you for entry-level roles on a programming team. You might also be able to work as a web developer.

The next step in your education might be a bachelor’s degree in computer science, mobile development, or data analytics.

Information Technology Curriculum & Courses

For your information technology associate degree, you will need to earn about 60 credit hours. Many of the classes will address computer and technology topics.

  • Business Applications – This course will introduce you to various programs that are commonly used for IT purposes in business settings.
  • Computer Networks – You’ll learn how networks are structured and how you can perform upgrades and troubleshoot problems.
  • Computer Security – Learning to guard data and protect against system breaches will be an important part of your IT training.
  • Database Systems – Many businesses rely daily on databases, so you’ll learn to work with established database programs, design your own systems, and introduce new information management software to your team.
  • Operating Systems – By learning about the operating systems that underpin desktops and networks, you’ll gain a better understanding of how to interact with computers.
  • Principles of Information Technology – This introductory course, which will set the tone for your program, may cover topics like basic hardware components and various types of software.
  • Programming Fundamentals – Studying the basics of how computers receive and process information will lay the foundation for acquiring programming languages.
  • Programming Languages – During your college program, you may get to learn one or more languages, such as Java, Visual Basic, or C#.
  • Technical Support – Many with an associate degree start as computer helpdesk specialists, so this class can prepare you for that role.
  • Web Development – You will learn to design and code websites that are functional and visually appealing.

In addition to these IT classes, you will probably take an assortment of general education classes like statistics, composition, and psychology.

Information Technology Careers & Salaries

With your associate degree in information technology, you could work for a tech company. You might serve as an assistant to people responsible for software development or programming.

Many organizations, including stores, hospitals, schools, and government agencies need workers to maintain their computer systems. For example, you might answer employees’ technology questions or maintain the company’s website.

As a self-employed professional, you might design websites or run a computer service facility for repairs or troubleshooting.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in computers and technology pay a median annual salary of $88,240, and the number of positions is growing at a rate of around 12%.

Career

Median Annual Salary

Computer Network Architect

$112,690

Software Developer

$107,510

Information Security Analyst

$99,730

Database Administrator

$93,750

Computer Systems Analyst

$90,920

Computer Programmer

$86,550

Network or Computer Systems Administrator

$83,510

Web Developer

$73,760

Computer Support Specialist

$54,760

Health Information Technician

$40,350

Many of these positions typically require a bachelor’s degree, but you might able be able to take an entry-level role on a team and work your way up.

Computer Programmer

As a programmer, you would enter code for software or operating systems. Knowing programming languages is necessary. Programmers often work for computer companies.

Computer Support Specialist

A good starting job in this field is working as a computer helpdesk support person. You could assist individual consumers, or you could be a company’s go-to person when employees have computer trouble.

Computer Systems Analyst

Tech companies and other organizations hire professionals to analyze the efficiency and user-friendliness of various computer operations.

Database Administrator

Proper database administration ensures that information is organized and secure. Schools and insurance companies are just a few of the industries that hire for this role.

Health Information Technician

In this medical role, you could organize patient records, enter billing data, and protect healthcare privacy.

Network Administrator

If you’re a network administrator, you’ll make sure that an organization’s IT system runs well. When problems arise, you’ll be the one who fixes them.

Web Developer

Working for just one company or servicing many clients, you could build websites, make them visually appealing, and perform regular upgrades.

Admissions Requirements

Earning an associates in information technology starts with applying to schools and being admitted. Colleges use a variety of materials to determine whether you are a good fit for their programs.

  • Application – This form provides identifying information about you, such as your birth date and your contact details. You’ll also indicate which program of study interests you.
  • Proof of Graduation – To enroll in an associate degree program, you will probably need to show that you’ve completed a course of study that’s equivalent to a high school education. This might mean furnishing your high school diploma or submitting proof of earning your GED.
  • Transcripts – Many schools request a summary of the high school classes you took. If you’ve earned any college credits, you should provide that information as well.

Admissions requirements for an associate degree can vary widely among schools. Some colleges accept nearly all applicants, but others have stricter policies.

Accreditation

For your online information technology associate’s degree, it’s a good idea to enroll in a school with regional accreditation. This means that an official organization has recognized the college’s ability to provide a good education.

Seven U.S. accrediting agencies give colleges their regional accreditation.

  • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) maintains this list of approved accreditors.

Attending a regionally accredited school can help you get into a bachelor’s program after finishing your associate degree. It may also give you an advantage in your job search.

Information Technology Professional Organizations

Getting to know others in the IT field is one of the best ways to continually grow as a professional.

Joining an industry association can provide many networking opportunities. Groups often host in-person events and also encourage online interaction with other members.

  • Association for Computing Machinery – This large computing organization includes special interest groups, local branches, and student chapters, and members receive privileges like digital publications, webinars, ebooks, online forums, and access to industry presenters.
  • CompTIA AITP – CompTIA’s Association of IT Professionals offers local chapters, professional discounts, online training sessions, career advice, resume tips, and industry advocacy.

The learning and networking opportunities that come from group membership can be a helpful complement to your classroom studies in information technology.

Getting a group membership while in school may give you a professional advantage when you enter the workforce.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Don’t let concerns over tuition costs hold you back from earning an IT degree. Instead, take the initiative to pursue financial assistance.

Government grants can be one of the most promising forms of financial aid because they are essentially free money. You don’t have to return the funds after completing your program. Both the state and federal governments may extend you this type of funding.

Loans are another common form of government aid. You must pay back the money over time. You’ll also owe interest, but the interest rate may be reasonable.

To learn more about government assistance, submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

In addition to government aid, many students also pursue private funding. This often comes in the form of scholarships. You may find local and national scholarship programs from a variety of different organizations.

  • Civic groups
  • Computer industry associations
  • Corporations
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Memorial funds
  • Philanthropic groups

Criteria for scholarships may include good grades, community service, or personal hardships. Different scholarship committees will be looking for different things, so it’s wise to apply to multiple programs in hopes of winning one or more awards.

For more tuition assistance, talk to your school’s financial aid department. You may be able to set up a payment plan or receive a scholarship directly from the college.

Can You Get an IT Job With an Associate’s Degree?

Yes, earning an associate degree in IT may help you get a job in computers or technology. Working as a web developer is one particular job for which an associate degree is the minimum educational requirement.

According to the Center on Education and the Workforce, the average annual salary for people with computer science or information technology associate degrees is between $30,000 and $40,000.

Is an Associate Degree in Information Technology Worth It?

With an associate degree in information technology, you may be able to get entry-level jobs in computing. These can be a stepping-stone to positions with more responsibility and higher pay.

You may also be able to transfer your associate degree in IT into a bachelor’s program. This may help you complete your bachelor’s degree in half the time. Majors to consider include software design, information technology, management information systems, or computer science.

What Jobs Can You Get With an Associates Degree in Information Technology?

Some companies hire web developers with this level of education. Working as a helpdesk specialist is another technology job that can typically be done without a bachelor’s degree.

You may be hired as a network administrator or a programmer. Although those jobs are more commonly reserved for people with bachelor’s degrees, some organizations do make exceptions.

You could also work as an assistant to a systems analyst, a database administrator, or a software developer.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Associates Degree in Information Technology?

Traditionally, it takes about two years to earn an associate degree. Over four semesters, you’ll earn around 60 credit hours.

By studying online, you may be able to get your associates degree in information technology more quickly. Some schools use a year-round schedule with fast-track classes. It may be possible to finish your degree within 12 to 18 months.

Can I Get a Programming Job With an Associates Degree?

Most employers expect their computer programmers to hold a bachelor’s degree. Since there are sometimes exceptions to that rule, it may be possible to find a company that will hire you as a programmer with only an associate degree.

Another option would be to look for work as part of a programming team. As you assist an organization’s programmers, you’ll learn valuable skills that can help you move up in this field.

What Can You Do With an Associates in Information Technology Degree?

With an associate’s degree in information technology, you can look for work in the ever-growing field of computers. Jobs for web developers are expected to grow by 13% by the year 2028. You could also work as a computer support specialist, a job that’s expanding at a 10% rate.

You may also enter the technology field by helping with computer programming, software development, network analysis, database administration, system architecture, or security analysis.

Are There Any Affordable Associate Degrees in Information Technology Online?

Tuition for an information technology associate degree varies from school to school, but many programs cost around $300 to $500 per credit hour. Getting your degree from one of your state’s community colleges may help you save even more.

Don’t forget that you may have access to other cost-saving measures, such as scholarships and government financial aid, as well. You might also save money by receiving credit for previous college classes or prior knowledge.

Is an Information Technology Associate Degree Accredited?”

Many IT associate degrees are accredited. Both online and on-campus programs can receive regional accreditation. Any reputable school should be able to furnish proof of accreditation by one of the nation’s seven regional accreditors.

Of course, in your search for schools, you may come across one or two IT programs without regional accreditation. Any credits you were to earn at that school might not transfer elsewhere. Also, employers might not consider your degree as credible.

Getting Your IT associates degree Online

Earning an associate degree in IT is an accomplishment in which you’ll be able to take great pride.

This degree can help you qualify for jobs in an exciting, growing field, or it can serve as a stepping-stone to other higher education programs.

If you have a passion for technology, then consider how an IT associate degree could help fuel your dreams. Through research and preparation, you can find the online IT program that’s best for your needs.

After selecting a school and submitting an application, the admissions department will guide you through the next steps for enrollment.

List of 25 Best Information Technology Online Associate’s Degree Programs

#1  College of Southern Maryland

College of Southern Maryland campus

  • AAS in Information Services Technology

The College of Southern Maryland is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#2  Colorado Christian University

Colorado Christian University campus

  • AS in Computer Information Technology

Colorado Christian University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#3  Daytona State College

Daytona State College campus

  • AS in Computer Information Technology

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

#4  DeVry University

Devry University campus

  • Associate in Information Technology and Networking

DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#5  Florida State College at Jacksonville

Florida State College at Jacksonville campus

  • AS in Computer Information Technology

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

#6  Franklin University

Franklin University campus

  • AS in Information Technology

Franklin University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#7  Georgia Military College

Georgia Military College campus

  • AS in Information Technology

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

#8  Herzing University

Herzing University campus

  • AAAS in Information Technology

Herzing University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#9  Indian River State College

Indian River State College campus

  • AS in Computer Information Technology – Networking
  • AS in Computer Information Technology – Programming

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

#10  Indiana Wesleyan University

Indiana Wesleyan University campus

  • AS in Computer Information Technology
  • AS in Integrative Studies – Computer Information Technology

Indiana Wesleyan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#11  Jamestown Community College

Jamestown Community College campus

  • AAS in Information Technology

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

#12  Keiser University

Keiser University campus

  • AS in Information Technology

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

#13  Minnesota State Community and Technical College

Minnesota State Community and Technical College campus

  • AAS in Information Technology
  • AAS in Information Technology – Database Administration

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

#14  Northern Virginia Community College

Northern Virginia Community College campus

  • AAS in Information Systems Technology
  • AS in Information Technology

Northern Virginia Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#15  Ocean County College

Ocean County College campus

  • AAS in Computer Science – Information Technology
  • AS in Computer Science – Information Technology

OCC is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#16  Peirce College

Peirce College campus

  • AS in Information Technology

Peirce College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#17  Pennsylvania State University – World Campus

Pennsylvania State University campus

  • AS in Information Sciences and Technology

Pennsylvania State University – World Campus is regionally accredited by Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

#18  Point University

Point University campus

  • AS in Information Technology

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

#19  Purdue University

Purdue University campus

  • AAS in Information Technology

Purdue University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#20  Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University campus

  • AA in Information Technology

Saint Leo University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#21  Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University campus

  • AS in Information Technologies

Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, Inc.

#22  St Petersburg College

St Petersburg College campus

  • AS in Computer Information Technology

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

#23  Strayer University

Strayer University campus1

  • AA in Information Technology

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

#24  University of Alaska – Fairbanks

University of Alaska Fairbanks campus

  • AAS in Information Technology

UAF is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

#25  University of the Cumberlands

University of the Cumberlands campus

  • Associate’s in Information Technology

The University of the Cumberlands is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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Isaac Collins
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Author
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