15 Best Associate Degrees in Computer Science 2021
| Staff Writers
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A computer science associate degree covers the basics of computer science theory and practice. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an 11% growth for computer and information technology occupations from 2019 to 2029, much higher than the average growth projection for all jobs.
Earning an associate degree in computer science is a great starting point for anyone interested in a computer and information technology (IT) career.
Many graduates continue their education in a computer science bachelor’s program, while others enter the field immediately.
This page includes a ranking of the best computer science associate programs. We also explain the value of a computer science associate degree, potential careers for graduates, and what to expect from a typical program. You can find suggestions for choosing the right school for your computer science associate degree as well.
Why Get an Associate Degree in Computer Science?
Computer science is the study of computers and computing, covering everything from computer and network design to algorithms and data structures. The discipline attracts people who enjoy mastering technologies, solving problems, and math and analytical thinking. Computer science professionals earn higher salaries and face a better job market than those in many other fields.
A computer science associate degree prepares students for entry-level positions helping organizations solve a variety of computer and IT problems. Students looking to establish foundational credentials and knowledge to break into the job market can benefit from an associate degree, as these programs typically only take two years of full-time study to complete. An associate program also provides a good introduction for students planning to continue their education and get a bachelor’s degree in computer science.
Graduates may qualify for a variety of well-paying computer science associate degree jobs, including web developer, computer support specialist, computer programmer, and network and computer systems administrator.
Increased Salary Potential
Getting a computer science associate degree can help students increase their earning potential by helping them develop in-demand technical skills. For example, the median annual salary for web developers was $73,760 as of 2019.
Preparation for Other Degree Programs or Certifications
Computer science associate programs help learners prepare to transfer to bachelor’s programs at four-year universities or to apply for technical certifications.
Top Online Programs
Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.
Computer Science Associate Degrees Versus Bootcamps
Prospective computer science professionals may wonder what the difference is between a computer science associate degree and a bootcamp.
Bootcamps provide training in coding and other high-demand skills. These programs are nontraditional, intensive learning experiences, which students complete in a short timeframe. Bootcamp attendees learn skills quickly to begin their job search even more quickly than associate degree graduates, which make them an attractive option for job-seekers with limited time or money to pursue a full degree.
In contrast, a computer science associate degree provides a broad foundation in computer science, emphasizes theory, and gives students more time to absorb new information. Those who want to get a bachelor’s and qualify for a larger variety of careers should pursue a computer science associate degree.
The table below highlights differences between computer science associate degrees and bootcamps.
Comparing Associate Degrees and Bootcamps
Computer Science Associate Degree
Computer Science Bootcamp
Two years of full-time study
Anywhere from one day to six months or longer. Some bootcamps offer self-paced options.
Types of Classes
Introduction to computer science, web development, computer architecture
Foundational theory and practices of computer science
Practical, career-focused skills like coding
High school diploma or equivalent
Some require basic coding or other computer skills, while others welcome true beginners.
Prepare graduates for entry-level jobs in the computer and IT field or to apply to a computer science bachelor’s program
Provide training leading to immediate employment opportunities
Continuing Your Education Past an Associate Degree
Students can pursue a variety of higher education opportunities in computer science past an associate degree, opening the door to higher salaries and more certification opportunities. Some prospective computer science professionals start off with an associate degree to ascertain whether they enjoy the field before investing in a longer program. Below, we outline education opportunities beyond an associate degree in computer science.
With 10 campuses across central Texas, TSTC partners with businesses and government agencies to provide higher education. The school tackles the rapid evolution of technology and prepares students for jobs in the modern global world.
In TSTC's computer science program, students explore a combination of computer theory and core design with development techniques in programming. The curriculum teaches relevant skills for current industry trends, including object-oriented design. Graduates land entry-level jobs such as systems analyst, programmer, software developer, and user support specialist.
Alongside computer science classes, students fulfill general education requirements with classes like U.S. history and Texas government. The program finishes with a capstone in programming fundamentals in the fourth semester. Students can also earn SkillsUSA scholarships for winning computer programming competitions.
Applying to TSTC
TSTC's online application is free. Students must submit high school transcripts, evidence of a GED certificate, or equivalents. Applicants under 22 must provide proof of bacterial meningitis vaccination.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Public Accreditation: SACSCOC Tuition: $210/credit (in state); $330/credit (out of state) Required Credits: 60 credits Program Length: 5 semesters Delivery Format: 100% online or hybrid
CCM continues to provide higher education to New Jersey after opening its doors over five decades ago. In celebration of its 50th anniversary, CCM announced a $2.1 million campaign in 2018 to bolster current programs and facilities.
At CCM, students learn programming through a project-based lens. They develop programs centered on a task or problem and test the efficiency of each solution. The program emphasizes team-based projects so students can adjust to the collaborative nature of jobs in the industry. Seminars introduce students to the theoretical, ethical, and societal aspects of technology and its effects on modern life.
Students enjoy access to cutting-edge tools both in and out of the classroom, including 3D printers, virtual reality gear, networking equipment, tablets, game consoles, and virtual computing environments. CCM offers several computer science extracurriculars such as clubs, conferences, and events to foster a sense of community within the program. For example, students can sign up for Hackathons and develop programs or technology in teams as they race against the clock.
Applying to CCM
CCM considers applications on a rolling basis. The application costs $30, and students must submit final high school transcripts, a GED certificate, or an equivalent.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Public Accreditation: MSCHE Tuition: $173/credit (in district); $317/credit (out of district, in state); $443/credit (out of state) Required Credits: 60 credits Delivery Format: On campus
Housed in the school's Math, Engineering, and Computer Science Department, the computer science program at LaGuardia prepares students for entry-level jobs in computer programming. Students can borrow laptops and tablets for distance-learning seminars, and New York City residents enjoy a capped tuition cost when they take 12 or more credits per semester.
Flexible core courses let students choose from many electives to complete general education requirements. LaGuardia has a unique urban study requirement where students take multidisciplinary classes that explore urban society and development using New York City as a case study. Throughout the program, students build an e-portfolio to showcase previous projects and skills.
Applying to LaGuardia
The LaGuardia application costs $65, and students must supply their original high school diploma and transcripts (or equivalents) and immunization records. The school also requires students to meet minimum test scores for admission.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Public Accreditation: MSCHE Tuition: $4,800/year (full time, NYC residents); $9,600/year (full time, out of city); $210/credit (part time, NYC residents); $320/credit (part time, out of city) Required Credits: 60 credits Program Length: 2 years full time Delivery Format: Hybrid or on campus
As the largest public school in Virginia and the second-largest junior college in the country, NOVA serves over 75,000 students in the D.C. area and online. NOVA currently follows its three-pillar plan: all students succeed, each program achieves, and every community benefits.
NOVA's computer science program prepares students for baccalaureate programs in computer science at four-year colleges. The curriculum includes liberal arts and general education classes typically required for bachelor's degrees so students can focus on upper-level computer science classes once they transfer. Core courses familiarize students with high-level computer languages to prepare them for transfer.
First-year students typically take an intro to computer science class, some general education requirements, and a course about college orientation to introduce them to resources, academic and career advising, and study skills. Later classes explore topics like computer hierarchical structures, discrete structures, and recursive versus iterative programming solutions.
Applying to NOVA
Applicants not pursuing dual enrollment courses must be over 18 and hold a high school diploma or its equivalent. Transcripts and test scores are not required for general admission to NOVA, but they can prove that students meet recommended preparations for the computer science program.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Public Accreditation: SACSCOC Tuition: $180/credit (in state); $360/credit (out of state) Required Credits: 61-63 credits Program Length: 2 years full time Delivery Format: 100% online
With a campus surrounded by vibrant rivers, lakes, and mountains, CWC pairs accessible higher education with plenty of outdoor activities. The school is a cultural center for the area, hosting artistic events and Wyoming's PBS station.
CWC's program prepares students for a bachelor's-level education. The curriculum emphasizes math with six courses covering calculus, statistics, and applied differential equations. As a Wyoming Works program, CWC's computer science major features several state-funded financial aid opportunities.
Students take a public speaking course to improve their oral and written communication, learning to present program designs to potential clients outside the discipline. As part of the curriculum outcomes, students also tackle the effects of technology on society while considering ethical issues they might experience in the field.
Applying to CWC
Students submit an online application and high school or equivalent transcripts. The school requires ACT or SAT scores or placement exams.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Public Accreditation: HLC Tuition: $150/credit (in state); $199/credit (Western Undergraduate Exchange students); $348/credit (out of state) Required Credits: 64 credits Delivery Format: Hybrid or on campus
ICC's university parallel program lets students maximize their credits when transferring to relevant baccalaureate programs at other state schools. Freshmen begin their course schedules with a college life seminar to get acquainted with the tools necessary for academic success.
Students in the ICC computer science associate program take courses about C++ and Visual Basic programming languages alongside labs that incorporate problem-solving, developing algorithms, and debugging. The computer programming and networking student group frequently invites industry professionals to speak about current trends in the market, job requirements, and internship opportunities.
Applying to ICC
ICC requires a copy of high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. Acceptance letters are sent through the mail. Afterward, admitted students attend orientation and finish the registration process with an assigned advisor.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Public Accreditation: SACSCOC Tuition: $1,450/semester (full time, in state); $2,550/semester (full time, out of state); $140/semester hour (part time, in state); $240/semester hour (part time, out of state) Required Credits: 60 credits Delivery Format: Hybrid or on campus
Situated in the Finger Lakes region of New York, FLCC first held classes in rented storefronts which the community refers to as "The Storefront Days." Now the school engages over 5,000 students in more than 50 programs each year.
FLCC's computer science major pairs advanced math courses with problem-solving skills and analysis. Students examine the fundamentals of object-oriented design and computer architecture. The program offers electives like fundamentals of game design and networking technologies. FLCC ensures at least 50% of the curriculum is available online.
Students can study growing areas like virtual reality, business analytics, and information technology. These up-to-date course topics allow students to explore emerging technology and software in the industry. Internships provide real-world experience so students can confidently navigate the job market after graduation.
Applying to FLCC
FLCC's free application takes about 20 minutes to complete. Students need to submit official high school transcripts or the equivalent and comply with state immunization requirements. Home-schooled students can contact advisors for further instructions on submitting proof of high school equivalency.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Public Accreditation: MSCHE Tuition: $2,432/semester (in state); $4,864/semester (in state, no certificate of residence); $2,919/semester (out of state) Required Credits: 63 credits Program Length: 2 years full time Delivery Format: Hybrid or on campus
Computer science students at Cochise learn the hierarchy and technical components of information flow within a computer system. With an average class size of 12, students can enjoy more personalized instruction from professors. Learners take several general education courses alongside their computer science classes.
Cochise's program explores subjects like assembly programming language, Java data structures, and digital logic. While the associate of science degree prepares students to transfer to other institutions, Cochise also offers an associate of arts degree that prepares students specifically for the University of Arizona South's baccalaureate program.
Applying to Cochise
After filling out the online application, applicants under 18 need to submit their official high school transcripts and proof of graduation (or equivalents). Students 18 and above do not need these materials for admission.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Public Accreditation: HLC Tuition: $91/credit (in state); $136/credit (part time, out of state); $260/credit (full time, out of state); $153/credit (online, out of state) Required Credits: 64 credits Program Length: 4 semesters Delivery Format: Hybrid or on campus
With a campus in downtown Rochester, New York, MCC provides accessible higher education using cutting-edge technology. Since 2006, MCC students have received over $13.9 million in scholarships while attending the school's programs.
MCC's Information and Computer Technologies Department houses the computer science program. The curriculum prepares students for jobs such as computer system analyst, software developer, and information systems manager. Graduates from the program have found careers with companies like Xerox, Frontier Communications, and the University of Rochester.
Students take electives like Linux, C++, and Java to customize their degree toward specific careers. Other advanced classes include electronic vision and image processing, which examines the discrete components of charge-coupled devices.
Applying to MCC
Applicants must send high school or prior college transcripts with their applications. MCC's computer science program requires prospective students to demonstrate minimum grades in high school math and science courses. Placement tests may work in lieu of these required grades.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Public Accreditation: MSCHE Tuition: $2,353/semester (full time, in state); $4,706/semester (full time, out of state); $196/credit hour (part time, in state); $392/credit hour (part time, out of state) Required Credits: 62-63 credits Program Length: 2 years full time Delivery Format: Hybrid or on campus
Part of the CUNY school system in NYC, Queensborough serves one of the most diverse counties in the nation. The school launched an academic initiative in 2013 to create more internships and opportunities at affiliated cultural resource centers.
Queensborough runs a linked degree program with the John Jay College of Criminal Science. Computer science students who complete all the requirements can transfer into John Jay's bachelor's program. As a result, Queensborough's associate degree focuses on topics like networking and security to prepare students for upper-level classes while teaching desirable industry skills.
Students learn to map vulnerabilities in network security systems while exploring the legal and ethical aspects of cybercrime. By the program's end, students are proficient in writing technical literature and other discipline-specific communication methods. Queensborough also requires students to learn Python, a popular programming language.
Applying to Queensborough
Queensborough accepts applications year round. There is a $65 application fee.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Public Accreditation: MSCHE Tuition: $2,400/semester (in state); $320/credit (in state with no certificate of residency or out of state) Required Credits: 60-62 credits Program Length: 2 years full time Delivery Format: Hybrid or on campus
Dallas College began as the Dallas County Junior College District in 1965. More than 50 years later, the school continues to benefit the local community through partnered programs like the North Texas Food Bank.
Dallas College runs the computer science program in tandem with the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD). The curriculum prepares students for UTD's bachelor's program; learners can apply up to 62 credit hours to the UTD degree after meeting admission standards. The program includes several liberal arts and interdisciplinary courses to satisfy general education requirements.
Three levels of programming classes cover languages such as C, C++, C#, and Java. Other topics include circuitry, application design, and processing digital information. While the discipline leans heavily toward math concepts, students also engage with physics and engineering concepts through hands-on labs.
Applying to Dallas College
Students can apply online, by mail, or in person. For admission, Dallas College requires official high school transcripts (or their equivalent) and scores from one or more standardized tests, including ACT, SAT, TAKS, and STAAR. All applicants must provide bacterial meningitis immunization records.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Public Accreditation: SACSCOC Tuition: $79/credit (in county); $135/credit (in state, out of county); $200/credit (out of state) Required Credits: 60-62 credits Delivery Format: Hybrid or on campus
Union's computer science program is designed for students who intend to transfer to a four-year program. Students can find digital course materials through the school's partnership with Cengage at an affordable price. By the end of the program, students can demonstrate they have the skills to apply technological solutions to different fields.
The curriculum develops critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills while laying the necessary groundwork in mathematics. In their second year of study, students cover the fundamentals of modern operating systems and virtual resource management. A plethora of electives lets students pursue topics such as Linux fundamentals, cybersecurity, and web or mobile development.
Applying to Union
After completing an online application, students must submit official high school transcripts (or equivalents) to any of the school's main campuses. SAT scores can be used to waive placement test requirements. Students need to show proof of immunization to enroll.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Public Accreditation: MSCHE Tuition: $2,641/semester (full time, in state); $5,281/semester (full time, out of state); $214/credit (part time, in state); $428/credit (part time, out of state) Required Credits: 60 credits Program Length: 2 years full time Delivery Format: On campus
NCC's campus spreads over 225 acres as one of the largest single-location junior colleges in New York. The school takes pride in the percentage of its faculty with doctorates, as their rate is double the national average of doctorate-holders teaching at community colleges.
NCC's computer science curriculum mixes computer, math, and science courses to build groundwork for bachelor's programs. Students spend most of their first year fulfilling general education requirements in math and English before taking science- and computer science-oriented classes during their second year.
Students can pursue a mobile app development course for an in-depth look at object-oriented programming for handheld devices. The final semester features a computer architecture and organization seminar examining computer design from von Neumann machines to modern-day technology.
Applying to NCC
For admission to the computer science program, students must have earned a minimum grade of 75% in four years of high school math, including precalculus. Prospective learners pay a $55 application fee and submit official transcripts and immunization records.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Public Accreditation: MSCHE Tuition: $2,900/semester (in county); $5,800/semester (out of county); $242/credit (part time, in county); $484/credit (part time, out of county) Required Credits: 64 credits Delivery Format: Hybrid or on campus
Conceived in 1944 by the local Post-War Planning Committee, WCJC has provided accessible higher education since opening its doors over 70 years ago. The school's recently launched Fund Your Future initiative creates new financial aid opportunities for students.
Housed in the school's Division of Technology and Business, WCJC's computer science classes take place at the Wharton, Sugar Land, and Richmond campuses. Students can choose a hybrid delivery format for greater schedule flexibility. Advisors recommend learners take 42 credit hours of general education requirements to prepare for transfer to other public institutions in Texas.
Computer science students learn to foster healthy, ethical work habits and familiarize themselves with working in team-based environments. The final course examines advanced topics like assembly language and memory hierarchy in computer systems.
Applying to WCJC
Students can fill out an application through the ApplyTexas online portal and need to submit their official high school transcripts (or equivalents), standardized test scores, and bacterial meningitis immunization records.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Public Accreditation: SACSCOC Tuition: $32/schedule hour (in state); $84/schedule hour (out of state) Required Credits: 60 credits minimum Delivery Format: On campus
Computer science students attend classes at the Barton County campus, which houses computer labs, ITV rooms, and cutting-edge classroom technology. Some courses are online and asynchronous. BCC's curriculum requires courses in the foundations of computer science and object-oriented language.
Students also pursue 12 elective credits in programming, networking, or business technology. BCC also offers classes in Java and web programming. The computer science curriculum prepares students for jobs in software engineering, game development, and database administration.
Applying to BCC
Students do not need to submit high school transcripts for admission; however, they must submit a transcript to meet graduation requirements. Accepted students are screened for tuberculosis and take placement tests or submit standardized test scores.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Public Accreditation: HLC Tuition: $111/credit (in district); $118/credit (out of district, in state); $142/credit (out of state) Required Credits: 60 credits Program Length: 2 years Delivery Format: Hybrid or on campus
What the Best Computer Science Associate Programs Have in Common
Many schools offer computer science associate degrees, but several qualities set certain institutions apart. We consider the following characteristics as we determine our rankings.
They are accredited. A third-party organization awards accreditation to schools that meet academic standards. Institutional accreditation is either national or regional. National accreditors usually evaluate vocational and trade schools, while regional accreditation applies to nonprofit schools and is generally considered more prestigious. All schools on our list hold regional accreditation from one of the following organizations: the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC); the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE); or the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
They promote academic excellence. As computer science evolves, so should computer science programs. We examine figures such as retention and graduation rates for each school, which often indicate how well a school prepares students for success with state-of-the-art resources and cutting-edge coursework. We also consider factors like program diversity and student-to-faculty ratios.
They maintain a good reputation. Schools with good reputations attract many applicants. We use factors like admissions yield — which measures how many accepted students enroll at an institution — and return on investment to determine how reputable a school is.
They are affordable. Given the cost of pursuing higher education, our rankings also take affordability into account. We look at the number of students receiving financial aid at an institution and the average amount received for a school year. For example, computer science students at Central Wyoming College can fill out the FAFSA and apply for computer science program scholarships through the Wyoming Works program.
Available Careers With an Associate Degree in Computer Science
You can pursue many lucrative careers with an associate degree in computer science. The BLS reports a median annual salary of $88,240 for computer and IT occupations, more than double the median annual wage for all occupations.
Many computer science and IT professionals can improve their earnings and career opportunities by earning technical certifications in their areas of expertise.
Below we describe potential careers for computer science associate degree-holders, including web developer, computer support specialist, computer programmer, and network and computer systems administrator.
Web developers design websites, write code, and create applications. They work with clients, other designers, and management. Specialized types of web developers include webmasters, back-end web developers, and front-end web developers. They work in the computer systems design, publishing, and advertising industries.
Computer user support specialists, sometimes called help desk technicians, help customers. Computer network support specialists also troubleshoot computer networks. They work in the telecommunications, educational services, and finance and insurance industries. Computer support specialists need customer service, problem-solving, and listening skills.
Required Education: Associate degree may be required
Computer programmers write code that helps computers function. They take designs that software engineers and developers create and turn them into languages computers understand. Job duties include updating programs, finding program errors, and using code libraries. Programmers with business experience can advance as computer systems analysts.
Required Education: Associate or bachelor’s degree
Network and computer systems administrators oversee the operations side of physical computer networks. They work for organizations in many different industries. Typical job activities include training people to use software and hardware, optimizing system performance, and maintaining network security. Earning technical certifications in their area of expertise can lead to career advancement.
Required Education: Associate or bachelor’s degree
What To Expect From Associate in Computer Science Programs
Computer science associate programs provide training and preparation for a variety of well-paying careers and for continuing education at the bachelor’s level. Many prospective students wonder: is a computer science degree worth it? Your potential return-on-investment depends on a variety of factors, including the cost of your program, your personal financial situation, and your expected salary upon graduation.
It usually takes two years and 60 credits to earn a computer science associate degree. Cost varies, but those who can pay in-state tuition at a public college usually get the best deal. Schools offer different types of associate degrees in computer science, including associate of arts, associate of science, associate of applied science, and associate of applied business programs. Potential concentrations include computer programming, computer information systems, and web development.
Keep reading for more details about what to expect from your computer science associate program.
Admission requirements for computer science associate programs vary by school. Some colleges offer open admissions, welcoming anyone with a high school diploma or GED certificate. Others require a minimum GPA or ACT/SAT test scores. Most associate programs do not require letters of recommendation or application essays, a common requirement for bachelor’s programs.
To apply to a computer science associate program, prospective learners typically fill out an online application, submit a small fee, and send their high school transcripts. Admitted students may need to complete placement testing before enrolling in classes.
Degree and Concentration Options
Schools with computer science associate programs offer different degree types. Prospective students should consider how degree type may impact their career goals and future education opportunities. Below, we compare computer science associate degrees.
Associate of Science
AS degrees focus on preparing students for careers immediately after graduation and emphasize practical training. AS programs offer concentrations in areas like computer information systems or computer programming.
Associate of Applied Science
AAS degrees resemble AS degrees, focusing on skills development and career readiness. Many colleges view an AAS as a terminal degree. Concentrations may include web development or computer programming.
Associate of Arts
Computer science AA programs provide good preparation for students who plan to earn a bachelor’s degree. They include liberal arts and humanities classes in addition to computer science.
Associate of Applied Business
AAB computer science programs focus on business in computer science and prepare students to enter careers immediately after graduation.
Popular Computer Science Courses
Computer science associate courses vary by school, but a typical curriculum explores topics like programming, software engineering, databases, and operating systems. Students gain a foundation in computer science theory and develop basic IT and computer skills. Most programs require core, elective/concentration, and general education classes. Below we describe several courses common across computer science associate programs.
In a programming fundamentals course, students build a foundation in computer languages like Python. They explore abstract concepts of these programming languages and develop the critical thinking skills necessary for work in the field.
Introduction to Databases
This introductory core course focuses on the design and implementation of relational database systems. Topics include relational theory, database modeling and design, and SQL. After the class, students are able to install a relational database management system, use database modeling techniques, and define database tables.
Introduction to Software Engineering
Students learn the basics of the engineering process, including validation, analysis fundamentals, and identifying stakeholders. They explore issues like using different kinds of models, documenting software requirements, and using requirements repositories.
Learners receive an introduction to contemporary theories of artificial intelligence. This class explores how computers learn autonomously, studying topics like search optimization, problem-solving, and natural language understanding. Students also learn to use basic search algorithms.
How Much Will an Associate in Computer Science Cost?
The cost of a computer science associate degree varies by school. Factors that impact price include type of school (public or private), program format (online or in-person), and tuition rate (in-state or out-of-state). Most public colleges offer much more affordable degrees than prestigious private institutions. In-state public schools typically offer the most affordable options.
Students who plan to get a bachelor’s in computer science can save money by completing the first two years of their program at a community college and earning an associate degree.
Consider additional costs you may incur while earning an associate degree, including textbooks, technology repairs and upgrades, and deferred compensation for those who can not work while in school full time. Financing options for computer science associate degrees include grants, scholarships, work-study, and loans. See the link below for more information.
Our rankings list of the top computer science associate programs is a great place for prospective students to start their research, but many other considerations go into choosing the right program. Think about these additional key factors when selecting your school.
Make sure that any college you consider is regionally accredited. This makes it easier to apply to or transfer credit to a bachelor’s program, qualify for financial aid, and earn professional certifications.
How much can you afford to spend on your computer science associate degree? What types of financial aid does your program offer? Look for scholarships, grants, and work-study opportunities to help fund your education.
Are you interested in moving to pursue your degree? Or do you prefer the convenience and cost savings of finding a program nearby? If you choose an online associate program in computer science, physical location may not matter.
Most computer science associate degrees take two full-time years to complete. If you want to graduate in less time, look for accelerated programs that let you take more credits each term.
Does your school offer dedicated career services to current learners and alumni? Many students find internship and job opportunities through their school’s career development office or alumni network.
Should You Get Your Associate Degree Online?
Online associate programs in computer science make it easier for some people to pursue their degrees. Most online programs feature asynchronous course delivery, allowing students to complete coursework on their schedule. For prospective students who want to keep their jobs while studying, the flexibility of asynchronous classes permits them to integrate coursework into their busy schedules. Computer science associate degree programs particularly suit the online learning experience because they emphasize digital technologies and computer skills.
When deciding if the online experience is right for you, consider factors like personal learning style, the number of hours you can dedicate to school each week, and whether a distance education program would provide the education you want. Some people learn better from or simply prefer traditional, on-campus programs.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to get an associate degree in computer science?
Most computer science associate programs take two full-time years to complete. Some schools offer online or accelerated computer science associate degrees that take less than two years.
What can you do with an associate in computer science?
Graduates of associate in computer science programs qualify for a variety of entry-level positions in the computer and information science field. They can also apply to bachelor’s in computer science programs.
How much can you make with an associate degree in computer science?
PayScale reports that computer science associate degree-holders make an average annual salary of $66,150. Salaries vary by type of occupation and level of experience.
Is an associate in computer science worth it?
Yes! An associate in computer science can provide a very good return-on-investment. Many graduates earn salaries significantly higher than the national median annual wage.
Is computer science a good career?
Yes! The computer and information technology field offers a host of well-paying career opportunities. The BLS projects the addition of around 531,200 new jobs in this field for 2019-29.