What do you click on when you turn on your computer? Do you use spreadsheets and word processors, or do you access the internet or play games? Maybe you have unique programs specific to your preferences and needs. Is there anything you can do with a computer without one application or another? Not really. Computers without applications are like pools without water, the basic foundation may be there, but there's nothing to actually use. Computer applications have literally changed the landscape of technology, communications, business, and culture itself.
These powerful programs that provide services, resources, connections, and entertainment are the programs that shape the way we live our lives. If you have an interest in computers and in shaping the way the world works in powerful, innovative ways, then you have what it takes to earn an Associate's Degree in computer applications. This degree will take your natural qualities and provide the essential knowledge that will catapult you into a lucrative and exciting career.
Like degrees in many other fields, an Associate's Degree in computer applications first seeks to provide students with a fundamental understanding of the area's main concepts. When it comes to computer applications, expertise in the functions of computer software and the hardware itself are essential to understanding more complex applications. Students may traditionally begin by focusing on troubleshooting, data analysis, computer science and coding techniques, and common administrative applications, like Microsoft Word or Excel. Introductions to internet technology, communications, and so on are also part of the essential material an Associate's Degree in computer applications will provide.
Computer applications are not merely about the relationship between you and the machine; rather a full degree focuses on preparing each individual for the types of careers they will pursue. Skillsets that incorporate administrative skills, customer service, business applications, communication skills, and workplace skills are taught so that each individual is fully competent to not just use computer applications, but to apply them in light of their context's requirements.
Every single industry requires computers to some degree, so nearly every business represents an opportunity for an individual with an Associate's Degree in computer applications to thrive. Common job titles for something with this degree include administrative assistant, data entry specialist, office manager, systems technician, and computer support personnel. Such a diverse array of needs are required by businesses, and an Associate's Degree in computer applications is designed to furnish graduates with a broadly based spectrum of computer literacy so that they can adapt their skills to whatever particular environment they pursue. Whether working in a buzzing office directly with other individuals, whether providing computer-related services over a telephone, or whether enhancing your own life and household, these computer application skills are nearly essential to master in today's modern era of technology.
When turning on your computer, you'll feel more than prepared with the appropriate knowledge to troubleshoot problems and manage your technology in a responsible and sophisticated way. In fact, you will be able to do much more than this. As you go about your personal and professional responsibilities, you will have the world of computer applications completely opened up to you. You will stand ready to take on any challenge or task, knowing that the computer is not an intimidating machine but rather an incredibly potent resource that is capable of enhancing your life and your job. Earn your Associate's Degree in computer applications, and begin this exciting transition to a world of competency, of confidence, and of power. Then you will truly be prepared to earn an exciting career and contribute to whatever business environment you may be a part of.
A degree in computer applications will help you in a variety of positions. Most entry level positions you’ll qualify for include those as a help desk operator, technical support (hardware and software) as well as an IT administrative assistant. With your AA degree you can apply for many of the positions below.
Computer Programmer – As a computer programmer for a company you can be in-charge of developing products and or maintaining existing ones. Most programmers without any formal certifications will work under the supervision of senior programmers.
Website Programmer – You won’t be necessarily be responsible for building websites but sites are becoming very complex these days and you could work with marketing to integrate in databases, CRM systems and even shopping carts.
Database Manager – As a database manager you’ll be put in-charge of the companies databases. These databases are the lifeline of the company and can be used by sales departments, marketing and even accounting. Often departments will require special databases and you’ll need to know how to build, maintain and eventually train users how to use the databases.
Word Processing - Entry level word processors are often graduates of AA degrees in computer applications. Your first job could be in word processing for companies. This includes and not limited to: building processing systems, data processing, Word and Excel document creation and maintenance.
Software Consultant/Sales – Software and hardware manufacturers often hire computer programmers as members of their sales teams. The knowledge you have is perfect in order to explain to buyers the functionality of software or hardware systems.
Technical Support – Often the knowledge you receive while in school will lead to a technical support role upon graduation. Technical support can be done over the phone or on-site. You’ll need the ability to clearly communicate with users in order to solve technical questions they have regarding issues.
An Associate’s degree in computer applications is often considered a springboard degree that will give someone interested in computers/IT the ability to find out what fields they would be interested in pursuing with higher education.
Business Management - Most of the business related courses you’ll take including business management, accounting, marketing and communications will be done during the first part of your degree program. This 30-35 credit hours are usually not part of your core curriculum and will make up the 60 hours needed to earn your degree.
Website Design – You’ll learn all about HTML and CSS as well as both Windows and Linux systems. Most of the design you’ll learn will be in the form of code and not actually graphic design. Personally from years of website design experience I can’t stress enough how important it is to also know the design side of websites, it will surely help you when you apply for jobs in this field.
Windows Based Applications – Fully understanding all Windows based software applications is a must. Most individuals understand how to navigate around spreadsheets and word processing documents but rarely do they fully understand how to do advanced features. Those advanced features involve the actual programming and integration of those software applications into custom applications. The goal is to understand them so you can save the company you work for both time and money.
Database Administration– Learn how to handle both internal and external databases. You’ll be taught how to build and maintain databases that are often vital to a business. These databases can include customer information as well as secure information such as credit cards or even social security numbers.
Computer Fundamentals – Most schools will start out your Associate’s degree program with the fundamentals of computers. This gives you an intro course to start with in the event you have never before been around computers.
Operating Systems – Get trained on how to install, fix and even trouble shoot all the major operating systems. If your job in computer applications involves working with staff members then it is possible helping and even teaching individuals how to use their operating system could be one of your job requirements.
Salary for Computer Application Specialist
Website Developer - $60,350
Application Programmer - $88,850
Systems Analyst $92,775