Have you been considering a career in Information Technology (IT)? An online IT associate degree can help you step in and get a taste of the profession. You would realize that many specializations in IT can be overwhelming in the beginning. Starting with an associate degree can clarify the correct path for you in this extensive field of study.
This article answers the seven most asked questions on online IT associate degrees to help you take the subsequent steps in building a career.
Why get an online IT associate degree?
An associate degree can do several things for you. Firstly, it builds an academic foundation towards a career in IT. You can pursue a bachelor’s level online IT degree after working for a few years with an associate degree qualification. It helps you gain insights into the profession in the real world and see if you love it.
Moreover, doing an online IT degree enables you to study while working, fulfilling personal or family commitments. You get the best of both worlds.
You can learn how classes in online colleges work here.
What are the differences between an online associate degree and a bachelor’s degree?
There are many differences between the two degrees. However, three of the most significant ones you should know at this point are as follows:
- Focus: An associate degree equips you with general and foundational knowledge in IT. Only when you proceed to bachelor’s degree level will you get deeper into the field and start specializing in a chosen path.
- Job position: Students with associate degrees usually land entry-level jobs in the profession. You would be a bachelor’s or graduate-level candidate to qualify for leadership and higher responsibility positions.
- Potential salary: On average, candidates with a bachelor’s degree typically earn 40 percent more than those with an associate degree.
The principle here is for you to get your feet wet in the profession. You are already halfway towards a bachelor’s degree with an online associate IT degree.
What is the cost?
The fees and cost of tuition for an online associate degree in IT vary significantly between colleges and programs.
The cheapest online IT associate degree we have seen is about $2,800. On the other extreme, the most expensive one is $39,000.
We have also noticed that community and state-owned colleges offer significantly lower fees for in-state students.
A bachelor’s degree can cost two or more times than an associate degree. Doing an online IT degree offers further savings in accommodation, board, travel, and on-campus services fees.
How long does it take to complete?
An online associate degree in IT generally requires 60 credits and can be completed in two years when done full-time. On the other hand, a bachelor’s degree takes four years to complete. Some online colleges offer accelerated programs that allow students to earn an associate’s and bachelor’s degree much faster.
How do online associate degrees work?
Online colleges make students study online at their own pace. Lectures are either asynchronous or occasionally synchronous where your live presence and participation are required.
Coursework and assignments are completed and submitted online at given deadlines. Presentations are conducted virtually or recorded. You will have access to a Learning Management System (LMS) with which you will learn, communicate, participate, upload and download all course materials.
Online colleges work well for busy parents and adults working full-time or part-time as they are more flexible than on-campus programs.
This article elaborates on how online college works.
What will I learn?
An associate degree in IT equips you with foundational knowledge and critical thinking skills that help you solve fundamental IT problems, apply available and emerging tools and software to meet organizational needs and demands.
Some of the exciting courses would include:
- Operating systems and design
- Cross-platform technologies
- Project management
- Collaboration and teamwork
Do check the credentials of faculty members of the online college to ensure they have years of real-world experience.
What jobs can I get with an online associate degree in IT?
You can get high-paying jobs with an associate degree when you are willing to put it the work and accept challenges.
Some of the top-paying jobs we have seen are:
- Web developer
- Computer programmer
- Customer support specialist
- Network architect
- Systems analyst
With the above answers, you are now better positioned to decide on your next steps regarding your education and career plan.
One final tip we share with all our readers is to enroll in an accredited online college. This smart move will render your degree more marketable and valuable.