Best Online Associate in Information Technology Degrees for 2023

Associates Degree in Information Technology Career Options & Salary

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Overview of an Associates in Information Technology


Information technology is pervasive in our culture and it is here to stay. Thankfully, academia has been expanding information technology degree offerings to ensure that our computers and networks have professionals who are capable of maintaining them. Prior to the information revolution in the 1990s, students primarily studied computer science if they were interested in technology. Now, you needn't delve that deep to learn a lot about IT and land a job that is well-compensated and in near-constant demand. In fact, students can earn an Associate in Information Technology and launch a career in approximately two years. It will also count as up to two years of a four-year education if students decide to move on and earn a bachelor's degree. A two-year college degree includes general education and major courses for whichever degree students choose. In IT, this might include a variety of the following:

  • Computer Systems
  • Operating Systems
  • Computer Networks
  • Programming
  • Hardware and Software Development
  • Database Management
  • And More

After students graduate from a two-year IT associate degree program, they can move into entry-level career opportunities such as a computer support specialist or web developer. Computer support specialist is the most common job for those at this level, but support specialists gain vital hands-on experience and have plenty of opportunity for job growth, especially if they are willing to return to being students and earn a bachelor's degree either through in-person or online learning.

PROS

Earning an Associate's in IT is a fantastic way to launch a career. Your two-year degree will prepare you for an entry-level job and provide a basis of knowledge that can perhaps support further non-academic certifications. On top of the purely technical knowledge you'll gain, you will also be educated in broader subjects, especially writing, communication, and critical thinking skills that will help polish your professional standing and provide career opportunities.

Further, once you have your AA degree, it will be easier to complete a full four-year degree. Chances are that you'll need a bachelor's degree to advance into management. Another advantage to starting work with an AA degree is that you can take time in the working world to determine exactly which next step is best for you. You can move on to a four-year school to study healthcare informatics, management information systems, or perhaps you want to write code and study computer systems, programming, information security, or hardware and software engineering.

CONS

Starting a career with a two-year Associate's in IT may seem like the perfect plan, but there are drawbacks. One of the chief drawbacks is that you'll still likely need to return to school for a bachelor's degree if you wish to advance in your career. That means you'll either need to quit work for at least two years to complete a bachelor’s or you could spend 2+ years juggling both school and work. Even if you choose to earn your degree online, it can take precious time and online students have just as many major courses to complete as in-person students.

Furthermore, if you only have a two-year degree, you may not qualify for certain certifications. You will almost certainly be excluded from consideration when managerial jobs open up. While many students graduate to have fruitful, enjoyable careers that do not involve management, be aware that only having a two-year degree will limit your long-term options.


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What are the Best Online Associates in Information Technology (AIT) College Programs?


1

Purdue University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $9,992
    • Out-of-state: $28,794
  • Net Price: $12,294
  • Retention Rate: 93%
  • Graduation Rate: 83%
  • Total Enrollment: 46,655
  • Undergrad Students: 35,706
  • Graduate Students: 10,949
  • Diplomas Awarded: 3
  • Grads Salary: $55,100
  • Student-to-faculty: 13:1
  • Purdue University
2

Indiana Wesleyan University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $28,184
    • Out-of-state: $28,184
  • Net Price: $21,827
  • Retention Rate: 81%
  • Graduation Rate: 72%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,108
  • Undergrad Students: 2,677
  • Graduate Students: 431
  • Diplomas Awarded: 35
  • Grads Salary: $49,900
  • Student-to-faculty: 13:1
  • Indiana Wesleyan University
3

Franklin University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $9,577
    • Out-of-state: $9,577
  • Net Price: $7,658
  • Retention Rate: 76%
  • Graduation Rate: 42%
  • Total Enrollment: 5,926
  • Undergrad Students: 4,008
  • Graduate Students: 1,918
  • Diplomas Awarded: 4
  • Grads Salary: $48,500
  • Student-to-faculty: 13:1
  • Franklin University
4

Campbell University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $36,740
    • Out-of-state: $36,740
  • Net Price: $26,299
  • Retention Rate: 76%
  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Total Enrollment: 5,964
  • Undergrad Students: 3,720
  • Graduate Students: 2,244
  • Diplomas Awarded: 3
  • Grads Salary: $45,900
  • Student-to-faculty: 15:1
  • Campbell University
5

Peirce College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $15,060
    • Out-of-state: $15,060
  • Net Price: $8,993
  • Retention Rate: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 16%
  • Total Enrollment: 1,046
  • Undergrad Students: 947
  • Graduate Students: 99
  • Diplomas Awarded: 6
  • Grads Salary: $46,500
  • Student-to-faculty: 13:1
  • Peirce College
6

Saint Leo University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $24,640
    • Out-of-state: $24,640
  • Net Price: $19,818
  • Retention Rate: 64%
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Total Enrollment: 9,832
  • Undergrad Students: 6,945
  • Graduate Students: 2,887
  • Diplomas Awarded: 12
  • Grads Salary: $43,800
  • Student-to-faculty: 17:1
  • Saint Leo University
7

Northern Virginia Community College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $5,610
    • Out-of-state: $11,693
  • Net Price: $9,153
  • Retention Rate: 73%
  • Graduation Rate: 29%
  • Total Enrollment: 52,873
  • Undergrad Students: 52,873
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Diplomas Awarded: 351
  • Grads Salary: $42,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 28:1
  • Northern Virginia Community College
8

Florida Gateway College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $3,100
    • Out-of-state: $11,747
  • Net Price: $2,930
  • Retention Rate: 64%
  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,018
  • Undergrad Students: 3,018
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Diplomas Awarded: 3
  • Grads Salary: $29,500
  • Student-to-faculty: 15:1
  • Florida Gateway College
9

Hallmark University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $38,320
    • Out-of-state: $38,320
  • Net Price: $9,887
  • Retention Rate: 71%
  • Graduation Rate: 55%
  • Total Enrollment: 987
  • Undergrad Students: 929
  • Graduate Students: 58
  • Diplomas Awarded: 10
  • Grads Salary: $57,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 15:1
  • Hallmark University
10

Berkeley College-Woodland Park

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $27,000
    • Out-of-state: $27,000
  • Net Price: $14,265
  • Retention Rate: 64%
  • Graduation Rate: 48%
  • Total Enrollment: 2,625
  • Undergrad Students: 2,451
  • Graduate Students: 174
  • Diplomas Awarded: 11
  • Grads Salary: $37,600
  • Student-to-faculty: 17:1
  • Berkeley College-Woodland Park
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Certificate vs. Associates


In the IT world, there are many certificates you can earn that do not require a degree. If you are motivated and are a self-starter, you can learn IT skills online for a low cost. If you are able to attain verifiable, recognized credentials in an in-demand specialty area, you can quickly pick up work. In fact, there are many recognized academies online that provide low-cost training that can result in reputable certifications. Linux Academy, for instance, is not only affordable, but it is highly thought of in the world of technology.

What Information Technology Associate Degrees are Available Online?


  • Associate of Science in Information Technology:
    An AS in IT will focus on the strictly analytical and mathematical side of IT. Though each program is different and will have its own specialty focus, when you see AS, consider that the information technology degree has more of a STEM focus. It will spend less time on communication and more time on the nitty gritty of computer systems, operating systems, and information security. However, it is equally simple for students to complete this degree online for just this reason.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology:
    An AAS in IT is a good degree if you are certain that you won't want a four-year degree. These programs focus on practical job-related skills that don't necessarily translate to other academic programs. You will still have credits you can use for a later application, but you may need to re-take some courses to meet the learning outcomes expected in a baccalaureate program.
  • Associate of Arts in Information Technology:
    Your AA in IT will certainly support a brilliant career for you. Though each AA program is different, in general an AA will focus more on learning outcomes that fall outside of STEM areas, but which will help with how you provide service and communicate in the business world.
  • Associate of Applied Business in Information Technology:
    The AAB in IT is a degree that sits somewhere between a professional certificate and an academic degree. You will receive academic credits, but it's likely that some of your courses will not transfer if you decide to return for your baccalaureate degree. However, the information technology program will prepare you for a fruitful career with learning in computer systems and programming you can fall back on.

Admission Requirements


Generally speaking, if you wish to enter a two-year degree IT program, you should at least have a high school diploma or a GED. You should also have taken the SAT or ACT and have satisfactory scores. Most programs will allow you to enter their IT department without any special qualifications, but there are programs that require that you pass certain tests or have some other way to demonstrate your skill and aptitude for IT. If this is your chosen field, it will behoove you to do some independent study in the field prior to enrolling in a associate degree program and becoming a student. Online programs will have the same admission requirements as their traditional counterparts.

How long does it take to earn an Information Technology Associates?


Most online associate degree programs are designed to take two years. That assumes a full-time load and often includes a summer break. However, if you take a full load and forgo summer break, there's a good chance that you can finish in a year and a half.

When you decide to pursue an Associate's in IT, make sure that you have ample time to study and attend classes. Even if you are in an online associate degree program, consider working part-time so that you can complete your degree in a timely fashion. After all, it won't help much to tell a recruiter that you were only able to complete half of a associate degree program. When you prioritize your education, you will reap great rewards.

Potential Careers in Information Technology with an Associates Diploma


  • Database Administrator:
    Your IT degree will prepare you to work with SQL and other database languages so that you can maintain databases for your employer or freelance clients. Since businesses increasingly rely on their databases, so your job is likely to be highly valued.
    Professionals in this field earn a median salary of $74,000.
  • Network Administrator:
    In any medium to large sized business, the network keeps everyone connected with each other, and the database. In this position, you will set up and maintain networks, train users, and assign permissions to workers.
    The median salary for Network Administrators is $60,100.
  • LAN Manager:
    The local-area network (LAN) is what keeps teams and departments in constant contact. As a LAN manager, you can integrate that smaller network into the larger wide-area network (WAN.)
    IT professionals with this focus area earn a median salary of $55,000.
  • Web Developer:
    You will need to know a good deal of computer code for this position. Thus, you may need additional coding courses on top of your AA coursework. You will work with the UI developers, content providers, and other managers to develop the widgets and full web applications needed by the organization.
    The median salary for this position is $59,900.
  • Technical Support:
    With an Information Technology Associate Degree you'll be primed to work in Tech Support. On top of simple troubleshooting for end-users, you might assist with functions such as setting up user accounts for new employees or clients, ordering new hardware to replace something that has broken, or submitting reports to your IT manager that detail items your company may need in order to maximize IT efficiency.
    Tech Support professionals earn a median salary of $51,800.

Options to Advance


After working in your first IT job for a few years, you might wish to advance to a new position or simply be paid more. To get ahead, you will need either another degree or a new certification. With an online information technology associate degree from an accredited college, plus your experience, you can apply to a four-year degree program. A bachelor degree in IT will certainly open doors.

On the other hand, you can consider any number of professional certifications. After some time in the field, there will surely be areas that interest you, or for which you have a special aptitude. There are many certificate programs online and in your community that will train you to have the specialized knowledge and skills needed to take your career to the next level. As you develop your purely technical skills, you might also consider taking courses in areas such as business communications, management, or leadership.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is an associate's degree in information technology good for?

An associate's degree in this field can prepare graduates for roles in cyber security, database administration, game design, networking, programming, project management in IT, and website design. While you may not be able to instantly move into higher levels of employment, entry-level jobs are available in all these fields with an associate's degree. This can help those who need to get into the working world right away or who are looking to earn money while they continue their education. Additionally, associate's degrees often cost less than four-year degrees, both in total and year by year, so you are likely to save money if you complete an associate degree and transfer your credits to a four-year institution. These are just some of the top reasons why students choose to earn an associate's degree in this field.

What are the admission requirements of an associate degree?

Associate programs may require standardized tests and minimum GPAs, but they also may not. In fact, there is nearly as much variation in associate degree requirements as there are in bachelor’s degrees, though the lowest level requirements of an associate degree are usually much easier to achieve. In fact, some students who have trouble doing well in standardized tests choose to enter associate degree programs to earn better GPAs to help them get into their preferred bachelor’s programs. By putting some space between you and poor high school performance, you can increase your chances of gaining entry into your chosen school. Some associate degree programs have a rolling, open admission. This means that everyone is welcome to apply at any time in the year. You could start in one of these programs in their spring rather than fall semester if you apply off-cycle. Some programs do have requirements, like a certain GPA or standardized test score, but these are nearly universally lower than bachelor’s degree admission requirements. If this sounds good to you, then maybe you should consider earning an associate degree before you consider a bachelor’s.

Will I learn about cloud computing while earning my associate degree in Information Technology?

Cloud computing has been an emerging technology that is transforming the world of IT, and earning a degree in Information Technology provides students with a strong foundation to understand and utilize these new technologies. With this in mind, many students are asking: will I learn about cloud computing while earning my associate degree in Information Technology? Although the courses will take depend on the college you attend, the answer is most likely yes.

This degree program provides valuable training for students looking to develop their knowledge about cloud computing topics such as virtualization, public/private/hybrid cloud environments, security protocols, storage solutions and application deployment strategies. Students enrolled in these courses will also have access to cutting-edge labs where they can gain hands-on experience with industry standard software tools and technologies like Amazon Web Services (AWS) Microsoft Azure and OpenStack. With cloud computing, businesses are able to store data and applications over the internet instead of relying on local servers or personal computers. Earning an Associate Degree in Information Technology can provide students with the necessary skills to understand this rapidly growing technology and gain a competitive edge.

What are the different information technology occupations I can get after completing my associate degree?

Completing an associate degree in Information Technology can open the door to a wide range of career opportunities. A two-year degree program is designed to provide students with the skill set necessary for success in the IT field. With an Associate's Degree in Information Technology, one can find employment in many different information technology occupations including software development, network security, web development, hardware maintenance, and much more.

How do I get financial aid for school?

For many students, attending college is a dream that can quickly become an intimidating reality when the inevitable question of how to pay for it comes up. With the cost of tuition continuing to rise, many are unaware of the available avenues for financial aid. Whether you’re a high school student looking ahead or already in college and needing help paying your bills, there are resources that can provide assistance with college costs.

The first step in getting started on your path to securing financial aid is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA will determine whether or not you qualify for federal grants and loans along with other forms of aid such as work-study programs and scholarships. After submitting your application, you can monitor its status online and receive information about any awards you may be eligible for.

What is the job outlook for information technology degrees according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics?

The job outlook for those with an information technology (IT) degree is an exciting one. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, IT degrees are in high demand, and although it's difficult to guarantee actual job growth, they have provided us with a few encouraging figures. By 2024, the BLS estimates that employment of computer network architects will increase by 9%, while software developers and systems analysts can also expect a similar rate of growth. Also according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, IT occupations in general are projected to grow 12% from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations. This growth will add more than 546,200 new jobs throughout the United States over that same period.

Furthermore, those who have successfully completed their IT degree may find more opportunities opening up due to technological advances. Thanks to cloud computing and increased reliance on mobile devices, businesses are now relying more heavily on software developers and web designers than ever before. With this increasing demand for tech-savvy professionals comes potential career advancement opportunities as well as higher salaries for IT jobs across industries.

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