Associate degrees in information technology (IT) combine coursework in problem-solving, IT installation and maintenance skills, and general education. These programs prepare students for entry-level roles by teaching them how to protect information, create software apps, and resolve equipment and network issues. Graduates of information technology programs can also advance and qualify for higher-paying IT positions through further education or experience. Often, it takes two years to earn an associate’s degree. Here, we answer some questions about information technology and cover the top online associate degree programs in information technology.
Article Navigation: What is Information Technology? | Associate Degree in Information Technology Careers | How to Advance as an Information Technology Specialist | Associate’s in IT Program Studies | Top Online Associate Degree Programs in Information Technology | Apply for Online Information Technology Associate’s Degree Programs Today!
What is Information Technology?
Information technology uses technology, particularly computers, to make, process, store, and share electronic data. In the field, it deals with the administration, design, and support of computer systems and telecommunications.
Information technology has many applications, including:
- System design
- Administration support
- Maintenance of databases, hardware, network, and software
Associate Degree in Information Technology Careers
Due to the all-encompassing nature of information technology, specialists can work anywhere in just about any industry. This ranges from hospitals and libraries to small stores and restaurants. Here are a few places you can work in with an associate’s degree in IT and the nature of each job.
Health-based associate degrees in information technology are great for job security, career growth, and pay. However, an additional certification is sometimes needed. This is because of the high levels of privacy required in healthcare and the importance of patient data being accurate and accessible. The work of these professionals involves advanced record-keeping, managing specific complex computer systems, and many other data-based responsibilities.
Production companies with few connections to electronics have limited roles for IT workers. In contrast, companies whose key production line is heavy on electronics would have higher demands and opportunities for graduates. Their work can vary from IT technicians and software developers to roles in the quality assurance unit. Furthermore, IT graduates can work in the administrative wing or even the advertising unit, primarily if they orient more toward business than science.
The role of IT staff in a school depends mainly on the size and type of school. Aside from being an instructor, this degree can land someone a job in a school in charge of data management.
Big stores often recruit IT workers to handle computer-related activities and functions, especially logistics. The pay here is also quite attractive.
Finance and Insurance Industries
The rapid advancement in technology has led to the automation of many systems in virtually every sector. These automated systems need to be operated and maintained online and offline by an IT professional. Most finance and insurance firms now operate online, tapping into cyberspace’s vast market space available. Hence, there are many opportunities for IT workers in these sectors.
The telecommunications industry is heavily reliant on information technology. Those with an associate’s degree are a big part of the workforce here. Almost all roles in this industry require some IT knowledge; hence, there is no lack of need for IT workers in this industry.
How to Advance as an Information Technology Specialist
It is easy to pursue a career in information technology. However, becoming a specialist in the field takes time and effort. These are the steps one must take to start and advance in the field:
Learn Computer-Related Skills through an Associate Degree in IT
Gaining an online information technology associate’s degree helps you prepare for a career in this field. Learning computer skills such as programming or hardware maintenance through a two-year associate’s program can open many doors. If you enjoy this work, there is plenty of room for advancement through additional degrees.
Get Work and Gain Some Experience
Gaining experience in the field is very important for advancement. Experience lends strength to your portfolio as an IT worker. Extensive work experience will set you on the path of a professional in this field.
There are certifications in IT that you can obtain to prove expertise in a particular IT niche. It is helpful to take courses with direct connections to your line of work. However, sometimes, taking classes with indirect connections broadens your skills.
Build Your Network
Making the right connections is vital for constant growth. As an IT professional, you should not limit yourself to your vicinity alone. Making and keeping relationships with other IT specialists can keep you in the loop and help you stay abreast of current trends and innovations in the industry. Also, professionals usually share job opportunities with those in their network.
Associate’s in IT Program Studies
Below are some of what you can gain with an information technology associate’s degree:
- Roles in computer operations
- Information security
- Understanding modern concepts and principles in IT
- Database system design and usage
- How to conduct research
- Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- Web design and development
- Project management
- How to use industry-relevant tools
- Cloud computing and virtualization for the augmentation of physical systems
- Managing computer networks and systems
- Creating and maintaining secure networking environments
Top Online Associate Degree Programs in Information Technology
1. University of Cincinnati: Associate of Applied Business in Information Technology
The Associate of Applied Business in Information Technology program at the University of Cincinnati is a 2-year program of 63 credits. Upon completion, graduates acquire all the skills needed to start a career in information technology.
The program is 100% online, and the coursework is accessible to students at their time of convenience. In addition, the university has three start dates per year in the fall, spring, and summer. The associate program receives various grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Ohio State government. Graduates of this associate degree are guaranteed transition into the University of Cincinnati’s Bachelor of Information Technology program.
2. Rasmussen University: Associate of Science in Information Technology
Rasmussen University offers a fully online, self-paced style of learning with this associate degree program. This 18-month program covers the installation, configuration, and troubleshooting of hardware, software, networks, and servers. While learning theoretical concepts in information technology, students work on practical projects to acquire more skills and experience.
Other classes focus on producing IT project plans, designing complex information systems, creating secure networks, and more. The university has a path for graduates of this program to transfer smoothly into the Information Technology Management Bachelor of Science degree.
3. South College: Associate of Science in Information Technology
Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), this college offers a valuable education in information technology. Through this program, students learn how to plan, develop, and implement information technology solutions in firms. They also study how to use these skills to solve real problems.
The coursework includes database applications, computer architecture, information security principles, applications development, operating system, and scripting. After completing their associate degree, students can choose from South College’s range of IT Bachelor of Science programs.
4. Purdue University Global: Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology
Purdue University Global offers an Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology that helps students prepare for entry-level positions. Through real-world examples, professors teach general knowledge, technical skills, and soft skills like communication. Such skills are necessary for a successful career in information technology.
The online information technology associate’s degree program has a minimum of 90-quarter credit hours. By the end of the program, students will be able to troubleshoot hardware and software, manage databases, install and maintain computer networks, and develop web pages. The program has several concentration options, and the university encourages students to select a concentration in line with their interests.
5. Colorado Christian University: Associate of Science in Computer Information Technology
At Colorado Christian University, you will gain a faith-based education in information technology. The program consists of general education courses, information technology courses, and elective courses. Students learn various computing concepts like database development and administration, internet development, computer programming, technical support and administration, and operating systems.
One advantage of this program is that Colorado Christian University has designed it so that students can take the courses one at a time. Students can complete the 60-hour program in less than two years.
6. Southern New Hampshire University: Associate of Science in Information Technology
At Southern New Hampshire University, students complete 60-credit hours. The program teaches IT skills and how to apply them in problem-solving. While taking courses, students will learn to use essential tools and technologies in the IT industry. There will also be sessions on cloud computing.
According to the university, graduates of this program are halfway through the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology program. Applicants are not required to pay application fees and submit SAT examination scores. Students with IT certifications from Google, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and CompTIA may be eligible to receive credits towards their degree.
7. Saint Leo University: Associate of Arts in Information Technology
Saint Leo University offers a valuable education in a student-centered environment. The university’s coursework includes general education, economics, arts, computer studies, and religious education. The information technology-related courses include; Network Theory and Design, Programming in Java, System Analysis and Design, Algorithms and Data Structures, and Computer Architecture.
8. Strayer University: Associate of Arts in Information Technology
The Associate of Arts in Information Technology degree program provides students with education and skills in the field. There are twenty 11-week courses in the program. In keeping with modern learning modes, the university uses short documentary-style videos in its classes.
Accreditation Councils for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) accredit the program. Graduates of this associate program are prepared and eligible for CompTIA certification examinations. The university also offers up to 20-transferable credits toward a bachelor’s degree.
9. National American University: Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology
This program benefits those interested in entry-level jobs in the information technology field. The coursework consists of general education core courses, major courses, support core courses, and open electives. General education fulfills 39 credits; open electives use 18 credits; and primary and support core courses require 36 credits.
Students learn how to support data management needs, administer a network infrastructure, and implement and maintain computer information systems. Graduates of this program can pursue careers as computer support specialists, computer systems analysts, network systems administrators, and information analysts.
Some of the IT-related courses in this program include; Introduction to Computer Security, Internetworking Fundamentals, Linux, Principles of Programming, and Computer Concepts.
10. Ivy Tech Community College: Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology Support
In this program, students have opportunities to sit for certification examinations and gain experience through internships. Some of the certification examinations included in the coursework include an IT help desk certificate and a technical certificate. The associate degree has a total of 60 credits taken over four semesters. Ivy Tech Community College awards credits for prior knowledge. Students who have past education or training in the field can take a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) to earn credits and save money while accelerating their degree duration.
11. Indiana Wesleyan University: Associate of Science in Computer Information Technology
Indiana Wesleyan University offers an Associate of Science in Computer Information Technology that prepares and equips students for roles in the IT field. The university has financial aid available through grants, scholarships, loans, veterans benefits, and employer reimbursement. The program requires 60 credits. As part of the graduation requirements, students must complete the core courses with a minimum of 2.0 GPA.
12. Metropolitan Community College: Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology
The Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology program at the Metropolitan Community College is quite technical.
While learning concepts and information technology theories, students enrolled in this program must write and pass certification examinations.
These examinations are part of the coursework and the college awards credit for them. The school’s official website shows the available certifications and the number of credits awarded. Some of the certification examinations include; Computer Programming Career Certificate (ITPCC), Information Technology Technician Career Certificate (TETCA), and Administrative Technology Career Certificate (ADTCC).
13. Ocean County College: Associate of Science in Computer Science / Information Technology
Ocean County College’s associate degree prepares students for immediate entry into the workforce by incorporating practical projects for real-world learning. Admission requirements include a high school diploma or an equivalent and a cumulative high school point average of grade ‘C’ or above.
Ocean County College also requires that applicants be in the top half of their high school graduating class. The program offers various specialization or concentration options. Students can opt to focus on Information Technology, Cloud Computing, Networking, Programming, or Data Management.
14. Salem University: Associate of Science in Information Technology
The Associate of Science in Information Technology program at Salem University spans 20 months and requires 60-credit hours. Students learn fundamental IT-related skills and functions. After completing this associate degree program, the graduates can take positions as technology assistants, office technology support, network assistants, operations and maintenance assistants, and technical support assistants.
15. University of The Potomac: Associate of Science in Information Technology
The coursework at the University of the Potomac includes general education, management, computing, and elective courses. Like many associate degree programs, this program requires 60-credit hours. Experts teach the class sessions in a career-oriented format.
Some of the courses in this program include; Computer and Office Applications, Principles of Financial Accounting, Foundations of Business, Business Ethics and the Legal Environment, Critical Thinking and Decision Making, Introduction to Project Management, Intro to Data Communication and Networking, and Surgery of Operating Systems.
16. Minnesota State Community and Technical College: Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology
The online associate program in Information Technology at Minnesota State Community and Technical College requires 60-credit hours. Upon completing the online program, graduates receive an Associate of Applied Science degree. Students in this program learn about current technologies and how to evaluate and utilize emerging technologies.
17. Tompkins Cortland Community College: Associate of Applied Science in Computer Support Specialist
With this associate program in Applied Science in Computer Support Specialist, students prepare for the job market. Tompkins Cortland Community College designed the program to address every skill and knowledge a computer support specialist would need.
At the end of this associate degree program, students know how to maintain and repair hardware components. Some courses offered include; Introduction to Computer Information Systems, Network Design, Systems Analysis and Design, Operating Systems, and Database Concepts.
18. Tulsa Community College: Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology
At Tulsa Community College, the program is practical-based. The associate degree prepares students interested in information technology for a profession in the field. This program teaches the concepts of computer programming from scratch.
While other schools have courses like “Introduction to Computer Programming,” Tulsa Community College goes straight to the point with their “HTML and CSS” course. Classes include Network Fundamentals, Computer Concepts and Applications, Interpersonal Communication, Public Speaking, Introduction to Business, and Computer Information Systems.
20. Vincennes University: Associate of Science in Information Technology / Business Office Management Technology
The Associate of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in Business Office Management Technology is suitable for those wanting an administrative role in the IT sector. Vincennes University has developed a course outline that meets this particular need. While computing courses are offered, there are also many business and management-related courses. Examples of the classes include; Accounting with QuickBooks, Information and Data Security, Business Documents and Presentation, Office Management Communication, and Introduction to Databases.
21. Northern Essex Community College: Associate of Science in Computer and Information Sciences / Information Technology
Northern Essex Community College prepares graduates for a career in IT. Graduates of this program can pursue a professional career in project management, computer operation, and other related areas of information technology. Northern Essex Community College has well-equipped computer laboratories. Since many learning sessions require working in groups, students learn how to collaborate with other people. The school also has internship opportunities, so students can gain experience while completing their degrees.
Apply for Online Information Technology Associate’s Degree Programs Today!
Requirements for admission into online associate degree programs in information technology vary slightly from one program to another. However, below are the basic steps for entry into the online program.
- Finish your high school education or GED certificate
- Ask for letters of recommendation
- Obtain language fluency documentation (if English is not your native language)
- Look for a school that suits you in terms of fees and schedule
- Prepare for entrance examinations online (if required)
With these few steps, you are on your way to a fulfilling career in IT.
The best college programs are the ones that are flexible enough to suit your schedules and align with your career goals. Check out the GetEducated.com database ofto start your search for a college degree today!