Earning an online IT associate degree could be your entry point into the dynamic world of information technology. The IT field is projected to grow 11 percent between 2019 and 2029, adding over half a million new IT jobs. Whether you’re interested in troubleshooting business IT systems, solving computer issues for home users, or another goal entirely, consider earning an associate degree as your next step.
- What is an IT Associate Degree?
- What Careers Can You Do with an Associate Degree in Information Technology?
- Is an Associate Degree in Information Technology Worth It?
- Two Degree Options: Associate of Science vs. Associate of Applied Science
- Curriculum and Degree Requirements
- Admission Requirements
An IT associate degree is a two-year degree that teaches the fundamentals of information technology. Students gain an understanding of the tech that helps organizations run smoothly—including computer hardware, software, and networks. They may get a taste of computer programming and web design, discover how databases work, and explore the principles of networking.
Since it can be earned in less time, an IT associate degree is not quite as comprehensive as a bachelor’s program. That said, the two-year program is designed to offer a robust introduction to the information technology field—one you can build on in future studies or an IT career path.
Students typically graduate from a two-year, associate degree program in IT ready to jump into the workforce or pursue further education in a bachelor’s degree program. Many students wonder if earning an associate degree is enough to pursue jobs in the growing IT field. In fact, employers may hire associate degree-holders for a variety of IT roles. Some of these include:
- Back-End Web Developer: These web developers focus on how websites work behind the scenes. They design and build the technical aspects of sites, including the basic framework. While some employers look for candidates with a bachelor’s degree, an associate degree is a typical entry-level requirement for this role.
- Webmaster: This is a type of web developer that manages and maintains websites. Webmasters make sure content is up to date, test for errors like broken links, and even respond to user comments. As with other web developer roles, this career path typically calls for at least an associate degree.
- Computer Network Support Specialist: These specialists test, troubleshoot, and maintain computer networks. They solve IT problems in organizations and may directly assist users. While some employers look for candidates with a bachelor’s degree, earning an associate degree or taking postsecondary courses is usually enough to jumpstart this career path.
- Computer User Support Specialist: Also called help-desk technicians, these workers help solve customers’ IT problems. They may serve business clients or home computer users—usually by phone or email. For many roles, earning an associate degree is sufficient.
To learn about more careers, click here to view a career infographic.
For many students, earning an associate’s degree in IT is a great first step to an in-demand career path. And if you’re already working in IT, earning your associate from University of the Cumberlands may validate your expertise and help you qualify for new opportunities.
Earning your associate degree in IT from University of the Cumberlands may be worth it if:
- You want to jumpstart a new career path. Most IT roles require an undergraduate degree. Even for roles that don’t require a college education, earning your degree could help you stand out or even unlock new opportunities.
- You hope to boost your salary. Associate degree-holders had median earnings of $141 more per week than those with just a high school education. That adds up to $7,332 more per year. And, it’s worth considering that IT career paths paid a 2019 median salary of $88,240, over twice the median salary for all occupations.
- You’re passionate about technology. Possibilities are endless in the information technology field and earning an associate could be a great way to fuel your hunger for knowledge. You could learn from experienced faculty, nerd out with likeminded students, and transform your hobby into a life calling.
- You want to give IT a try. Earning an associate degree is a great way to get your feet wet and explore different areas of the IT universe. For instance, you could find out if coding is for you, try your hand at networking, or discover your hidden talent for web design.
Best of all, flexible options abound. Today, online learners can practice IT skills from the comfort of home—perfect for students who work full-time!
University of the Cumberlands offers both an Associate of Science in Information Technology and an Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology degree. So which is right for you? We discuss the differences:
- Associate of Science (AS). Core math and science classes form the basis of this program, which also incorporates several targeted classes in a specific subject. It can be thought of as a shorter version of the Bachelor of Science.
- Associate of Applied Science (AAS). Designed to get students equipped with skills they can apply in the workforce, the A.A.S. emphasizes career readiness above all else.
All in all, the degrees are very similar and an academic advisor will help you determine which is right for you. Both require 61 credit hours (starting in 2021/2022) and have many of the same course requirements. Specific course differences are noted in the curriculum and degree requirements section listed below.
If you’re ready to start preparing for a high-tech future, consider the Associate in Information Technology online degree program from University of the Cumberlands. At UC, online learners can study remotely while building the skills IT employers look for.
Earning your Associate in Information Technology online will prepare you to:
- Understand modern technology concepts and principles
- Learn critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- Use information resources and conduct research
- Pursue roles in information technology and computer operations
The curriculum is built to give you a broad overview of the field and the many ways you could use an online IT associate degree. You’ll take 18 semester hours of core courses, including:
- Application Software
- Fundamentals of Databases
- Business Intelligence
- Server Administration
- Web Design
You’ll graduate ready to apply your skills in a professional setting or expand your knowledge in a bachelor’s degree program. No matter your goals, University of the Cumberlands welcomes you to explore the exciting world of IT with us.
As part of University of the Cumberlands' Online Associate in Information Technology degree requirements, each student must complete at least 60 semester hours, including those within the major and the information technology courses required to fulfill the degree requirements.
- 31 semester hours required in the sections of General Education
- 18 semester hours required in Associate Core Requirements
- Elective Courses make up the remainder of the required credit hours
Costs for programs of study at University of the Cumberlands are competitive and affordable. Click here to view tuition rates and fees.
In order to be considered for admission to this University of the Cumberlands online program students must complete the following:
- Apply online
- Submit all official transcripts. Official transcripts from all previously attended colleges/universities must be submitted directly to University of the Cumberlands from the issuing institution and must be sealed or unopened.
- If you have 0-11 hours of college credit, an official high school transcript must be submitted showing a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. GED students must provide official scores from the General Education Development Test (GED). Click here for the GED to GPA calculator.
- If you have 12+ hours of college credit, you must submit an official college transcript with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. High school transcripts are not required if you have obtained 12+ hours of college credit.
- Documentation of language fluency for non-native speakers of English, such as a score report from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The minimum acceptable TOEFL or IELTS scores for admission are:
- Paper-based TOEFL (PBT): 550
- Internet-based TOEFL (IBT): 79
- IELTS: 6
All admissions materials should be submitted to:
University of the Cumberlands
Graduate & Online Admissions
649 S. 10th Street
Williamsburg, KY 40769
Toll Free: 800.343.1609
Click here to view University of the Cumberlands' accreditation information.
In addition to the overall institutional accreditation statement above, UC has been named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) by the National Security (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). There are just over 200 universities nationwide with CAE-CD designation, and only two other universities in Kentucky included in this elite group.
Click here to view a list of the information technology faculty.