Informational technology (IT) is an increasingly important field of study. Today’s technologically advanced world is teeming with companies that rely on IT specialists to keep their organizations running smoothly. With an associate degree in information technology or computer science, you can play a part in the demand for IT experts and build a long-lasting successful career in a computer science-related field.
But what does that mean, really? What can you do with an associate’s degree in information technology, specifically? The answer depends on your particular interests and skills, but individuals with degrees in IT can generally pursue positions such as:
- Computer systems analyst
- Network and computer system administrator
- Computer support specialist
- Computer programmer
Below, you’ll find an extensive list of the highest-paying and fastest-growing occupations that you can achieve with an associate’s degree in information technology. We’ve also provided information on some fast-emerging fields in the industry.[toc]
Is An Associate’s Degree in Information Technology Worth It?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019, roughly 2.5 million people were successfully employed in an IT-related field. The median wage for specialists in computer and information technology was roughly $85,000. About 78% of these individuals gained entrance into a wide array of occupational groups related to computers software, mathematics, finances, administration, and even, sales.
10 Highest-Paying Jobs You Can Get With An Associate’s Degree in IT
There are a number of exciting careers you can pursue with an associate degree in computer science or information technology. Below, we’ve outlined some of the top-earning positions.
Computer Support Specialist
Computer support specialists provide advice to customers and troubleshoot issues that may be occurring with computer software. Most support specialists work a full-time 50-hour/week job schedule. However, due to the nature of the job, they may work weekends and nights.
Flexibility is also achievable in this field, as most companies now offer support specialists in the IT department opportunities to work remotely.
According to 2020 BLS statistics, the median pay for computer support specialists was $55,510 per year and $26.69 per hour. The organization also predicts careers for computer support specialists will grow by 9% between 2020 and 2030.
Web developers and computer programmers create websites, edit, and test code that allows applications and software to function. The typical entry-level requirement for this type of job is a bachelor’s or associate degree.
Individuals in web development work full-time and in office-like settings. Remote positions are typically available.
In 2020, the BLS confirmed web designers earn $89,810 per year and $42.88 per hour. Despite a potential decline in employment over the next decade, the organization estimates there will be 9,700 openings for computer programmers projected each year, on average, over the next ten years.
Application developers are in charge of designing computer applications and software development. They are responsible for analyzing the application, identifying any problems associated with it, and reporting defects.
In 2020, the median pay for application and software developers was $110,140 per year and $52.95 per hour. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects careers for application developers to grow faster than average over the next decade, by about 22%.
A network and database administrator is responsible for the daily operation of computer networks, network security, and project management.
Typically, network admins have a 4-year degree in a computer science field, but some companies only require two years of study. Network administrators can be employed in various industries and generally work in an office setting.
In 2020, the median annual salary for network admins was $84,810 per year and $40.77 per hour. The Bureau for Labor Statistics expects careers for network administrators to grow by 5% over the next decade.
Technical writers prepare manuals, how-to guides, research articles, and other documents that communicate complex and technical information on how to navigate a company’s computer systems.
Employers typically favor candidates with four-year degrees, though it is possible to work your way up without this kind of experience.
In 2020, the median income for technical writers was $74,650 per year and $35.89 per hour. Careers for technical writers will grow by 12% over the next decade.
Computer technicians install network hardware, repair, and maintain a variety of computer equipment. They are responsible for diagnosing and fixing problems related to computer hardware components.
Computer technicians typically work in office-like settings. They may also work as freelancers or consultants and operate out of their homes. These professionals often begin work with just an associate’s degree.
By some estimates, the average salary for computer technicians hovers around $47,132 per year. The job market for computer technicians is predicted to grow by 11% by 2026.
IT Support Specialist
IT support specialists install hardware as well as help computer users with identifying and troubleshooting technology-related issues. They can work in various settings, from corporate offices and universities to private consultations.
The median annual salary for highly trained IT specialists in tech jobs is $59,234. Careers related to IT support will grow by 9% over the next decade.
Computer System Analyst
Computer systems analysts are responsible for studying an organization’s network systems and designing ways to improve efficiency. A bachelor’s degree is typically required for this profession, though an associate’s degree may qualify you for entry-level positions. System analysts normally work full-time schedules. Remote positions are also available.
Information Security Analyst
Information security analysts are responsible for planning and executing computer systems analysis that protects an organization’s network systems of computers and data.
Typically, a security systems analyst needs a bachelor’s degree, but an associate degree or professional certification can also help individuals gain entry into the career.
In 2020, the median salary for security analysts was $103,590 per year and $49.80 per hour, and demand remains high. The BLS predicts that jobs for information security analysts will grow by 33% over the next decade.
Network architects build communication network systems including local area networks (LANs) and wide-area networks (WANs). Most network architects work 40 hours per week, though some put in extra hours during emergency events or to collect extra earnings.
Typically, you need a bachelor’s degree to earn this title; sometimes even a master’s. Still, an associate degree is an excellent way to gain the skills and experience necessary to advance to this level.
In 2020, the median annual wage for network architects was $116,780 per year and $56.14 per hour. The BLS predicts careers for network architects will grow by 5%, which is slightly slower than average.
Associate’s Degree vs. Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology
Associate programs in information technology are a great way to step into the world of computer technology. It is typically the faster and more affordable degree choice.
These programs take two years to complete, allowing graduates to enter the workforce much faster than the traditional four-year degree. Because an associate’s degree takes less time to complete, the costs are significantly reduced.
However, to expand your knowledge in the field, additional training may be required. A bachelor’s degree program will qualify you for more advanced roles immediately after graduation. These positions also come complete with higher salaries.
Fastest Growing Fields in IT
An associate’s degree in IT will help you gain access to a wide selection of fast-growing career fields. Information security, biomedical technology, and artificial intelligence are three examples of occupational groups that require additional computer science students now and in the future.
- Companies and organizations require information security experts to protect their data against the looming threat of hackers and other computer issues.
- Careers in information security are in high demand. It is the fastest-growing field related to IT.
- A career in information security can boast a salary of over $100,000 per year.
- The top three companies in the information security field are Palo Alto Networks, McAfee, and Blackberry.
- Biomedical technology brings together elements of engineering and technology into the domain of health sciences.
- Careers in biomedical technology are predicted to grow by 6% within the next decade.
- The median salary for biomedical engineers in 2020 was $92,620 per year and $44.53 per hour.
- The top three companies in the biomedical field are Johnson & Johnson, KLS Martin, and Maquet.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly more important in fields related to cyber security, customer relationship management, internet search results, and personal assistants.
- Careers in software engineering, computer science, and information security all rely on artificial intelligence.
- Careers in computer and information science related to AI may grow by 22% over the next decade.
- The average salary in this field is $126,830 per year and $60.97 per hour.
- The best companies in the artificial intelligence field are InData Labs, Third Eye Data, and DataRoot Labs.
What is the typical IT associate degree salary?
The average salary for an IT associate will depend on the location and its employment market. However, the median salary in 2022 was $74,00 per year.
What are some entry-level jobs for an associate’s degree in computer science?
Job seekers with an associate’s degree in computer science can get entry-level web development, computer programming, and customer support jobs.
What courses does an associate’s degree in IT teach?
An associate degree program in IT blends general education courses with practical training in web development, database software installation, maintenance, and problem-solving. Courses may include computer architecture and organization, database systems, and multimedia applications.
Careers related to information technology and computer programs will only grow in importance over the next decade. Getting an associate’s degree in IT is the perfect way to get started in this fast-paced career field.
Advantages of our associate degree programs in information technology include:
- 270-hour hybrid and online programs
- Wide range of certifications including CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Server+, and Cisco CCNA
- Career placement assistance in a field experiencing exciting job growth.
- Access to a broad network of IT-related professionals, potential careers, and trusted partner programs.
Students attending ICOHS College will have full access to our career counseling program. They’ll also receive lifetime job placement assistance after graduation.
Scholarships and title IV funding are also available to help students cover the cost of tuition. Call us to speak to one of our representatives (858) 581-9460 or contact us via email for more information on financial assistance. Financial aid is available to those who qualify.
*Note: Salary information is based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages may be the result of a combination of factors, such as industry of employment, geographic location, level of education, and worker skill.