The Best Information Technology Associate Degree Programs of 2021
An Associate Degree in Information Technology (IT) offers foundational training for students who want to pursue a high-paying IT career. This type of program usually covers topics like computer systems security, computer networks, and software development. The curriculum also provides general skills training in things like problem-solving and critical thinking.
How can you find the best Associate Degrees in Information Technology? There are a lot of considerations to take into account, all of which we’ll cover in this guide. We’ve also rounded up the top ten programs to help streamline your decision-making process.
Why You Should Study Information Technology
IT is a diverse field. It is not just about fixing laptops and computers. A degree in IT allows you to pursue many different career paths. Potential job roles range from web developers to technical writers to IT directors.
Graduates will also be well prepared to work in various industries. Businesses and organizations are increasingly reliant on IT to improve and promote their goods and services, and every company needs a good IT manager.
The industries you could work in include healthcare, government, and private enterprises. You will get to select the industry you want to center your career on. Not many degrees can help you achieve that.
At a Glance: Top 9 Information Technology Associate Degree Programs of 2021
There are a lot of good community college programs for IT associate degrees. In the table below, we’ve rounded up the 10 best programs along with their locations, tuition costs, and the cost of their online program if they offer this option.
The information in the table was taken from the respective school websites. The tuition figures refer to the most recent academic year for which information is available.
|School and Program||State||In-State
Associate of Arts in Information Technology Security Management
|(NC)||$690 per credit hour||$690 per credit hour||Yes, $450 per credit hour|
Associate of Science in
|(OH)||$398 per credit hour||$526 per credit hour (international students)||Online only|
Associate of Applied Science
in Information Technology
|(WI)||$600 per credit||$600 per credit||Online only|
|Jamestown Community College
Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology
|(NY)||$5,200 per year||$10,400 per year||Yes|
|Minnesota State Community and
Associate of Science in
|(MN)||$170.45 per credit||$170.45 per credit||Yes, $198.95 per credit|
Associate of Science
in Information Technology
|(CA)||$600 per credit||$600 per credit||Online only|
|Penn State University World Campus
Associate of Science in Information
Sciences and Technology
|(PA)||$15,908 per year||$15,908 per year||Online only|
|Saint Leo University
Associate of Arts in
|(FL)||$25,660 per year||$25,660 per year||Yes, $380 per credit hour|
|Southern New Hampshire University
Associate of Science in
|(NH)||$320 per credit hour||$320 per credit hour||Online only|
What Are the Requirements for an Information Technology Associate Degree?
The requirements for an IT associate degree differ between schools. Most colleges require students to complete between 50 and 60 credit hours. This means that the program can be completed in four semesters or two years.
In some cases, you can finish the program before the specified time.
Should You Pursue an Information Technology Associate Degree Online?
With an online Associate Degree in Information Technology, you can enjoy more flexibility, which allows you to work and study at the same time.
One of the biggest attractions of online college is that you can study at your own pace, so you don’t need to quit your job. The best part is that you’ll receive the same training students on campus receive, and end up with the same degree at the end of it.
Choosing the Right Information Technology Associate Degree Program
There’s a lot to think about when deciding how suitable an information technology associate degree program is for you. Before you settle on a program, here a few things you should consider.
First look at the tuition cost. You need to check the tuition costs of the programs to determine if you can afford them. Colleges are usually more affordable, but some are still expensive. If it is too expensive, look out for scholarships to reduce the financial burden.
Another factor to check is the program’s student support offering. Your success depends largely on the support you receive from the faculty.
College is tough, but having support from staff at every turn will make it easier. This can go a long way to improve your likelihood of success. The support you receive after the program ends is also important, as it can help you find a new job, ace your next interview, or otherwise progress in your career.
Another factor is networking opportunities among students and alumni. There’s a lot to learn from the peers in your cohort. These people become business partners, friends, and an important part of your professional network in the future.
Does the program offer opportunities to network? If it does, this could be a good program for opening up benefits and opportunities beyond your studies.
Accreditation is another crucial factor. When programs are accredited, it means they meet rigorous standards for student learning outcomes.
If the program is not accredited, you may have difficulty when it comes to things such as applying for federal funds. Another disadvantage is that you may not be able to transfer credits to another school when the need arises.
If you want to go on to further study such as a bachelor’s degree, you may be required to have completed an accredited program. So it’s safer to just apply for accredited schools.
Top Information Technology Associate Degrees in 2021
The top IT associate degree programs in the country include associate of science (AS), associate of applied science (AAS), and even associate of arts (AA) degrees. They also offer a mix of features such as online programs, hybrid programs, and multiple concentrations.
Campbell University | AA in Information Technology Security – Management
This program covers topics like Internet applications, database management, systems analysis, development and design, and the fundamentals of IT. It also includes general education courses on things like math, academic writing, and humanities.
You can choose to attend the program online or on campus. The program runs over a series of eight-week sessions.
Online learners receive support from the faculty members who teach on campus.
The program has a convenient eight-week course format that offers structured flexibility to meet the needs of the students.
The school accepts transfer credits. However, students need to complete 15.5 credits at the university.
Franklin University | AS in Information Technology
This program can be completed in two years on a full-time schedule. It focuses on the creation and management of applications and on computing systems infrastructures for businesses. The degree prepares students for entry-level roles in IT. Graduates can choose to go straight into work or pursue a bachelor’s degree in IT or cyber security.
The program offers clear pathways into a range of entry-level jobs or bachelor’s degrees.
Academic advisors are on hand to support students.
Online class options and flexible learning mean students can fit in studying around work and other commitments
Herzing University | AAS in Information Technology
The Herzing curriculum covers network infrastructure administration, end-user support, technical communication, server operating systems, and scripting. It prepares graduates for entry-level roles in IT. At the end of the program, students are ready for industry certification exams. They can also choose to further their training with a bachelor’s degree program.
The program offers clear degree pathways if you want to continue your studies.
Students are prepared for key industry certification exams, such as CompTIA Security+ and Red Hat Certified System Administrator I.
You can learn through remote-access virtual environments.
Jamestown Community College | AAS in Information Technology
Students in this program are fully prepared for a job in IT. Graduates will learn how to install a small LAN, develop XHTML and HTML, solve basic business problems with office software packages, and troubleshoot software or hardware problems. Students also learn the basic syntax of programming languages to use them to solve related problems.
The program focuses on preparing you to enter the workforce immediately.
The customizable program means you can follow your individual interests.
You can choose to study online or on campus.
Minnesota State Community and Technical College | AS in Information Technology
The program gives students the option of either pursuing a bachelor’s degree in IT or entering the workforce right after graduating. It focuses on the application, selection, and administration of IT. For example, students will look at how to use different software and hardware systems to provide effective solutions to real-world problems.
It also develops general knowledge and skills such as good communication and a basic understanding of ethical and legal issues in the tech space.
The program reduces the credit requirements to pursue certain bachelor’s degrees.
The school offers scholarship programs to reduce the financial burden on students.
It offers a range of student support services.
Peirce College | AS in Information Technology
Students enrolled in this program can apply credits towards a bachelor’s degree program at the same school, making it ideal for students who want to continue their education. The curriculum covers a variety of topics, including computer programming, database management systems, network security, and server administration.
Students in the program can apply 30 transfer credits to a bachelor’s degree program.
The AS degree program fits into the Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology
Students are prepared to take certification exams when they graduate.
Penn State University World Campus | AS in Information Sciences and Technology
This online program offers a flexible program for working adults who want a degree in information sciences and technology. Students can study from home and they may be eligible for professional certification before graduation. Students can also customize the program according to their interests. You don’t need to have prior IT knowledge to apply.
Students don’t need to have prior IT knowledge.
The program is customizable to fit your preferences.
It offers internships and hands-on projects to help you gain practical training.
Saint Leo University | AA in Information Technology
Students need 63 credits to complete this information technology degree program, which is fully online. Its curriculum focuses on courses like principles of macroeconomics and systems analysis. You will also learn C++ and systems design.
It also includes general education courses in humanities, fine arts, religion, and social sciences. After completing the program, graduates can take up entry-level IT positions.
Students get full support from academic staff despite the course being online.
The program offers career services to prepare students for the workforce. Online networking opportunities are also available.
Applications for the program are accepted on a rolling basis, so you can apply at any time of year.
Southern New Hampshire University | AS in Information Technology
The program offers an intensive general computing education, giving you the foundational knowledge and critical-thinking skills to start your career in IT. Some of the courses include cross-platform technologies, scripting, operating systems, cyber security, and secure networking environments.
The course has no fixed teaching times, so you can set your own schedule.
Students can transfer 45 credits from their previous institution towards the associate degree.
Applicants do not need to submit ACT/SAT scores to get into the program.
Career Options With an Information Technology Associate Degree
IT has a huge role to play in any organization. It involves designing, using, and supporting computer systems to streamline workforce productivity. With an associate degree in this field, you will open yourself up to many career opportunities.
Some graduates work as computer systems analysts, while others work as computer programmers. Other roles include computer support specialist, web design, and network systems administrator.
Top Information Technology Associate Degree Careers
How Much Can I Expect to Earn With an Information Technology Associate Degree?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual pay for computer and information technology professionals is $91,250. Employment in the sector is expected to grow by 11 percent between 2019 and 2029.
That being said, an associate degree is below the minimum requirement for many entry-level IT jobs. According to ZipRecruiter, an IT professional with an associate degree earns an average salary of $50,385. You can choose to apply for entry-level roles or opt for a bachelor’s degree to increase your earning potential.
Should You Get an Associate Degree in Information Technology?
IT is a compelling and unique field with lots of career paths to choose from. With an Associate Degree in IT, you can take on varied roles in a wide range of sectors. It also gives you an opportunity to earn a higher-than-average salary.
If you are interested in technological innovation, a degree in this field will not only increase your skill but also position you for exciting career growth.