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Associate Degree in Software Development

Get information about the topics discussed in a software development associate program. Learn about commonly required courses along with delivery methods and employment options.

What Will I Learn in a Software Development Associate's Degree Program?

In a software development associate's degree program, you'll learn the latest techniques in computer software and programming languages, and how they're used in Internet and business applications. In addition to your coursework, you'll have a hands-on learning experience. You may be required to complete a capstone project as part of the degree requirements. You'll become familiar with the equipment and programs used in today's business world. Some of the topics you may study include:

  • Network technologies
  • Object-oriented coding and logical procedures
  • Programming fundamentals and design using Java
  • Developing applications using Visual Basic
  • Building e-Commerce applications
  • Web page development
  • Implementing information structures
  • Database and spreadsheet applications

Common CoursesNetwork technologies, web page development, implementing information structures
Distance Learning OpportunitiesAssociate's degree programs are available online, but may require on-campus examination.
Career OptionsSoftware developer, programmer, software engineer
CertificationAvailable, but not required to work in the field
Median Salary (2018)*$105,590 (for software developers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)*24% (for software developers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Can I Earn My Degree Online?

Software development associate's degree programs are offered in some schools through their distance learning programs. All you need to participate is a computer with high-speed Internet and an e-mail account for corresponding with instructors. Your coursework is typically delivered through a Web-based course management system, such as Blackboard. You will be responsible for ensuring your computer meets basic technical requirements to accommodate course delivery. Although your courses are online, you may be required to take exams in a proctored setting.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

As a graduate of an associate's degree program in software development, you'll be proficient at creating and maintaining computer application software and utility programs. You'll be qualified for entry-level employment working as a software developer, programmer, programmer analyst, software engineer, or applications developer. Your associate's degree in software development can act as a foundation for a bachelor's degree program in information technology if you wish to advance your education.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for software developers is projected to grow by 24% from 2016-2026 (www.bls.gov). The continual expansion of computer networking contributes to the faster-than-average growth. The BLS also reported that software developers earned an annual median wage of $105,590 in 2018 (www.bls.gov).

Do I Need Certification?

Once you have earned your associate's degree in software development, you'll have the knowledge and skill to seek employment as a software developer. Certification is not required for employment, although it is a testament to your knowledge and, therefore, an asset to your resume. However, many companies and vendors selling computer software will offer certification if you're utilizing their products.