What Can You Do with an Associate’s Degree in Information Technology?

Associates Degree in IT


You’ve been searching high and low for a career that will put your technology talents to good use. You know the technology field is poised for growth, and you want to get in on the action with a career that lets you explore your natural interest in tech.

There’s just one problem: you’re afraid you’ll need a four-year degree to get there. As much as you value education, you’re not sure if you can commit the time and money it takes to earn a Bachelor’s degree.

Lucky for you, the tech field is generally more receptive to hiring talented individuals who don’t have a Bachelor’s degree. An Associate’s Degree in Information Technology can qualify you for plenty of solid job opportunities that can give you a foothold in the field and start you on a path to advancement. Better yet, an IT Associate’s degree can be completed in as few as 18 months.1 

If this route sounds like it might be up your alley, then take a look at these benefits of earning an Associate’s degree and the IT careers it could lead to.

Is it worth getting an Associate’s Degree in Information Technology?

Are you concerned that employers won’t take you seriously if you don’t have a Bachelor’s degree? There’s no need to worry! Associate’s degrees offer valuable education that employers recognize. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in 2017, workers with an Associate’s degree earned 17 percent more per week than those with only a high school diploma.2 And that’s just focusing on people with any Associate’s degree; not exclusively IT where there are several positions that fall into the “new-collar” category of technical positions that do not require a Bachelor’s degree.

An Associate’s degree in IT isn’t just applicable to tech startups in Silicon Valley. Even if you’re still not sure if you belong in the tech industry, this versatile degree can help you get your foot in the door with a wide variety of companies and industries in your own backyard. Technology is part of nearly every company in every industry, and plenty of them are aware of the value you can bring to an IT department with a two-year degree.

With the help of the BLS, we’ve identified five IT roles you may be eligible for with an Associate’s degree in hand. It’s important to note that while these positions are attainable with an Associate’s degree, many will require experience and potentially professional certifications to land them. Like with any career, you don’t stroll out of college into a senior-level position—you’ll need to put in the work. 

5 Jobs you can land with an Associate’s degree in Information Technology

The technology world is changing rapidly, and companies in many fields need talented tech workers to help them keep up with the fast pace. These five job titles come with respectable salaries and a good job growth outlook. Keep them in mind as you consider the long-term value you could get from earning your Associate’s degree in Information Technology.

1. Computer support specialist

Computer support specialists—often called help desk specialists—are on the front lines of addressing computer and technological issues for an organization’s network users. They help users troubleshoot and address software issues, computer crashes and hardware trouble. Additionally they may assist in configuring network hardware and work with senior IT members to report and fix large scale network issues. This role is a common career starting point for IT professionals.

Median annual salary (2017): $52,8103

Projected employment growth (2016–2026): 11 percent3

2. Network systems administrator

Most companies today rely on computer systems to conduct their day-to-day business, and network systems administrators are the ones who make sure those infrastructures continue running smoothly. They install and support a company’s computer systems, maintain the network’s security, install hardware and software, troubleshoot problems and evaluate system performance to make recommendations about necessary upgrades.

Median annual salary (2017): $81,1003

Projected employment growth (2016–2026): 6 percent3

3. Computer systems analyst

Computer systems analysts work behind the scenes to marry IT with smart business solutions. Their job is to make an organization’s tech setup as efficient, functional and cost-effective as possible. They often specialize in a certain industry, such as finance, where they work closely with business leaders to make computer systems decisions. Their day-to-day work includes conducting tests and analyzing results, researching emerging technology, preparing cost-benefit analyses and implementing new systems.

Median annual salary (2017): $88,2703

Projected employment growth (2016–2026): 9 percent3

4. Computer network architect

Computer network architects are responsible for working with an organization’s data communication networks, such as LANs, WANs and Intranets. These networks can be big or small, hardwired or cloud-based. No matter the size of the network, a computer network architect works hard to consider their company’s business goals as they arrange the network, upgrade hardware and research new technologies that could help their organization achieve its overall goals. If you’ve got a head for both business and data, this is an excellent career destination.

Median annual salary (2017): $104,6503

Projected employment growth (2016–2026): 6 percent3

5. Database administrator

Data is a vital part of running an organization in the digital age, and database administrators are the ones who make sure data collection, storage and organization continues to run smoothly. One of their most important job duties is maintaining database security, which is vital since databases may include sensitive medical or financial information. They also organize databases, merge old databases with new ones, ensure that databases are performing correctly and maintain backup copies of data.

Median annual salary (2017): $87,0203

Projected employment growth (2016–2026): 11 percent3

Your Information Technology career awaits

Information technology careers are growing in nearly every industry, and it isn’t necessary to have a four-year degree to get there. Now that you’re well aware of where an Associate’s degree could take you, take the next step by learning more about Rasmussen College’s Associate’s degree in Information Technology.

1Completion time is dependent on transfer credits accepted and courses completed each term.

2Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey, Unemployment rates and earnings by educational attainment, 2017 [Information accessed July 11, 2018] https://www.bls.gov/emp/chart-unemployment-earnings-education.htm

3 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [career information accessed July 11, 2018] www.bls.gov/ooh/. Salary data represents national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries and employment conditions in your area may vary.

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