Is It Possible To Get A Programming Job With An Associate’s Degree?

The Prepared Resume - Is It Possible To Get A Programming Job With An Associate

Can I get a programming job with an associate's degree? This is a question many people ask who want to know if a certain degree type limits jobs within a career. It is certainly a fair question to ask.

My husband is an Information Technology Professional for a Managed Services company and so I am pretty familiar with IT. Plus, I've hired many IT based resources over the year. It may be obvious but becoming a computer programmer offers a wide range of benefits. When you work as a programmer at a Software Company in one of the various departments such as QA, UI/UX, or modern business apps, you will constantly be learning. You will have the ability to improve your creativity and critical thinking, but more importantly you can enhance your problem-solving skills.

According to PayScale, the average salary of a computer programmer or software developer based in the United States ranges between $79,500 and $109,000 per year. And just as a reminder, these base salary numbers do not include bonuses or incentives companies typically offer.

Some familiarizing themselves with particular areas of the IT field wonder how to become a programmer in the first place. But some with a little experience under their belt who are working to determine on which path to take often ask themselves the question: can I get a programming job with an associate's degree?

And that's what I want to examine a bit more today.

Getting a Programmer Job with an Associate's Degree

Allow to answer the question directly. Yes, is it possible to get a programming job with an associate degree. Many agree say that an associate's degree is enough to get an entry-level job at a Software Company.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the typical level of education for a computer programmer is a bachelor's degree. But keep in mind, many companies do not require a degree whatsoever to be a computer programmer. Many companies simply want to see experience and demonstrated success. So if you if you have good programming skills and can demonstrate that to an employer, you have a very good shot a many programming positions.

An associate's degree, or a two-year program, focuses on developing essential skills. It means you can learn the necessary skills but may not have much time to develop them. That's why it's crucially important to determine other ways to improve your own coding skills. Whether that's a coding camp, internship, bootcamp course, intensive, or working as a freelance programmer. Regardless, find a way to improve your skills.

Any work to improve your skills can easily be reflected on your resume. That way, you demonstrate your abilities to potential organizations regardless if you have a bachelor's, associate's, or no degree at all.

For instance, I recommend learning and practicing multiple programming languages, such as C++, Java, Python, .NET, HTML, JavaScript, Swift, etc. If you decide to pursue formal education via a degree program, ensure it focuses on multiple programming languages. That way, you are exposed to various concepts and various languages. You never know, you may be much better in a particular language than another.  

Whether you have hands on ways to apply your knowledge and learn such as through an internship or work as a freelancer, you will have the opportunity to improve your skills. Remember, you can get numerous certifications online to enhance your resume before, during, and after you have completed an associate's degree in programming.

How an Associate's Degree Can Help You?

A degree in computer science can pave a path to a successful career in information technology. It is one of the most popular majors among college students across many universities in the USA. Computer science degree's are provided at both 2 and 4 year institutions. So an associate's degree really can be an excellent option for people who want to start a programming or a software development career.

Not spending four years in college is one of the biggest benefit of an associate's degree. Although an associate's degree has short-term nature, it can open doors for programming jobs with admirable salaries. Here are some of the programming jobs you can get with an associate's degree.

Web Development

Web development jobs can certainly be obtained with an associate's degree. Again, it's not about the degree – it's about your skills and experience.

A web developer codes the backend of websites, also known as the user interface. When you know how to program a powerful website or user interface, you can enter into various roles in a company such as QA or UI/UX.

So, it is crucial to focus on acquiring skills like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript skills if you want to become a web programmer or developer. Associate's degrees in computer science offer these courses. Thus, learning these coding skills in your associate's degree will clearly benefit you in getting a web developer job.

According to the median annual salary of a web developer $73,760 in the United States. However, if you get a full-stack web development job, says the average salary is $106,278 per year.

Software Development

There is a high demand for programmers in the software development industry. So getting an associate's degree in computer science means you can get a job easily if you have the chops. Remember, you need skills in designing the core structure of software, build frameworks and code for applications, and specific tools for businesses.

However, a career in software development means being a lifetime learner because new technologies constantly emerge. For a software dev role you may focus on maintaining a custom developed app by adding new features based on user feedback. Or you could be the type of software developer that requires a large focus on removing bugs or glitches from the program.

A software developer's salary varies from company to company and state to state. However, states the median annual salary is $107,510 in the United States. An associate's degree truly can open doors to allow you to start a successful career in software development.

Other Jobs You Can Get With Your Associate's Degree

It is often daunting and time-consuming to find the right career path. Many feel social presses to pursue higher education, an undergraduate and a graduate degree. Plus, it is common for an employer to state a bachelor's degree is required for some roles. But the good news is that not every company has this as a hard requirement. That indeed makes it possible to get a programming job with an associate's degree. And not only can you get jobs within the IT industry, there are various other industries that offer very good careers with an associate's degree.

Skilled labor, electronics, technology, and healthcare are the top industries where you can get a high-paying job with an associate's degree. This is good news if you want to find a job in one of these industries. There are literally hundreds of thousands of jobs available for individuals with associate's degrees. Some of the best jobs recommended by experts for people with associate's degrees other than programming are:

HVAC Mechanic or Technician

HVAC (which stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) is an essential piece of equipment in every home, allowing homeowners to control the indoor temperature by heating or cooling their homes while maintaining the air quality. And yes, there is a high demand for HVAC technicians and mechanics throughout the U.S.

An associate's degree in this field can help you find a reliable job as an HVAC installer, repair, or maintenance tech with a company. The primary role of an HVAC technician is to inspect the system, calibrate or recalibrate the thermostat, and perform maintenance on the unit. states the average salary of an entry-level HVAC technician in the U.S. is $49,242 per year. When you have at least ten years of experience, you can make over $100,000 per year. Not a bad career choice at all.

Mechanical Engineering Technician  

The mechanical engineering industry also has a high demand for technicians. The primary role of a technician is to design, develop, and test mechanical tools or equipment. Yet another option for a career of those with an associate's degree.

Not only will you work with computer programs, but you will also use a wide range of engineering techniques to carry projects. It can be a versatile career that grows your skills and forces you to utilize your troubleshooting skills. The average national salary is $58,230 per year depending on your experience and skills.

Cardiovascular Technician

Healthcare is booming. The cycle of life continues on making healthcare an exciting industry with numerous opportunities for people with associate's degrees. A cardiovascular technician uses medical tools, including sonograms, medical monitors, and other equipment, to diagnose heart and blood vessels diseases.

Because this is an evergreen field with excellent outlooks for employment and jobs, you can start a successful career that can easily entice you to grow your own knowledge. Cardiovascular technicians have an average salary of $57,720 per year in the United States.

Again, those were just a few jobs in solid industries for those who have associate's degrees. Other compelling jobs you can get are:

  • Electrical drafter
  • Radiologic technician
  • Occupational therapy assistant
  • Geological and petroleum technician
  • Physical therapy assistant
  • Electrical engineering technician
  • Aerospace engineering technician
  • MRI technologist
  • Registered nurse
  • Nuclear medicine technician


To finish this up today, lets focus back to the original question of getting a programming job with an associate's degree. IT is a growing industry and workers are needed. Not a single industry can survive without technological applications and they literally fuel business growth in every industry. So, a computer programmer, software developer, web developer, networking programmer, or mobile app developer are promising and can most certainly be high-paying jobs for people with associate's degrees.

Related Posts

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