Can I work while studying for my associates degree in computer science?
It is possible to work while earning your online associates degree in computer science, though there are advantages and disadvantages to doing so. One advantage is that if you find work in the field, you will gain experience that may help you in completing your degree. There are many IT companies that hire students, and you would find yourself in the company of experienced computer science professionals. Some may have a computer science associate degree themselves and can serve as mentors. In addition, the money you earn while you work can offset the costs of the degree program.
However, a drawback to working while you earn your computer science associates is that your time may be stretched too thin and your studies may suffer. In this case it is important to prioritize your education so your grades do not drop as a result.
Students who earn their associate degree in computer science online have more flexibility when it comes to scheduling and may be able to better handle working and studying without feeling overwhelmed. There are many computer science online programs that are designed to accommodate students who work at full-time jobs while studying.
What are common assumptions about students who choose to get an associates degree in computer science?
Computer scientists and students earning their associates in computer science have long been hailed as geeks. The bad news is that this is sometimes true. The good news is that geeks are now “in,” which means that having an associate in computer science degree does not make you a social outcast.
In fact, today society greatly respects people who demonstrate high intelligence and an aptitude for math. Computer science students are often assumed to be quite good at math, which is often the case, as mathematics figures heavily into a computer science curriculum.
Many people assume that most students studying to earn their computer science associates degree are men, as computer science has historically been seen as a male field. However, while the majority of computer science degrees are earned by men, this is quickly changing, and there are even organizations devoted to women in the field of computer science, such as the Association for Women in Computing.
Finally, people generally assume that students studying computer science spend most of their time in front of a computer. However, there are many aspects of computer science, such as mathematics, engineering or hardware development that require more hands-on experience than screen time. Robotics, another field related to computer science, involves similar physical demands when building robots and other machines.
What is the hardest part of the application to an on-campus or online computer science associates program?
In order to earn your associates at 1 of the best colleges for computer science, you have to first apply and be accepted to a program. In your application you need to demonstrate competency in several subjects, the most important of which is mathematics, as it is a prerequisite for most computer science classes.
Most programs require the completion of at least 3 academic hours of advanced mathematics such as applied calculus, business calculus or statistics. In order to meet this requirement, you must demonstrate an ability to understand advanced mathematical concepts, either through previous grades or by taking a placement test.
Because earning a degree in computer science requires extensive time working on computers, you should be able to show that you are comfortable around them. You don’t have to be an expert hacker or programmer to enroll in a computer science associates program (that is why you are there, after all), but you should be able to demonstrate on your application that you are familiar with different operating systems and understand the fundamentals of programming languages and how computers are used in everyday life.
If you do have experience with programming, web development, application development or other practical uses of computers, you should say so on your application.
Are there any brick-and-mortar colleges that offer an online computer science associates degree program?
There are several brick-and-mortar colleges where you can earn an online computer science associate degree. One such college is Ocean County College in New Jersey. Though Ocean County College is a campus-based public community college, it also offers online courses in computer science, and you could earn an Associate of Science in Computer Science degree. The program requires 64 credits and is entirely a distance learning program. Ocean County College is a 2-year community college that has been awarding associates degrees and certificates for over 40 years. It is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Another traditional college that offers an online associates program in computer science is Carrington College California. Its online computer technology degree program culminates in an Associate of Science degree and requires 66 credit hours for completion, which takes most students 18 months to complete on average.
The current tuition rate at the college is about $400 per credit hour, with a generous discount for active duty military personnel. Financial aid is available for eligible students through the college as well as through private scholarships, grant funds and federal student loan programs. Carrington College is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.