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What can I do with an associate degree in information technology? 9 IT jobs to consider

By Cooper Nelson

  • Jobs within information technology are projected to grow 15% through 2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • With an associate degree in information technology, one might work as a systems analyst, data administrator, computer programmer, cybersecurity specialist and more.
  • University of Phoenix offers an online Associate of Arts in Information Technology that provides a solid introduction to this growing field.

The landscape of jobs in IT

Information technology (IT) is a broad and growing field that includes software and web development and network design and administration, as well as specialties like health information technology. Newer areas, such as cybersecurity, have also grown tremendously in the past decade.  

Demand for all computer and information technology jobs is projected to grow 15% from 2021 to 2031, adding 682,800 new positions over the decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

That adds up to a field with diverse career potential. And while many IT career paths start with a technology-related bachelor’s degree, a four-year program may not always be necessary. An associate degree in IT, which typically takes two years of full-time study, can qualify you for many entry-level positions in this field. Once you obtain an IT job and gain experience, you can decide if continuing your education or earning professional certifications will help further your career prospects.  

What IT jobs can you qualify for with an associate degree? Read on to learn more. 

9 IT jobs to consider after earning an associate degree

While BLS does not offer specific education requirements for all of the following types of IT roles, we’ve put together some helpful descriptions to give you a sense of what each role is responsible for.  

University of Phoenix’s Associate of Arts in Information Technology does not align directly to these job outcomes, so please do your research and talk to an enrollment counselor if you are interested in any of the following jobs.  

 

1. Systems analyst

A systems analyst, also known as a computer systems analyst or an information technology analyst, is a professional who learns the ins and outs of an organization’s computer system and looks for ways to improve it.

Education: The Associate of Arts in Information Technology degree program at University of Phoenix covers topics like IT concepts and principles in programming, which can be helpful for a career in this field. BLS notes that a bachelor’s degree is needed to enter into this occupation. However, a degree at this level is not always a requirement if the potential job candidate is already equipped with the necessary skill and experience. Applicants may have an associate degree in IT or relevant certificates to be considered depending on the position.

Salary: Systems analysts earned between $60,680 and $158,010 as of May 2021, according to BLS.

Job outlook: Jobs for computer systems analysts are projected to grow 9% from 2021 through 2031, according to BLS. That’s 44,500 positions projected to open each year in this role.

Salary ranges are not specific to students or graduates of University of Phoenix. Actual outcomes vary based on multiple factors, including prior work experience, geographic location and other factors specific to the individual. University of Phoenix does not guarantee employment, salary level or career advancement. BLS data is geographically based. Information for a specific state/city can be researched on the BLS website.

2. Data administrators

Database administrators create and manage systems that store data. In this career, your duties include ensuring the security of databases and managing access for users. In some situations, you may need to train employees on how to access and use the system and instruct them in cybersecurity best practices.  

As a database administrator, you will also focus on installing and updating database software and applications, ensuring efficient operations and troubleshooting when problems arise. Finally, data administrators often test and debug all updates and new tools before fully deploying them. 

 

3. Computer programmers

Computer programmers create software and applications from scratch using coding languages such as Java, C++, Python and Ruby. In this career, you may also help test and debug software, write updates that address specific performance or security issues, and adjust or simplify code to improve the efficiency of programs.  

Many computer programmers collaborate and handle a specific step in the development process. While you may find employment with a software or computer company, computer programmers also work in diverse industries, including finance, healthcare, insurance and manufacturing.

4. Network systems administrators  

Network systems administrators oversee all aspects of the operation of networks for an organization. You can work with wide-area networks (WANs), which connect networks or groups of hardware over large distances, or local-area networks (LANs), which cover smaller groups of devices in one physical location. You may also work on specialized data, communication systems or network segments.  

As a network administrator, you’ll also install and update hardware and software and monitor data flow and connection speeds throughout the network. You’ll be responsible for troubleshooting when connection problems arise and ensuring overall security. You need to ensure secure connections and monitor for signs of suspicious activity, as well as manage access to the network and make sure users understand safe sign-in procedures. 

 

5. Computer systems administrators

BLS categorizes computer systems administrators and network administrators in the same way. But rather than managing the connections like a network professional, computer administrators focus on devices and hardware.  

In this career, you ensure computers are functioning and customize them to meet your employer’s needs. Computer systems admins also provide security and handle updates on all devices connected to the network. In today’s modern workplace, your duties may include working with mobile devices, embedded systems and other digital tools, laptops and desktops.  

6. Web developers

In addition to building websites and applications, web developers help maintain, update and improve existing internet properties.

In this career, you’ll typically use special coding languages like HTML, JavaScript, XML and CSS, which are designed for online development. Some web developers work on the backend of websites, using Python, Ruby and SQL to customize website functions. In addition to developing new sites, developers test, upgrade or add new features to existing sites. 

7. Computer network support specialists

Computer network support specialists are responsible for keeping network connections running. Since most of today’s businesses and organizations operate online and use vast amounts of data and internet communication tools, a fully functioning network is essential. Case in point: Some estimates say large enterprises can lose $1 million per hour when critical systems are offline.

As a network support specialist, you’ll constantly test networks to try to avoid problems that could take the system offline. You’ll also help perform software and hardware updates and handle scheduled maintenance. When there are connection issues, you’ll be the first responder who troubleshoots the problem and gets everyone back online.  

8. Medical records and health information technicians

Health information technicians (which BLS identifies as medical records specialists) help manage patient data and medical records. This includes categorizing and verifying information, as well as ensuring compliance with privacy laws in data handling and storage.

In this career, you may organize databases so that records can be easily retrieved, and you’ll often have to perform technical administrative tasks for the health information department. 

9. Cybersecurity specialist

As a cybersecurity specialist, also known as information security analysts, you’ll be responsible for protecting computer systems, networks and websites from hackers. You’ll have to be aware of a wide range of threats and use firewalls, network protocols, real-time monitoring and secure login processes to keep these digital dangers at bay.  

In this role, you may also play a large part in creating an organization’s disaster recovery plan, which many IT departments have in place in case of emergency. To be able to combat cyber threats, you’ll also have to stay up to date on the attack methods and how to combat them.

 

Information technology at University of Phoenix

If you’re looking to gain knowledge and skills within the field of information technology, University of Phoenix offers online degrees to help expand your experience. In addition to bachelor’s and graduate degrees, the following associate degrees are available:

Associate of Arts in Information Technology — This degree introduces IT concepts and principles in programming, data analytics, cybersecurity and networking.

Associate of Science in Cybersecurity — In this program, you’ll learn how to protect assets of a computer infrastructure in the cyber domain, how to explain security risk assessment and more.

 

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