Best Online Associate in Software Development

An online associate in software development degree program is a great choice for students who are looking for entry-level positions as computer support specialists, programmers, or database specialists.

Best Online Associate in Software Development

Frequently Asked Questions About Software Development Degrees

An associate degree in software development can provide relevant workplace skills and the qualifications to earn an array of entry-level jobs in the tech field.

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This two-year degree offers courses on foundational software development topics like coding language, algorithms, software architecture, and programming techniques. Students in this associate’s degree program will also be challenged to think critically, communicate effectively, learn various programming languages, and employ creative problem-solving strategies. Students have the option to complete the roughly 60 required credits either online or in person.

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Graduates typically go on to secure entry-level positions as programmers, database specialists, and computer support specialists. This is, however, a highly competitive field. For this reason, many students will improve their professional qualifications by transferring into a relevant bachelor’s degree program.

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Learn more about how to major in computer science.

Best Online Associate's in Software Development

How do we determine the best online software development associate's degree programs?

Methodology

Pursing your degree online doesn’t mean you need to settle for a inferior school. Today, most universities and colleges offer online degrees, and many respected schools are seeing significant growth in their numbers of online students.

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence — i.e., the academic impact of faculty and alumni associated with a school — gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. The combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. For our online degree rankings, we focus on the academic influence of faculty and alumni in the specific disciplines we’re ranking.

If you are serious about finding the best online colleges, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Best Online Associate’s in Software Development Degree Programs

  1. #1

    Saddleback College

    #3966 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $1K

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    13K

    Mission Viejo, CA

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    Online Degrees

    AS in Software Specialist
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  2. #2

    Lake Michigan College

    #8173 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    21%

    Student body

    2K

    Benton Harbor, MI

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    Online Degrees

    AAS in Applications Development
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. #3

    Isothermal Community College

    #8023 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    37%

    Student body

    2K

    Spindale, NC

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    Online Degrees

    AS in Associate In Applied Sciences Information Technology

    Concentrations

    • Computer Programming and Development
    • Required Credits: 67
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. #4

    Mott Community College

    #5278 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    11%

    Student body

    5K

    Flint, MI

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    Online Degrees

    AAS in Computer Occupations Technology

    Concentrations

    • Application Developer
    • Required Credits: 69
    • Completion time: 2.5 years
    • Format: Online
  5. #5

    Henderson Community College

    #8630 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    <1K

    Henderson, KY

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    Online Degrees

    AAS in Computer and Information Technologies

    Concentrations

    • Business Software and Support
    • Cloud Computing
    • Technologies
    • Data Center Technologies
    • General
    • Geospatial
    • Technologies
    • Informatics
    • Information Security
    • Internet Technologies
    • Network Administration
    • Network Technologies
    • Programming
    • Video Game Design
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  6. #6

    College of Southern Nevada

    #3464 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    15%

    Student body

    21K

    Las Vegas, NV

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    Online Degrees

    AAS in Computing and Information Technology

    Concentrations

    • Software Programming
    • Required Credits: 61
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  7. #7

    Austin Community College District

    #5413 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Graduation

    12%

    Student body

    25K

    Austin, TX

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    Online Degrees

    AS in Computer Information Technology

    Concentrations

    • Software Testing
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  8. #8

    Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

    #7403 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    4K

    Elizabethtown, KY

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    Online Degrees

    AAS in Computer and Information Technologies

    Concentrations

    • Business Software and Support
    • Geospatial
    • Information Security
    • Internet Technologies
    • Video Game Design
    • Programming Track
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  9. #9

    Virginia Western Community College

    #10865 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    35%

    Student body

    4K

    Roanoke, VA

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    Online Degrees

    AAS in Information Systems Technology

    Concentrations

    • Database and Program Developer Specialization
    • Required Credits: 66
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  10. #10

    Gaston College

    #5955 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    33%

    Student body

    4K

    Dallas, NC

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    Online Degrees

    AAS in Information Technology

    Concentrations

    • Applications Development
    • Required Credits: 68
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  11. #11

    Guilford Technical Community College

    #6718 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    8K

    Jamestown, NC

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    Online Degrees

    AAS in Simulation and Game Development
    • Required Credits: 66
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  12. #12

    St. Clair County Community College

    #10912 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    2K

    Port Huron, MI

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    Online Degrees

    Associate in Computer Information Systems

    Concentrations

    • Computer Information Systems
    • Computer Information Systems (Applications for Business)
    • Programming
    • Networking Infrastructure
    • Software Development
    • Networking
    • Web Development
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  13. #13

    Bluegrass Community and Technical College

    #6597 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    7K

    Lexington, KY

    View profile

    Online Degrees

    AAS in Computer & Information Technologies

    Concentrations

    • Business Software and Support
    • Geospatial Technologies
    • Internet Technologies
    • Programming
    • Video Game Design
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  14. #14

    Pitt Community College

    #4993 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    7K

    Winterville, NC

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    Online Degrees

    AAS in Information Technology

    Concentrations

    • Computer Programming and Development
    • Required Credits: 67
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  15. #15

    Southwestern Community College

    #9207 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    45%

    Student body

    2K

    Sylva, NC

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    Online Degrees

    AAS in Associate Of Applied Science Information Technology

    Concentrations

    • Software & Web Development
    • Required Credits: 71
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  16. #16

    Chippewa Valley Technical College

    #9637 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    4K

    Eau Claire, WI

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    Online Degrees

    Associate in IT - Software Developer
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  17. #17

    Rio Salado College

    #6205 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    4%

    Student body

    11K

    Tempe, AZ

    View profile

    Online Degrees

    AAS in Mobile App Development
    • Required Credits: 60-64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  18. #18

    Western Wyoming Community College

    #9960 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    2K

    Rock Springs, WY

    View profile

    Online Degrees

    AAS in Business Information Systems

    Concentrations

    • App Software Specialist
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online

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Online Degree Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time taking an online course, the experience may require a time of adjustment. Although you’ll typically learn the same material and take the same exams as your on-campus peers, going online will require greater independence and responsibility than going in person. You’ll be accountable for your own time management, for harnessing the online educational technology that you’ll need to use, and for completing the course requirements, such as listening to lectures, learning lessons, reading texts, and handing in assignments. This means you’ll need to create a suitable workspace for yourself, maintain a realistic schedule, and take the initiative in building relationships with your instructors and classmates. With online college, your goal is to find a balance between independence and engagement.

No. The only part of online education that’s easier than campus-based education is ease of access: all you need is a computer and an internet connection for online education. But even this seeming advantage of online education can be misleading: what’s easier, studying online with your computer and internet connection from your home where you need to cook, clean, pay rent, and maintain a job? Or studying on campus in a dorm where all your living needs are handled by the school, and college staff are there to help you every step of the way?

If you take the commute to campus out of the equation, campus-based education is easier. All the support structures available on campus for students, especially with real people to help you in person, are not there online. The demands on you as an online student will largely be the same as for your campus-based counterpart, but without the same helps.

In general, your online courses will present the same material and test you in the same way as traditional in-person courses. In many cases, you’ll even have the same instructors as your on-campus counterparts. In fact, if you are adjusting to the experience of independent learning with remote educational technology for the first time, online college may be considerably more challenging than campus-based college. For a few insights on how to manage this new online experience, check out our 10 Tips for Adjusting to School Online.

Accreditation is especially important when it comes to online college. This is because the online education landscape is a mix of highly-reputable non-profit institutions on the one end and less-than-reputable for-profit institutions on the other end. Accreditation gives you the power to identify the more reputable actors in online education. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency indicating that a college or university is meeting standards of quality and credibility. School-wide accreditation falls into two major categories: regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditors generally hold jurisdiction only over schools in the states comprising their region, whereas national accreditors hold jurisdiction over schools in all states. Regional accreditation is widely regarded as a more rigorous standard of quality and credibility than national accreditation.

Attending a college or university that is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. For students seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that they opt for regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation ensures eligibility for federal loans and grants, ensures your college credits can be transferred between schools, and ensures that your degree credits can be accepted if you wish to earn an advanced degree. For more on this important topic, check out our What is Accreditation and Why Does It Matter? College & University Accreditation Guide.

As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited (see the previous point), you should have little difficulty transferring most of your credits or credentials to another regionally accredited undergraduate school. Every school carries its own standards and procedures for granting a transfer of credits. In many cases, you will encounter some bureaucratic haggling in which some of your credits will be transferred and others may be refused. However, provided that you have attended an online school with recognized regional accreditation, you should be in good shape in transferring your credits earned online.

In most cases, as long you graduate from a well-regarded, regionally-accredited online college, prospective employers won’t look sideways at your degree. In fact, unless you attend an exclusively online college or university, there will likely be no specific indicator on your degree, transcript, or resumé differentiating your school from its brick-and-mortar counterpart. This means that your employer will likely only differentiate between an online and in-person degree if you mention this distinction.

Some employers may express the concern that because you did your degree online, you may need to transition from an online education experience to in-person workplace experience. But in an age of Covid, that concern seems much diminished. The fact is that much employment these days is remote. And collaboration increasingly happens online over Zoom. Many employers will therefore view your online degree as evidence of valuable 21st century professional skills such as independence, self-motivation, time management, and tech savvy.

If you are a student who thrives on the dynamic energy of in-person discussion, who requires the physical surroundings of a classroom to feel engaged, or who considers the social aspects of education to be of equal importance to the actual content of your courses, online education will be less than ideal for you (though depending on your circumstances, it may also be the only viable option).

While there is much in traditional campus-based education that can be substituted or simulated through the online medium, some students may find that there is nothing that can replace the conversation, collaboration, and motivation that occur in an actual in-person classroom setting. As you transition to online education, one of the biggest challenges you will likely face in getting the most out of your online classes is overcoming this difference between “real reality” and “virtual reality.” Fortunately, we’ve got some great Tips for Online Education Beginners.

The advantages of online classes are many. Above all, online courses give you the freedom and flexibility to attend class from anywhere that works for you, whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet conference room at work. In many cases, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of asynchronous learning opportunities—educational experiences that you can complete at your own pace and on your own schedule. This may include pre-taped lectures, ongoing chat-board discussions, and 24/7 access to digital materials. And of course, just as there are some learners who prefer the energy of a live classroom, there are those who learn best when working in their own personal space, free from distractions. If this sounds like you, you might find the solitude of online learning to be a major advantage.

Resources for Online College-Bound Students