2021 Best Online Computer Engineering Associate’s Degrees

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­When pursuing a computer engineering associate’s degree online, you’ll learn to build, program, and use computers and their various components. These skills are much needed in today’s technology-based world. Having them may help you get employed as an engineering technician or a computer specialist.

Computer Engineering Associate's Degrees

By earning your computer engineering degree online, you can take classes and get ready for the workforce in a way that suits your busy schedule.

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This training will help you have the know-how to work alongside other engineering professionals and contribute to computing developments.

Online Associates in Computer Engineering

Software Developers working on their computer in the office

The technology field is booming, and you may find your place in it with an online computer engineering degree. Once you have this degree, you may be qualified for an entry-level engineering or computer job, or you can continue studying for a bachelor’s degree.

In an associates degree program, you’ll most likely start with a foundational course, introducing you to basic engineering principles and explaining ways that engineering influences people’s daily lives.

After that, your classes may cover topics like circuits, microprocessors, and networks. You’ll learn about software, too, and you may even work with programming languages.

Many computer engineering programs include lab components. Labs may be hands-on or digital, depending on the program. These labs will give you opportunities to practice your engineering skills.

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Once you earn your associates degree, you may be able to work as a technician who assists engineers. Your skills may be useful as part of a computer, electronics, or aerospace engineering team.

You may also find an entry-level job related to computer technology. Companies often need web developers and computer support specialists. Your associates degree credits may transfer seamlessly into a bachelors program.

Getting a four-year degree in engineering would expand your job opportunities since you’d be considered a full-fledged engineer. Other possibilities with a bachelors include computer network architecture and software programming.

Computer Engineering Careers & Salaries

Computer Engineering Careers & Salaries

Getting an associates degree in computer engineering may set you on the path to becoming a computer hardware engineer or working in a related industry. Becoming a computer hardware engineer may be a good fit for you if you’re interested in building and testing computer components.

If you work in a manufacturing setting, the parts that you develop may be used in larger systems, such as toys, cars, and household devices. Other computer hardware engineering jobs are available with technology companies and the federal government.

Some engineers are also engaged in research efforts. You’ll need a bachelors degree to work as a computer engineer, but once you have your associates degree, you may work as an assistant. In the field of engineering, assistants are often known as technicians.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, engineering jobs pay an average annual salary of $83,160, and this field is growing at a 3% rate.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Computer Hardware Engineers $119,560
Computer Network Architects $116,780
Software Developers $110,140
Electrical and Electronics Engineers $103,390
Computer Programmers $89,190
Web Developers $77,200
Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians $68,570
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians $67,550
Electromechanical Technicians $59,800
Computer Support Specialists $55,510

Bachelors degrees are typically required for engineer positions as well as for some of the other jobs included on the above chart. Computer engineering is closely related to a few other branches of engineering. For example, you might go into electrical or electronics engineering.

Your knowledge of computer systems might also help you get a job in aerospace engineering or operations. Your knowledge of computers and technology may also qualify you for a variety of other computer positions, such as a software programmer or a network architect.

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Keep in mind that most companies prefer a bachelors degree for those particular roles. But with your associates degree, you may qualify for a role as a web developer, or you may even provide computer help-desk services.

Choosing an Online Associates in Computer Engineering Program

Associates in Computer Engineering student studying on his laptop

You may be getting excited about the idea of earning a computer engineering associates degree online, but you’ll have to pick a school first. Exploring various colleges’ features can help you settle on the program that’s right for you. Some factors to consider:

  • Accreditation: It’s always a good idea to pick a college that’s accredited. Regional accreditation is the most widely recognized and accepted.
  • Degree focus: Some associates degree programs are for computer engineering only while others also cover electronics or electrical engineering. You’ll have to decide if you want a narrow or broad focus.
  • Transfer pathways: Some two-year programs offer the option to transfer your credits into a four-year school after graduation so you can start working toward a bachelors degree right away.

Other factors you may want to consider include a college’s cost, calendar, lab requirements, and student services.

Computer Engineering Curriculum & Courses

Computer Engineers working in the office

By the time you graduate from an associates degree program in computer engineering, you should be ready for entry-level jobs in this field. To complete your program and prepare for your potential future position, you’ll take an assortment of classes like the ones listed below.

  • Circuits: In one or more lab courses, you’ll learn about AC and DC circuits as well as topics like transformers, voltage, and resistance.
  • College Algebra: Engineering relies on math, so you’ll probably need to take a course in algebra or a higher-level math.
  • C++ Programming: You’ll learn how to use this programming language, and you may discuss specific applications for it in engineering settings.
  • Digital Devices: In this course, you will study number systems, counters, and other concepts that make digital electronics function.
  • Engineering Fundamentals: An introductory class will survey the many disciplines within engineering and provide an overview of this field’s basic concepts.
  • Ethics for Engineering Professionals: By discussing ways that engineering can contribute to the well-being of society, this class may help you get your career started on the right foot.
  • Information Security: You’ll learn how to guard against network breaches so data will stay confidential and your systems can run smoothly.
  • Microprocessors: Your time in this class will teach you to build, program, and work with microprocessors in devices.
  • Network Concepts: The focus of this lab-based class will be on building networks and keeping them running smoothly.
  • Physics: Physics is the branch of science that addresses energy and electricity, so most engineering programs require students to study it.

As you can see, these topics include design, construction, and maintenance — the same engineering principles introduced in associate degrees in mechanical engineering or industrial engineering programs.

Altogether, you’ll probably need to earn around 60 credit hours for this associates degree.

Admissions Requirements

Computer Engineering students working on their laptop

What does it take to get into a computer engineering program? That depends on the school. Typically, two-year colleges will want to see evidence that you’re ready for college-level work before they will admit you to a traditional or online engineering program.

  • High school education: Submitting your high school transcript will show that you graduated, but you might be able to provide your GED record as an alternative.
  • Personal details: Any college that you’re applying to will need your name, contact information, and specifics on what you plan to study. Some may want your work history or a record of your extracurriculars as well.
  • Test scores: If required by your school, you may need to turn in ACT or SAT scores.

Some colleges also require applicants to write an essay, participate in an interview, or provide references.

Accreditation

Computer Engineering Associate's Degrees Accreditation

College and universities with regional accreditation are the most respected. They’ve proven that they educate students well, and they hold themselves to high standards. If you decide to transfer to a college to receive a bachelors degree, any college you apply to will most likely want you to have studied at a regionally accredited school.

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Employers, too, often prefer degrees from accredited colleges. A school’s regional accreditation must be granted by one of seven approved agencies.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Computer Engineering Associate's Degrees Financial Aid

Tuition assistance is available for students who earn a computer engineering associate degree online. Turning in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the best place to start your search for financial assistance. By doing so, you may learn that you’re eligible for grants or loans from the federal government.

It’s a good idea to look into student aid options from your state as well. Government assistance isn’t the only way to lower your tuition costs. You can also apply for scholarships.

Some scholarships are one-time gifts while others are awards that you receive for each year of your program. Although most scholarships are smaller, some may cover all tuition costs. Your employer might have a college assistance program too. To qualify, you may need to pursue a degree that directly relates to your job.

What Can You Do With an Associates in Computer Engineering?

Web Developer working on his computer

Engineering associates degrees often provide just the right preparation for a job as an engineering technician. Technicians are part of an engineering team and are often responsible for carrying out the hands-on tasks that are planned out by engineers.

In particular, you could be a computer engineering technician. You may also qualify for technician positions in electronics engineering, aerospace engineering, and electromechanics.

Providing computer services to businesses or individuals is another option to consider. You could design websites or offer troubleshooting services for computer issues.

Which Schools Have a Computer Engineering Associate Degree Online?

Computer Engineering Associate's Degree student studying online

There are a number of schools that offer online programs for an associates degree in computer engineering. Some are for computer engineering only, and others combine that field with electrical or electronics engineering.

To help you decide which school is best for you to attend, always check for accreditation status. Attending a regionally accredited school is the best way to earn a reputable degree in computer engineering. It is also helpful to compare different schools’ curriculum lists to see what kind of classes each one includes.

How Much Does an Associate’s in Computer Engineering Online Cost?

Associate’s in Computer Engineering student studying on his laptop

Rates vary, but the tuition at many schools is between $250 and $900 per credit hour. An associates degree program is usually about 60 credit hours total. There are often additional fees that get tacked onto the bill as well.

If you’re looking for a financial break, see if you can get lower rates by attending a community college or an in-state public school. Military members and veterans sometimes qualify for special rates too. Don’t forget about financial aid. Scholarships, grants, and loans can make college a much more affordable prospect.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Associates in Computer Engineering?

Many students just beginning their college journey wonder how long it takes to get an associates degree. You may be able to graduate with your associates degree in under two years. Traditionally, an associates degree is considered a two-year degree. If you go to a college with traditional 16-week semesters, that’s about how long you can expect it to take.

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Some colleges have shifted to shorter terms, though. With that format, you’d take just one or two classes at a time. Each class would last several weeks, and then you’d move on to a new set of courses. Such programs often take less than two years to finish.

Is a Computer Engineering Associate’s Degree Worth it?

computer network architects working in an office

Yes, a computer engineering associates degree is worth it for many students. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 3% job growth in architecture and engineering occupations for the next 10 years, as fast as the average for all occupations.

Common computer engineering careers in this field include electronics engineer, computer hardware engineer, computer network architect, electronics engineering technician, and aerospace engineering technician.

An associates degree can help prepare you to get a job as an engineering technician. It can also help you earn a bachelors degree if you want to advance to the higher-paying jobs in this field.

Universities Offering Online Associate’s in Computer Engineering Degree Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Champlain College

Champlain College

Champlain College’s online software development associates degree is a 60 credit course that includes two 7 week terms per semester and 3 semesters each year. In addition to general education courses and electives, students will also take courses in information systems and design, Python, website development, C++, and regional database design.

Champlain College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

The Associate of Applied Science in Computer Programming and Database Management program at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College focuses primarily on the area of software engineering technology.

Students should become proficient in a variety of programming languages and develop extensive knowledge of software development, math, and computer operating systems.

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Community College of Allegheny County

Community College of Allegheny County

Students who graduate from Community College of Allegheny County’s Associate of Science in Computer Information Systems program can go straight into the workforce or transfer to a 4 year university.

They should be able to design database application systems, create user interface components, and implement programs using abstract data and data structures.

The Community College of Allegheny County is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Excelsior College

Excelsior College

Excelsior College offers an online Associate in Applied Science in Technical Studies program into which students can transfer up to 53 previously earned credits. Credit is also awarded to students with relevant on-the-job training or military experience. There are 4 different concentrations available, including one in computer technologies.

Excelsior College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Finger Lakes Community College

Finger Lakes Community College

The Associate of Science in Computer Science program at Finger Lakes Community College includes foundational courses in object-oriented software development, programming and computational thinking, and computer architecture and organization.

At minimum, half the required courses are available online. The program is comprehensive and prepares students to transfer to 4 year universities.

FLCC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Florida State College at Jacksonville

Florida State College at Jacksonville

Florida State College at Jacksonville’s Associate of Science in Computer Information Technology program has four available concentrations. They are data science, software development, database, and web. The school’s partnership with Microsoft allows students to download free, licensed copies of Microsoft servers to practice on.

FSCJ is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Franklin University

Franklin University

Franklin University’s computer science associates degree is a 64 credit program that includes 24 credits specifically from the computer science field.

Along with basic computer science courses like programming, computer networks, and databases, there are also required courses in cyber security and object-oriented algorithms. The degree can be completed entirely online.

Franklin University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Indiana Wesleyan University

Indiana Wesleyan University

Students enrolled in Indiana Wesleyan University’s computer information technology associates program gain competent programming and software skills, understand how the business world utilizes modern tech, and can apply information management skills to their future careers.

The school also offers a bridge program to students with 36+ credits but no degree.

Indiana Wesleyan University is accredited as a whole by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Lansing Community College

Lansing Community College

Lansing Community College offers many associates degree programs in STEM-related fields.

These include computer automated design, computer information technology, robotics and automation, and 12 other options. In addition to earning their associates degrees, students interested in computer information technology can also earn several certifications in different areas of computer science.

Lansing Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Manchester Community College

Manchester Community College

Students enrolled in the Associate of Science in Computer Engineering Technology program at Manchester Community College should receive a well-rounded, comprehensive education in the fields of engineering, computer science, physics, math, and general education.

Critical thinking, problem analysis, problem and conflict resolution, and communication skills are all central to the curriculum.

Manchester Community College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.

Miami Dade College

Miami Dade College

Miami Dade College’s computer engineering technology associates program helps prepare students for careers in a wide variety of computer science and technological fields.

In addition to learning about programming and common tech support issues, students will also learn to assemble, install, operate, maintain, calibrate, and repair software, computers, and networks.

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Minnesota State College Southeast

Minnesota State College Southeast

Minnesota State College Southeast’s Associate of Applied Science in Software and Web Development program provides students with plenty of hands-on experience using programming languages, tools, and software.

These include Java, C++, Android Studio, SQL, Photoshop, GitHub, and various PC hardware models. Completion of a group capstone project is required to graduate.

Minnesota State College Southeast is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Nashua Community College

Nashua Community College

The computer engineering technology associates program from Nashua Community College provides students with firm foundations in STEM theories and engineering principles.

Students learn about computer programming and software applications, but they also learn about electric circuits, analog and digital electronics, microcontrollers, and how to build, test, and maintain computer systems.

Nashua Community College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

NHTI – Concord’s Community College

NHTI Concords Community College

NHTI – Concord’s Community College’s Associate of Science in Computer Engineering Technology program is ABET accredited and requires between 74 to 75 credits for completion. Students can enroll either full-time or part-time, and the tuition rates are very affordable. More than half the school’s students are usually eligible for financial aid.

NHTI – Concord’s Community College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

South Florida State College

South Florida State College

Students who graduate from South Florida State College’s Associate of Science in Computer Engineering Technology program should be able to diagnose and solve technical issues and perform various computer science- and computer engineering-related tasks.

Students can apply their learned engineering, science, and mathematics principles to tech jobs in a variety of industries.

South Florida State College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

South Seattle College

South Seattle College

South Seattle College offers an associates program in computer and electrical engineering that prepares students to transfer to 4 year schools or enter the workforce in the fields of robotics, software or hardware design, aerospace, biomedical, or other similar tech-related fields.

The program is financial aid eligible, and scholarships are available to qualifying students.

South Seattle College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Stark State College

Stark State College

The computer science and engineering technology associates program from Stark State College teaches students about using various programming languages.

Students also learn to design and use the most innovative software and hardware, communicate effectively, and maintain an up-to-date awareness of issues concerning the engineering field. Courses cover coding, web design, data modeling, and mobile development architecture.

Stark State College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

Thomas Edison State University

Thomas Edison State University

Students interested in computer engineering can enroll in the Associate of Applied Science in Applied Computer Studies program at Thomas Edison State University. It’s designed as a terminal degree, but many courses are transferable to 4 year programs. Prior Learning Credit may be awarded to students with relevant real-world experience.

Thomas Edison State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

University of the Virgin Islands

University of the Virgin Islands

The University of the Virgin Islands’s Associate of Science in Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology program provides students with strong foundations in electrical design and electronics.

Along with a variety of general education courses, there are others in computer programming, DC and AC circuit design and principles, analog electronics, and digital electronics.

The University of the Virgin Islands is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

University of Toledo

University of Toledo

The University of Toledo takes a slightly different approach to computer engineering, offering an Associate of Applied Business in a field they call online computer software specialist. The program can be completed entirely online, and it prepares students for software careers in education, medicine, business, technical areas, and the government.

The University of Toledo is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Getting Your Associates in Computer Engineering Online

Associates in Computer Engineering student studying in a café

Becoming a computer hardware engineer requires a college education. Getting an associate degree may be your first step toward this career goal. In a computer engineering associates degree program, you’ll learn the fundamentals of this field.

You may complete your associates degree program with employable skills that can help you find work as an engineering technician or a computer support specialist. Now is the time to take the first step. Start learning more about computer engineering associates degree programs from accredited colleges.

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Jordan Meeks
WRITTEN BY
Jordan Meeks
Jordan is pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Policy and earned her Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management and her Bachelor's in Business Administration. Jordan's research focuses on adults returning to college and online degree programs.