Why an associate's degree in IT is the way to go

I am so happy that I chose to do an IT degree at a technical college. Here’s why:

  • It costs a lot less than pricey four-year schools.
  • Technical schools prepare you for actual work and give you workplace skills.
  • You get to jump into code sooner than at a four-year school.
  • It took me a year and a half to complete my degree (I took one semester of double coursework; it was very hard, but I survived.)
  • You need some kind of degree/student status to get into many internship programs and junior dev jobs. (I got an internship at a company that hired me three months after I started.)
  • I got exposure to several areas of IT. Coding is not the only IT skill you’ll need in the workplace.

I used that degree as a stepping stone into the job market. I’m now completing a bachelor’s in CIS at four-year liberal arts school that has a program for working adults. I work in the day and take part-time night classes. It’s actually quite manageable.

Some of you may realize once you land your first coding job that you are underprepared for IT roles. Everyone starting out feel underprepared, but if you truly are unprepared, don’t be afraid to keep trying new ways of learning until you find the one that’s right for you. Good luck to us all. It’s a raucous, chaotic, shifting job market for IT developers. Get ready for a rollercoaster ride! I’m 2+ years into development work now, and overall I’m happy with my career change.


Thanks for sharing your experiences! I would definitely encourage anyone trying to figure their path out to consider an associate’s degree (although I would caution them to be very wary of for-profit schools like ITT Tech, DeVry, etc).

In my case, I knew that this wasn’t the right path for me because I knew that I wasn’t interested in the type of jobs that an IT degree would prepare me for, but I have known other people who have also used it as a basis for starting a programming career.