10 Best Software Engineering Online Associates Degree Programs

Written by College Cliffs Team At, our team, comprising seasoned educators and counselors, is committed to supporting students on their journey through graduate studies. Our advisors, holding advanced degrees in diverse fields, provide tailored guidance, current program details, and pragmatic tips on navigating application procedures.

Reviewed by Linda Weems I got started researching colleges and universities about 10 years ago while exploring a second career. While my second career ended up being exactly what I’m doing now, and I didn’t end up going to college, I try to put myself in your shoes every step of the way as I build out College Cliffs as a user-friendly resource for prospective students.

Updated: February 26, 2024, Reading time: 17 minutes

Find your perfect college degree

College Cliffs is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

An online associate’s degree in Software Engineering will help you break into the lucrative and in-demand computer and information technology industry. This program is sufficient to earn entry-level software engineering positions but is also a solid step towards proceeding to a bachelor’s degree.

A massive 25% job growth is anticipated in the next decade as more companies need software developers and quality assurance testers—some of the common job prospects for Software Engineering graduates.

Software Engineering Online Associates Degree - fact
College Cliffs is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

In Pursuit of Software Engineering Career Paths

Taking advantage of online associate degree programs in Software Engineering is easier than ever before. When studying full-time, this program usually takes two years, but online, self-paced class formats are not uncommon. 

This associate degree presents a systematic approach to software development. It equips students with the engineering skills required in the process of developing secure software programs and putting them through rigorous testing. Students also learn every stage of the software life cycle in a software engineering curriculum, from the original design stage to use and maintenance.

The coursework typically consists of Database Design, Computer Programming basics, Web Page Development, and Systems Analysis. 

In addition to imparting technical expertise, this associate program also places high value on soft skills like collaboration, creative thinking, analytical thinking, leadership, and interpersonal skills. Cultivating them all is crucial. 

The Lowdown

Ready for a two-year undergraduate program for aspiring software engineers? The online associate program typically teaches students the fundamentals of programming languages, computer science, and problem-solving techniques. Hands-on projects and coding assignments allow students to apply their skills in real-world work scenarios and enhance their practical skills.


Software engineering associate programs should be chosen carefully to ensure a successful educational experience. We did the work for you! Our carefully compiled Software Engineering associate degree programs make up some of the country’s best. Each program meets the following criteria:

Find out more about our associate program ranking process! Visit our Methodology page.

Best Online Associates in Software Engineering

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

An Associate in Computer Programming and Database Management: Software Engineering Technology program is offered by Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. This online degree emphasizes the design, development, implementation, and maintenance of software used in a range of sectors.

Exploring several programming languages, students learn about computer operating systems and software development. Upon completing this program, graduates are granted the Associate of Applied Science degree, ready to enter the field with fundamental expertise in computer programming and systems integration.

Students also acquire knowledge of fundamental mathematics and scientific ideas and skills as they relate to Software Engineering. Classes in this associate program can be taken online and in the evenings.

Here are the courses:

East Coast Polytechnic Institute University

East Coast Polytechnic Institute University

East Coast Polytechnic Institute University offers an online Associate of Science – Computer and Information Science with a focus on Software Development. This online degree produces skilled developers who design, develop, and implement software-based products and solutions. Innovative companies and developers continue to develop software that can help change lives for the better, and this curriculum can help you become a proactive contributor in the field.

The Computer and Information Sciences curriculum at ECPI University focuses on software development and is a skills-based program that makes use of cutting-edge technology across platforms. The programs offered by ECPI encourage students to complete internships and industry certifications to gain practical experience that will improve their graduate job prospects. 

The following courses can be expected in this associate program online:

Champlain College

Champlain College Online - Online

A Software Development Associate degree is available at Champlain College. For motivated individuals with technical acumen, software development is lucrative and is an in-demand professional path. The online associate degree in software development from Champlain is made to complement your current technical knowledge and give you the confidence to advance in the field of software development. 

This program is excellent for people who want to work in the software development industry or for those who have found themselves in a position that is similar and need formal education. It benefits individuals pursuing a college degree for the first time or going back to school after a break. It is also an excellent initial step toward a full bachelor’s degree in Software Development.

It also develops students’ communication and leadership skills so they stand out as well-rounded software development professionals.

There are a total of 60 credits needed to complete the program. Students can access their courses at any time and finish their classes online, allowing them to adapt their education around their schedules. 

Champlain College’s online Associate in Software Engineering features these courses:

Fox Valley Technical College

Fox Valley Technical College

Fox Valley Technical College offers an online Associate’s degree in Applied Science in Software Development degree program. Creating applications for businesses, software developers also develop payroll checks, bill clients, maintain inventory, and do a variety of other crucial tasks. 

AAS on Software Development students assess business requirements and utilize that knowledge to design, create, and maintain program code that satisfies those requirements. Your task may involve using computer hardware and software or interacting with online services. 

You acquire knowledge of fundamental computer terms and concepts as well as abilities in general language architecture, data manipulation, problem-solving, and database applications. You’ll get the chance to practice with practical exercises, projects, and tasks.

They make it simple for you to smoothly transfer your credits if you ever pursue a bachelor’s degree later. They have credit transfer agreements, which can save time and money for students. 

Students who have prior experience addressing problems and an interest in complicated systems are best suited for the program. There are both daytime and evening classes available. 

The following courses are part of the course list for this Software Engineering associate program:

Lakeshore Technical College

Lakeshore Technical College

Lakeshore Technical College offers the Associate in IT (Information Technology): Web and Software Development degree program. In this program, students will be trained in utilizing quantitative analysis, engineering, and quantitative analysis. Students will also analyze user demands and create software solutions. They obtain the skills to enhance the capabilities of existing software or update it.

A software engineer may work with a computer hardware designer to develop specifications and performance criteria for the combination of hardware and software systems. 

The program curriculum has a strong emphasis on games and simulation to teach students programming fundamentals, web application development, website design and marketing integration, database administration, mobile device development, and freelancing and contract work.

Here are some courses required in this associate program online:

Herzing University

Herzing University

Herzing University offers an online Software Development Associate degree. This 60-credit degree program combines general education courses, including the fundamentals of programming, networking, troubleshooting, internet applications, and databases.

This program is a first step toward a career as an entry-level software developer. For more job prospects, graduates of this degree can transfer their credits into either the bachelor’s program in software development or technology management. 

Depending on the degree you want to pursue, the Herzing University Software Development program lasts 16–32 months. You’ll be prepared to apply for entry-level software development work in many different industries after this associate degree.

The following required courses are part of this associate degree:

Lorain County Community College

Lorain County Community College

There is an Associate of Applied Business in Software Development program offered at Lorain County Community College. Building software offers the chance to significantly improve the productivity and daily lives of computer users worldwide.

The study for this degree starts with the short-term certificate in software development fundamentals and progresses to include programming on computer platforms ranging from microcomputers to mainframes.

By utilizing the procedural and object-oriented languages that are most frequently used in business, you will learn how to design and construct software. Database design and programming, as well as networking basics, are addressed in addition. 

Students who major in software development are prepared to program on a variety of computer platforms. The procedural and object-oriented languages that are most frequently used in business will be utilized to teach students to design or construct software. Database design and programming, as well as networking basics, are addressed in addition.

With universities and institutions, including those that offer courses through the University Partnership at Lorain County Community College, articulation agreements have been made. 

Here are the required courses for this online associate program:

South Puget Sound Community College

South Puget Sound Community College

South Puget Sound Community College is offering an online Associate’s degree in Applied Science in Software Development. Software development can be the right option for you if you enjoy tinkering, solving issues creatively, and working with technology. This program is offered at a fraction of the price of software development and programming degrees in a typical private university!

This online degree program emphasizes theoretical or abstract educational methods less; it is more focused on the software engineering technologies that local businesses and government organizations need. Students build their technical, as well as collaborative, and critical thinking abilities so they are able to perform the duties expected of developers.

South Puget Sound Community College graduates are frequently hired for entry-level developer jobs or jobs needing a broad range of programming, database, and network support abilities.

Some required courses for this associate degree are:

Northcentral Technical College

Northcentral Technical College 

The Associate’s Degree in Information Technology: Software Developer is offered by Northcentral Technical College. With the help of the industry-leading Software Developer Associate Degree program from Northcentral College, this online degree prepares students to design and develop various kinds of software.  After graduation, students can contribute to enterprises in a wide range of industries like computer technology, real estate, healthcare, and many more. 

Sixty-five credits are required for this IT – Software Developer Associate Degree program. They provide twelve- and nineteen-term part-time choices in addition to their full-time option. The curriculum offers the flexibility that working students require by being available at one of six sites or totally online. Upon completing this Software Development degree, graduates can move closer to getting an advanced degree by completing courses in a Pathways program. 

Some of the required courses in this degree are:

University of Toledo

University of Toledo

The University of Toledo provides a convenient online Associate in Programming and Software Development program. It readies students for entry-level employment as programmers, software developers, and data managers in the computer sector.

Offered through the Department of Applied Organizational Technology, this associate in Programming and Software Development program allows students to swiftly acquire the skills required to pursue their career aspirations or work toward a bachelor’s degree.

Students will study the most recent computer science concepts and programming languages and link them to business and web applications. Students use computer software and programming tools that are typically utilized by most employers, guided by professors who have real-world experience in the industry. Graduates of the program have gone on to hold a range of positions in software development, support, and programming. 

Here are the sample courses you’ll study in this online associate degree program:

4 Career Pathways for Associate Degree in Software Engineering Graduates

Software Engineering graduates with an associate’s degree have a variety of professional options. Although they might begin in entry-level jobs, with experience and additional education, they can progress and advance their careers. 

The following are typical employment paths for Software Engineering associate degree holders:

1. Web Developer

Graduates with a focus on website design and development can pursue employment as web developers. They create online applications, administer databases, and guarantee that websites are responsive and user-friendly.

2. Database Administrator

Graduates who want to manage and organize data for businesses can become database administrators. They optimize data storage, make sure databases are secure, and fix any problems that may come up.

3. Software Developer

Software developers design, code, and test software applications. An associate degree in software engineering is sufficient to land this job. They might be employed by a variety of businesses, including technology enterprises, software development companies, or governmental organizations.

4. Software Tester

Graduates can find employment as software testers, who are in charge of finding and correcting software problems, performing quality assurance testing, and making sure software applications adhere to the necessary standards.

4 Benefits of Pursuing an Associate Degree in Software Engineering

A two-year undergraduate curriculum leading to an online associate degree in Software Engineering equips students with the information and abilities required in the industry. Programming languages, software development processes, database administration, computer science basics, web development, and software testing are commonly included in the program’s curriculum.

Here are the top benefits of earning an associate degree in software engineering: 

1. Cost-Effective Degree Choice

Typically, an associate degree isn’t as costly as a bachelor’s program. Associate degree students can reduce their out-of-pocket costs while still gaining the skills required to pursue a career in software engineering. With a reasonable investment, they can start paving their career in computer and IT right after graduation.

2. Flexibility

The availability of many associate degree programs in software engineering online gives students greater freedom when planning their study schedules. Online degree programs frequently allow students to learn at their own speed and to balance their academic and professional obligations.

3. Quick Entry into the Job Market

In contrast to individuals seeking a four-year bachelor’s degree, an associate program takes two years to finish, allowing students to enter the workforce sooner. This can be especially helpful in the quick-paced industry of software engineering, where there is a great need for qualified personnel.

4. Industry-focused Curriculum

Associate degree programs in software engineering are meant to give students real-world experience and transferable abilities. Students study software development processes, programming languages, and other pertinent topics that are in demand by businesses.

6 Skills Necessary to be a Software Engineer

To be a successful software engineer, individuals need a combination of technical and soft skills. Here’s a comprehensive list of skills necessary for software engineers:

1. Database Management Skills

It would be an advantage to develop database management skills, which are the knowledge of database systems (SQL, NoSQL), database design, and the ability to write complex queries.

2. Operating Systems

Having knowledge of Linux/Unix and Windows operating systems can be handy as a software developer, even as an entry-level professional.

3. Computer Networking

Knowledge of basic networking concepts, IP addressing, and HTTP is very helpful for a beginner in software engineering.

4. Time Management Skills

Software engineers must have good time management skills. They should manage multiple projects simultaneously, prioritizing tasks and meeting deadlines efficiently.

5. Debugging Skills

It is important to be patient and persistent when debugging and solving code issues, especially when they are challenging.

6. Sense of Professionalism

Future software engineers must know about privacy, security, and intellectual property issues. They must demonstrate professionalism in every aspect of the job.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Software Engineering associate degree worthwhile?

In short, this associate degree is more than worthwhile. Jobs in computer and information technology will be in high demand over the next ten years, according to recent Labor Statistics data. Popular software engineering careers in this field include software developer, software engineer, database administrator, or computer support specialist.

Numerous firms require software engineering expertise. This comprises manufacturing facilities, financial institutions, tech firms, and insurance firms. There are also opportunities for self-employment. Your associate degree credits may also transfer to your eventual bachelor’s degree program.

What can graduates do upon completing a Software Engineering associate’s degree program?

An associate’s degree in Software Engineering leads to entry-level careers in computer science and information technology. Some graduates find work as data clerks, web developers, software testers, or entry-level software engineers. If you decide to enroll in a bachelor’s program, an associate degree could serve as a starting point for your future studies.

Can someone with an Associate’s Degree work as a Software Engineer?

The technical skills that graduates acquire from an associate program are crucial to software engineering work. Employers typically require their software engineers to have a bachelor’s degree, but completing an associate’s degree program can qualify graduates for entry-level positions.

Initially, they can work as associate or junior software engineering specialists and, eventually, advance their skill level by pursuing a bachelor’s degree and gaining more experience in the field.

How long does it take to complete an online associate’s degree in Software Engineering?

In a full-time, 16-week-semester arrangement, it typically takes two years to earn an associate’s degree in Software Engineering online. However, many engineering degree programs follow an 8-week semester, which may allow you to finish sooner if you enroll continuously throughout the year. An associate degree can frequently be earned in half the time of a bachelor’s program because it typically comprises half the units.

Key Takeaways

Additional Resources: