CCAF degrees are increasingly becoming more important to your military career. While I'm not sure if it's been put in print just yet, the word is that you cannot progress to the senior non-commissioned officer ranks unless you have a CCAF degree. The Air Force really stresses that education and leadership go hand in hand, and this is no exception.
Upon graduation from tech school, you are automatically enrolled in the CCAF degree program that goes with your AFSC. As a 3S0X1 (Personnelist), my CCAF degree program is Human Resource Management. You can check out the program requirements for your AFSC in this catalog - hit Ctrl F (or command F) and do a search for your AFSC.
Some credits are earned at BMT and tech school, others you must complete through college courses or by taking a DSST or CLEP test. If you already have some college coursework under your belt, you can submit your transcripts to CCAF to have those credits transferred to your CCAF degree. I did that, as well as taking DSST and CLEP tests, which are free of charge to military members (at least, the first time is free).
Your program may also require that you have your five level in your AFSC as well, keep that in mind. While I finished my CDCs early on, I had to wait a full year after tech school to get my five level, and then my CCAF could be awarded. It was a long time in the making, but I'm glad to have this one checked off my list. This process took from September 2011 to April 2013 for me, largely because of the time in training requirement for my five level.
My understanding is that you can also take the credits awarded to you through military training, request a transcript, and apply those to your civilian degree, if you are working on a bachelor's degree. I only recently ordered CCAF transcripts for the first time. They were very inexpensive ($2.25 for five), which is always appreciated. If you take a good look at mine, you can see where they applied my credit from BMT, my tech school at Keesler, my five level acquisition (journeyman), as well as my transfer credits from my civilian school work and DSST/CLEP tests.
The CCAF degree is one of the many ways that you can further your education through the military, as well as one that looks great as a bullet on your performance reports or awards package, especially when completed early on in your military career.