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    What is an Associate’s Degree?

    August 20, 2021 | Staff Writers

    What is an Associates Degree
    Degree Finder
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    An individual that completes an associate’s degree has monthly earnings that are typically several hundred dollars above the earnings of an individual with only a high school diploma or that has less than a high school education. So, what is an associate’s degree, and what can you do with it if you do earn the degree? What is an associate’s degree benefits for graduates? Is it really worth it to complete an associate’s degree program? How much money can you earn with an associate’s degree?

    These are all excellent questions that a person likely wants answers to before enrolling in an associate’s degree program. Get the answers to the important questions that you have about associate’s degree programs, and learn how completing an accredited program can benefit you throughout your career.

    Learn the difference between an associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree, and the reasons that earning an associate’s degree first is potentially a better option than simply enrolling in a four-year bachelor’s degree program.

    What is an Associate’s Degree?

    An associate’s degree is the first college degree that a person earns after high school. It is typically considered to be a two-year degree. There is another possibility of further learning after high school prior to earning an associate’s degree, which is a certificate program. It is important to note that a certificate program is often a six-month or one-year technical or trade school occupation program, and not the same as a college degree.

    An associate’s degree consists of approximately 60 credit hours of study. Some programs require that students also complete an internship, a specific number of clinical hours, or the completion of a practicum, depending upon the specific program. An associate’s degree is considered to be the foundational degree program. Many students enroll in the two-year program just to get a feel for what college is like before moving on to an advanced degree, whether enrolling in college right after high school, or enrolling as an adult learner going to college for the first time after graduating from high school many years ago.

    There are four types of associate’s degrees, including:

    • Associate of Arts (AA)
    • Associate of Applied Arts (AAA)
    • Associate of Science (AS)
    • Associate of Applied Science (AAS)

    Another type of degree is the associate’s degree in nursing, typically abbreviated as the ADN degree.

    The two-year post-secondary degree program is open to most applicants that have a minimum of a high school diploma and that meet other admissions requirements.

    What are the Admissions Requirements to Enroll in an Associate’s Degree Program?

    Although most schools require that an applicant already hold a minimum of a high school diploma, there are exceptions at some schools. One example is when a college has an agreement with local high schools where students can take courses that count towards their college education.

    One example of this type of agreement is at Columbus State Community College in Ohio that partners with dozens of high schools to allow high school students in grades 7 – 12 to earn college credits while still in high school.

    Another rule of applying to a college to complete an associate’s degree program is that the prospective student must complete the application in its entirety. Applicants must also submit all required documentations in a timely manner. Failure to do so may result in delay or rejection of your application to attend the school.

    Do you already know what is an associate’s degree major that you want to pursue while attending college? Many college departments require that students meet with an academic advisor and that they complete core courses prior to taking any courses in the specific major.

    Some schools have a minimum grade point average (GPA) for acceptance into the program, while other schools do not have the GPA rule. For example, if you wanted to apply to the Associate of Science in Nursing program at Baton Rouge Community College, the admissions requirements state that you must have a minimum of a 2.8 GPA in prerequisite coursework before being admitted into the program. Nursing programs, along with several other college programs that produce graduates that work with the public or in a government profession, also usually requires that the student have a clean criminal records check.

    Although many admissions requirements are the same or similar across most associate’s degree programs and at schools offering associate’s degrees, there are some variations from one school to another school. It is the student’s responsibility to know the requirements to apply to a particular college or to a specific associate’s degree program.

    What Can I Do with an Associate’s Degree?

    An associate’s degree is often considered the foundation or the building block towards earning a bachelor’s degree. That is not always the case. There are many career opportunities for students that graduate with an associate’s degree and that do not go on to earn a bachelor’s degree or to complete another educational program.

    When students earn an associate’s degree and then enroll in a bachelor’s degree program, their credits from the associate’s degree program often count towards the bachelor’s degree program. Some two-year schools have agreements with four-year colleges or universities to accept students that complete their associate’s degree at the partner school. One example of this is the articulation agreement between community colleges and four-year universities in North Carolina, as explained by Alex Granados, writing for EdNC.

    There are many jobs and career positions that require no more than an associate’s degree that offer good to excellent wages. There are also many careers that require only a certificate or on-the-job training. The worker that has an associate’s degree likely has a better chance of getting hired, of receiving higher pay, and greater chance of receiving promotions, compared to another worker with only a high school diploma or short-term certificate.

    Everyone that earns an associate’s degree does not complete the program to transfer credits to a university or to go to work in a specific field. Do you have a passion for learning? Do you have an interest in a specific topic that you want to learn everything about at a reasonable cost? Enrolling at a school that offers an associate’s degree in that area of interest provides an affordable way for you to learn more. Perhaps you have a personal interest in art and want to learn how to improve your skills. Do you plan on traveling abroad and want to learn a language or about the history of the country? Local colleges or schools that offer associate’s degrees are often an ideal source for learning more about your interests.

    Benefits of Earning an Associate’s Degree

    There are a variety of advantages to earning an associate’s degree, in addition to the opportunity to start the pathway towards earning a bachelor’s or even a master’s degree. The flexibility of completing an associate’s program, compared to pursuing a more-advanced degree is one benefit that likely makes a difference to many students.

    Some students have work responsibilities, while others have family responsibilities and can only attend classes during certain hours. Colleges with two-year programs are often considerably more flexible with scheduling of classes compared to universities. A community college may offer the same course on different days and at several different times, providing students the flexibility of choosing a daytime class, an evening class or even the option to complete the course online. A university, on the other hand, may offer one on-campus opportunity to take the course for the entire term. There are a multitude of other benefits of completing the program once you know what is an associate degree benefit besides the flexibility.

    The Lower Cost is a Benefit of Earning an Associate’s Degree

    Universities typically charge higher tuition compared to the tuition at two-year colleges that offer associate degree programs. The cost of one credit hour of study at a four-year school may be several times the cost of one credit hour of study at a community college. Some universities charge as much as $1,000 to $2,000 or more tuition for one credit hour of instruction. Compare that to the fact that tuition for an entire semester is often as little as a few thousand dollars at a community college that offers associate degrees.

    Students that plan to transfer to a university benefit from the lower costs for the first two years of college when they complete an associate’s degree program, compared to if they start in a bachelor’s degree program at a university. The cost-effectiveness can potentially result in thousands of dollars in savings.

    Another way to save money is to enroll at a school that offers an accelerated program option. Enrolling in an accelerated associate’s degree program allows the student to complete the program in less time, resulting in some savings over the cost of going to school for the entire two years. The format of the accelerated program varies among different colleges. Some schools offer an accelerated program in the traditional classroom while other schools offer online accelerated associate degree programs.

    Qualify to Sit for Exams or to Obtain Licensure

    Some occupations require that employees have a specific license or that workers pass a specific state exam in addition to earning an associate’s degree.

    Schools that offer associate degree programs often include exam or licensure preparation as part of the curriculum. An example is preschool teacher licensure, or nursing programs that qualify graduates to sit for the NCLEX exam to become a registered nurse (RN). If a student does not meet the educational requirements, they possibly cannot sit for the exam or obtain licensure until those requirements have been met by the student. Colleges keep record of how many students pass the specific exam or successfully complete other licensure requirements each term.

    Benefit from Greater Job Opportunities and Higher Earnings with an Associate’s Degree

    The options to benefit from greater career opportunities with higher wages are not limited to mundane, boring careers. Career Outlook, a publication of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, recently revealed the highest paying jobs by education level, including associate’s degrees. The air traffic controller topped the list as the highest-paying occupation for individuals with an associate’s degree. Air traffic controllers had median annual wages of nearly $125,000, with no prior work experience requirement.

    Radiation therapists, nuclear technicians, funeral service managers, and dental hygienists are among the high-paying occupations that require only an associate’s degree. Some occupations that may offer better opportunities for individuals with an associate’s degree include electrical and electronics repair workers, and firefighter and prevention first-line supervisors.

    What are Some Other Occupations that Requires an Associate’s Degree?

    There are several occupations that requires only an associate’s degree to work in the profession. Do you want to work as an HVAC installer? Earn an associate’s degree and start your career path to a rewarding career in the industry.

    Consider earning an associate’s degree in criminal justice to work as a probation or parole officer, to work as a prison guard, a police officer, detective, investigator or in another law enforcement or corrections occupation. Some criminal justice program graduates have long-term careers in the government.

    You cannot become an elementary school or high school teacher by earning an associate’s degree, but you can complete the requirements to work as a preschool teacher or in another occupation in early childhood development.

    Students that earn an associate’s degree in radiation therapy typically find work as a radiation therapist, treating cancer and other types of diseases that requires radiation treatments. Pursue an associate’s degree in surgical technology program and learn to prepare operating rooms and to assist doctors with operations.

    Paralegals start their career by first earning an associate’s degree in paralegal studies. They perform detailed research on case law, prepare briefs and conduct other duties to assist attorneys with their cases.

    Web developers design and create websites. There is an excellent job outlook for individuals that complete the required degree program. Complete a computer science associate’s degree and enjoy your choice of career from the many professions that seek qualified computer scientists.

    These are just some of the many exciting careers and occupations that are available to a graduate of an accredited associate’s degree program.

    How Do I Choose the Right School for Me that Offers Associate Degree Programs?

    Choosing the ideal school and the ideal program requires some research and some considerations. What are your career goals? Look for schools that offer programs that align with your personal career goals. Do you want to go to work immediately after earning your degree, or do you plan to continue your education and transfer to a school that offers bachelor’s degrees?

    Do you prefer to follow a strict plan of study for two years or do you like options? Perhaps you have responsibilities that prevent you from going to school full-time. If you like to study at your own pace, consider a school that allows students to complete the program on a part-time basis. Another option to consider is to look for a school or program that you can complete online. Learning what is an associate’s degree does not simply mean that everyone follows the same definition or plan to complete the program.

    Make sure that any college that you consider is an accredited school. Some occupations only require that a school has regional accreditation, while other occupations require that specific programs meet accreditation requirements. Examples include nursing programs, and engineering programs. If you earn a degree from a school or program that does not have proper accreditation, you may have difficulties finding employment.

    Do you need help finding the right college? We can help you find the right college based on the program that you select. Get started on your associate’s degree program to start a new career, to advance your career opportunities, or to change your career today.

    Earning an Associate Degree

    Earning an associate degree can be a stepping stone to a bachelor’s degree program. The program courses are designed to transfer essential skills and knowledge to adequately equip students for higher educational pursuits. But that’s not all; the program also prepares students for careers in a wide range of fields, including education, engineering, business administration, healthcare, and more. 

    Workplace professionals seeking to advance their careers can also pursue associates degree to improve their chances of getting better work positions. Even professionals who want to switch their careers can undertake an associate degree program to prepare them for their new career. 

    However, not everyone seeking an associate degree wants a promotion at work, a new career, or a foundation for a four-year college degree program. Individuals with a passion for learning can gain specialized knowledge in specific fields of study. It is usually cheaper and takes a significantly shorter time to accomplish your dreams with an associate degree. 

    This guide explains how earning an associate degree can help you toward personal development, career growth, and a brighter future. 

    Types of Associate’s Degrees

    There are many online degree programs that award an associate’s degree in a wide range of study fields. Students applying for an associate degree can do so in one of four options, namely, Associate of Science (AS), Associate of Applied Science (AAS), Associate of Arts (AA), and Associate of Applied Arts (AAA). Each of these is explained below:

    Associate of Science (AS)

    An Associate of Science degree includes courses designed with a focus in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. The program is suitable for students who want a solid foundation for transferring to higher degree programs. Learners who want to get into the workplace without a four-year program can also choose this associate degree program. 

    This degree can lead to career opportunities in many science-inclined fields, such as the engineering and medical fields. Students will need an AS degree to work as engineering technicians, dental hygienists, licensed nurses, and radiation therapists. 

    Associate of Applied Science (AAS)

    Students who specifically want to get into the workplace right after a two-year degree program will find the Associate of Applied Science degree most appropriate. The program is exclusively designed to include courses that focus primarily on vocational or technical fields. This option may not be well-tailored for students who plan to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program. 

    An AAS degree offers technical education in courses such as criminal justice, computer support operations, customer relationship management, web design, and entrepreneurship, among others. Students who plan to work as web developers, technical drafters, and chemical technicians will require an Associate of Applied Science. 

    Associate of Arts (AA)

    This is another associate program that targets students who intend to eventually transfer to a bachelor’s degree program. The program is designed to cover courses in the social sciences and humanities, such as English, art, education, and business. Students awarded with the Associate of Arts degree can work as librarians, administrative assistants, industrial designers, engineering technicians, preschooler teachers, and more.

    Associate of Applied Arts (AAA)

    An associate degree in applied arts provides the necessary knowledge and skills in artistic training. It includes courses designed to equip students in several fields, including music, fine art, and advertising. An award of Associate of Applied Arts degree is necessary for students who want to work as advertising layout artists, private music teachers, music sales associates, and art instructors. 

    A careful look at the different types of associate degrees shows that the applied courses (AAS and AAA) target students who plan to enter the workplace without furthering their education in a four-year degree program. The curriculum is largely concentrated on vocational or occupational subjects to prepare students for specific professions. 

    Equally, the AAS and AAA degrees are great options for employees with high school diplomas who wish to further their education for improved career opportunities. The short program duration makes it easy to conveniently combine work responsibilities and coursework. 

    The other two associate degrees (AS and AA) are best suited for students seeking to bridge the gap between a high school diploma and a bachelor’s degree. The Associate of Science and Associate of Arts degree programs are tailored to prepare students for higher levels of academic pursuits. 

    Consider an AS or AA degree program if you plan to transfer to a bachelor’s program. That is not to say it is impossible to pursue a career in your chosen field with an associate degree in science or arts. If you are already on the job in one of the fields that require these degrees, you can choose to further your education in any of the two programs. 

    Who Should Apply for an Associate Degree?

    Students with high school diplomas or GED can apply for an associate’s degree program. Apart from preparing them for a bachelor’s degree, the program imparts marketable vocational and technical skills that can be used to enter the workplace early. 

    Working professionals who would like to advance their careers can also apply for the program. Online associate degree programs are common and allow busy employees to conveniently complete their courses without putting their jobs on the line. 

    Professionals looking to change their careers to another industry can enroll in associate degree programs in the new field and learn specific skills and techniques that will better equip them to take on entirely different professional challenges.

    Individuals who have a passion for learning new skills can do so with an associate program. For example, some bachelor’s degree holders can choose to run a course in a lower-degree program to expand their horizons. The added degree enriches their resume and may open them up to other career opportunities. 

    What Is the Difference between Associate’s Degree programs and Certificate Programs?

    Choosing a path for higher education can be a bit tricky for high school leavers, considering the number of programs available. Should you head straight for a four-year bachelor’s degree program or opt for a two-year associate’s degree course? 

    Perhaps a trickier decision is choosing between an associate and certificate program because they share a lot of similarities. Many people assume these two are the same, but that is far from being correct. Here is a simple explanation to help you figure out the differences and decide which is best for you.

    1. Program Design and Time Commitment

    Certificate programs are designed to train students for specific career positions and are usually offered at technical or vocational schools and community colleges. At the end of the program, a document certifying that the individual has completed the training is issued. The duration of a certificate program can range from a few months to one year, depending on the field. 

    Associate degree programs are designed to equip students with specialized knowledge and skills for a specific career. In addition, it includes courses in general education that adds depth to the program. The curriculum prepares students not only for the workplace but also to proceed for higher degree programs. 

    An associate degree program is offered in community colleges and some universities. A degree representing an academic title is awarded at the end of the program to certify that you have completed some years of education and training in a certain study area.  

     A full-time associate degree program typically takes two years to complete, which is longer than a certificate program. It is also possible to extend the duration of the program to up to three or more years, depending on the study field and flexibility offered by the school. 

    2. Coursework and Requirements

    Certificate programs may include as few as three courses or as many as ten, spanning over 10 to 30 total credits. Some certificate programs for nursing, computer technology, and medical billing and coding usually require a high school diploma. 

    However, other vocational programs do not necessarily require students to have a previous educational qualification. These include certifications for carpentry, plumbing, restaurant management, mechanic work, truck driving, and more.

    Associates degree programs are built around a curriculum that lets students complete at least 60 coursework credits spread over 20 three-credit courses. Students seeking to enroll in an associate’s degree program need to have obtained a high school diploma (or equivalent). 

    3. Pay Potential

    While an associate’s degree program takes longer to complete than a certificate program, a degree offers more career opportunities and usually attracts higher-paying positions than a certificate. 

    Requirements for an Associate Degree

    Schools offer associate degree programs in various study areas, with different institutions having slightly different requirements and perquisites. However, the minimum grade requirement is usually the same across-the-board, and many colleges and universities share many common criteria.

    Here are some common requirements for an associate’s degree.

    1. Admission Requirements

    A high school diploma (or equivalent) is usually required for acceptance into associate degree programs. Some community colleges do not have strict enrollment requirements. They may offer open admissions to prospective students of all abilities. In some cases, a clean background check and a minimum age are the only necessary qualifications for admission. 

    Other schools may have additional enrolment requirements, such as:

    • A minimum high school grade point average
    • Minimum standardized test scores (ACT or SAT)
    • Recommendation letter
    • Statement of purpose
    • Passing grades in any necessary prerequisite subjects

    Make sure to check the specific requirements of the school where you plan to run the associate program because some, all, or none of these criteria may be required for enrollment. 

    2. Prerequisites

    Prerequisites refer to courses that need to be passed or conditions that must be met before admission. There are usually less stringent prerequisites for an associate’s program because it is not a higher-level degree. However, applicants may need to meet certain course prerequisites to be admitted for some fields of study.

    Some programs will require placement testing in English and math to determine the level of courses students need to study. Also, students seeking admission to run some health care programs, such as EMT training or paramedics, need to have CPR training. Some nursing programs require prospective students to have completed certain courses before admission. Prerequisite courses for acceptance into a nursing associate program include Anatomy and Physiology I & II and General Chemistry. 

    3. Program Requirements

    Generally, students are required to successfully complete all coursework and have a minimum GPA to be awarded an associate degree. In addition, some programs may require students to obtain a minimum grade in English, math, and any other general education courses. 

    What Are Online vs In-Person Programs for Associate Degrees Like?

    The traditional way to earn associate degrees is to enroll in a community college or some universities. On-campus learning allows face-to-face meets with professors and other students. In recent years, online degrees are becoming more widespread due to advancement in information technology. 

    Many working adults who would like to go back to school can combine their jobs, family responsibilities, and coursework with online options. It is a very flexible and convenient way for busy adults to pursue and complete college coursework to enrich their professional and personal life. 

    However, many people have a few concerns about earning associates degrees online. It is not uncommon for people to wonder if their online degrees will be taken seriously by prospective employers. In many cases, these fears are expressed by people who are uninformed about online degrees.

    Here are three common misconceptions about online degrees:

    • The classes are too easy: This common misconception is fueled by the popularity of search engines and how easy it is to find nearly everything on the internet. However, it is not possible to earn a degree based solely on answers from web searches. An accredited online associate degree program has as much challenging coursework as a traditional two-year college program. It also involves proctored exams and other rigorous standards, ensuring that students earn their grades and degrees through hard work. 
    • Employers don’t value online degrees: Associates degrees are the same, whether they are conferred online or in-person. There is no difference in the curriculum or coursework for both learning platforms. Employers are more concerned about the reputation of the degree-awarding institution instead of the platform. If you are worried about employers would think about an online degree, take some time to research different online institutions and their relationship with your local business community.
    • You are alone: That’s not quite true because you have an online community of students and supervisors to offer the necessary support. Indeed, there is a level of personal responsibility required to successfully keep up with this type of learning, but you are not alone. You may not be able to have face-to-face interactions as is obtained in a physical classroom, but you are not left alone with your computer or other devices. There are one-on-one instructor feedback channels, forums, chat rooms, texts, phones, and emails to keep you connected with others round the clock. 

    A good way to decide what platform to pursue your associate degree is to come up with a list of what is most important to you in a learning environment. Weigh the pros and cons of both schooling arrangements, taking your list into consideration before choosing an online or in-person program. 

    If you decide to earn your degree online, it is important to understand how a college facilitates communication between you and your classmates, and most importantly, the working relationship between you and your professor. It is best to find out the following before signing up for an online associate degree program:

    • Can you work offline?
    • How do you contact your professor?
    • What kind of feedback will you receive from your professor?
    • Would you be required to have in-person meetings?
    • Is it possible to meet face-to-face if the need arises?
    • How can you get academic help?
    • Is technical help available, and how do you get it? 
    • What other ways are course materials delivered besides email?

    How Long Does it Typically Take to Earn an Associate’s Degree?

    A full-time associate’s degree is a two-year post-secondary program. It takes two years to complete the coursework and receive an associate’s degree award. However, students can choose to undertake the study at their own pace, accelerating, or extending the duration. 

    The coursework includes a minimum of 60-semester credits of about 20 three-credit courses. The program curriculum is essentially designed to cover the freshman and sophomore years of a bachelor’s degree. Students can start an associate course to gain practical knowledge and then transfer to a higher degree program to further their education in the same field of study. 

    For example, you might consider a two-year associate program in library science before transferring to a bachelor program to earn a library science degree

    Cost and Value of an Associate’s Degree

    It is not uncommon for people to question the value of an associate degree. First of all, there is a concern about future earnings compared to other higher degrees, such as a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. There is no doubt that higher education degree salaries and perks are more attractive, but what do employers really think about associate degrees?

    What Employers Think About Associate Degrees

    An associate’s degree is considered the least qualification for entry-level employment in some cases. Employers would gladly welcome associate’s degree holders for certain areas of specialization because they are better suited to deliver results in such technical fields. 

    Here are some excellent career opportunities where employers think very highly of associate degree holders.

    1.  Web Developer

    Taking on the role of a web developer requires more hands-on expertise than generalized academic education. Obtaining an associate degree in this field makes you an asset to many employers. Although some high school grads know how to skillfully find their ways around programming and graphic designs, many employers prefer to engage a candidate with an associate’s degree. 

    2. Radiation Therapist

    Working in radiation therapy requires passing the ARRT certification exam in addition to an associate degree. The additional credentials are necessary for state certification or licensing. You can also choose to pursue a one-year certificate program or a four-year college degree to become a radiation therapist, but many employers generally prefer to hire candidates with an associate degree for this position.

    3. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

    In addition to an associate degree in this field, you need professional certification to favorably compete with bachelor’s degree holders and applicants with a one-year hospital certificate. Employers will consider candidates with associate’s degrees as assets in this field, especially those with excellent interpersonal skills. 

    4. Occupational Therapy Assistant

    An associate degree sets you apart from other high school diploma holders looking for positions as occupational therapy assistants. The earning potential per year is considerably high. 

    5. Physical Therapist Assistant

    The minimum academic requirement to work as a physical therapist assistant is an associate degree. Additional certification or licensure is required to take up the role. Like the operational therapy assistant, the annual salaries for this position are quite high.

    How Much Does it Typically Cost to Get an Associate Degree?

    Associates degree can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 or $50 to $90 per credit hour. That is the average cost for a two-year full-time program in a community college or public school, and that is for tuition only without other fees. 

    If you plan to enroll in a private school or for-profit college, the cost can be very expensive. You can expect to pay a tuition of between $25,000 and $60,000, depending on the school and specific program. 

    Keep in mind that in many cases, it is possible to complete an associate degree program without paying up to one year of tuition in a bachelor’s program. However, it is crucial to be picky and do thorough research when it comes to selecting private schools to enroll in an associate program. 

    Some for-profit colleges have poor graduation rates, subpar academic quality, and accept students with low admission standards. In addition, some private schools may not have proper accreditation for some of their programs. 

    How Can You Budget for an Associate’s Degree?

    The cost of earning a baccalaureate degree may be higher, but an associate’s program is not cheap. Completing a degree program is generally expensive, whether you plan to earn it in a two-year or four-year institution. Thankfully, there are a few ways to earn a degree, even if you are on a budget. 

    You can apply to some schools that offer the fastest degrees in online formats. There are no lengthy process and wait times, which can significantly reduce the program’s overall cost. People may have had doubts about the quality and legitimacy of online degrees in the past, but all that has now changed due to advancements in technology and how it has impacted online education.

    Why Earn an Associate’s Degree?

    First, an associate degree can lead to better job prospects with higher pay potentials. The degree is recognized in a wide range of career areas, making it fairly easy for holders to find jobs after graduation. 

    In many cases, the credit hours from an associate’s degree program are transferrable to a four-year institution of higher learning. This cuts down the time for a four-year bachelor’s degree program by half, allowing the student to complete the course a lot faster.

    Earning an associate degree right after your high school lets you enter the workplace at a younger age with less debt in student loan. 

    How Can Associate’s Degree Give You an Edge When You Are Job Searching?

    When selecting a degree program, it is important to choose one that focuses more on transferring specialized skills if you want to enter the workplace after the two-year program. Any of the applied courses (Associate of Applied Arts and Associate of Applied Science) can prepare students to take on the challenges of a career. 

    There are millions of jobs available for associate degree holders. More employers are looking for people with the technical know-how for specific fields, a problem that associate programs readily solve. 

    Unfortunately, high school diplomas and certificate programs do not fully equip students with the necessary skills to successfully perform these jobs. Some employers may not be very willing to hire individuals with a bachelor’s or master’s degree, probably because they can’t afford to pay them well or because these people may not have adequate practical skills.

    How Can Earning an Associate’s Degree Lead to More Education?

    Besides low cost, another major benefit of starting with an associate’s degree after high school is the possibility of transferring to a bachelor’s program in the future. 

    Apart from giving students a solid foundation for higher degree programs, earning an associate degree is one of the fastest solutions to meeting the demand for more teachers at the preschool level. 

    If you have a passion for imparting knowledge to younger kids, an associate degree can help you fulfill that dream and lead to more education. 

    Instead of spending several years in a four-year institution, you can apply for a teaching degree and be done in two years (or less). 

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