What Is An Associate Degree?

Associate Degree
​If you are on the lookout to apply to a university in the US or parts of Canada, you may come across the term "associate degree." It is the latest addition to the list of bachelor's degree, master's degree, and PhDs. An associate degree is also known as an academic program which is usually taken at the undergraduate level. The undergraduate level here refers to the first stage of secondary school. It is that kind of a degree that gives the students a brief insight into the academic and technical knowledge. It also revolves around the concept of transferable skills that are necessary for a student to land a good job in the future.


How Long Does It Take to Obtain an Associate Degree?

A typical associate degree only takes two years to pursue in case if you are a full-time student. On the other side, if you are a working professional and need an associate degree, then it might take a little longer. In this context, it is important to note that either way; it is about 90 credit hours in total. Interestingly, you would find that English and Mathematics are the core subjects in an associate degree.

Another advantage of undertaking a course in associate degree lies in the fact that apart from the core subjects, you would be taught interesting questions related to your career. Hence, if you are that type of a student who does not want to study the core subjects, the associate degree can be a respite for you. Because in the middle semesters, you would be taught interesting career-specific questions that can be a boon for you in the latter stages of your life.

​The Types of Associate Degrees

There are usually four types of associate degrees. They are in the form of AA which implies Associate of Arts, AAA which means Associate of Applied Arts, AS which means Associate of Science and AAS which implies Associate of Applied Science. It is interesting to note that the applied courses are much more emphasized on the preparing the candidates for a specific career. The applied courses also help a student to hone their vocational and practical skills. The AS and AA are for those types of students who want to pursue graduate level studies from a college or a university. These courses are specially meant for those types of students who wish to be ready to brace the challenges that are present in higher studies.

The Beneficial Aspects of Pursuing an Associate Degree

There are various helpful aspects related to pursuing an associate degree. For instance, in an associate degree, you would be able to concentrate on multiple job-specific courses. On the other hand, for someone who does not want to commit to a four-year degree, the associate degree is the way forward for them. You can also take into account the average cost of a two-year degree is much less than a four-year degree. Hence, if you lay proper emphasis on the financial aspect, you would find that an associate degree exudes more practicality. The typical cost of obtaining a four-year bachelor's degree annually is 9000 dollars for a state school. Moreover, this same cost surges when you pursue the same degree in a private school. In a private school, you have to shell out 30,000 dollars to obtain a four-year bachelor's degree course. Hence, from various aspects and considerations, an associate degree triumphs over a traditional bachelor's degree.

From Where Can You Obtain an Associate Degree?

It is important to note that associate degrees are usually obtained from community colleges, technical colleges, and online schools. It is also an interesting aspect to note that various universities who offer bachelor's degree would also provide an associate degree. This is the reason that it is best to check with the specific school which you want to attend. On the other hand, if you are a working professional and are finding it hard to participate in classes, then an online course can be of great help to you. For parents of small children, this can also be a good option as it allows you to complete some work at home and then fit in online classes at the off time. This might seem a juggling act to raise your family on the one hand and pursuing your associate degree on the other. But it is still a viable option as you do not have to take admission to any university for pursuing this course. Online courses related to associate degree would also help you with part-time studies.

Associate Degree and Career Options

It is a myth that you cannot have good career choices by just having an associate degree. It is important to note that there are a plethora of lucrative careers that you can select from with this assistant degree of two years. On the other hand, those students who undergo a four-year traditional course and that too with a student loan, they end up with an amount of 100,000 dollars of debt. This is where the practicality of an associate degree comes to the fore. As a student, you do not have to study for four long years only to see your loan interest amount surging. An associate degree can be of great help to those students who are looking forward to getting into the employment sector quickly. The universities of today are slowly realizing the importance of an associate degree, and this is the reason that this degree is rising in its popularity. Besides that, the flexibility of this course is an added benefit to working professionals looking forward to achieving a degree.

With the associate degree, you have many options in the employment sector. For instance, with an associate degree, you can be an accountant, Human Resource Manager, Court Reporter, News Reader, Medical Assistant, Nutritionist and much more. This degree also assists in building the technical workforce of a nation thereby making it advanced and developed from all aspects.  

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