There was a time, in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, when everyone was told that in order to be successful in life a bachelor’s degree or higher was necessary. Times are beginning to change as the price of a four year degree has increased dramatically, and more and more people are examining their career goals prior to enrolling in a degree program to ensure that their education dollars are maximized. For example, an associate’s degree in accounting might not prepare you for the same career as a computer network engineer. Or, if you are interested in a career in medicine, it may make sense to pursue an associate’s degree in nursing or as an EMT rather than pursuing an M.D.
As the world begins to shift, it is important to consider all options and think about whether or not an associate’s degree from an online school may be the best choice for your educaiton. Here are some reasons why an associate’s degree is the path to consider.
Advantages of an Associate’s Degree
One major advantage of earning an associate’s degree is that you can begin building your career much sooner than if you were going to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. Because associate degrees take less time to complete, you will have more time to research employers and jobs, which means you’ll be able to start working sooner. An associate’s degree is a great start to your career, and it will give you a solid foundation to build on.
As an associate degree typically takes two years to complete, you’ll have more flexibility in your schedule. In fact, an associate’s degree will typically take you two years to complete versus four years or more if you are pursuing a bachelor’s degree. You’ll also save money because an associate’s degree, especially through an online institution, tends to be much less expensive than a four year degree.
Besides the flexibility, earning an associate’s degree can lead to better pay. Workers with associate’s degrees earn an average of $128 more a week than those with a high school diploma. Furthermore, associates degree holders are more likely to find jobs, as their unemployment rate is lower. An associate’s degree is also beneficial for those who want to expand their skill set. Although associate’s degrees are typically only two years long, they can help you gain a rounded educational experience and specialize in your chosen field.
A bachelor’s degree is usually four years long, and while it is an impressive personal accomplishment, it is a far less affordable choice for many students. A bachelor’s degree will give you a lot of experience, but it’ll also show that you can manage your time well and develop a strong work ethic. Whether you plan to earn your bachelor’s degree or not, an associate’s degree will allow you to enter the workforce faster and with more confidence.
Transferring from an associate’s to a bachelor’s degree
Some people are surprised to learn that you can complete your associate’s degree, work for a time to recover from the expense of your education, and then further your education. It is often simpler than you think to enroll in a four year college after you have already gotten an associate’s degree.
When you want to transfer from an associate’s degree to a Bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to know which college will accept your credits. Your college may require a certain GPA and/or SAT scores, but sometimes when you already have an associate’s degree your test scores no longer matter. There are advantages to completing an associate’s degree before moving on to a Bachelor’s program. One reason for this is that by getting a two year degree you have proven your ability to succeed in college. If you are thinking about transferring, you should understand the process and consider the benefits and drawbacks.
While the benefits of earning a bachelor’s degree over an associate’s are numerous, it’s best to remember that not all associate’s degrees are created equal. It’s important to choose a degree program that will accept your credits and avoid over or under-applied credits. You may not be able to plan for this in advance, but it’s crucial to understand how your credits transfer.
Financial aid for students looking to complete their degree
If you are seeking an associate’s degree, you may be eligible for federal financial aid for your education. There are many options from federal financial aid, Pell grants to private funding that can help pay for your two year education. It is important to begin the process of obtaining financial aid by completing FAFSA documents. These are informational documents that allow the federal government to determine which path for financial aid may fit your circumstances best.
Requirements for associate’s degree programs
Requirements for associate’s degree programs differ according to the school. Consider what you’d like to do with your degree. If you’re planning to apply for entry-level positions, find out what kind of skills employers are looking for. It may help to research specific positions and note the specific requirements on job listings. If you’ve got some professional experience, you can also pursue further education. To find out what’s required for each position, use the internet or talk to a career advisor.
Associate’s degree programs typically require 60 credits to complete. Coursework is flexible, so you may be able to complete the degree within two years. Coursework can include general education classes, concentration-specific coursework, and electives. For example, students in accounting may need to take classes on federal taxation and business law. Education students may take courses on child development and literacy. Schools may also require students to take a college-prep class or two to develop study skills and become familiar with the academic requirements of college.
Options for earning a degree online
There are several different ways to earn an associate’s degree online, and not all of them are created equal. Some programs are designed to allow students to complete their degree faster, and others are more focused on developing their core skills. The best option for you will depend on your goals, the type of job you want, and your degree level. Below, we’ve listed some of the most common options. We also have some tips for ensuring you find a program that suits your needs and budget.You can enroll in part-time classes if you want to take a lighter load. On the other hand, you can enroll in accelerated programs, which feature a heavier course load each semester. Part-time students may take up to three years to complete their degree, but some accelerated programs let you graduate sooner than that. You can even get a certificate of completion while earning a degree online.
If all of this is still out of your current range of possibility, there may be another option available that we haven’t yet discussed. You could always decide to order a replica associate’s degree for a fraction of the price, and wait to get the real deal until you have the time and money necessary.