An associate degree is often a two-year course that is offered by a US college. The degree is often awarded to students that have completed the requirements leading to the completion of the course. There are three levels of associate degrees in America. The three levels are: Associate in Arts, the Associate in Applied Science and the Associate in Science degrees. The degrees are awarded by community colleges which are operated by the municipal government and junior colleges which can be independently run. Both are excellent options to consider.
1. Duration requirements
An associate degree in a community college or career training school can be completed in roughly four semesters. A student can easily accomplish this if they attend college full-time. However, it is rare for students pursuing associate degrees to accommodate the studies on a full-time basis. Work and family considerations are often the reason behind it. Associate degrees can be completed with a combination of on-campus and off-campus activities. Students are required to take general education classes and electives on their selected fields so that they can broaden their education.
2. Is an associate degree good for you?
A student will find a lot of reasons to pursue an associate degree. Here are some of the reasons.
- Getting higher-paying jobs
Students with associate degrees have better job opportunities compared to students that only completed high school.
- Getting a degree with least amount of time
A student can already have a college diploma with the least amount of time spent in college. It will only take four semesters to get an associate degree while it takes eight or more semesters for a bachelor’s degree.
- To save from costs
It is more cost-effective to earn an associate degree first, find a job and finance the continuation of studies until the student earns a bachelor’s degree.
- If offers versatility
Community colleges offer versatility in the pursuit of an associate degree. Most of students aspiring for an associate degree have day jobs. That is why most community colleges and junior colleges allow their students to learn at nighttime or any time of the day that is more convenient to them.
- To enhance the chances of going to a better school
Some students use their associate degrees as a stepping stone to land in a more reputable college or university. The grades that you get while in a community college or a junior college can become your ticket to get a shot in studying in more prestigious school.
- For convenience
Students often take associate courses to save on commuting and housing costs. They take associate courses for better skills training. They end up using their knowledge to get higher-paying jobs or to re-educate themselves.
3. What kinds of students pursue associate degrees?
Students that pursue associate degrees are mostly people that seek flexibility in their study regimen. Most students work full-time and would like to seek greener pastures someday. These students believe that by getting higher degree of education can fulfill their need of getting better pay and a more stable job. An associate degree is cheaper and more convenient than getting a four-year course.
4. What to expect if you get an associate degree in an online school
Taking associate degree courses online provides better conditions than taking the courses on-campus. The environment online gives students more freedom to choose the time of their learning and can easily dictate the pace. Students can learn right from their homes. This makes learning less costly since there is no need to commute or live near a college which entails a lot of costs. You just need to have a computer and a reliable Internet connection.
5. How do you choose the colleges where to pursue your associate degree?
You have to consider a lot of factors when choosing the school where you are going to pursue an associate degree. One is the cost. While most community colleges are affordable and even provide education for free; there are other costs that need to be considered. Boarding costs are foremost on the list as well as commuting costs. You need to also consider the transfer program of the community college. It is important that you choose a community college that will enable you to smoothly transition towards a more reputable educational institution should you decide to pursue higher learning. A student needs to learn the transfer rates of the community college and whether the university that you are eyeing accepts the credits that you have earned when you finished your associate degree. If you want to use your associate degree in your job, it is worthwhile to check the job positioning rate of the community college.