Many high school graduates and other first-time college students consider an associate degree for their post-secondary education and for good reason. An associate degree offers a quick route to either beginning a successful career or preparing to transfer to a four-year college. What’s more, online universities now make it even easier to get your associate degree, offering the flexibility, convenience, and cost efficiency that many students seek. With more than 50 accredited online colleges to choose from, your options are virtually endless.
What is an Associate Degree?
An associate degree is earned in just two years and allows students the opportunity to jump-start their career. Students with an associate degree also may choose to continue their studies at a four-year institution and earn a bachelor’s degree. Associate degrees prepare students for jobs by offering a broad course selection in a variety of fields. Ranging from criminal justice to fashion design, classes prepare students for success in most any profession. With industry-specific training you’re guaranteed to enter the workforce with sought-after skills and the necessary academic credentials to be successful in today’s competitive job market.
How to Obtain an Associate Degree
Students who have earned their high school diploma or equivalent may enroll in an associate degree program. Degrees can be earned either online or at a community college by completing a minimum of 60 credit hours. Applying is as simple as filling out the online application offered on most college websites. Start your search by visiting our list of accredited colleges currently offering associate degrees. Make sure to check the accreditation status of the online college or university you wish to attend. Unless a university has the proper accreditation, the work you do may not transfer or be recognized by employers.
Types of Associate Degrees
There are two types of associate degrees: transfer or occupational. Transfer degrees allow you to complete general education courses, such as English composition, psychology, and college algebra. After transferring to a four-year institution you will focus on your desired major’s course requirements.
If you prefer to start your career sooner after graduating high school, an occupational associate degree gives you the opportunity to do so. You will quickly gain the knowledge and necessary job skills for your desired field. Let’s say you want to be a dental hygienist or a paralegal. Many online universities offer immediate paths to these exciting careers.
Why Pursue an Online Associate Degree?
The bottom line is education can mean higher salaries, and the higher the degree, the greater your earning potential will be. Whichever degree you decide to pursue, the benefits provided by an online university can lead you to a rewarding career.
- Convenience: Online courses give you the freedom to study at your own pace in the comfort of your home. You can also continue working while enrolled in evening classes.
- Affordability: Online universities can cost considerably less than traditional colleges. While tuition may be comparable, you’ll save money on books, room and board, and other on-campus expenses such as dining plans, activity fees, and even out-of-state tuition rates.
- Control course speed: Studying online means you will not have to feel dragged down by a slower class. Also, if you ever have difficulty understanding a particular section, you have plenty of time to dedicate to it until you fully comprehend the topic.
- Save time: Don’t forget about all the time you will save by not having to commute to campus for class!