Associate Degree

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The Info You Need on Earning an Associates Degree

The easiest way to think about an associates degree is that it translates to the first two years of a bachelor’s degree program. It typically takes two years of full-time study to earn an associates degree, which has made it a popular and less costly option for people seeking changes in their careers.

You can earn an associates degree from community colleges, junior colleges, technical and vocational schools, and universities. Some four-year institutions offer articulation agreements, which guarantee that students can earn a bachelor’s degree at a larger school once they earn their associates degrees. This has become a popular method for earning a bachelor’s degree at a lower cost than spending four years studying at a university.

There are three types of associates degrees: Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS), and Associate of Applied Science (AAS). These degree types have varying course requirements. While AA and AS programs are more focused on general education, AAS degrees are typically more geared toward specific careers and vocations. Here are the basics for all three types:

  • Associate of Arts (AA): The best choice for those who plan to earn a bachelor’s degree in literature, languages, or the fine arts. An AA degree is also a good fit for those who want to go directly into sales or management positions.
  • Associate of Science (AS): There is a greater focus on math and science subjects in a typical AS program. Common majors include nursing, criminal justice, and computer science.
  • Associate of Applied Science (AAS): Those who are more interested in going directly into a profession than earning a bachelor’s degree should consider this type of associates degree. A typical AAS program is more career-targeted, with popular majors including paralegal studies, web design, and entrepreneurship.

There are some high-paying jobs that require only an associates degree, including dental hygienist, computer network support specialist, and registered nurse. In fact, having the right type of associates degree can lead to better earning potential than many bachelor’s degrees.

The typical associates degree program includes 60 semester hours of study. This equates to about 20 courses. The fact that many schools offer both online and traditional programs means you can maintain a flexible schedule as you earn your associates degree. There are accelerated options to help you make faster progress, but you could also take one or two courses per semester if you have a busy work schedule.

Online study might also be a good option for you if you plan to maintain a career while advancing your education. There are many for-profit colleges offering online associates degrees, but make sure to carefully compare costs before going too far with such a program. For-profit schools can charge much more than their public college counterparts.

It’s also important to ask yourself if your intended career path and personal learning style align with online education. You might find that hands-on guidance is a priority for your desired career, or that you’ll thrive with face-to-face instruction rather than virtual interactions.

 

FIND COLLEGES FOR ASSOCIATE DEGREE

16 schools found

American International College

Type: Private For-Profit

Institution Level: Between 2 and 4 years

Location:231 N Martingale Rd, Schaumburg, IL 60173

American InterContinental University (AIU) was founded in Europe in 1970 on the premise that universities should transcend the bounds of the traditional, theory-based approach to education by providing students with a curriculum that can help prepare them to pursue their professional interests in today's globalized, cutting-edge industries.

For more than 45 years, AIU has offered specialized, flexible degree programs. Today, it operates campuses in Atlanta and Houston as well as at AIU Online, which launched in 2001. In January 2001, Career Education Corporation (CEC) acquired the university.

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Bryan University

Type: Private For-Profit

Institution Level: Between 2 and 4 years

Location:350 West Washington Street, Tempe, AZ 85281

Bryan University is a leader in solving complex challenges in online education and engineering transformative experiences for students. We believe that online learning can be a desired and preferred educational experience. Through a series of research-based strategies and industry partnerships, we are revolutionizing the way students learn online. All of our innovative, problem-solving initiatives are student-outcomes oriented.

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Centura College

Type: Private For-Profit

Institution Level: Between 2 and 4 years

Location:4455 South Blvd., Virginia Beach, VA 23452

Centura College, with campus locations in Virginia, and South Carolina, is dedicated to helping students gain the skills and attitudes necessary to succeed. Drawing from over 30 years of career school experience, we are committed to the education and personal enrichment of each student. Whether you are a recent high school graduate just starting out, planning to return to the workplace in a new career field, or a member of our Armed Forces preparing to enter the civilian workforce, Centura College can get you the training you need quickly. At Centura College, it's all about the training!

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CollegeAmerica

Type: Private Non-Profit

Institution Level: Between 2 and 4 years

Location:Multiple Locations in AZ and CO

Congratulations! Your interest in CollegeAmerica is an important first step toward changing your life. A career-focused degree is the key to a new career with a potentially higher income, better benefits, and more satisfaction.

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Colorado Christian University Online

Type: Private Non-Profit

Institution Level: More than 4 years

Location:8787 W Alameda Ave, Lakewood, CO 80226

Colorado Christian University is dedicated to helping adults pursue their passion by earning a degree that integrates faith and learning. CCU overs over 70 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree program options 100% online.

Why Choose CCU Online?

1. Flexible schedule that fits your life.

2. Most classes are only 5 weeks long.

3. Transfer credits from another accredited school.

4. Learn vital skills from faculty with real-world experience.                                               

 

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Colorado Technical University

Type: Private For-Profit

Institution Level: Between 2 and 4 years

Location:4435 N Chestnut St, Colorado Springs, CO 80907

Since 1965 Colorado Technical University has been proud to educate career focused students to advance their education and help achieve their goals. CTU’s commitment to provide innovative, real-world education to students within Colorado, the military, across the U.S. and overseas has never wavered. 

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Davenport University

Type: Private Non-Profit

Institution Level: Between 2 and 4 years

Location:6191 Kraft Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512

Founded in 1866, Davenport is a private, non-profit university with campuses across Michigan and online serving nearly 7,500 students. Davenport provides high academic quality, small class sizes, conveniently located campuses, faculty with real-world experience and more than 80 dynamic undergraduate and graduate programs addressing in-demand careers.

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Eastwick College

Type: Private For-Profit

Institution Level: Between 2 and 4 years

Location:10 S Franklin Turnpike, Ramsey, NJ 07446

When you’re deciding on a school or college, you look at what makes it better than all the others. Here are four major advantages of an Eastwick Education that have established us as one of the most reputable leaders in specialized education.

 

Hands-on Training

 

Each of our programs features a hands-on learning component, where students practice with similar equipment and procedures used by employers in the area, and may include clinical work with patients. This helps ensure our graduates have the confidence and real-world skills to succeed on the job.

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Florida Tech

Type: Private Non-Profit

Institution Level: Between 2 and 4 years

Location:150 W. University Blvd. Melbourne, FL 32901

Advance Your Education, 100% Online.

• Regionally Accredited

• Ranked by U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and The Princeton Review

• Accomplished Faculty and Distinguished Alumni

 

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Keiser University

Type: Private Non-Profit

Institution Level: Between 2 and 4 years

Location:1500 NW 49th St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309

At Keiser University we are here to help you succeed by providing the professional and academic foundation to meet your educational goals and objectives. Keiser University continues to be a valuable partner to employers, the community, and, above all, a valued choice for students serious about their education and career.

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