Types Of Associate Degrees

There are several factors to prioritize when selecting your preferred degree program. For example, you should know the type of career that interests you. Hence, you must know whether your degree will equip you with the skills necessary for entry-level vocations in your likely career path. In the least, you should know if your career demands more or humanities, science or math-related skills.

There exist three kinds of Associate degrees namely Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS) and Associate of Applied Science (AAS).


These Associate’s Degree Programs differ in terms of their course prerequisites. For example, AA and AS degree programs train learners for advanced educational courses. For instance, they focus on general education programs and academic demands in preparation for Bachelor’s degrees. On the other hand, AAS programs offer practical skills that train learners for given careers and job-related fields.

What Is An AAS Degree?

Associate Degrees of Applies Sciences refer to vocational degrees that target specific careers. Even so, they do not offer the learner with the required coursework for earning bachelor’s degrees.  Therefore, you should not invest in AAS courses when you want to go for higher education without attending four schooling years for your bachelor’s course. Nevertheless, Associate of Applied Science Degrees create majors in Web Design, Customer Relationship Management, Paralegal Studies, Human Resources, and Entrepreneurship.

What Is An AA Degree?

The University of Phoenix offers Associate of Arts Degrees that shields broad subjects in the fields of literature, languages, performing arts and fine arts. Thus, they come in handy to learners who intend to go for a bachelor’s degree in the aforementioned areas. Jobs under this category comprise management positions, sales, and non-teacher education positions.

What Is An AS Degree?

Conversely, Associate of Science degrees concentrates on Math and Science-related courses offering extensive career options. You can easily land in entry-level occupations with this degree in fields like Criminal Justice, Nursing and Business Administration as stated below:

  1. Nursing and healthcare- Medical transcriptionists, Registered Nurses, Cardiovascular technologists and technicians Physical therapists.
  2. Business administration- Realtors, Accounting & Auditing Clerks, Sales managers and Administrative Assistants.
  • Technology and information technology- Web developers, Database Coordinators, IT Systems Administrators, Computer Network Support Specialists.

You Might Also Find Interest In The Following Highest Paying Jobs For Associate Degree Holders:

  • Dental hygienist: $70,210
  • Registered nurse: $65,470
  • Web developer: $62,500.
  • Computer network support specialists: $59,090
  • Radiological technologists: $54,620
  • Occupational therapy assistants: $53,240

The University of Phoenix  conducted a study that revealed 28% of Associate Degree Holders earning more than the medium salary of their counterparts holding Bachelor’s degrees. This equates to more earnings and savings as is the case with the remuneration for associate’s degree nurses compared to nurses with bachelor’s degrees.

The same study also revealed that the least of post-secondary education increases one’s income by about $250, 000 in their working years.

 Credits From An Associate’s Degree

Associate’s Degrees feature 60-semester credits equating to 20 college courses. Private and public community colleges offer these flexible programs that take two years.

Owing to the flexibility of Associate’s Degrees, you can study in classroom settings or online. Either way, you can choose accelerated programs. However, if your responsibilities overwhelm you, then you should take single or double classes per semester.

Often, associate’s degree programs concentrate on elementary academic and technical skills for entry-level work in specific fields. Even so, they might stress on transferable skills for furthering your education.

The society considers Associate Programs as a basis for Bachelor’s Degrees. Even so, you could use it for better employment opportunities. Also, most four-year institutions provide learners with the chance to start their Bachelor’s from the Associate’s Degree level. Such institutions offer the 2 + 2 courses. Ideally, you cover the initial Bachelor’s Degree years during your Associate’s program years. For safety purposes, however, you must ensure that your Associate level credits will transfer to your Bachelor’s course because schools set unique standards for the same.

TIP: Many high paying trade and technical careers allow associate degrees for entry and career development including fields like Survey, Nursing, Computer Programming, Logistics and Technical writing just to mention a few. In fact, owing to the plenty Associate Degree occupations today, you must not hold a Bachelor’s Degree in order to land in the most competitive jobs.

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