An associate’s degree, often called a “two-year degree,” is offered through community, junior, technical, and career colleges and universities. At around 60 credit hours, the associate’s degree is the equivalent of two years of postsecondary study and will cover general education courses, in addition to study in the major, in order to provide students with a well-rounded education. An investment in an associate’s degree has the potential to return in the form of higher wages. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median weekly incomes for associate’s degree holders are almost 20% higher than those with only a high school diploma.
Types of Associate Degrees
- A. (Associate of Arts) – This degree requires students to complete a coursework of 60 hours, including courses in general education and other courses related to the degree program. A.A. degree is often awarded in liberal art areas, like English, music or history.
- S. (Associate of Science) – It focuses on science and requires students to complete many hours of coursework in general education. Common A.S. programs include biology and chemistry.
- A.S. (Associate of Applied Science) – It is designed to ready students to join the working world. There are several types of this degree, including programs in business or engineering.
- E. (Associate of Engineering) – Focuses on engineering
- A.A. (Associate of Applied Arts) – Deal with applied arts
- A.P.S. (Associate of Political Science) – Mainly focuses on political
There are many types of associate’s degrees, but the three most popular are the Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS), and the Associate of Applied Science (AAS). Those who purse an AA degree are interested in degrees in the arts and humanities, such as English literature, history, and sociology, whereas those who pursue AS degrees major in the sciences, such as chemistry, information systems, and engineering. AAS degrees differ from AA and AS programs in that they provide specific vocation training to prepare students for employment in fields such as nursing, bookkeeping, data processing, and various technician jobs, for instance.
The decision of what type of program you would like to enroll in will depend on your reasons for pursuing a degree. Do you have a very strong idea of what you want to be doing professionally right now? Do you want to move swiftly from vocational training into the job market and consider the degree an educational stopping point? With most associate’s programs, many students are able to find a program that suits them in an easy range of their homes and jobs.