Is an associates degree worth it? Associate degrees are flexible and low-cost, and can be completed in two years or less.
In addition, earning an associate degree can help you qualify for a wide range of jobs in high-paying industries, from aviation to healthcare.
Is an associate degree worth it?
Yes, for many students, an associate degree is worthwhile. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, based on the industry you enter, the number of jobs that require an associate’s degree to enter is expected to increase by 6.2% in the next ten years.
According to data from the Education and Workforce Center, associate degree holders have an average income of approximately US$1.7 million during their careers. This is $400,000 more than those who only hold a high school diploma! In addition, compared with high school graduates, people with associate degrees have more job opportunities.
When you want to improve your skills, but are unwilling or unable to spend 4 years to obtain a degree, an associate degree may be a good choice. Associate degrees usually take 2 years to complete and can help you gain comprehensive academic experience focusing on your chosen field of study.
Associate’s Degree Careers & Salaries
Earning an associate degree can help you prepare for high-paying jobs in a variety of occupations. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual salary for associate degree holders is $56,590. Your salary will depend on many factors, such as your chosen field, your experience and your location.
Here are some lucrative jobs where you can get an associate degree. Some companies may prefer you to have a bachelor’s degree when applying for these jobs.
|Careers||Annual Median Salary|
|Air Traffic Controller||$130,420|
|Diagnostic Medical Sonographer||$75,920|
|Funeral Home Manager||$74,200|
|Flight Data Technician||$68,570|
|Electrical or Electronic Drafter||$62,100|
If you don’t want to spend a four-year bachelor’s degree in college, an associate degree may be a good choice. Associate degree jobs usually pay very reasonable salaries, and it is easy to understand why so many students choose a 2-year degree.
Associate’s Degree Pros and Cons
An associate degree can help you enter the job market earlier, reduce or eliminate student loan debt, and get a pretty good salary. On the other hand, an associate degree may not prepare you for certain types of jobs. Your income may be lower than those with a bachelor’s degree, and you may lack professional studies, especially in specialized fields such as medicine and law.
|Associate Degree Pros||Associate Degree Cons|
|Shorter duration||Earnings lower than bachelor’s degree holders|
|Enter the job market ahead of bachelor’s degree holders||Compete with bachelor degree holders for some of the same jobs|
|Affordable tuition||Obtaining a management position may take longer|
|You are ready to work and can transfer credits to a bachelor’s degree program (if needed)||Not suitable if you want to study for a professional degree|
Weighing the pros and cons of an associate degree depends on your career goals.
What Are the Benefits of Having an Associate’s Degree?
There are several advantages to having an associate degree. Compared to no degree at all, having an associate degree can help you enter your chosen career faster and make more money. It usually only takes two years to complete an associate’s degree, while an ordinary bachelor’s degree program usually takes four years to complete.
Associate degrees are usually cheaper, and you may be able to pay off your loan faster because you can start making money earlier.
Compared with high school/trade school diploma holders, you may have a wider range of employment opportunities to choose from. If you are unsure at first, it can help you zero career interest. If you want to study for a bachelor’s degree in the future, you can transfer some credits to a degree program.
Is An Associates Degree Useless?
No, associate degrees are not useless. An associate degree is an intermediate step between a high school diploma and a bachelor’s degree. According to academic and economic experts, an associate’s degree can be seen as a complement to a bachelor’s degree and is usually more economically viable.
If you want to get a bachelor’s degree later, you can do it quickly and in 2 years instead of 4 years when you get an accredited degree.
Are Associates Degrees Worth Anything?
is a general associate’s degree worth anything? Yes, an associate degree is worth it and may be a wise investment for many students. According to a survey conducted by the Center for Education and Labor, the average career earnings of associate degree graduates are approximately US$400,000 higher than those with only a high school diploma.
Considering that associate degrees usually take 2 years or less to complete, it may be worthwhile to obtain this certificate. Another advantage of associate degrees is that since they can be completed in 2 years, you can start earning money earlier. This may give you a quick start to someone studying for a bachelor’s degree.
What Can You Do With an Associate’s Degree?
Earning an associate degree can work in a variety of fields, including manufacturing, technology, healthcare, legal services, aviation, art and design, culinary arts, hospitality, nursing, childcare, liberal arts, and business administration.
As a way of employment that is usually shorter, more affordable, and faster than a bachelor’s degree, an associate degree opens up a comprehensive and diverse perspective. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for associate degree jobs is $56,590.
The three most frequent types of associate degrees are:
- Associate of Arts (AA)
- Associate of Science (AS)
- Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
If desired, you can study for a bachelor’s degree in the future.
How Long Does It Take to Get An Associates Degree?
Most students need 2 years to complete an associate degree. If you want to get an associate degree in a shorter time, you can take an accelerated course or take an online course.
Many universities now offer 8-week online courses, allowing you to complete each course in half the time.
How Many Credits Is An Associate’s Degree?
Most associate degree programs are 60 credits. At most universities, most of your credits will be general education credits required by all students.
The remaining credits can be used for your main field of study and elective courses.
How Much Does an Associate Degree Cost?
The cost of an associate degree will depend on many factors, including the location of the area, the type of school, and how many credits you need in your field of study.
According to a recent university council report, the average annual public tuition for the two-year school district is approximately $3,730.
Associate’s Degree vs. Bachelor’s Degree
Deciding between an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree will depend on your desired career path, tuition, and field of study.
- A bachelor’s degree usually requires 120 credits and four years to complete.
- Associate degrees usually require 60 credits and two years to complete.
Associate degree programs are usually more affordable and can save you from a heavy debt burden. An associate degree usually prepares you for a specific career. If the job you want does not require a bachelor’s degree qualification, an associate degree may be a suitable route.
This can help you gain valuable experience and time in this field so that you can gain more qualifications at different stages of your career.
Getting Your Associate’s Degree Online
When you are unable to complete the four-year bachelor’s degree program, an associate degree may be a good starting point for your career.
Many associate degree students may already be working, so the courses are flexible and industry-specific. If you want to start work as soon as possible, and don’t want to be burdened with huge and imminent student loan debts.
this may be a good choice. Although the weight of an associate degree may not be as good as a 4-year degree, it can allow you to qualify for entry-level jobs in many high-paying industries in half the time.