An Associate Degree is typically a 2-year programme (comprised of 60 credit hours), however, this can be accelerated in online coursework. Having an Associate Degree indicates that the student has completed a programme of study with a broad base in general education and a concentration in a specific area. This type of degree is traditionally offered at junior colleges and technical schools, and is an inexpensive alternative to a four-year programme. Not only are the courses less expensive, but also it is true that most four-year universities (whether it is an online university or a land university) will accept an Associate Degree as transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree.
The coursework for an Associate Degree will include general education requirements, degree requirements, and electives. The degree will also usually result in the ability to be hired on for mid-level technology positions. The Associate Degree programmes are also organized into sub-types, and each degree type will give the student different options upon completion. Typically the degree of choice for employers is the Associate of Applied Science because it is seen as an occupational degree. Here are the examples of the types of Associate Degrees:
- The Associate of Arts Degree (A.A.): This degree will transfer to a four-year college or university.
- The Associate of Applied Science Degree (A.A.S.): This degree will prepare students to enter the work force; also may transfer in part, or in full to a four-year college or university.
- The Associate of Science Degree (A.S.): This degree is a transfer degree also.
- An Occupational Degree: also a two-year degree, designed to prepare students to enter the workforce in their chosen discipline. This degree may, or may not transfer credits to a four-year university.
An Associate Degree will help increase the marketability of the job seeker, and also help their resume stand out against other applicants. This degree will also help ensure proper training and skills, and offer the possibility of higher education with transferrable credits toward a Bachelor’s degree. The online format now makes pursuing an Associate Degree much more convenient and accessible to any of those who wish to advance in the workforce.