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Top Reasons to Pursue an Associates Degree

Associate degrees are offered through two-year programs comprised of general education courses, major field requirements, and electives. Today's associate degree programs, offered by community colleges, trade schools, technical and vocational institutes, are often delivered in self-paced, online modules that allow students to build a degree while attending to family and work commitments.

Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees (associate degrees online) satisfy the general education requirements for transfer to bachelor's degree programs, while the Associate of Applied Science degrees are often accepted by employers for technology jobs. Professionals who have completed an associates degree earn nearly a half million dollars more throughout their working lives than those with only high school diplomas.

Here are other great reasons for enrolling in an associates degree program:

You're unsure of your ultimate career field

Since the associates degree satisfies general education requirements, you can transfer to a four-year bachelor's program when you are certain of a college major. Use your general education to weigh your career options. And while you're studying for your associates, you can meet with college career counselors who will help you find your way.

You're seeking job certifications or specific career training
If you've already decided on a goal, you can shorten your path into the workplace by completing specialized courses leading to a career degree. For example, associates degrees or certificates in healthcare (nursing, medical assisting, medical training and laboratory work) or high tech (computer repair, computer networks, customer care) can qualify you for immediate employment.

You can't afford a four-year education
College is expensive. By enrolling in an associates degree program, you carve two years from your bachelor's degree requirements. You can live at home while pursing an associates degree, continue working, and save money for additional undergraduate or advanced degree work.

You want to sharpen specific skills for your employer
A career degree program can allow you to broaden your appeal in the workplace. Many employers will pay fees for your online training in health-care, computer science, construction technology, electronics, and other disciplines.

Source
ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education

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