A bachelor’s, master’s or PHD are the most familiar forms of degrees to most of us. But the idea of an associate’s degree might be more obscure. This guide will explain about it in depth so you can have all the information you need if you ever want to pursue it.
What is an associate degree?
It is an academic program that can be taken at undergraduate level. Undergraduate level basically refers to the initial stage after high school. The aim of an associate program is to give the student technical and transferable skills. This can prove to be very useful for future employment prospects or even further studies.
Associate degrees are most commonly offered in the United States, and in parts of Hong Kong, Australia, Canada and Netherlands. Other countries also have similar course available but by different names, like the foundation essay writing service degree in the UK.
These degrees are available at different colleges, including community, technical and junior colleges. Colleges that are affiliated with universities are also good places for getting an associate degree. It takes a span of two years to complete the course. For some people, an associate’s degree prepares them for their bachelors. While in other cases, it gives the student a complete qualification in its own, improving chances of a promising employment.
Types of associate’s degree:
There are four types of associate degrees:
- Associate of Arts:
This degree covers subjects related to liberal arts, such as sociology, communications, humanities and English. It specifically targets general education to prepare the student for transferring to related bachelor’s programs. Special courses are also offered like early childhood education, social work and photography.
- Associate of Science:
An AS program incorporates liberal art subjects, but also demands more technical coursework in comparison to AA. Apart from offering general studies curriculum, it has information technology, paralegal studies, accounting, predental education among others.
- Associate of Applied Arts:
The Applied Arts course is designed to focus upon visual or performing art. It is aimed to provide a wide range of artistic skills, which can also include specialized fields. Fine arts, music, advertising arts and commercial music are some of the offered programs.
- Associate of Applied Science:
This course meets the requirement of a wide range of practical fields. Students can select the major and optional subjects to match their own expertise or preferred profession. It can also be transferred to a 4-year program. But students taking AAS usually pursue a career straight after graduation instead if doing bachelors. Due to this, these degrees are seen as terminal.
Online associate degrees are recently becoming very popular also, because of their affordability and flexibility. They allow students to study while working alongside, for a considerably reduced cost.
Difference between diploma and associate degree
To avoid any confusion, we are also going to shed some light on the topic of an associate degree vs diploma. Both of these are different in various aspects and should not be mixed up. A diploma is a document that is awarded to a student after completing a course. They can be categorized into vocational and technical diploma. While an associate degree, is a title given to a student when they complete college level study.
How to transfer from an associate degree to a bachelor’s one?
This is quite a simple process. As long as the student’s course credits are relevant and acceptable to the university, the degree can be transferred. The bachelor’s programs can be met halfway through without much hassle. If you want to avail this option, make sure to do research on the institute you are applying to. Once informed about their requirements, you can take any specific classes or credit hours to fully prepare for the bachelor’s.
Why get an associate’s degree?
There are various reasons for choosing an associate’s degree. It will help a freshly graduated student enter more rapidly into the work industry. If they do not have strong high school grades, it provides chances of getting into a full-fledged bachelor’s program.
Students short on finances can also consider doing these courses first, as they have a much lower tuition cost. It also takes much less time to get this degree in comparison to other programs. People who work part time can find it most convenient to carry on with improving and enhancing their knowledge and skills.
It is perhaps the easiest way to make a transition between the academic and practical world. You can consider beforehand the career path you want to follow, and apply for the appropriate subjects. To prepare for ahead, you can even check the job listings currently in the market and the skills and qualifications they require. This will make it more convenient to decide which associate program you should go for.
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