What Are Requirements for an Associate Degree?

An associate degree is an undergraduate degree that can be earned in 2years. An associate degree program consists of three parts: general education requirements, major requirements, and electives. An associate degree is a 2-year degree given by either Community Colleges or Junior Colleges upon completion of an associate degree program.

The two types of associate degrees offered are the associate of arts degree (A.A.) and the associate of applied science degree (A.A.S.). The tuition for associate degree programs at community colleges is typically much less than at a four-year college or university, even a public one. Taking this in to consideration, many students choose to attend a two-year college and enroll in one of the many associate degree programs as a way of lowering the cost of getting a bachelor's degree.

It is important to make sure that the associate degree programs you are considering are fully accredited and the associate degree units you earn transferable. The best way to verify if associate degree programs are accredited is to ask major universities if they would recognize an associate degree from that college or online program.

When you earn your associates degree, you are ready to go in to the workforce immediately after graduation. Although the primary reason for earning an associates degree is employment, 2-year degrees can often transfer to four-year colleges. When you achieve an associate's degree, you will be better suited for today's competitive job market.

Schools offer Associate Degrees in areas such as:

Graphic Design - The median salary for a Graphic Designer $43,126

Criminal Justice - Median annual earnings of probation officers $39,600

Hospitality Management - Median annual earnings of lodging managers $37,660

Telecommunications - Average annual earnings of workers in the telecommunications industry were $44,356

Early Childhood Development - The median annual income for Preschool teachers $19,270

*Associate Degree holders earn $8,000 a year more than those with only a high school diploma.

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