Maybe you are in the common boat of having some college credits and are unsure of what to do next. Especially if you are one of the many people who started working with a few college courses under your belt, but never completed a degree program. A degree, any degree, will be beneficial when considering job security, the option for wage increases, among many other life advancement opportunities. So let’s look at why someone would choose to complete an associates degree. Why get an associates degree? Well, an associates degree is often considered half of a bachelors. It is a milestone that signifies you have achieved some general education requirements as well as some specialized courses that can most likely be reapplied to a major if you choose to return to school again to achieve a bachelor’s degree. Sometimes an associates degree comes from a technical school and is in service to a particular career pathway. Generally an associates degree can be completed in two years time, though there are accelerated options online for students who want to get in and out as fast as possible. You can find online associates programs at many community colleges, as well as career and technical schools.
How Can I Finish My Associate’s Degree Online?
Generally, you will see most associate’s degree programs require the completion of 60 credit hours, give or take a few. It is important to determine how many credits you need to complete an associates degree and then do a search to find a variety of programs that allow you to transfer credits and achieve the rest of the degree online. You can look in a variety of places for the perfect associates degree that meets your needs. You can start your search at four year colleges and universities, community colleges, or by searching technical and career oriented programs. Look at the transferability of your credits, as you want to be sure you are going to choose a program that will accept the majority of what you have already completed.
Another thing to consider when searching for the perfect associates degree program online, is if the program has connections to bachelor’s degree programs. In other words, many associate’s degree programs have partnerships with bachelor pathways that will enable students to easily transfer into a four year degree course of study following the completion of the associates. You may think completing an associates is as far as you want to go, but it’s always good to leave the door open. This is especially true when you are already halfway there! A bachelor’s degree can open doors that you may never have considered.
At this point in your academic journey, it is good to have a sense of what you want to study and what kind of a learner you are. In other words, do you require more flexibility to achieve your degree, or can you log in to class at the same times every week. This is important information because you will want to find a program that offers the learning format that works best for you. At this stage in the game, you are probably not interested in deeper exploration, but you want to get into a program that you can seamlessly move through and walk out with that magical piece of paper. Am I right? Knowing this can make a big difference in where you want to study. Oftentimes, community college programs have smaller class sizes than four-year institutions of higher learning. They may offer more access to faculty and advisors as well. Certainly, this is not always the case, but something to keep your eye open towards. If you know that you need additional support, rather than simply a calendar of deadlines, seek out a program that will ensure the peer-to-peer and faculty-to-student connections that you might find on campus, but online of course. Don’t forget about the hybrid options as a possibility. This is great for students who do better with an in-person touchstone but are too busy to complete their degree entirely on campus. Hybrid learning also comes in many shapes and sizes, but the general premise is that some classes are offered online while others bring you to campus. This is, of course, great if you want to use campus resources, like the library, or participate in student life.
You can certainly have a successful career with the achievement of an associate’s degree, however, you might want to start there and keep going. I know, one thing at a time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median weekly income for someone with an associate’s degree is $887. That is something to write home about. For more information about going back to school check out our Ultimate Guide to Online Degree Completion Programs.