Associate Degree vs Bachelor’s Degree :- Deciding whether to go to college for an associate’s degree versus a bachelor’s degree can be a difficult decision. The degree program you choose should be in line with your personal, professional and financial goals for the future.
Associate or Graduate? Of course, each degree has its own strengths for different people and careers. To answer, “Which one is better?” It means taking stock of your personal circumstances and professional goals. If you are confused, read on, and we will try to cover some of the topics that will help you out.
An associate’s degree is normally earned at a community college and is earned in two years. It usually focuses on general education requirements that can later be used toward completing a bachelor’s degree after two more years of study.
Some associate programs are also geared toward a specific profession such as one in the healthcare industry, computer technology, or business administration. Visiting an online college’s program of study page can provide you with some ideas.
While a person can use an associate’s degree toward a bachelor’s degree, most students enroll directly into the bachelor’s degree program. Programs can be found in virtually every field of interest from animal husbandry to languages to fashion design.
These four-year programs provide the foundation needed for attaining the majority of jobs in the United States. Roughly two years of the program are spent on a broad general education covering subjects commonly seen in high school: mathematics, English, sciences, history, and languages. Traditionally, students spend between 15-18 hours per week in the classroom.
Key Differences Between Associate Degree and Bachelor’s Degree
Key differences between an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree include program duration, program focus, earning potential, cost of the program, and career opportunities:
- Length of Program: Most full-time associate degrees will take 2 years to complete, while most full-time bachelor’s degrees will take 4 years to complete.
- Program Focus: Because bachelor’s degrees involve additional coursework, they tend to explore a specialized area of study in more depth than comparable associate’s degrees.
- Earning Potential: Bachelor’s degree holders earn an average of $20K more per year than associate’s degree holders.
- Program Cost: The cost of earning a bachelor’s degree will generally be higher than earning an associate’s degree due to the required course load.
- Career Opportunities: Earning a bachelor’s degree will usually open up more career opportunities.
Length of Program
The most basic difference is the length of time it takes to earn the degree. A full-time student can earn an associate’s degree in two years or a bachelor’s degree in four years. Part-time students take longer to earn each degree, but generally, an associate’s degree will be faster to obtain than a bachelor’s degree.
Both program types may take longer if students choose to enroll part-time. Many colleges now offer flexible schedules, including night, weekend, and online classes, to accommodate working professionals, parents, and other potential students who cannot attend classes during the day.
Note: Often credits earned in an associate’s degree program will transfer to a bachelor’s degree program. So if you already have an associate’s degree, check your school’s credit transfer policies to see if you can fast-track your bachelor’s degree and complete it in just two years instead of four.
There are two approaches to obtaining an associate’s degree. To prepare for a career in a specific field by enrolling in a highly skilled vocational or technical program, such as nursing or culinary arts. The second is a general studies approach that allows you to earn transfer credits and an associate’s degree simultaneously. This type of associate’s degree does not require a major (specific area of focus). buy graduate degree
Most graduate degree programs require that you choose a major and complete a final project. But before you work in your major coursework, you’ll need to complete about two years of general education. (That’s where an associate’s degree can come in handy.) Graduate programs also allow you to explore optional study, which can be built into a minor that complements your major.
While an associate’s degree costs less than a bachelor’s degree, there is a trade-off when it comes to the earning potential of graduates from those two programs.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, students who complete bachelor’s degree programs are likely to earn more. The median weekly income for a bachelor’s degree holder is $1,305. By comparison, the average weekly earnings for an associate degree holder is $938. Furthermore, the unemployment rate for bachelor’s degree holders is 5.5 percent, compared to 7.1 percent for associate degree graduates.
Although the cost of tuition and fees varies widely from one college to another, it generally costs less to earn an associate degree than it costs to earn a bachelor’s degree.
Generally, tuition and fees for Bachelor’s degree programs are higher than those for Associate’s degree programs. In addition, associate degree programs are often offered by community colleges. Typically, these schools receive grants and provide significant financial aid to their students. Therefore, the cost of an associate degree is lower than the average cost of a four-year degree.
If you want to quickly jump-start your career in a technical or skilled-labor industry, an associate’s degree is all you need to get started. Jobs you can get with an associate’s degree include dental assistant, licensed practical nurse (LPN), cosmetologist, computer programmer, and more.
While there are many careers that require only an associate’s degree, you may be competing for jobs with candidates who have bachelor’s degrees. Generally speaking, an applicant with a bachelor’s degree may be considered more qualified or more attractive to employers.
Fields such as accounting, finance and business management often require a minimum bachelor’s degree. These jobs usually offer more opportunities for career advancement and promotion. Depending on the situation, some companies may not care what your particular area of study was; Having only a four-year degree fulfills their requirement. Of course, seeking a career related to your major has its advantages.
A bachelor’s degree is essential if you are interested in a career that requires graduate study. You must have a bachelor’s degree to apply for master’s or doctoral-level programs.
Jobs that require an associate degree
Dental Hygienist. An associate degree in dental hygiene is suitable for starting a career as a dental hygienist. Primarily, dental hygienists examine patients’ oral health, provide preventive care, and look for signs of oral diseases. They also remove tartar, stains and plaque from the teeth.
Radiation Therapist. Radiation therapists treat patients who have cancer and other diseases that may require radiation therapy. In addition, they take steps to reduce patients’ exposure to radiation.
Air Traffic Controller. The movement of aircraft at the airport is coordinated by air traffic controllers. They ensure that aircraft at the airport maintain a safe distance from each other.
Jobs that require a bachelor’s degree
Human Resource Manager. Human resource managers are important people in any business. They are responsible for the companies’ employment procedures and employee benefits. For most companies, the education requirements for a human resources manager position are a bachelor’s degree in management, human resources, business or a related field.
Airline and Commercial Pilots. Although flight certification from the Federal Aviation Administration is required, most commercial airlines prefer pilots with a bachelor’s degree.
Sales Managers. Sales managers are responsible for the sales of companies’ products and services. In addition, sales managers set sales goals and organize training programs for other sales personnel in the company. A bachelor’s degree in business administration, marketing, or a related field can land you a position as a sales manager.
Choosing a degree path is a personal choice that requires a lot of planning and introspection. An interesting point is that a person usually has different reasons for choosing an Associate’s program versus a Bachelor’s program.
Associate Degree vs Bachelor’s Degree FAQ
Should I get an associate degree before a bachelor’s degree?
No, you should not earn an associate degree before a bachelor’s degree. You Can Skip the Associate Degree and Go Straight for a Four-Year Degree
How many years does an Associate’s degree take?
Generally, an associate’s degree takes two years for a full-time student to obtain. This may take longer if you study on a part-time basis.
Is it worth to pursue an associate degree?
Yes, pursuing associate programs is beneficial for many career paths, especially if you are choosing an associate degree and no college education at all. Associate degrees are also cheaper than bachelor’s degrees.