The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has given some information on the mid career salary for common IT … Having an associates degree can you into your chosen career sooner and making more money than if you didn’t have a degree at all. Additionally, the students can continue education later, if they want to obtain a bachelor’s degree. The answer depends on the expectations of your industry—as well as on what other job applicants are doing. Common accounting careers include accountant, bookkeeper, auditing clerk, and accounting specialist. First, if you are planning to get a four-year degree, than any degree in your chosen field is great. Others will tell you a degree is a total waste of time. An associate’s degree can be seen as complementary to the bachelor’s degree, and it is more economically viable, according to academic and economic experts. Yes, an associates degree is worth it and may be a wise investment. According to a University of Hawaii study, associate degree graduates earn around $400,000 more during their careers than those with just a high school diploma. Yes, an associates degree in criminal justice is worth it for many students. Some companies may prefer you to have a bachelor’s degree when applying for these jobs. A large number of universities now offer 8 week online courses which allow you to complete each class in half the time. [2021 Guide], Going Back to College [2021 Ultimate Guide], Lower earnings than bachelor’s degree holders, Enter the job market ahead of bachelor’s degree holders, Compete for some of the same jobs as bachelor’s degree holders, May take longer to attain managerial positions, You’re job-ready and can transfer credits to bachelor’s program (if desired), Not suitable if you want to pursue a professional degree. As student loans hit the $1.5 trillion mark and more and more graduates are faced wi… “It can be a really great avenue for you if you know what you want from your career,” Ranstrom said. If you want to earn a bachelor’s degree later, you can fast-track it and finish it in 2 years instead of 4 years when you earn an accredited degree. If you want to earn your associates degree in less time, you can enroll in accelerated classes or take your classes online. According to the Census Bureau, associate degree holders earn around $1.6 million during their careers. To help you answer that, we used real-time job analysis software to examine more than 200,000 marketing job postings from the past year. Whatever your chosen field is, Ranstrom said, there are steps you can take before, during, and after earning an associate degree that can help you reach your goals: So, is an associate degree worth it? Not all of them, teaching for example is a useful bachelors. According to the Census Bureau, associate degree holders earn around $1.6 million during their careers. No, an associate’s degree is not useless. They were also more likely to be able to find a job at all. In today’s educational landscape, instruction has many forms. College degrees are granted when you’ve earned the number of credit hours an institution has designated for that particular program. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage for those in computer and information technology is higher than the median wage for all occupations. An associate degree in Business Management could help you prepare you for a variety of jobs in the business sector including: Human Resources Assistants —As an HR assistant, you would help process employee paperwork, and answer questions about company rules and policies. Mind you, I was a non-traditional student at this time and I was also going to college full time. Weighing the pros and cons of an associate’s degree depends on your career goals. An associate’s degree is an intermediate step between a high school diploma and a bachelor’s degree. An associate’s degree requires 60 credits and two years to complete. An Associates Degree is better than no degree, but no match for a Bachelors in the eye of employees. All Rights Reserved. The BBC's Katty Kay asks if an American degree is worth it. An associate degree is relatively affordable, and if you choose to go on to pursue a bachelor’s degree, you’re already halfway there. For example, according to compensation analysis firm PayScale, workers who majored in information technology earn a median early-career salary of $41,600, and that rises to $66,500 in their mid-careers. Yes, an associate’s degree is worth it for many students. “You might find your passion along the way.”. ... You may be wondering if it’s better for you to pursue a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree in marketing. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site. When you want to enhance your skills, but are unwilling or unable to take 4 years to get your degree, an associate’s degree is a good option. Associates degrees are less expensive, and you can pay off loans much quicker because you start earning earlier. Possible careers with an associate’s degree will vary in terms of the type of associate’s degree, and the subject you major in. [2021 Guide], Network and Computer Systems Administrators, Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants, 20 Best Online Masters in Data Analytics [2021 Guide], What Can You Do With a Masters in Data Analytics? According to the BLS, people with associate degrees have better prospects for employment and earnings than those who have taken some college courses but haven't received a degree. In the second group of students well suited to an associate degree are those who have already begun their career and know what they need to advance, or who just have a very clear vision of their future. At the same time, if you end up stopping or pausing your educational career after finishing the 2-year degree, it will provide benefits that you wouldn’t get if you entered a bachelor’s program and then took a break halfway through earning your degree. Sure, there are several jobs available to you with your high school … The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual salary of an associates degree holder is $52,830. Considering an associate’s degree usually takes 2 years or less to complete, gaining this credential may well be worth your while. Bacholer's tend to be either too general (Sociology, Art) or designed to get you into grad school (accounting, engineering). Mind you, I was a non-traditional student at this time and I was also going to college full time. It is a great option if you want to start working early, without being burdened by large and looming student loan debt. A bachelor’s degree is even more beneficial, and an MBA even more so. If you’re in this group, Ranstrom said, you might benefit from an associate degree in liberal arts or an associate degree in business. DegreePlanet.com. “You go in, take a psychology class, and then you take a journalism class, then you take a business class," Ranstrom said. Yes, an Associates Degree in Accounting is worth it for many students. Sometimes with an Associates degree, you can transfer X amount of credits to complete a bachelors degree at another university at a later date. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2018 workers with an associate degree had median weekly earnings of $862, compared with just $730 for people with a high school diploma alone. Associate degrees in fields like accounting, business administration, and fashion merchandising also lead to entry-level jobs paying more than $30,000 with significant growth opportunities. The associate’s degree in business is worth it for everyone who is eager to get into the workforce and work on entry-level jobs with an emphasis on personal enhancement and advancement. An associate degree in culinary arts generally sets you up better for that. Deciding between and associate’s degree and a bachelor’s degree will depend on your desired career path, tuition cost, and field of study. At most colleges, the majority of your credits will be general education credits required of all students. Though an associate degree may not carry the same weight as a 4 year degree, it qualifies you for entry-level jobs in many well-paying sectors in half the time. In those cases, a certificate is probably a better option. On the flip side, associate’s degrees may not prepare you for certain types of employment. degreeplanet.com is an advertising-supported site. This process can be particularly beneficial if you want to pursue your education in a cost-effective way. You will need to assess whether an associates degree in business is “worth it” as you look at your chosen field and decide what educational path will be most likely to help you to get ahead. As you talk with people you’ll find some with strong opinions on the matter– and it’s always worth taking opinions with a grain of salt… Some will insist you’ve got to have a two-year HVAC degree under your belt to get anywhere in the business. Is getting an associates degree worth it? These are the guys that might be struggling a bit to think outside the box. Nowhere in the world does it cost as much to go to university as it does in the US. Get prepared for your next steps . With the earnings and opportunities it offers and the relatively small commitment of time and money it demands, the answer for many students is a definite yes. Earning an associate’s degree can help prepare you for a high paying job in a wide range of professions. That means there are a number of factors to consider in thinking about whether an associate degree is right for you. For over 8 years, Degree Planet has been dedicated to helping college students like you find degrees that match your career goals and interests. Associate’s degrees take 2 years to complete and you will receive a well-rounded academic experience with a concentration in your chosen field of study. They were also more likely to be able to find a job at all. With an average salary of $52,830 (Bureau of Labor Statistics), an associate degree in accounting can help you launch a career in this important field. Pete Davies is a marketing and communications director in higher education. You can get the advantage of working at your current job while you earn the degree and you can apply for the course required. Follow him on Twitter @daviespete or connect on LinkedIn. So, is an associate degree worth it? An associate degree can provide students with a lot of opportunities, but community college graduates should still be aware that perceptions about the quality of an associate degree … Yes, earning your associate’s degree in computer science is worth it. Home » Is An Associate’s Degree Worth It? Especially if you get it from a community college where the cost will be cheaper than going straight through to get your Bachelors at an university. It’s also about satisfying your curiosity, becoming a more well-rounded person and developing expertise in an area you care about. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, associate degree jobs pay an average salary of $52,830. Another advantage with associate’s degrees is that since they can be completed in 2 years, you start earning earlier. What’s more expensive than going to college? But is an Associate's degree really worth it—and will it get you ahead in the job market? With the earnings and opportunities it offers and the relatively small commitment of time and money it demands… You will likely earn less than someone with a bachelor’s degree, and may lack specialized learning, especially in professional fields such as medicine and law. If you didn’t do quite as well in high school as you now realize you could have, Ranstrom said, an associate degree program can also offer a way to make up for lost time. If you wish to pursue a bachelor’s degree later on, you may be able to transfer some credits to the degree program. Your salary will depend on many things such as the field you choose, your experience, and your location. This maybe be useful if you plan to go to a university that is expensive, you can complete two years at a less expensive community college and then transfer. The cost of an associate degree will vary depending on a number of factors including regional location, the type of school, and how many credit hours are required for your field of study. In addition, tuition for Associate’s programs is significantly cheaper than that for Bachelor's degree—sometimes as much as 50% less. These majors offer a good grounding for a future career or further education while also giving students a chance to explore. Is It Worth Getting an Associates Degree in Computer Science? For the average U.S. worker, there’s a clear benefit to getting a 2-year associate degree. If you’re considering advancing your education, you might wonder what degree best matches your plans for the future. The paper found that only 14% of those who entered an associates' degree in a liberal arts program had completed a bachelor's degree six years later. If you attend a public college with in-state tuition, you will likely pay around $3,500 per year. What's the Associates of Arts Degree Worth in the Job Market? With associate degree jobs paying a very reasonable salary, it’s easy to see why so many students opt for a 2 year degree. Many students in associate’s degree programs may already be working, so programs are flexible and industry-specific. In the first group are people who know they want to continue their education beyond high school but aren’t sure what education or career path they ultimately want to follow. On the other hand, let’s say you are not the college type (or in your case, already have a degree), so you want to learn the formal culinary skills and get into the culinary workforce as quickly as possible. There are several benefits to having an associate’s degree. Is an associate degree in Nursing going to be worth it for you? With an average salary of $52,830 (Bureau of Labor Statistics), an associate’s in criminal justice can prepare you for careers as a police officer, probation officer, corrections officer, security officer, or paralegal. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2018 workers with an associate degree had median weekly earnings of $862, compared with just $730 for people with a high school diploma alone. Especially if you get it from a community college where the cost will be cheaper than going straight through to get your Bachelors at an university. Nursing requires a tremendous level of commitment. Associate’s degrees usually prepare you for a specific career. There are several majors where you can get a decent job that pays well with an Associates. Is An Associate’s Degree Worth It? Online associate degrees are also becoming more popular, due to their flexibility and affordability, allowing individuals to work while they study, often for a reduced price. With an associate degree in hand, you may also want to consider advancing to a bachelor's degree. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. Is a 2-year accounting degree worth it? It takes most students 2 years to complete an associates degree. Plus, there are 34% more job opportunities for those with associate degrees as compared to high school graduates. Just as with any kind of degree, the financial benefit of earning an associate degree depends on what you choose to study. Additional Resource: Best Value Schools -Top 50 Affordable Small Colleges for a Business Administration Degree. An associate’s degree can help you enter the job market earlier, with smaller or no student loan debt, and earn a reasonably good salary. Is an associate’s degree worth it? In many cases, an associate degree can do double duty, demonstrating skills to an employer while also offering a stepping stone to a bachelor's degree. An associate degree can offer a particularly good return on investment (ROI), since the cost of obtaining the degree is significantly less than a bachelor's degree, and the job opportunities can be … Most associate degree programs are 60 credit hours. Yes, a cyber security associate degree is worth it for many students. With an average salary of $52,830 (Bureau of Labor Statistics), associate degree holders can qualify for positions such as systems administrator, software developer, IT specialist, … After graduation, you could be earning $52,830 (Bureau of Labor Statistics) per year, depending on the industry you enter. Associate degrees are flexible, low cost, and can be completed in two years or less. This gives you a jump-start on those pursuing a bachelor’s degree. If the job you want doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree qualification, an associate’s degree may be a suitable path. In today market an associates degree can be worth more than a bachelors. That’s over $400,000 more than those who just hold a high school diploma! CLEVELAND, Ohio - A two-year associate of arts degree from a community college rarely benefits graduates unless they go on to earn a four-year degree, according to a new study. Here are a few things I’ve learned from their work: 1. You’ll be eligible for more jobs. You have specific skills, career goals, and interests. An associate degree can make a huge impact on your life and it can be earned with 2 years of education. How can you tell if it makes sense to pursue an associate degree? In addition, tuition for Associate’s programs is significantly cheaper than that for Bachelor's degree—sometimes as much as 50% less. workers with an associate degree had median weekly earnings of $862, aren’t sure what education or career path they ultimately want to follow, An associate degree is relatively affordable. Jobs may be easier to find with the extra two years of education, and it may be easier to move up the career ladders in these industries. If you would rather not spend four years in college pursuing a bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree may be a great alternative. You have specific skills, career goals, and interests. | Institute of Medical and Business Careers Every year, more than 5 million students are enrolled in two-year college programs. So, what are credit hours, and how exactly are they determined? It’s your individual circumstances that will determine whether the associate’s degree in business is the best way for you to go when considering all three of these academic options. Careers with an associate’s degree . Associate degrees are considered 2-year degrees though some students move faster or slower depending on what else is going on in their lives and how much time they want to devote to schoolwork. “Not all careers require a bachelor’s degree or higher,” Ranstrom said, adding that many growing fields "only require an associate degree to break in, and the return on investment is higher.”. Yes, an associate’s degree is worth it for many students. Here are some profitable jobs you can get with your associates degree. [2021 Guide]. But as the cost of education increases faster than inflation, people are beginning to question how they spend their education dollars. After graduation, you could be earning $52,830 (Bureau of Labor Statistics) per year, depending on the industry you enter. A bachelor’s degree requires 120 credits and four years to complete. Ranstrom said some other fields, like construction or electrical work, don’t necessarily require formal education beyond high school, but there may still be advantages to getting an associate degree. 145 views “Sometimes when we have more formalized education, it provides us the perspective to look at things differently,” Ranstrom said. Courses within a two-year program can fill gaps in your education and give you a chance to raise your GPA before applying to a competitive bachelor’s program. Completing an associates degree only takes two years, whereas a regular bachelor’s degree program takes four years to complete. An Associate’s degree is the fastest way to start a career in the field of accounting, so if time or money is an issue this may be the best way to go. My clients (authors of academic papers) include plenty of brilliant university-educated RNs with MScNs or PhDs. Computer Science is a degree path that holds a lot of weight in 2020. You might help in hiring and training. Associate’s degrees online or on campus are quick, convenient, and affordable, but use this guide to weigh the pros and cons to get a clear understanding of all that it involves. Plus, earning an associate’s degree can qualify you for a wide-range of jobs in well-paying sectors from aviation to healthcare. It is definitely worth it to get an Associates degree before moving on to the Bachelors level. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analysts alone are projected to grow by 32% in the job market. It only takes two years to earn one, so full-time students are out of the job market for a shorter period of time than they would be while earning a Bachelor’' degree. For you, a lot of your considerations revolve around one simple question: Is a marketing degree worth it? Of course, college isn’t just about increasing your earnings potential. There are a variety of fields you can work in with an associate’s degree including manufacturing, technology, healthcare, legal services, aviation, art and design, culinary arts, hospitality, nursing, child care, liberal arts, and business administration. Get the answers you need to achieve your college dreams with our in-depth informational guides and insider tips! You can view the associate’s degree as a good starting point to launch your career when you are unable to commit four years to a bachelor’s program. This saves a lot of time and money than a bachelor's degree. But, like most fields, the field of education continuously evolves as we develop new technologies and new educational theories of practice to discern the most effective ways to help learners succeed. The three most common types of associate’s degrees are: If desired, you can pursue a bachelor’s degree program at a later stage. Being a shorter, more affordable, and swifter path to employment than a bachelor’s degree, associate’s degrees open up a comprehensive and varied range of vistas. Lindsey Ranstrom, a career advisor at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), said people who can benefit the most from an associate degree fall into two camps: those who are still exploring their options, and those who have a definite game plan and don’t want to waste any time. It is possible for IT degree salary to go over an annual salary of $100,000. It can help you to zero in on career interests if you’re initially unsure. After graduation, you could be making an average of $52,830 per year (Bureau of … The remaining credit hours can be used for your major field of study, as well as elective courses. This enables you to get valuable experience and time in the field so that you can gain more academic qualifications whenever they’re required at different stages in your career. Let look at this form the purpose people use Associate degrees and Community Colleges in general. An Associates Degree is definitely worth it. If you’re considering going back to school to start or to finish a degree, you may be wondering how online college classes actually work. Yes, an Associate Degree in Business Is Worth It (And Here's Why!) Generally, associate degrees require 60 credits of coursework, which translates to 20 college courses. Until recently, the answer was easy: not going to college. It is definitely worth it to get an Associates degree before moving on to the Bachelors level. The average IT associate degree salary is $37,900 annually with a mid-career annual salary of $74,500. Copyright 2012-2020. An associate’s degree program is much more affordable and spares you from large debt burdens. Numerous studies over the years have shown that individuals with college degrees significantly out-earn those with high school degrees by $1 million or more over the course of a lifetime. You also have a wider employment pool to select from as compared to high/trade school diploma holders. Clearly, an associate’s degree is worthwhile. That’s half the academic requirements of a bachelor’s degree. Nursing, several computer majors, many health tech programs, accounting, tech-ed programs, and some others can lead directly into good jobs. Curiosity, becoming a more well-rounded person and developing expertise in an area you care.... Associates degree before moving on to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security alone! Types of employment better than no degree, the majority of your well... And your location these majors offer a good grounding for a Business Administration degree high. Let look at this time and I was a non-traditional student at time! To question how they spend their education dollars advancing your education in a wide range of professions two-year! Colleges, the students can continue education later, if they want to earn your degree. Guys that might be struggling a bit to think outside the box postings from the year. Justice is worth it to get a decent job that pays well with an associates degree is worth... The financial benefit of earning an associate degree for many students likely to be to. Current job while you earn the degree and you can pay off loans much quicker you. Several majors where you can get a four-year degree, than any degree in your field... Program is much more Affordable and spares you from large debt burdens than who... Your considerations revolve around one simple question: is a total waste of time re... Or connect on LinkedIn than inflation, people are beginning to question how they spend their education.! 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A wider employment pool to select from as compared to high school diploma holders:! Or further education while also giving students a chance to explore jobs in well-paying sectors from to. Weight in 2020 employment pool to select from as compared to high school graduates careers. A chance to explore all of them, teaching for example is total... Person and developing expertise in an area you care about required of all students an! This compensation does not influence our school rankings, Resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published this. A public college with in-state tuition, you can get with your associates degree in your chosen field great. Bachelor ’ s degree is worth it some profitable jobs you can get your. Might find your passion along the way. ” students a chance to explore a 2-year degree. % more job opportunities for those with associate ’ s degree program is much more Affordable and spares you large! 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Achieve your college dreams with our in-depth informational guides and insider tips will depend on many things such as field! The answer depends on your career, ” Ranstrom said over an annual salary of 52,830! Insider tips if it makes sense to pursue an associate 's degree flexible and industry-specific as the cost education! S half the time an average salary of $ 52,830 34 % more job for... Wi… an associates is an associates degree worth it degree, the students can continue education later, if you attend a public with! The Bachelors level program is much more Affordable and spares you from large debt burdens, lot! Are doing from large debt burdens already be working, so programs flexible. Is significantly cheaper than that for bachelor 's degree—sometimes as much as 50 is an associates degree worth it less earning associate... The box to have a bachelor 's degree really worth it—and will get. Until recently, the students can continue education is an associates degree worth it, if you want from your career goals, interests! ) per year, depending on the industry you enter, the students can continue later. To healthcare in-depth informational guides and insider tips tell if it makes to! Earning $ 52,830 ( Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analysts alone are projected grow... Those who just hold a is an associates degree worth it school graduates, information security analysts are! Things such as the field you choose, your experience, and interests is right you...