Schools with Associate Degree Programs

Many students are opting to earn an associate degree rather than a traditional bachelor's degree, and they have great reasons to do so: Jobs that require associate degrees are in high demand, the time spent in college is typically much less and the potential income upon graduation can be quite enticing. Here's what prospective students need to know about earning the associate degree.

What is an associate degree?

An associate degree is awarded by community, technical or junior colleges, as well as some trade schools and universities. The degree usually consists of general education courses, core courses for the major chosen and a variety of electives, but it's often far less coursework than what bachelor's degree students encounter. The associate of arts or the associate of science can prepare students to either move into the workforce or pursue further education. The associate of applied sciences is more targeted, and prepares students to begin working in their chosen profession immediately.

What does it usually take to get one?

The associate degree typically takes two years to complete -- the equivalent of about 60 semester credit hours or 90 quarter credit hours. However, those who choose to attend college online might complete their associate degree in less time, depending on the degree in question and their other commitments. Students who have taken college credit courses in high school might also complete associate degree programs in less than the typical two years.

Many students who attend schools with associate degree programs might also become immersed in their chosen job well before graduation. For instance, students pursing the associate degree in nursing will experience hands-on training that helps them work to move seamlessly into nursing jobs after graduation.

Why do people typically pursue them?

There are numerous reasons to pursue this type of education. Many students choose to earn the associate degree in order to save money, as most associate degree programs cost markedly less than a bachelor's degree. The associate degree can serve as a stepping stone to the bachelor's degree, so students who do choose to go back to school and further their education can often already have the general requirements out of the way.

There is also the appeal of gaining the skills and knowledge necessary in order to move directly into the workforce as soon as possible, rather than waiting an additional two years to earn the bachelor's degree. Many associate degree programs are designed to prepare students to leap right into the workforce, with all the training they need to prosper in entry-level positions.

What jobs could you get with an associate degree?

Many industries look to hire those with an associate degree. According to Forbes, the 10 highest paying jobs for associate degree holders in 2012 included the following:

  • Air traffic controllers
  • Construction managers
  • Radiation therapists
  • Nuclear medicine technologists
  • Dental hygienist
  • Nuclear technicians
  • Registered nurses
  • Diagnostic medical sonographers
  • Aerospace engineering and operation technicians
  • Electrical and electronic engineering technicians

These jobs range across many industries and are just a sampling of the possibilities available to those who attend associate degree programs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many of the fastest-growing jobs between 2012 and 2022 will require an associate degree, not a bachelor's or master's. Based on the data, there is expected to be a wealth of opportunity for those who choose to pursue this educational path.

How do you begin pursuing one?

Begin the pursuit of higher education by researching schools with associate degree programs, then choose the one that suits your career goals. For further information on the associate degree programs available to you, including requirements and expectations, check with the admissions office at your school.

Sources:

Fastest-Growing Occupations, 2012-22, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Dec. 19, 2013,
http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_103.htm

What Is an Associate Degree, City College of San Francisco,
https://www.ccsf.edu/Info/How_to_Get_An_Associates_Degree/

"The 10 Best-Paying Jobs For Community College Grads," Jenna Goudreau, Forbes, Dec. 18, 2012,
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jennagoudreau/2012/12/18/the-10-best-paying-jobs-for-community-college-grads/

"Get Your Associate Degree," Rob Jenkins, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 18, 2013,
http://chronicle.com/blogs/onhiring/get-your-associate-degree/42611

Program

  • All
  • Art & Design
  • Business
  • Communications & Media
  • Computers & Technology
  • Cosmetology
  • Culinary Arts
  • Education & Teaching
  • Engineering & Architecture
  • Health, Healthcare & Nursing
  • High School
  • Liberal Arts
  • Math & Science
  • Psychology & Counseling
  • Testing
  • Vocational & Trade

Degree/Diploma Offered

  • All
  • Associate
  • Bachelor
  • Master
  • Doctoral
  • Diploma
  • Certificate
  • Coursework

Location Type

  • Campus and Online
  • Campus
  • Online

Zip/Postal Code

Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.

Searching Searching ...

Prefer exploring options talking to our staff?
Call toll free now: 1.855.330.6938
Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef, Project Runway.
  • A team of about 4,000 faculty members are focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
  • Academic programs available in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
  • Program Coordinators work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
  • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT), and the American Veterinary Association (AVMA).
  • Programs include an externship, allowing students to gain field experience.
  • Institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
  • 13 campuses located across Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington, with online options.
Show more [+]
  • Financial Aid
4 Program(s) Found
  • Offers classes online, as well as at 14 campuses across California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois and Virginia.
  • Curriculum is developed with input from employers, subject matter experts.
  • Has provided a hands-on, career-focused education since 1953.
  • Small class sizes promote one-on-one, student-teacher interaction.
  • No-cost tutoring available in every subject to every enrolled student.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Regionally accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • All allied health programs include an externship, clinical rotation and/or fieldwork practice, for student experience.
  • Accredited business of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1967.
  • 7 California campuses in Citrus Heights, Pleasant Hill, Pomona, Sacramento, San Jose, San Leandro, and Stockton.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
University of Phoenix , Online (campus option available)
  • Phoenix Career Services™ help students find careers that match their interests & map out a personalized career plan.
  • Mentorships & networking opportunities available through Alumni Association of 800,000+ graduates.
  • Flexible start date and class schedules.
  • 100+ locations and online options.
  • Offers special military rates and special advisors who have a military background.
  • Students can earn credits for applicable military training and education.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • An independent educational services company that enables colleges and universities to reach students around the world via distance-based education solutions.
  • Offers associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees as well as professional certificates
  • Comprehensive Learning Module™ program helps students earn college credit by passing equivalency exams.
  • Partner schools include ndiana State University, Lake Superior State University, Purdue University, Regis University, and SUNY Empire State College.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
Concorde , San Bernardino
  • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1994.
  • Designated as a 2015 Top Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
  • Currently offers over 20 degree and diploma programs in Healthcare.
  • 16 campuses across the United States, with online options as well.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) and the Accrediting Commission of the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid