Online Associate's Degrees from Accredited Colleges (AA, AAS, AS)

An Associate's degree is an undergraduate degree that is sometimes referred to as a "two-year degree." In actuality, the amount of time needed to earn an Associate's degree can vary depending on the course of study undertaken, however in general they are achieved with approximately two years of study. Many accredited schools offer online Associate's degree programs for students who wish to take advantage of distance learning. In fact over half of all degrees earned online are Associate's degrees. Some people utilize this degree to help launch a career in their field of study while others choose to use it as a stepping stone toward a higher degree level such as a Bachelor's degree. Whatever your ultimate goal is, earning an Associate's degree online is a great way to get started in a successful direction.

Online Associate's Degree

Types of Associate's degrees

There are a number of different Associate's degrees available. An A.A. is an "Associate of Art" degree and is generally designed to be transferred toward a Bachelor's (four year degree).   An A.A.S. is an "Associate of Applied Science" degree.  It is designed to prepare the student for a career in their chosen area of study.  However, this degree can also be transferred toward a Bachelor's degree either at the time of completion or in the future.  Sometimes an A.A.S degree is known by a title specific to an occupation such as: Associate in Business, Associate in Engineering Technology, etc.  An A.S. is an Associate of Science degree and is designed to be transferred toward a four year course of study for a Bachelor's degree.  There are also Occupational Degrees which are Associate degrees that are designed to prepare the student for immediate placement into the workforce after graduation.  As the name suggests, they provide training in a particular occupation.  While Occupational degrees are primarily designed for career preparation, some can be transferred for credit toward a Bachelor's degree.

Associate's degrees are generally awarded by community, junior, or technical colleges.  Many employers prefer applicants with A.A.S. degrees when hiring for mid-level technology jobs.  Additionally, online Associate's degrees earned in business, liberal arts, and many other courses of study are widely accepted for transfer to four year schools throughout the United States.

Educational Requirements

In general, the only academic requirement to seek an Associate's degree is a high school diploma or equivalent.  The coursework required to attain a degree will vary based on the major area of study chosen.  In general, an Associate's degree will require a minimum of 60 semester credit hours of completed classes.  The programs usually consist of three parts.  The first part is general education coursework, which are classes required of all students regardless of their major.  These are classes such as basic math and English which are core courses in all curricula.  The second part is major requirements; these are courses specific to your chosen area of study.  For instance a business major may take management, marketing, finance, and other business related courses.  The third part is electives, these are chasses that you choose based on any area of interest you may have.  Some of these classes usually have to be in certain areas such as humanities electives.

An online Associate's degree can be a great vehicle for someone interested in starting or furthering a career.  They can often be used as springboards into a new career or a better job within an existing career.  They can also be built upon if a student decides to continue their education beyond their Associate's degree to a Bachelor's degree or even higher.  Truly once you have taken the first step toward an Associate's degree, the opportunities are almost limitless.

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