How Do You Know Which Associates Degree is Right For You?

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Are you looking to jump-start your career? Want to augment your earning potential in your current field? An associate’s degree may be the answer. An associate’s degree is a postsecondary degree awarded to students who have completed a recognized educational program called “Associates of Arts” or “Associates of Science”. Most associate degrees can be earned within two years, though there are some programs that can be completed in as little as one year of study.

An associate’s degree can be earned at several different types of institutions. Community colleges, four-year colleges, universities, vocational schools, and trade schools all offer a range of associate degrees. Within these various institutions there are more traditional campus-based programs as well as online degree programs. Each has various benefits, depending on your lifestyle, study preferences, ability and willingness to commute, and other career or personal obligations. When choosing an associate’s degree that is right for you, it is useful to understand exactly what earning this degree can do for you.

How Can an Associate’s Degree Benefit Me?


There are many reasons to consider earning an associate’s degree. First and foremost, it can lead to expanded and better job prospects, as well as a higher salary. Second, an associate’s degree can provide the occupational training that may be required of you if you wish to enter a specific field of business. Here are just a few of the reasons to earn your associates degree:

  • An associate degree offers a recognized degree in several career areas for a reasonable tuition.
  • Most credit hours earned through an associate degree program can be transferred to a four-year educational institution if you choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree program after concluding your associate’s degree.
  • Given the choice, employers will often choose to hire applicants with an associate degree over applicants who have lesser educational or professional qualifications.
  • In only two years, you can acquire the necessary training to enter some of the fastest-growing career fields or advance in your current field.
  • Holding an associate’s degree is an advantage in the job market both in the short term and long term. Candidates with this degree will nearly always have an edge over candidates who only hold a high school degree or who have no formal training in the field they are entering. Young job seekers just entering the workforce will have a distinct asset on their resumes as they look for jobs. This advantage continues even well after launching a career – with better education comes also future opportunities for promotion, career growth, and considerably higher earning potential.

Associate’s Degree vs. Bachelor’s Degree


Many prospective students have a difficult time choosing between an associate’s degree and a bachelor’s degree. Although both can lead to better job prospects and higher pay, these degrees are different. Associate degrees can be earned in less time and with less money, while bachelor degree programs typically take four years to complete and come with higher tuition and fees.

Despite these differences, both associate’s and bachelor’s degrees qualify you for a range of jobs and professions. Associate’s degree holders are usually qualified for entry-level jobs, while bachelor’s degree holders can often get mid-level jobs or entry-level jobs with more responsibility. Fortunately, the two degrees are not mutually exclusive, so you are not obliged to decide on one or the other right away. Many associate degrees grant credits that you can transfer to a bachelor’s program if you choose. With these transferable credits from an accepted associates degree program under your belt, you have the option of enrolling in a bachelors degree program later on and having at least some of those credits count toward your bachelors degree. This may be the case even if the two degrees are not in exactly the same field – sometimes even if you choose to pursue another professional avenue at the bachelors level, the educational institution may allow you to apply some of those transfer credits toward the higher degree.

Choosing an Associate Degree Program


Once you have decided to earn an associates degree, you will encounter many options to choose from – in terms of institutions, programs, and learning methods. There are thousands of schools across the country that award associate degrees, and many options to choose from in Florida. One significant consideration is the school’s accreditation. It is essential to select a school that is respected and accredited by the proper institutions or accreditation commissions. Other factors to take into consideration when choosing an associate degree program include the following:

  • Your interest in the field
  • The applicability of the degree to possible professional fields
  • The courses the program offers and their relevance to the professional avenues you wish to explore
  • The faculty credentials and / or reputation of teaching staff
  • The quality of the school’s academic facilities and professional counseling or career services program
  • The costs of tuition and fees, along with your ability to pay through financial assistance such as work, work-study, scholarships, grants or loans
  • Transferability of your credits earned during an associates program to a bachelor degree program should you decide to continue your education

Associates Degrees at Florida National University


Florida National University (FNU) offers Associate of Arts programs in the following fields:

  • Accounting
  • Business Administration
  • Criminal Justice
  • Education
  • Health Services Administration
  • Hospitality Management
  • Public Administration
  • Paralegal Studies

Furthermore, we also offer Associates of Science degree programs in the following fields:

  • Accounting
  • Business Administration
  • Computer Developer
  • Computer Information Technology
  • Dental Hygiene
  • Dental Laboratory Technology
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Technology
  • Medical Assistant Technology
  • Medical Laboratory Technology
  • Networking Systems Administrator
  • Nursing
  • Radiologic Technology
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Web Page Developer

Contact Us to Get Started


We will be happy to help you choose the associate’s degree program best suited to your interest and talents. What are you waiting for? A brighter future is ahead – and higher education is the ticket to get you there. We urge you to contact one of our admissions counselors today to see how we at FNU can help you achieve your dreams. Let FNU open the door to your future!