Every year, more than 5 million students are enrolled in two-year college programs. While many choose to transition immediately into four-year programs after graduating high school, others opt to either attend community college first or hold off on higher education until later for various reasons.
If you are in the latter group, then you may be ready to go back to school after having worked a job or supported a family for the past several years. Whether you want to move up in your career or want to completely switch the type of work you do, it’s worth looking at getting an associate degree in business administration.
In this article, we discuss what an associate degree is and why it’s worth getting one in business administration.
What Is an Associate Degree?
An associate degree is similar to a bachelor’s degree, but requires about half as many college credits (courses) for completion. You can obtain an associate degree first, then apply those credits toward a bachelor’s degree in the future (though there are many restrictions in doing this – so speak with an admissions or academic guidance professional first.) This will not only save you time but also money. Since you’ll be taking half as many classes in your associate of business administration program compared to a similar bachelor’s program, you’ll graduate sooner and can, therefore, hit the workforce sooner. Graduating sooner, with fewer classes to complete will save you considerably on your tuition bills.
How Many Months to Complete an Associate Degree?
You may already know that a bachelor’s degree typically takes four to five years to complete. On the other hand, an associate degree typically takes two years or less. The shorter duration makes this academic path attractive to many people, which is why they decide to pursue an associate instead of a bachelor’s.
How Many Credits Is an Associate Degree?
A key question you may be wondering is: how many credit hours is an associate degree? The answer to this question depends on if you are looking at semester or quarter programs, as schools can sometimes measure credit hours differently.
If you are taking semester credits at your public two-year college, then it typically requires 60 credit hours to complete. Otherwise, if you are taking quarter credits, then it will require 90 credit hours to earn your associate degree. Some courses are worth more credits than others as well, so credit hours do not directly correspond to the number of courses in a program. As always, check with the admissions department at your school for details before you enroll.
Why It’s Worth Earning an Associate Degree in Business
So why would you choose to pursue an associate degree before a bachelor’s? What can you do with an associate degree?
Read on to find out all the benefits of getting this type of degree in business.
Historically, Degree Holders Have Higher Employment Rates
Studies show that the more education you have, the lower your chances of going unemployed. Despite the impact of COVID-19 in 2020, historically-speaking, people with associate degrees have better employment outlooks than those with just a high school degree.
Your employability improves further with a bachelor’s degree as well.
A degree demonstrates your mastery of certain skills and subjects to employers. It’s a solid benchmark employers use to evaluate job candidates in many fields.
You’ll Typically Earn More
Not only will you enjoy high employment levels as a degree holder, but you’ll likely earn more money in your job and career. Employers are willing to pay qualified employees better wages, so with the time and money you’ve invested into an associate degree, it may pay off when you can earn a higher salary.
For example, someone with a high school diploma typically earns around $700 per week. However, someone with an associate degree typically earns around $820 per week. Over a year, that’s a difference of more than $6,000.
You Can Pursue a Bachelor’s More Easily
By completing an associate degree first, you can see if you truly have an interest in business. If not, you can always just stick with an associate degree and remain in the workforce.
If you do actually enjoy the field of business, you can pursue a bachelor’s degree in less time than if you had attended a four-year university. Having an associate degree means you’ve already completed many of the basic courses, so you can transfer to a four-year program. However, not all associate degrees are transferrable. There are many restrictions such as accreditation, reciprocity agreements among similar institutions, and more. So before you make any plans regarding your education, speak with a member of the school’s admissions team.
It will Prepare You Better for Entry-Level Jobs
Maybe you have taken a look at some sales, office management, or administrative jobs in business. It may be true that all you need is a high school diploma and/or a certification. But you have to consider that if a job seems highly accessible to you, then it probably is for a myriad of other people as well.
By attaining an associate degree in business, you are showing potential employers that you are serious about the job and have done what you can to prepare for it. This will make you stand out above the crowd of applicants, especially since you may require less training than others.
It Provides You With More Opportunities to Move Up
Not only will you stand out against competing applicants, but you’ll also have more space to move up in a company after being hired.
This is especially true if you want to eventually hold a supervisory position. Very rarely will businesses allow someone with just a high school diploma (or GED) to be promoted into management unless they have more years of experience. A degree can help reduce the number of years of experience required for promotion.
Start Pursuing Your Associate Degree in Business
Now you know what an associate degree is and why it is worth your time and money to invest in one for business administration, what’s next?
While it may initially take some hard work to earn, an associate degree in business administration will definitely pay off when you have the right knowledge and skills to get the job you truly want.
Are you ready to get started on the road to an associate degree in business? Then request some more information now about our Online Specialized Associate Degree in Business Administration – Marketing and Management at IMBC.