In some fields, an Associate’s Degree is all you need in order to be successful. In others, a Bachelor’s Degree is required, and these days, sometimes that isn’t even enough. So why, in these fields where advanced degrees are needed in order to be competitive, should anyone want an Associate’s Degree? Good question, and I have some good answers:
1. It only takes two years. During college, we rarely know what next year (or even just tomorrow) will bring. It makes sense to earn credentials along the way in case we hit any major roadblocks. At my Freshman Orientation at Manor College, Marshall Burstein pointed out that if a student needs to drop out of college before attaining a Bachelor’s, a student with an Associate’s is better off because they’ll have a degree. Prepare your future self for the unexpected by attaining an Associate’s on your way to a Bachelor’s.
2. Round out your resume. These days, adults are going back to school to make themselves more competitive in the job market. Many go back to earn a certificate to add another credential to their resume. As a college student, you have the opportunity to do that now! An Associate’s Degree can add another focus to your resume, and it doesn’t need to take any longer than a Bachelor’s normally would. For example, get an Associate’s in Marketing or Management, and your Bachelor’s in the other!
The classes that I took at my 2-year college for my Associate’s Degree transferred, and many are now going towards my Bachelor’s. On the other hand, classes you take for a minor cannot count towards your major.
3. Change your focus. Starting out by getting an Associate’s is a good way to see whether or not you like the major that you’re pursuing. When you start taking more in-depth classes, and perhaps decide you want to adjust your focus, you can finish up the Associate’s to get credit for the work you did. Afterwards, you can move on to your Bachelor’s. If your Bachelor’s is in a similar field as your Associate’s, many of your classes should count towards both degrees.
4. Take it with you. If you decide to transfer colleges, transferring after achieving an Associate’s can make the process a little less frustrating. Chances are, you’ll lose credits when you transfer, or they’ll transfer in as electives (meaning you need to retake those classes.) By having gotten an Associate’s before transferring, you know that the work you did at your previous college was worth it. Even if a class didn’t transfer over, at least you got credit for it as part of an Associate’s Degree.
Pursuing an Associate’s Degree will pay off, whether or not life goes as planned, and you shouldn’t need to put in much extra time or effort than you already are for a Bachelor’s! And remember, no one can take your Associate’s away from you!
If you’re considering a 2-year college, read why I think 2-year colleges are great!
Why do you want an Associate’s Degree?
– Sarah C.