Earn an associate’s degree in just two years
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Many associate’s degree programs lend themselves to easy transfer into a bachelor’s degree program. This kind of arrangement is ideal for many students. Maybe you aren’t sure what you want to major in or where you want to go to complete your degree. Attending two years at a community college is a relatively inexpensive way to sample different classes and get a feel for what kind of subjects you are interested in. You’ll be able to fulfill what most colleges refer to as core subject areas – English, math and science, for example – which apply to most degree programs, while dabbling in electives to figure out what really interests you. This also gives you an extra two years to visit campuses and decide which school is the best fit.
Starting with a two-year degree at a local community or business college is a convenient option if you are unable to afford room and board at a four-year college. You can stick close to home, work and save money for two extra years before heading off to school. Many community colleges partner with local four-year colleges and universities to ensure easy transfers for their students. These kinds of partnerships offer a guarantee that every class you take as part of your associate’s degree program will count toward a bachelor’s degree, and that no credits will be wasted. If your school doesn’t have this kind of partnership, or you’re simply not interested in attending a partner college or university, talk to your advisor up front to be sure your degree can transfer to a bachelor’s degree program.
The two-year degree is also ideal for anyone who wants to get started in their career field as soon as possible. If your field only requires an associate’s degree for an entry-level position, you can start working sooner than you could if you stayed in school for four years. If your career will benefit from a bachelor’s degree, you can always go back part time or online to finish while you continue to work full time. Many companies offer tuition reimbursement as a benefit, so you might not even have to pay for your additional two years of school.
Options are plentiful when it comes to associate’s degrees. You can find them in any city, and each school is different, offering dozens of career fields. If you don’t have the time to commute to a campus, they are also widely available online. All you have to do is find the one that will ultimately meet your personal and professional goals.