Why Should I Earn an Associate Degree First?

February 9th, 2016 by

Computer, Graduate Cap, DiplomaMany prospective students who have plans to head back to school to earn a college degree want to complete a bachelor’s program. This degree program typically takes four years to complete, but you don’t have to jump in and try to finish the whole thing at once. In fact, it might be better to first earn your associate degree, which takes just two years to complete. Here are a few of the many reasons to consider first earning your associate degree before moving on.

Higher Rates of Completion

Unfortunately, not everyone who enrolls in a bachelor’s degree program is able to complete it all. It is typical at even the best colleges to have some students who are only able to complete some of the credits. Even if you are able to complete two or three year’s worth of courses, however, you won’t have an official degree or certification.

That’s why it often makes more sense to start with an associate degree. Since it takes just half the time of a bachelor’s degree, you have a better chance of completing the entire program. After all, having an associate degree will do more good in many industries than a handful of credits but no official bachelor’s degree.

Shorter Time Commitment

One of the biggest reasons to consider earning an associate degree first is because there is a much shorter time commitment involved. On average, students take four years to complete a bachelor’s degree but just under two years to earn their associate degree.

If you’re planning to earn your degree online, this could take even less time. If you know that you’re ready to advance your education and take the next step for your career, but you can’t guess what you’ll be doing four years from now, stick with the shorter program.

Credits Can Easily Transfer to a Bachelor’s Program

Some prospective students are worried that aiming for an associate degree will limit their options or prevent them from securing the best jobs in the future. In reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Once you have earned your associate degree, you can continue to advance your education and enroll into a full bachelor’s degree program.

The credits you earned through your associate degree program, which should total around 60, can be transferred to your bachelor’s program. You can then start the final two years of your bachelor’s degree program if that’s your goal.

Ensure You Love the Subject Matter

It can certainly be tempting to pick a bachelor’s degree program based on current passions, economic trends or your skills, but those can change over time. If you start by earning your associate degree first, you’ll have a chance to reassess your interests and career goals two years from now.

If everything is the same, continue as planned to your desired bachelor’s degree. If you are ready for a change, however, you will be in a position to tweak your major and head in a slightly different direction.

Even if you plan to one day earn a full bachelor’s degree, starting with an online associate degree can be the best choice to help you meet your goals.

Find out more about the college degrees you can earn 100% online from an accredited college or university.


About the Author:

Sandy Davis

Sandy Davis is a long-time educator who holds a Master’s Degree in Education, having taught English, writing, and communication on the secondary and college levels. With ten years of experience in blogging, social media and content management, she is a freelance writer and content marketing specialist for a diverse range of clients.

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