For high school graduates who went directly from school into the workforce, going back to school presents a challenge.
Most need college credits that are both affordable and can be done while holding a job.
The emergence of online education has provided an answer for many. Degree programs such as the Associate of Arts in General Studies from Touro University Worldwide offer coursework 100% online. This allows homework, projects and watching lectures to be scheduled around a student’s professional and personal life.
Classes can be taken from wherever you are in the world, as long as you have an Internet connection.
Now that taking classes is more convenient, why pursue an associate degree in the first place? Here are some reasons to consider.
A Sense of Accomplishment
Many of those considering college face the decision of whether to pursue a two-year or four-year degree. Neither choice is wrong. However, earning an associate degree first provides many with a realistic, attainable goal, especially for those working part-time or full-time. Earning the degree gives you a sense of accomplishment that can propel both your life and career upward.
Most people equate an associate degree with a two-year degree. However, some schools offer associate degree programs that can be completed faster. For example, the Associate of Arts in General Studies from Touro University Worldwide offers full-time students (those taking 12 credit hours) the chance to complete a degree in five eight-week sessions. Part-time students can finish in as little as 10 eight-week sessions. Times vary as students may take off time between sessions, but the choice is up to each student.
Salaries and Unemployment
Perhaps the strongest case for earning an associate degree comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The federal agency reports that those who obtain an associate degree earn a median weekly salary of $819, compared to $692 for those with only a high school diploma.
The unemployment figures from the BLS also provide a stark contrast. Those with an associate degree had an unemployment rate of 3.6 percent in 2016, far lower than the 5.2 percent rate among those with only a high school diploma.
A Stepping Stone
Earning an associate degree launches you into the professional world, enabling you to apply for and get jobs that require a college degree. But that is often just the first step. Once secured in a professional job, many begin to see the levels their career can reach if they go back to school and obtain a bachelor’s degree. Some even move on to getting a master’s degree.
Preparation For Any Field
Earning a degree in general studies offers you the chance to earn college credit in the core courses that are part of most every major concentration. However, since those who earn an Associate of Arts in General Studies are not locked into any one profession, it gives you time once you enter the working world to decide on what you want to do with your life.
Clearly, an associate degree can change a person’s life in many positive ways. Whether it’s the first step to more education or a way to enhance job prospects, earning an associate degree is well worth considering for those who want to further their career.