Although many students take bachelor’s degrees to prepare for their desired careers, this route isn’t possible for some individuals. If you need a shorter study option (which may, by extension, cost less), an associate degree program could be a better fit for you.
There are several ways that University of Phoenix’s associate degrees can help you develop new skills and gain new experiences in a short time frame.
What Is an Associate Degree?
An associate degree is more advanced than a high school diploma or GED® diploma but is less advanced than a bachelor’s degree.
Most associate degree programs require around 60 credit hours, which is half of a typical bachelor’s degree. However, some universities, like University of Phoenix, allow students to use eligible previous life and work experiences to earn additional college credit and reduce the amount of work they need to complete on their programs.
What Are the Different Types of Associate Degrees?
There are three main types of associate degrees:
- Associate of Arts (AA)
- Associate of Science (AS)
- Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
While AA degrees cover subjects like business fundamentals, AS and AAS degrees are more likely to cover STEM subjects like cybersecurity.
What Are the Benefits of Associate Degrees?
There are several benefits that students can enjoy by studying for an associate degree before moving onto a bachelor’s degree.
1. Save Time
Associate degrees can prove ideal for individuals who are looking to enter the workforce quickly. While a bachelor’s degree is typically four years in length, an associate degree is typically two years in length, potentially allowing graduates to enter the workforce in half the time.
2. Save Money
Studying for half the time means paying for half of the credit hours. Students who are on a budget may find that they can gain the skills they need to start work at a lower cost on an associate degree.
3. Transfer Credits to a Bachelor’s Degree
Students who are undertaking associate degrees may decide to save up to study for a bachelor’s degree later. Students may be able to transfer eligible credits from their associate degree when they enroll in a bachelor’s degree program at University of Phoenix.
These credits are representative of the learning skills, soft skills and contextual understanding of their field of study that students may gain when completing their associate degree program.
When students progress onto their bachelor’s degrees, not only can these skills and knowledge help them academically, but they can also prepare them for the workforce and for interacting with others.
Even if you don’t study the same subject in your bachelor’s degree as you do in your associate degree, you may still be able to transfer some of the general education credits you earn in your associate degree program. If you study the same or a related subject in your bachelor’s degree program, there could be subject-specific credits that you can transfer, too.
4. Discover Your Interests
Four years may feel like a long time to commit to a bachelor’s degree if you’re not yet certain that this is the field you want to work in long term. At half the length, an associate degree can offer the opportunity to gain a thorough understanding of a subject and decide whether you’d like to pursue this subject through additional education later.
5. Balance Your Studies With Other Commitments
University of Phoenix allows students to attend online classes when it suits them, allowing individuals to tune into these classes around their other commitments.
This arrangement can be ideal for students who have family or work commitments. Even if you only have limited time to study, an associate degree can see you step up your education while working or caring for others.
6. Gain Workforce Experience
Individuals who study for an associate degree can gain the fundamental skills they need to enter the workforce. It may not be possible to access work experience opportunities without an associate degree, and these experiences could lead you to career opportunities in the future.
Which Associate Degrees Can You Study at University of Phoenix?
Students who pursue University of Phoenix’s associate degree programs take courses one at a time. Each course takes 5 weeks to complete, and, each year, associate degree students work through around 10 courses.
A few of the associate degree programs available at University of Phoenix include:
- Associate of Arts with a concentration in Information Technology, in which students can learn how to make data accessible, useful, and secure. This program can prepare students for roles in
- Associate of Science in Cybersecurity, in which students can learn how to protect data from cyber threats, which is key to technology-driven business.
- Associate of Arts with a concentration in Business Fundamentals, in which students can learn about topics like accounting, management, and communication. This program can prepare students for administrative roles.
- Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice, in which students can gain an understanding of criminal justice and the corrections systems. This program can prepare students for roles as correctional officers.
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix guides adult and nontraditional learners as they work toward their educational goals and supports students as they navigate the career options and degree programs that inspire them. The University’s degree programs can help students prepare for in-demand career paths, including those in cybersecurity, nursing, and business. Students can also take advantage of flexible start dates, online classes and various scholarship opportunities that the University offers to help anyone earn the degree they desire. Furthermore, University of Phoenix’s Career Services for Life® commitment for active students and graduates provides the resources needed to be prepared when entering the workforce for no additional charge. These resources include career guidance, resume and interview support, and education and networking opportunities. Find more information at www.phoenix.edu.