Article by Erin Kelley
Earning an Online Associates Degree is typically the first step of a higher learning plan and often leads to a Bachelors Degree program. Associates Degrees are basically two year degrees and are available in many different areas of study. These degrees are offered by community colleges, junior colleges, and standard four year colleges and universities. In many fields, the associates degree is all that is required for employment in the field.
An Online Associates Degree is generally going to cost less and be focused on basic education and foundational knowledge crucial to the particular field of study. These Degrees often stand alone as the certification training needed for employment and other Online Associate Degree programs are intended primarily as transfer degrees. There are Associate degrees in general studies and Baccalaureate studies that are specifically designed as programs that will transfer to a four year college or university.
One thing that should be considered is whether or not transfer of credits is going to be required or necessary for a particular career path. Not all of these Degree credits will transfer to other college or university programs. If credit transfer is desired or may be required for a particular students field of study, that student should research the possibility of credit transfer between the school offering the Associates Degree and the possible colleges or universities they would like to attend to continue their education. It is possible to spend time and money earning an two year Degree only to find that the credits earned are not transferable.
As a two year undergraduate degree, there are particular fields of study that are common in the community college or junior college curriculum. These include:NursingForestryBusinessEngineeringBaccalaureate StudiesGeneral Studies
Often times a particular certification is required for employment or advancement in a career field. Online Associate Degree programs are available and generally quite attractive to students in those specific circumstances. I should mention that while there are many specialty degree designations, most Associates Degrees will be either an AA (Associates in Arts) or AS (Associates in Science).
Online college Degrees are becomming quite popular especially with potential students who have work and/or home obligations that preclude the normal daily attendance requirements or a move to a new city. Online Associate Degree students often transfer to Online Bachelors Degree programs since they are already comfortable with the mode of learning. Most of the time, online degree programs are taught in an Asynchronous fashion in that there is no specific day or time of day attendance requirement. Usually the program will have assignments and/or homework that is due by the end of each week but how and when the work is done is up to the student.
This differs from the Synchronous model in that Synchronous classes often follow an actual on-campus class and the online students are required to attend via internet connection at the same time the on-campus students are in class. The lecture and discussion take place at the same time for all students.
Below are some of the fields of study that may have an AA or AS Degree available.Teaching/EducationComputer Technology/ITGraphic Arts and DesignBusiness AdministrationCriminal JusticePsychologyParalegalMedical and Health Related Fields
An Online Associates Degree is a great first step to further education and in some cases may be all that is necessary for employment in a satisfying career field.
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