Why You Need an Associate Degree

The benefits of an NVC Graduation!

For those who aren’t able to attend a four-year university, an associate’s degree can be a very practical and highly valuable alternative. Typically taking only two years to complete, an associate’s degree can provide more opportunities and higher pay in the job market. Three major reasons to get an associate’s degree are cost, flexibility, and time.

An associate’s degree costs considerably less than a four-year degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of an associate’s degree is rising more slowly than the cost of a bachelor’s degree. Attending a four-year college can be very expensive. Many students who graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree have acquired a lot of debt. If you start your college studies with an associate’s degree in education, you’ll actually save money. You can pursue an associate’s degree and take your first two years of required courses for a lower tuition than at a large college or university. These core courses will transfer to a new school if you decide to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

Moreover, associate degree programs let you earn a degree that can be used as a gateway into dozens of different bachelor degree options. Students often enroll in associate degree programs as a first step toward a better career, sometimes even before deciding what career to pursue. You can decide on your future course of study while you’re getting your associate. Many four-year colleges and universities find that students with an associate’s degree are more mature and make better students than those who start college right out of high school. Students with associate degrees can prove that they are focused and maybe very successful in their bachelor’s studies.

This allows graduates to get into the job market and start earning sooner. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers with an associate’s degree earn around $6,500 more per year than those with only a high school diploma. Associate’s degrees can stand alone or be a stepping stone to a second degree. Associate’s “Transfer Degrees” are designed specifically to have all the credits transfer towards a bachelor’s degree at a four-year university. An associate’s degree can often lead to more opportunities to advance in a career field. Also, the unemployment rate for those with an associate’s is lower than for those with only a high school education. A lot of employers prefer to hire someone with a college degree and an associate degree will open doors to higher income and promotions.

Andrea` Parker
NVC Ambassador

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