An Overview of the Associate of Arts Degree

An Overview of the Associate of Arts Degree

An Overview of the Associate of Arts Degree
An Overview of the Associate of Arts Degree

Individuals with an associate’s of arts degree enjoy higher salaries and greater job opportunities than those with only a high school diploma. Over the course of their careers, they have the potential to earn more, grow in their careers and qualify for more jobs. An associate’s degree is a small investment which has the potential for a substantial return.

A Two-Year Program

Those with limited time or resources can earn an AA degree both quickly and cost-effectively. While most bachelor’s degree programs take four years to complete, associate’s programs are comparatively shorter. They are generally around 20 classes and take only two years. This not only saves students time but also money. Associate’s are an ideal option for many who cannot afford a longer, more expensive route.

For high school graduates hoping to further their expertise before entering the workforce, they may do so quickly and start earning that first paycheck. For those who are currently working, but who want to develop the skills to attain a better position, make a higher salary, or switch careers, they can do all of these in minimal time and at limited expense.

Associates Can Lead to a Bachelor’s

In addition to attaining an initial position, advancing within a career field, or switching careers, many value their associate’s for its ability to assist them later if they choose to complete another degree. Many educational institutions offer the option of applying associate’s coursework to bachelor’s program credit requirements.

Associate’s Areas of Specialization

No matter what field one wishes to enter or advance within, there is an associate’s degree that can help them achieve success. Beyond the development of foundational knowledge, a wide variety of elective tracks enable individuals to specialize in areas directly related to their job of choice. These include options such as psychology, healthcare management, business, business management, leadership, accounting, and more.

A psychology track at the associate’s level includes classes on concepts such as human growth and development, life coaching, and social, physiological, and abnormal psychology. Mastery of these topics can lead to employment or advancement in the government, healthcare, social service, or business sectors.

Alternatively, those who select a health management track will learn about leadership, change, and ethical issues within the healthcare system and can use this knowledge for positions in hospitals, family practices, clinics, and insurance companies.

The above concentrations lead to employment in some of the fastest growing positions at the associate’s level, all but guaranteeing a good-paying job. Of the one million new jobs expected to open between 2012 and 2022 requiring an associate’s, 846,800 of them are predicted to be in the healthcare and social assistance fields. Employment as a registered nurse alone accounts for 526,800 jobs, a great career with a median pay of $70,000.

For those who are not looking for jobs in health or assistance-related positions, a focus in business is an additional option. Those who choose this will learn about law applications, the concepts of micro and macroeconomics, and professional ethics as they relate to practice within the field.

Graduates are prepared for positions in accounting, computer technology, human relations, communications, marketing, and banking upon program completion. Those who want a more supervisory role may prefer to pursue a business management track. This will help them develop the skills of management and ethical principles in addition to conflict resolution, all qualities required for managerial roles in an organization or business.

Associate’s of arts degrees with an emphasis on leadership and accounting lead to gainful employment as well. Leadership classes cover techniques on communication, resolution, and negotiation. Employers will look for an indication of these abilities as they fill positions for jobs in customer service, human resources, and consulting.

Similarly, the completion of credits on financial, cost, and managerial accounting as well as on income tax and ethics will be necessary for landing an accounting-related position. Examples of such jobs include bookkeeping, billing coordinator, or office manager.

Online Associate’s Degree Programs

All of these elective tracks are offered as part of the online Central Christian College of Kansas Associate of Arts program. Because it is online, not only can it be completed quickly and affordably, but also at individuals’ convenience and even as they work.

Once they have earned their degree, graduates will qualify for additional jobs with better pay. They will also have the option to apply AA degree credits towards a bachelor’s in the future should they want to advance yet further in the workplace.