How Long Does it Take to Get an Associate Degree in Business, Nursing, and Computer Science?

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How long does it take to get an associate degree? Whether you are in high school and have just started to plan your career path, or if you wish to change job fields, you may be overwhelmed with the variety of courses you can take to achieve your career aspirations.

If you have an interest in business, nursing, and computer science, you should consider getting an associate’s degree in these fields.

There are several advantages to getting this degree, one of which is that you will spend less time in school than you would for a bachelor’s degree.

Obtaining an associate’s degree in business, nursing, or computer science provides you with the necessary skills to find a job in a range of fields that will best utilize your strengths.

However, if the thought of spending four or more years on a bachelor’s degree does not appeal to you, an associate degree is a great option. So, stay with me, as I take you through this journey.

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What is an Associate Degree?

An associate’s degree is a kind of undergraduate academic program (the first stage after secondary school).

It aims to equip students with the fundamental technical and intellectual knowledge, as well as transferable skills, required for employment or further study in their chosen profession.

Associate’s degrees are most frequently found in the United States, although they are also available in parts of Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, and the Netherlands.

Other nations offer similar programs under various names, such as foundation degrees in the United Kingdom.

Associate’s degrees are available in the United States at a variety of schools, including community colleges, junior colleges, technical colleges, associated colleges of universities, and university institutes.

However, an associate’s degree usually takes two years to finish full-time.

For some students, an associate’s degree serves as preparation for a bachelor’s degree, while for others, it is a qualification in its own right, helping to boost work opportunities as compared to merely having finished secondary school.

How Long Does it Take to Get an Associate’s Degree?

While an associate degree is normally a two-year degree, the time required to obtain an associate degree might vary greatly for online students.

Online students can attend fewer classes at once, allowing them to balance their education with employment and family obligations.

Some students may have credits from earlier college enrollment that will allow them to accomplish their degree in less time.

High school graduates pursuing associate degrees may have received dual credit for certain of their high school courses, decreasing the number of credits required to complete their degree.

It’s usually a good idea to check with the school to see how many credits you’ll need to complete your degree.

Other online associate degree students may have gotten credit for military service or certification examinations, which must be considered when calculating how long it will take them to finish their degree.   

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What’s the Difference Between a Bachelor’s Degree and an Associate’s Degree?

Bachelor’s and associate’s degrees are both classified as “undergraduate” degrees, which implies that they are both accessible to students after they complete secondary school.

In addition, “postgraduate” degrees, such as master’s or doctorate programs, require students to have previously completed a bachelor’s-level program.

So, how do you know whether to pursue a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree? Here’s a rundown of some of the significant distinctions:

  1. Time

To acquire either certificate, you must complete a certain amount of study hours or course credits.

An associate’s degree typically takes two years to finish full-time, depending on the institution and area.

This amounts to 60 credit hours in the United States, as compared to the 120 hours necessary for a bachelor’s degree, which takes around four years to finish full-time.

Because many associate’s degree students choose to study part-time, the degree will take longer to finish.

On the other hand, it is possible to take a “fast-track” course, working at a faster pace and even studying during holidays, in order to complete the degree in less time.

Students who have finished an associate’s degree may be eligible to transfer certain relevant course credits to count toward a bachelor’s degree, reducing the time required for the latter degree.

  1. Costs

Tuition rates for associate’s degrees are often lower, and because the course is completed in less time, the overall cost is significantly less than that of a bachelor’s degree.

The cost difference will vary based on the institution, but an associate’s degree is often two to three times less expensive. And, because you’ll be spending less time studying, you’ll probably spend less money on things like housing.

  1. Entry requirements

Finally, entry criteria for associate’s degrees are often lower than those for bachelor’s degrees, and admissions deadlines are frequently later.

They can be an option for students who do not fulfill the admission criteria for a bachelor’s degree, perhaps because they studied additional vocational courses or did not get high enough marks.

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Types of Associate Degrees

Associate degrees are classified into four types: AA (Associate of Arts), AS (Associate of Science), AAA (Associate of Applied Arts), and AAS (Associate of Applied Science).

The key distinction is that the ‘applied’ courses are more focused on educating students for a specific job, emphasizing practical vocational skills, whilst the AA and AS are more focused on preparing students for higher levels of academic study.

Online associate degrees are also growing more popular due to their flexibility and affordability, allowing people to work while studying, generally at a lower cost.

Careers with an Associate’s Degree

Possible professions with an associate’s degree vary depending on the type of degree and the topic you major in.

However, with an associate degree, you may access a variety of reasonably high-paying and highly specialized industries.

One recent list of appealing associate degree occupations includes dental hygienist, web developer, nuclear technician, radiation therapist, and air traffic controller.

Studying for a bachelor’s degree is likely to offer up even more professional opportunities – but it’s absolutely worth evaluating if you truly need a bachelor’s to enter your desired field, especially if you’re facing exorbitant tuition prices.

However, many skilled occupations demand only an associate’s degree. Because many bachelor’s degrees are more academic than vocational in nature, bachelor’s graduates frequently require further professional training before they can begin working.

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What is an Associate Degree in Business?

An associate degree in Business is a two-year undergraduate degree program. By providing a solid foundation in economics, accounting, management, and project planning, as well as conventional liberal arts education, the degree equips students to enter the business industry quickly.

How Long Does it Take to Get an Associate Degree in Business?

Time to complete: Two years

For full-time students, an associate degree in business normally takes two years. Students pursuing their associate degree part-time may require three years. Online associate programs also generally take two years. 

Students with an undergraduate business certificate or prior college credits can often graduate in less time.

During an associate degree in business administration, learners study foundational topics like accounting, management, marketing, and finance. Students also take general education courses that strengthen critical thinking and analytical skills. 

business administration associate degree meets the requirements for careers as a bookkeeper, financial clerk, or customer service associate. Graduates can also transfer to a bachelor’s program to increase their career opportunities.

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How Long Does it Take to Get an Associate Degree in Nursing?

An associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) will prepare you for a career in healthcare. This degree, which is popular among registered nurses (RNs), gives options to work in entry-level nursing professions.

An Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is a two-year undergraduate degree that provides students with fundamental information and practical skills in the profession of nursing.

The majority of associate programs are two-year degrees. However, some can be finished in as short as 18 months.

Students who receive an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) may be qualified to take the NCLEX-RN test, which is necessary to become a registered nurse.

Given the multiple alternatives available, choosing the ideal Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program for you may look difficult.

The trick, though, is to maintain your professional objectives at the forefront of your choice. Consider where your degree can lead you in terms of practicing settings and the type of influence you want to have in the nursing sector.

Nursing Careers with an Associate Degree

Earning an ADN can provide you with access to a variety of professional pathways and work situations. In addition to earning RN licensing, you can pursue the following nursing occupations with your associate’s degree:

  • Registered Nurse
  • Outpatient/Personal Care Nurse
  • Physician’s Office Nurse
  • Nursing Care Facility Nurse
  • Public Health Nurse
  • Labor and Delivery Nurse
  • Rehabilitation Nurse

Earning your ADN gives you the independence and flexibility to pick from a variety of registered nurse job options to discover one that matches your interests. Becoming an RN and pursuing further specialties may need the acquisition of extra qualifications.

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Associate Degree in Nursing Salary

Salary ranges for RNs with an associate degree in nursing (ADN) vary greatly.

The amount you make may be affected by your location, practice environment, and the number of years of expertise.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for registered nurses is $75,330 as of May 2020. (BLS). That year, the lowest 10% of RNs earned less than $53,410, while the wealthiest 10% earned more than $116,230.

It is vital to remember for people considering a career in nursing that employment of registered nurses is likely to grow as the healthcare system evolves. The BLS predicts a 9% rise in RN positions between 2020 and 2030.

How Long Does it take to Get an Associate Degree in Computer Science?

With an associate degree in computer science, you can be prepared for lucrative entry-level careers in coding, computer support, and information technology.

The top associate degree in computer science prepares students for careers in computer programming, systems analysis, web development, and network administration. For professionals interested in computer science professions, the low-cost degree offers a good return on investment.

Our guide leads prospective computer science students through all they need to know before beginning an associate degree program.

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What is an Associate Degree in Computer Science?

Computer science is concerned with the study of computers, networks, and computing systems.

An associate degree in computer science teaches students to fundamental computer science ideas and programming languages.

The degree prepares graduates for professions in computer science or further study.

Majors study in-demand programming languages, web development abilities, and computer systems analysis during a two-year computer science associate degree.

The degree develops the fundamental knowledge and abilities necessary for entry-level technical professions.

Many institutions offer online computer science programs. The adaptability of online institutions appeals to working people and busy students.

Students with prior college experience can frequently utilize transfer credits toward an associate degree.

How Long Does this Degree take to Complete?

Most associate programs last two years for full-time students. Part-time students may take up to three years to complete the minimum of 60 credits necessary for an associate degree.

Computer science majors can select between on-campus and online computer science degrees. Both alternatives need a comparable time commitment and amount of credits. Some institutions offer accelerated online versions for students who need a degree quickly.

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How Much Does this Degree Cost?

According to National Center for Education Statistics statistics for 2019/2020, an associate degree costs an average of $6,750 for in-state students at community institutions.

In addition to tuition and fees, students must budget for textbooks, technology, and living expenses. Some schools provide computers for remote learners.

The inexpensive cost of the degree, in comparison to the great earning potential in computer and technology jobs, makes an associate in computer science a reasonable investment.

Who is a Good Fit for a Computer Science Associate Degree Program?

Students interested in computer science professions may consider earning an associate degree. This two-year degree exposes students to key computer science ideas in less time than a bachelor’s degree.

The degree qualifies you for a variety of tech jobs, such as web developer or computer programmer.

After earning an associate degree, graduates can enter the job to get professional experience or transfer to a bachelor’s program to further their studies.

What Skills are Taught in Computer Science Associate Degree?

Computer science majors gain proficiency in a variety of programming languages, develop their data analytic abilities, and learn how to create websites while pursuing an associate degree.

The degree also prioritizes soft skills, also known as people skills. Majors strengthen their ability to work on teams and pay attention to key details. 

Employers look for job candidates with the following skills:

Hard skillsPeople skills
Programming language proficiency administration
Computer systems analysis
Web development
Network administration
Teamwork and interpersonal skills
Creative approaches to problems
Persistence in solving challenges
Attention to detail
Time management
computer science associate degree skill

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What is an Associate Degree in Computer Science Like?

An associate degree in computer science provides a solid foundation in system administration, database administration, and computer programming.

Hands-on projects help students improve their problem-solving and analytical abilities.

The degree also covers computer science theory, preparing students for additional study in the subject.

During an associate degree, majors take computer science courses that introduce core concepts in programming, computer systems, and networking.

Many programs incorporate several programming languages and career-oriented courses like web development and computer systems analysis. 

The degree also covers mathematics, statistics, and general education classes. These seminars promote critical thinking and communication abilities.

Computer science majors benefit from a detail-oriented approach and initiative. Online computer science programs need strong motivation and time management abilities.

Courses

  • Programming fundamentals
  • Computer systems and operating systems
  • Web programming
  • Introduction to software engineering
  • Database administration

What Can You Do with an Associate Degree in Computer Science?

An associate degree in computer science prepares graduates for a variety of computer science employment. The degree qualifies you for jobs as a web developer, programmer, technician, or analyst.

  • Front-end web developer
  • Back-end web developer
  • Full-stack web developer
  • Computer programmer
  • Computer support specialist
  • Network technician
  • Web designer
  • Computer systems analyst
  • Programmer analyst
  • Software quality assurance analyst

Why Choose an Associate’s Degree?

There are several reasons to pursue an associate’s degree. You may wish to join the workforce more swiftly and affordably.

You may desire to study for a complete bachelor’s degree but lack the necessary grades, or you may just like the concept of paying cheaper tuition rates for a few years before transferring.

Indeed, maybe the simplest method to choose if you should pursue an associate’s degree is to analyze the job you want to pursue and apply for the degree that would best prepare you for that position.

It could also be beneficial to look at current job postings in the nation where you wish to work and investigate the credentials and abilities that are most in demand among your intended employers.

FAQs

What is the easiest associate's degree to get?

An online Associate Degree in General Studies, Liberal Studies, or Education is the simplest to obtain.

Although the curriculum for these online associate degree programs is adaptable, how easy you find your courses will rely on your learning talents and learning style.

Which associate's degree pays most?

  • Aerospace engineering technology.
  • Air traffic controller.
  • Drafting and design technology.
  • Nuclear technology.
  • Nuclear medicine technology.
  • Radiation therapy.
  • Aviation maintenance.
  • Dental hygiene.

Is an associate's in business worth it?

As a degree holder, you will not only have a higher employment rate, but you will also likely make more money in your profession and career.

Employers are prepared to pay greater compensation to competent employees, so the time and money you’ve spent on an associate degree may pay off when you can earn a higher salary.

How many credits do I need for an associate's degree?

60 semester

 
The minimum required for an associate degree is 60 semester or 90 quarter credits, according to generally accepted standards.

It is known that universities may use different terminology (for example, hours or courses) to convey similar student achievement.

What can I do after associate's degree?

After earning your associate degree, you have two alternatives. You can further your education by applying to a bachelor’s degree program, or you can pursue careers in the medical, engineering, computer science, or legal professions, among many others.

Conclusion

Now you understand how long it takes to earn an associate degree, what’s next?

At this point, you need to pick a suitable career and push through with it, knowing that it doesn’t take so long to attain this degree and start making a living for yourself.

Let us know what you think about this article.

References

  • uopeople.edu – An Associate Degree is a Great Place to Start a Nursing Career

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