When looking into degree options, many students may wonder can I specialize an associates degree? The answer is that you can, just like any other degree. The following guide explores what associate degrees are, their specializations and their advantages over other degree options.
Definition of an Associate’s Degree
Associates degree programs last two years instead of the four it takes to complete a bachelor’s degree program. They are offered in many different subjects, from broader topics such as English to more specific subjects such as Paralegal Studies. It should be noted that not all subjects are taught as associates degrees. For many careers, a bachelor’s degree or higher is required to enter the profession. Before choosing a degree program, students should carefully consider the educational path needed to obtain the career they want and choose a degree option that will allow them to achieve their career goals.
Associate’s Degree Specialization
Can I specialize an associates degree? Like other higher education degrees, associates degrees can be specialized. In fact, this is seen as one of the main advantages of associates degrees. They often do not require general education classes, allowing students to pursue their specific subject and specialization from the beginning. Even if general education courses are required or taken, those course credits can usually be transferred from advanced high school classes. This is excellent for students who want certain careers and a faster, cheaper degree program. A main disadvantage can be the lack of versatility of some associates degrees, but the same is a weakness of many bachelor’s degrees as well. It can also be advantageous for a student to earn an associates degree before transferring to a traditional four-year college. This is because it can both save money and allow a student to get a bachelor’s degree if they wish as well as give them an advantage in higher level courses.
Popular Associate’s Degree Specializations
Associates degrees are most useful for students who want to save money, enter the workforce faster after high school and want a career that requires less training than other professions. For example, students who are interested in the legal profession but don’t want to be attorneys may find that being a paralegal is a better match for them. Students enrolled in a Paralegal Studies program can specialize in different areas of law. Students not interested in becoming surgeons themselves may instead be interested in the in-demand and high-paying surgical technician position. Web developers, nurse practitioners, dental hygienists, air traffic controllers, police officers and more are other solid careers that can offer high-paying salaries and be obtained with an associates degree.
Advantages of an Associates Degree
Associates degrees offer numerous advantages to students, especially students who are already quite clear on the career path they wish to take. As previously mentioned, because they only take two years to complete students are in school for less time and can therefore enter the workforce faster. Spending those two less years in school also drastically decreases the cost of a college education. Because of the huge student debt problem and rising tuition costs, this can be an attractive option for many students. According to the Huffington Post, there are even cases where associates degree holders have significantly higher earning potential than bachelor’s degree holders.
Associates degrees are highly versatile and specialized. For the right careers, they make excellent education options. When asking the question can I specialize an associates degree, the answer is yes!