What You Should Know About Online Associate Degrees
What Is An Online Associate Degree?
An online associate degree is an undergraduate degree that takes 2 years (60 credits) to complete. Students can earn their online associate degree from a junior or community college; 4-year colleges and universities may also offer associate degree programs.
Each 60-credit online associate program is composed of general education, major, and elective credits. To complete a traditional associate program in 2 years, doing 2 semesters a year, students must enroll in 15 credit hours each semester. Alternatively, students who are enrolled in online programs can study at their own pace. Those desiring to complete an associate program quicker than normal can enroll in an accelerated online associate program.
Growth of Online Associate Degrees
Numerous online associate degree opportunities are available for students of all ages because of the growth of online classes, programs, and colleges. In fact, 28.8% of students who are enrolled in a 2-year associate program are taking at least one online class and 10% are doing 100% of their classes through an online associate degree program.
Transferring Online Associate Degree Credits
Many online associate degrees, whether the degree emphasis is in science, business, or social science, can be transferred to 4-year schools offering bachelor’s programs. We do suggest that before you begin an online associate degree, that you check with the school you’ll be attending to ensure it is regionally or nationally accredited and that the school you want to transfer to will accept those credits once you have your associates.
Types of Online Associate Degree Programs
- Online Associate of Arts (AA) Degree: Students acquiring these degrees usually transfer earned credits to four-year institutions.
- Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree: Credits earned from these programs can also be transferred to 4-year schools and applied towards bachelor’s programs. AAS degrees usually have industry specific titles, such as Associate in Engineering Technology.
- Online Associate of Science (AS) Degree
Many graduates transfer earned credits from these programs towards bachelor’s degrees offered at traditional colleges or universities.
- Online Associate of Occupational Study (AOS) Degree
Graduates of these programs leave school with specific job skills. It usually takes two years to earn an occupational degree. Most graduates begin their careers immediately after earning an occupational degree, although some graduates apply earned credits towards bachelor’s programs.
Online Associate Degree Programs
To learn more about specific online associate degree programs select a degree category below.
- Liberal Arts & General Studies
- Business Administration
- Communication Arts
- Computer Information Systems
- Network Administration & Computer Networking
- Computer Programming
- Criminal Justice
- Early Childhood Development
- Fire Science
- Graphic Design
- Health Administration
- Health Sciences
- Hospitality Management
- Human Resources Management
- Information Technology
- Paralegal Studies
- Medical Assistant
- Social Sciences
- Web Design
- Veterinary Technician
- More »
Best Jobs For Those With An Online Associate Degree
The jobs listed below require an associate degree (at minimum), have an average annual salary of $35,000 or more, and have a steady or increasing projected job growth rate between 2014-2024. You can also see whether or not the job requires on-the-job training.
|Occupation||2016 Median Pay||Number of New Jobs||Growth Rate||On-the-job Training|
|Radiation therapists||$75,000 or more||1,000 to 4,999||10 to 19 percent||None|
|Aerospace engineering and operations technicians||$55,000 to $74,999||0 to 999||0 to 9 percent||None|
|Avionics technicians||$55,000 to $74,999||0 to 999||0 to 9 percent||None|
|Cardiovascular technologists and technicians||$55,000 to $74,999||10,000 to 49,999||20 to 29 percent||None|
|Computer network support specialists||$55,000 to $74,999||10,000 to 49,999||0 to 9 percent||None|
|Dental hygienists||$55,000 to $74,999||10,000 to 49,999||10 to 19 percent||None|
|Diagnostic medical sonographers||$55,000 to $74,999||10,000 to 49,999||20 to 29 percent||None|
|Electrical and electronics drafters||$55,000 to $74,999||1,000 to 4,999||0 to 9 percent||None|
|Electro-mechanical technicians||$55,000 to $74,999||0 to 999||0 to 9 percent||None|
|Funeral service managers||$55,000 to $74,999||1,000 to 4,999||0 to 9 percent||None|
|Geological and petroleum technicians||$55,000 to $74,999||1,000 to 4,999||10 to 19 percent||Moderate-term on-the-job training|
|Magnetic resonance imaging technologists||$55,000 to $74,999||1,000 to 4,999||10 to 19 percent||None|
|Nuclear medicine technologists||$55,000 to $74,999||0 to 999||0 to 9 percent||None|
|Occupational therapy assistants||$55,000 to $74,999||10,000 to 49,999||30 percent or faster||None|
|Physical therapist assistants||$55,000 to $74,999||10,000 to 49,999||30 percent or faster||None|
|Radiologic technologists||$55,000 to $74,999||10,000 to 49,999||0 to 9 percent||None|
|Respiratory therapists||$55,000 to $74,999||10,000 to 49,999||10 to 19 percent||None|
|Web developers||$55,000 to $74,999||10,000 to 49,999||20 to 29 percent||None|
|Agricultural and food science technicians||$35,000 to $54,999||1,000 to 4,999||0 to 9 percent||Moderate-term on-the-job training|
|Camera and photographic equipment repairers||$35,000 to $54,999||0 to 999||0 to 9 percent||Long-term on-the-job training|
|Chemical technicians||$35,000 to $54,999||1,000 to 4,999||0 to 9 percent||Moderate-term on-the-job training|
|Civil engineering technicians||$35,000 to $54,999||1,000 to 4,999||0 to 9 percent||None|
|Environmental engineering technicians||$35,000 to $54,999||1,000 to 4,999||10 to 19 percent||None|
|Environmental science and protection technicians, including health||$35,000 to $54,999||1,000 to 4,999||0 to 9 percent||None|
|Life, physical, and social science technicians, all other||$35,000 to $54,999||5,000 to 9,999||0 to 9 percent||None|
|Mechanical engineering technicians||$35,000 to $54,999||0 to 999||0 to 9 percent||None|
|Medical and clinical laboratory technicians||$35,000 to $54,999||10,000 to 49,999||10 to 19 percent||None|
|Medical equipment repairers||$35,000 to $54,999||1,000 to 4,999||0 to 9 percent||Moderate-term on-the-job training|
|Morticians, undertakers, and funeral directors||$35,000 to $54,999||1,000 to 4,999||0 to 9 percent||Long-term on-the-job training|
|Paralegals and legal assistants||$35,000 to $54,999||10,000 to 49,999||0 to 9 percent||None|
|Radio, cellular, and tower equipment installers and repairs||$35,000 to $54,999||0 to 999||0 to 9 percent||Moderate-term on-the-job training|
General education or programs with specific majors are available at the majority of these institutions. There are also vocational training, also called Vo-tech, (Associate of Applied Science) programs available for students wanting to develop a specific skill, such as plumbing, automotive repair, etc. In fact, many technology firms heavily recruit individuals with Associate of Applied Science degrees to fill mid-level jobs.
Featured Schools that Offer Associate Degrees
|Southern New Hampshire University You have goals. Southern New Hampshire University can help you get there. Whether you need a bachelor's degree to get into a career or want a master's degree to move up in your current career, SNHU has an online program for you. Find your degree from over 200 online programs. Learn More >|
|Kaplan University Kaplan University's campus locations provide the facilities, faculty, staff and career programs to help you achieve your personal goals. You can learn from professionals specializing in identifying career opportunities and preparing students for a brighter future. Learn More >|
|Everest University Online Everest University Online, a division of Everest University, makes career education convenient and accessible. With courses tailored for working students and others who need a more flexible class schedule, Everest University Online allows students to learn from home and offers the same well-respected curriculum available at our traditional campuses. Learn More >|
|Westwood College You have a dream, and we'll put you on the fast track to achieving it. Our degree programs provide you with the knowledge, tools and support you need to earn your associate degree in as little as 17 months, your bachelor's degree in as little as three years, or your master's degree in just over a year. By offering year-round classes focused on the most critical skills needed to start or advance your career, you can complete your coursework in less time than students at traditional schools. Learn More >|
|Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA) At Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA) we specialize in healthcare education in a supportive atmosphere that promotes student success. We educate future allied health professionals through our online classroom and at our campuses in Clearwater and Tampa, Florida. Since 1994, UMA has educated thousands of students for careers in the healthcare industry. Learn More >|