For the records, there are key differences between an associate degree and an undergraduate degree. However, students who just completed high school education might become confused as to what degree they should go for or what suits their career field.
An undergraduate degree, popularly called bachelors’ degree requires that you spend 4 years or more to earn it while gathering a total of 120 credits. An associate degree, on the other hand, requires just 60 credits and within a maximum of 2 years. Unlike a bachelors’ degree, an associate degree can be offered by most colleges especially community colleges.
So… An Associate Degree or an Undergraduate
Not to get
confused, both a bachelors’ degree and associate degree are undergraduate
degrees but most times, the term ‘undergraduate degree’ is used to mean a
It is only right to know the difference between both degrees before you can make the right decision. Here are the key differences between an associate degree and an undergraduate or bachelors’ degree.
charges for an associate degree and an undergraduate degree is quite different.
Note that different colleges or universities charge differently for their
tuition fees but on the general perspective, an undergraduate degree is going
to cost more than an associate degree. It might be because of the shorter
duration of the associate degree program, however, colleges that allow for
associate degree tend to be less expensive than those that allow for bachelors’
or undergraduate degree.
bachelors’ degree generally requires more time investments than an associate
degree. As a full-time student, an associate degree normally takes 2 years to
earn while an undergraduate degree takes 4 years. However, a part-time student
will spend a longer time to obtain either an associate or undergraduate degree.
If you are a
student gunning for an associate degree and still wishes to get an undergraduate
degree, you can transfer the points you earn from the former to the latter. You
should check your institution’s policy on credit transfer. With that, you can
successfully obtain your bachelors’ degree in 2 years against a proposed 4
Area of Study
undergo an associate degree program because they want to achieve a high level
of expertise in vocational studies of their chosen career path. Such career
paths may include culinary skills, nursing, construction management and more.
Such students pick their fields and major in it.
On the other
hand, some students undergo an associate degree program because of the
transferable credit points to take to the bachelors’ degree program. Such study
is basically based on general studies which would mean that the students would
only need to pick a major and complete a project in the bachelors’ degree
before earning the certificate.
associate degree has its perks. If you
have chosen a career path and want to start working earlier, you might want to
consider doing an associate degree program. With an associate degree, you can
compete with bachelors’ degree holders for jobs like cosmetologists, dental
assistants, computer programming, Licensed Practical Nurse and other
bachelors’ degree holders are considered more attractive and qualified by most
employers. Jobs in areas like business administration and management, finance
and accounting require that you have a bachelors’ degree at least. Some
employers really don’t worry much about a prospective employee’s field of study
as long as he/she has that four-year degree.
for a student who wants to go onto to acquire masters or doctorate degrees, it
is paramount to have a bachelors’ degree. Without it, you cannot apply for
these graduate studies.
Earning Potential or Unemployment Rate
published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that bachelors’ degree
holders are less likely to be unemployed and earn more than associate degree
The case is
getting worse as statistics from a Pew
Research in 2014 shows that the gap between bachelors’ degree holders and
associate degree holders’ earnings is getting wider with each generation.