Associate of Science & Other Associate Degrees
Associate Degrees are a great way to start down a career path quickly. Most programs conclude in two years, but there are some programs that take even less time. Moreover, many students can find lucrative positions, especially in the technology and accounting fields, with an associate's degree. Asdegree.org has taken the first step for you by listing schools offering online programs below.
||Kaplan University –
Kaplan University is one of the largest providers of online, higher education. Through distance learning, Kaplan can provide a unique learning experience to each student, providing them with the skills and knowledge required to successfully fulfill job responsibilities.
||Liberty University –
Liberty University has numerous associate's degree offerings in such subjects as Accounting, Business, Criminal Justice, Education, Interdisciplinary Studies, Management Information Systems, Paralegal Studies, and Religion. These programs are all 100% online, meaning that you can continue to work in your career as you advance your education.
||Rasmussen College –
Rasmussen University features a dynamic offering of associate degrees across its colleges, including the School of Health Sciences, School of Business, School of Justice Studies, and School of Technology and Design. The university features small classes and excellent faculty. It prides itself on offering a warm, open atmosphere where students can excel.
||Baker College –
Baker University offers associates degrees through the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Nursing, and School of Education. Baker offers the flexibly of both on campus and online options, so there is a program style that can fit your needs as a busy professional. Baker also offers an engaging faculty and exciting curriculums.
What is an AS Degree?
The Associate of Science (AS) degree is offered through both traditional schools and online only programs. This degree is intended for students who want training to gain employment immediately following graduation. These are commonly known as trade programs because a student is learning a skill and is able to put that skill to use in the work force after completing program. Some of these programs also require a certification or license, both of which are obtained through an exam nearing the end of the degree program or after the program is done. Some AS programs require clinicals, if the student will go on to work in the medical or dental fields. There are many career opportunities for AS graduates, and job placement is offered through community centers or colleges. Degrees that fall under the AS category may also have their own job placement program and set students up for interviews with potential employers.
Prerequisites for AS Programs
The majority of AS programs require a diploma or GED. Not all programs require a diploma and this is more common for online AS programs. It is worth researching online schools and traditional schools in your area to get an idea of what programs are looking for in candidates. Many students who enter AS programs have been out of school and in the work force, but are looking for a more satisfying career path and higher pay. AS programs give students the opportunity to enroll in school for a short duration of time and gain the skills they need for a specific career. Students graduating with an AS degree usually go to work right after college.
What Should I Look for in an AS Degree Program?
Any legitimate AS program is accredited by a regional accreditation organization or the organization that governs that trade, such as radiology or dentistry. It is very important to conduct thorough research when looking at AS programs, especially online. You want to ensure the program allows you to sit for any certification or licensing exams required to gain employment once you complete your degree. Unaccredited schools can prevent you from sitting for these exams, which makes it difficult to find a job. Many employers for AS-type careers only hire those with proper certification because this ensures the potential employee knows how to work with certain equipment, properly prep patients and have mastered the technicalities of their job.
Can I Get a Bachelor’s Degree Post-AS?
After entering the job force for a while, a student may wish to return to school to complete a bachelor’s degree in their chosen field. This is why an accredited program is integral when completing your AS. Students who complete accredited programs can utilize these credits towards a bachelor’s degree at the same school or at new program. Most credits only transfer between schools when they are from regionally accredited sources. While there are some exceptions to this, it is safest to explore accredited schools especially if you plan on transferring schools later down the road when completing your bachelor’s. The AS is a great fit for those who want to begin a full time career, but may want to complete a four-year degree in a couple of years. When going this route, check with your current school and potential future schools about statutes of limitation for transferring degree credits. Some allow only a couple of years between programs, while others honor credits from many years ago. It all depends on the learning institution.
Can I Go to School Part Time for an AS?
Most students enrolled in AS programs go to school part time because they work full time. This is the norm for many traditional AS programs. Many are arranged so classes are at night, allowing the program to accommodate students who are working during regular business hours. There are also AS programs for a myriad of subjects available online. Some of these programs are extensions of traditional schools, which means they are accredited by the proper regional organizations. Others are schools that operate online only, but are still accredited by the right groups. Because AS programs are fairly short, a student can focus on school, work, and family life without feeling overwhelmed. You should explore all of your options thoroughly when choosing which AS program to attend. You want a program that suits your lifestyle and also has the credentials to benefit you once you enter the job force.
AS in Dental Hygiene
Dental hygienists are needed by dentists in every region, and it is an industry with extensive opportunities for those who are new to the field as well as veterans. Dental hygienists act as primary care for patients who need regular cleanings and other oral hygiene work done before a procedure can be done by the dentist. Some dental hygienists start out as dental assistants and then go on to complete a two-year AS program in order to become licensed hygienists, though this is not a prerequisite for any program. There are online and traditional programs for dental hygienists.
Clinicals are a required part of any dental hygiene program. If a student has worked as a dental assistant, he or she may arrange to complete clinicals with a former (or current) employer. Some schools are affiliated with area dentists that allow students to come in to gain their clinical hours working with patients, under the supervision of a dentist. Once licensed, dental hygienists do not work under the supervision of a dentist. They usually have their own room where they conduct work on patients, allowing the dentist to service more patients in a day.
AS in Retail Store Management
Unlike dental hygiene or other medical AS degrees, the AS in Retail Store Management is a degree that can be completed solely online. This degree is available through traditional schools and community colleges as well, but a part-time online program is ideal for students who already work in retail and have long hours. The retail store management AS degree was designed to enhance leadership, organizational, and management skills specific to a retail setting. There are many management degree programs out there, most of which teach the principles of management. For those looking to work in retail, a retail store management associate’s degree provides you with the training to work on the floor, leading employees in customer engagement, protocol, implementing new company policies and procedures, and managing schedules and payroll.
AS in Project Management and Construction
The AS in Project Management and Construction gives you the opportunity to work in a leadership position on the job site. Most students enrolled in this program have worked in construction for some time and may currently hold a management position. The degree gives you leverage when negotiating contracts and pay for projects, and also shows you how to properly manage a site, stay on schedule, cope with clients and create a work atmosphere that will produce effective results. Project management and construction is an area that’s lagging due to the economy, but there is opportunity for green builders. This is the direction that construction is headed and schools and AS programs are quickly adapting their curriculum to include eco-friendly practices. In the coming years, this will make you a vital part of the construction industry. For those who already have many years of experience in construction management, an AS from a program with a green curriculum is the ideal way to make yourself a much-needed asset to a new position. There is opportunity for green builders in both commercial and residential developments.
Can I Get an AS Degree Online?
Online programs are quickly becoming the primary choice for students attending school part time. Because many AS students already work in their field, it is easiest for them to go to school online, on their own time. AS degree programs can work for students with no background in the field, but they are most beneficial for students who have experience in their chosen area of study. These degrees are a great option for students who know what they want to do in terms of career and are looking to master the key objectives to gain employment and excel in a particular job. AS online programs allow students to work at their own pace, although deadlines and due dates are part of classes, just as they are with the traditional school experience. Student should look for established programs with experienced instructors for online courses. Instructors who are new to this medium often have issues adjusting to teaching in this manner, while experienced teachers understand how to keep students engaged.
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