In 2004, nearly 52% of all students working toward a certificate or Associate's degree were enrolled in online courses. That number has steadily increased each year due to more colleges offering Associate's programs online. If you're interested in earning an Associate's degree through distance learning, here are some things to consider.
Most people in the United States understand that an Associate degree is a two-year program that consists of two different degrees: Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.). These degrees can be obtained by working through a community college, technical college, junior college, or online.
A.A. degrees rely heavily upon general education courses and are designed for those students that would like to transfer to a four-year college or university. They are often liberal arts degrees. A.A.S. degrees are designed for those who will work in middle level technology positions where further education is not needed. Some of the credits for an A.A.S. may transfer to a four-year college.
These types of degrees are best suited for those students who are unsure of the educational path they want to follow. The costs of these degrees are often much less, helping a student save money over the course of their education by allowing them to live at home instead of on a campus. Also, if you choose to get an Associate's degree, you can also do so from the privacy of your home by attending online courses.
One benefit of choosing to earn an Associate's degree online is that you may have a greater number of classes or majors to choose from. You may also be able to attend classes or programs from colleges that are far from your home.
Before choosing an online degree program, take time to do some research concerning the school in which you're interested. Make sure your school of choice is accredited. Not only will accreditation give you all of the benefits of traditional students, but it will also ensure that all credits you earn will transfer if you choose to further your education.
What requirements will you need to meet? Generally students working toward an Associate's degree will have to complete at least 60 hours of course work. This course work will include general education classes, those that would be considered prerequisites for higher education classes, as well as classes working toward a particular "major" or concentrated course of study.
Why would anyone want to get an Associate's degree? According to reports from 2001, those with at least an Associate's degree earned more pay per week than those who held no degree at all. Unemployment is also lower for those holding degrees. These two reasons, in themselves, may be enough of an impetus to encourage anyone to work toward higher education.
If you're considering a career in teaching, but you're not completely sure, working toward an Associate's degree in Early Childhood Education may be just what you need to help you decide. There are many degree possibilities to choose from so research the ones you're most interested in. This research should include talking to others that have obtained the same degree.
An Associate's degree can be a jumping off point to furthering your education in the future. You can take the classes at your own pace, at any location that has high-speed internet access, and be working toward your future educational goals.
Search for "accredited online Associate's degrees" on any search engine and you'll have plenty of places to begin.