If you want to grow your professional skill sets and expand your career opportunities, earning an associate in liberal arts online may be a strategic place to start.
An associate program in liberal arts allows you to study a wide range of subjects to help you become a well-rounded professional and develop a variety of versatile and employable skills.
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Read on to learn more about what an AA degree in liberal arts entails.
Online Associates in Liberal Arts Degrees
An associate in liberal arts is a general studies degree and lays the foundation for studies in the liberal arts. Some graduates go on to get a bachelor’s degree after completing their associate’s, while others enter the workforce after completing their associate’s program.
Here are some of the features of an associate’s degree in liberal arts:
- Variety of subjects: Some of the subjects covered included English composition, mathematics, history, economics, natural sciences, communication, social sciences, media, and humanities.
- Array of skills: The variety of skills taught through this degree program can include critical thinking, problem-solving, analytical, communication, technical, and research skills.
- Range of career options: An A.A. in Liberal Arts has the potential to open the door to a wide range of entry-level positions in different roles and industries. This can include but is not limited to, administration, sales, management, and financial operations.
One of the benefits of a liberal arts degree program is that you can choose elective courses from whatever subjects interest you.
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Adding the online component makes this program even more flexible and catered to the individual. You also have the potential to gain a wide variety of employable skills and to expand your knowledge on an array of subjects.
Liberal Arts Careers and Salaries
Associates in liberal arts can lead to a wide variety of career paths. Potential fields can include sales, business and financial operations, office and administrative support, management, educational instruction, and others.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are some examples of entry-level liberal arts careers, along with their median wages.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Food Service Managers||$59,440|
|Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers||$59,230|
|Advertising Sales Agents||$52,340|
|Insurance Sales Agents||$49,840|
|Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks||$45,560|
|Secretaries and Administrative Assistants||$39,680|
|Customer Service Representatives||$36,920|
In an online liberal arts associate’s degree program, you can develop your knowledge of a wide array of topics and focus on analytics. These skills can be applied to many different entry-level careers. An associate can also act as a stepping stone toward a bachelors program.
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Throughout your education in liberal arts, you may have the opportunity to take courses that will help prepare you for certain fields. You may also choose to concentrate on courses that could benefit you for your preferred career path.
Associate of Liberal Arts Curriculum & Courses
The curriculum for an AA in Liberal Arts includes a wide range of subjects. These courses are designed to encourage students to broaden their knowledge of diverse topics as well as promote analytical and critical thinking skills.
Some of the classes liberal arts students may take include:
- English Composition: This course helps you improve your writing and revision skills as well as your research and analysis skills.
- Public Speaking: In this course, you are encouraged to develop abilities for all speaking situations.
- Introduction to Humanities: Courses such as this offer an understanding of the visual arts in their cultural contexts and focuses on the periods of the Baroque, the Enlightenment, Romanticism, and Early Modernism.
- Applied Humanities: Students of this course select works within the humanities (arts, literature, philosophy) to study both subjectively and objectively.
- Perspectives in History: In this class, you’ll examine the processes of investigating, analyzing, and writing about history.
- Perspectives in Liberal Arts: Here, you’ll explore the humanities, social science, and natural science, and you’ll apply these lenses to understanding relevant topics.
- Applied Natural Sciences: This course allows you to dive into the process of science by building on foundational knowledge of the natural sciences.
- Perspectives in the Social Sciences: This course focuses on the questions asked by researchers when studying individuals, families, and the larger society.
- College Mathematics: This course promotes a broad understanding of mathematics, such as geometry and trigonometry.
- Diversity: This course can help deepen your understanding of cultural differences.
An associate’s degree in the liberal arts can help you expand your knowledge on a vast array of subjects.
How to Choose an AA in Liberal Arts Online Program
When choosing an online program to pursue an AA in Liberal Arts, there’s a large number of schools to consider. So, how do you decide which program is right for you?
It’s helpful to consider the following:
- Cost. You can compare programs’ costs of not only tuition but also books and other required school fees.
- Format. Online classes can be synchronous, in which you’d log in at a certain time to join your live class. Classes can also be asynchronous, which allows you to watch recorded lectures and work on your own time.
- Location. Although the coursework will be online, some online liberal arts degree programs require students to attend an in-person orientation or in-person labs.
- Accreditation. Credits earned at accredited schools are more likely to transfer to other schools if you choose to go beyond an associate’s degree.
- Support services. Support services can include tutoring, counseling, and disability services.
You may also want to consider how much time you have to devote to your studies, which could help you decide between full-time and part-time enrollment.
While each school will have its own admissions criteria, here are some typical admissions requirements when pursuing an associate degree:
- SAT or ACT scores (only some schools require these)
- High school transcripts or proof of GED completion
- Letters of recommendation
- Personal statement
In addition, some schools ask for an admissions essay. It’s beneficial to review the application and admissions processes for your prospective schools. You can contact a school’s admissions coordinator for assistance.
If a school is regionally accredited, then it has been approved by a regional accrediting agency that’s recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). A regionally accredited school has been found to meet high standards of academic quality.
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If a degree does not come from an accredited program, it may not be recognized by future employers. Plus, credits that are earned at an accredited school are more likely to transfer to other programs, should you choose to move to another school or pursue a bachelor’s degree.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
If you are wanting to seek financial assistance to help cover the cost of an associate’s degree program, you can start by submitting the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Federal aid often comes in the form of student loans, grants, and work-study programs.
Scholarship and grant opportunities may be available from the school you plan to attend. You could connect with your school’s admissions and financial aid department to determine which options are available. You may also look for scholarships and grants offered by private organizations and donors.
Some of these opportunities are intended for students who choose a certain path of study, while others are based on demographics, location, or academic performance. Educational assistance can also come from employers, local community groups, or professional organizations.
What Is a Liberal Arts Associates Degree?
A liberal arts associates degree is essentially the first half of a bachelor’s degree program. It is a general studies degree, which means it covers a great deal of general education subjects.
This degree focuses on communication, analytical, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. Some of the core subjects studied are composition, history, mathematics, communication, natural sciences, and social sciences.
A liberal arts associate’s degree can typically be completed within 2 years. After earning this degree, students may choose to go on to finish a bachelor’s degree or use their associate’s degree to begin job hunting.
Should I Get an Associates in Liberal Arts?
Identifying your own specific career goals and aspirations can help you decide whether an AA in Liberal Arts is right for you.
Associates in liberal arts programs allow students to build knowledge in a vast array of subjects and learn many versatile skills. Rather than limiting yourself to one field, this degree could potentially lead to a variety of job opportunities in different areas.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, associate degree holders tend to qualify for higher pay than those who have only completed high school or some college courses. While an associates degree can help you qualify for entry-level professions, it may also count toward the first 2 years of a bachelors program.
What Can You Do with an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts?
There are a number of things that can be done with an associate degree in liberal arts. Many students choose to use an AA in Liberal Arts from an accredited school as a starting point for pursuing a bachelors degree. Plus, a growing number of universities offer an on-campus or online masters in liberal arts, which may be earned after a bachelors.
Others choose to directly enter the workforce.
Some associate students are working professionals who want to gain an associate’s degree to further their career goals. An associate degree in liberal arts can lead to a number of entry-level roles in a range of sectors, such as administration, sales, business, social services, and customer service.
How Long Does It Take to Get an AA in Liberal Arts Online Degree?
An AA in Liberal Arts online generally takes 2 years to complete, depending on the program schedule and your preferred enrollment.
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If the school you choose follows a 16-week semester schedule, a full-time student can complete an associates degree in 2 years. You may be able to complete this degree in less time if you stay enrolled year-round. Earning your associates in liberal arts may take more time if you choose to follow a part-time schedule.
What Jobs with Associates Degree in Liberal Arts Can You Get?
The jobs that are accessible to someone with an associate’s degree in liberal arts will depend on any necessary certifications, geographic location, and availability, among other factors.
A liberal arts program can help you develop versatile skill sets, such as critical reasoning, decision-making, and communication. So, professionals with an AA in Liberal Arts often qualify for entry-level roles in a variety of fields.
Graduates often pursue entry-level positions in management, administration, sales, business, and social services. Some potential positions include customer service representative, administrative assistant, and sales agent.
What’s the Difference Between an Associate in Liberal Arts vs. STEM?
Liberal arts and STEM are both degree programs that allow for a broad study of subjects, but here are a few of the differences between them.
|Associates in Liberal Arts||Associates in STEM|
While an AA in Liberal Arts can include STEM topics, an associate’s degree in STEM will go more in depth in these subjects and will cater its curriculum toward career paths in these fields.
Is an Associates in Liberal Arts Worth It?
Yes, an associate in liberal arts is worth it for many students. With this degree, you can gain knowledge in a variety of subjects. This degree teaches numerous employable and versatile skills, so those with an AA in Liberal Arts go on to work in a wide variety of fields.
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the unemployment rate for associate degree holders is 4.6%. This is much lower than the 6.2% unemployment rate for high school graduates with no college credits. In addition, an associate in liberal arts from an accredited school can often count toward the first 2 years of a 4-year bachelors program.
Universities Offering Online Associates in Liberal Arts Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Brescia University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Eastern University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Excelsior University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Faulkner University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Grace College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Hilbert College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Ivy Tech Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
LSC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Lewis-Clark State College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Madison College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Manor College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
MassBay Community College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Mercer County Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Middlesex Community College is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education.
Northland Community & Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Polk State College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Saint Leo University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
SNHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, Inc.
Trinity Valley Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Vincennes University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
Getting Your Liberal Arts Associate Degree Online
An associate degree in liberal arts can be a strategic first step for students who wish to begin an academic or professional career.
An AA in Liberal Arts program covers a wide variety of subjects and helps you develop versatile skills that are applicable in a range of industries. Earning an associate degree from an accredited school can help you qualify for entry-level roles in the workforce. It can also help you work toward a bachelors degree program, should you choose to continue your studies.
You can start exploring accredited schools today to find the associate degree in liberal arts that’s right for you.