Is an Associate of Arts Degree Worth Anything? [2021 Guide]

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Is an Associate of Arts degree worth anything? An Associate degree allows students to gain the academic knowledge needed to obtain an entry-level job.

Is an Associate of Arts Degree Worth Anything

Not only will it give you more opportunities than a high school diploma, but you can usually transfer your credits towards a Bachelor’s degree.

Is Associate of Arts Degree Worth It?

business professionals meeting in a conference room

Yes, an Associate of Arts degree is worth it for many students. Continuing your education for an Associate degree or higher will help you develop the skills you need to excel in the career path in which you are interested and possibly earn more than $40,000 per year.

An Associate’s degree will help you gain experience and knowledge to go straight into your field or to transfer into a Bachelor degree program. With a Bachelor’s degree, you may be able to earn more money or get a higher-level position, but the time and money investment can be more intense.

Whichever degree path you choose, it will give you a chance at better employment options. Check out each program and find the one that is right for you.

Associate of Arts Careers & Salaries

Associate of Arts Degree Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statics, the demand for those who have an Associate degree is growing. This degree shows that applicants have specialized skills needed for the job market.

Below are some examples of careers to look at after you finish your two-year Associate’s degree.

Careers Average Annual Salary
Air traffic controllers $80,000
Computer network support specialists $60,000
Dental hygienists $60,000
Cardiovascular technologists $40,000
Human resources assistants $40,000
Desktop publishers $40,000

This table is only a sample of the occupations that you can gain from furthering your education. You can use your AA degree as a stepping stop to higher-education and achieve growth in your chosen field.

When you decide to get your two-year degree to better your education, you are opening more opportunities to expand your career options.

What Jobs Can You Get With an Associate of Arts Degree?

nurse checking on a patient in a hospital

There are various jobs you can get with an Associate degree.

Some of these jobs include:

  • Nurse – the go-between for patients and doctors, provide care for the sick and give medication
  • Dental Assistant – assist dentist in caring for patients, cleaning tools used, and help prepare for procedures
  • Business Administrator – a leadership role in an organization that oversees all aspects of the business workings
  • Web Developer – design website using programming code that tells the web site what to look like and what to do
  • Electrical Technician – maintain and repair the electronic mechanisms
  • Paralegal – assists attorneys with legal matters
  • Teacher Assistant – assists in supervising and educating students

When choosing the school for an AA degree, you need to look at the cost of the school and the potential career earnings. Many private schools will leave students in unreasonable debt compared to their earning potential.

Financial Aid & Student Loans

Financial Aid for an AA Degree Online

The cost of an associate’s degree can vary depending on the school you choose. Your first step should always be filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, otherwise known as FAFSA.

The actual cost of your education will depend on factors such as:

  • Household income
  • Grants or scholarships offered by your school
  • Financial awards and scholarships for which you apply including, Pell Grants and low-interest student loans

A financial advisor can assist you in discussing student loans, grants, and other ways to help finance your educational needs. You can find all the necessary information, such as deadlines, forms, and directions on their website.

What Is an AA Degree?

associate of arts degree

An Associate in arts is a two-year degree program usually offered from a community college or technical school. This degree path is helpful for those looking for a less expensive, convenient way to complete the first two years of a four-year degree.

The AA degree normally focuses on your general education requirements such as English, math, history, and other such requirements.

There is more than one type of Associates degree to choose from, including:

  • Associate in Arts
  • Associate in Science
  • Associate in Applied Science

There are also specialized programs, such as nursing, that can be completed in two-years but is gear towards a specific field of study.

An Associate Degree in Science is best if you are looking to better your career in a science, technology, or mathematical type field. Fields such as computer technology or accounting are a few examples of career paths an Associate in science could take you.

An Associate degree in Applied Science is for those looking to gain specific skills and is a better degree path for those not seeking to transfer their credits to gain a four-year degree.

This degree will get you ready to begin a career in a specific field, giving you more qualifications than some other applicants.

Are Associates Degrees Useless in the Job Market?

customer support specialists working in the office

Is an associate’s degree worth anything? Although some careers require applicants to have a Bachelor’s degree or more, some fields have specific skills that do not require a higher-level degree.

If you are looking to work in specialized fields and specific trade, you may find more opportunities than someone without an Associate degree. Having the degree will prove to employers that you are willing to put in the time and effort needed to excel in your field.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects to see an 11% growth rate in careers that requires less than a Bachelor’s degree level education over the next eight years. Some of these career fields include technology, healthcare, and transportation.

These career fields are fast-growing industries that require a special set of skills to be successful. An AA degree can help gain these skill sets.

Jordan Meeks
WRITTEN BY
Jordan Meeks
Jordan is pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Policy and earned her Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management and her Bachelor's in Business Administration. Jordan's research focuses on adults returning to college and online degree programs.