Is an Associates Degree in Business Worth Anything? [2021 Guide]

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Is an associates degree in business worth anything? One advantage to earning your associate’s in business administration is it typically only takes 2 years to complete.

Is an Associates Degree in Business Worth Anything

Completing your associate’s degree in business online or on campus can help you develop a strong foundation to begin working in a variety of entry-level career fields sooner than if you had spent four years in college. This can be a plus, even if you decide to continue your education with a bachelors degree down the line.

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An associate’s degree in business administration may be a great way to get your foot in the door at a company. It can allow you to start at an entry-level job and work your way up as you gain work experience.

Is An Associates Degree in Business Worth Anything?

business professionals having a meeting

Yes, an Associates Degree in Business is worth it for many professionals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, business and financial jobs are set to grow at 5% over the next decade, faster than the average for all occupations. Common careers in this field include secretary or administrative assistant, food service manager, human resources specialist, buyer or purchasing agent, and administrative services manager.

The business sector is where you’ll find all kinds of entrepreneurs, from small brick and mortar sellers to billion-dollar world-shapers and moguls.

Here are some key benefits to getting an associate’s degree in business:

  • A formal business education can help you equip yourself with the skills and technical know-how to manage a business.
  • Over 100,000 jobs in the business sector were posted in the last year.
  • An associates degree in business is a highly versatile degree that covers a wide-range of business and entrepreneurship topics.

Is an associate’s degree worth anything? For many students, yes! If you’re looking for a career with exceptional growth projection, associates degrees are ideal for testing the waters. Plus, there are quite a few online business degrees and programs available.

Business Administration Careers & Salaries

Associates Degree in Business Career and Salary

Earning your associates degree can help you gain insights on managing and improving businesses and get ready for the real world. Graduating with your associates degree in business administration can bring real-life opportunities that you might not get with no degree at all.

There are a number of high-paying jobs that are available for two year degree graduates.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some careers in the business administration field are listed below. Depending on the employer, you may need a bachelor’s degree or additional work experience to qualify for some of the jobs listed.

Careers Annual Median Salary
Administrative Services Manager $98,890
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialist $67,190
Buyer or Purchasing Agent $66,690
Human Resources Specialist $63,490
Executive Secretary or Executive Administrative Assistant $63,110
Food Service Manager $56,590
Secretary or Administrative Assistant $40,990

Average salaries are dependent on your degree, work experience, job performance, industry, and location.

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Once you get hired and gain work experience, you should have the opportunity to move up in your career and make more money. Especially, if you decide to go back to school to pursue a bachelor’s degree program, master’s, or even an online MBA no GMAT program.

What Do You Learn in a Business Administration Associates Degree?

Business Administration Associates Degree

If Business Administration is your game, then you’re probably wondering about the types of courses, training, and skills you’ll acquire from an Associates degree.

Here’s a taste of the most popular courses that an Associate-level program in business typically covers:

Principles of Finance

Many love finance, but no one may need it more than business managers and entrepreneurs. This course usually takes 50 hours to complete and goes through different topics, including corporate finance and financial management.

Unlike accounting, where students mostly compile and organize past information, finance management focuses on using that information to make business decisions.

Business Analysis and Intelligence

Many of us have the entrepreneurial spirit, but most of us don’t have the technical know-how in running, improving, and optimizing business operations.

An associates degree can give students an introduction to analyzing and managing a business. For most companies, basic knowledge in this field is more than enough for them to hire someone in a lucrative position.

Human Resource Management

People are the most valuable asset for any business, and knowing the basics in recruitment, selection, development, retention, appraisal, and compensation can help give you an edge in almost any industry.

Human resource management tackles the pain points of managing people and the best practices for employers, making them indispensable in an organization.

Customer Service Management

Understanding the needs of customers and retaining their business is key to a successful business or entrepreneurship venture. The customer service course covers all the aspects of customer service, including the expectations that you need to set when addressing various concerns.

What Can You Do With an Associates Degree in Business?

what can you do with an associates in business degree

Wondering what you can do with an associate’s degree in business? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are several subjects to choose from in the business administration field. You may work in computer and engineering, legal and office support, healthcare, transportation, and more.

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Some positions you may take with your associate’s degree in business administration are:

  • Human Resource Manager
  • Executive Assistant
  • Payroll Administrator
  • Customer Service Manager
  • Management Analyst
  • Sales Manager
  • Store Manager

An associates degree in business may be a two year degree, but a variety of jobs are available for graduates.

Associate Degree vs. Bachelors Degree

Associates Degree in Business

Which is better? An associate’s degree in business or a bachelor’s degree in business? Sure, earning a bachelors degree can provide a better foundation for future career advancement. But getting an associates degree in business has a lot of perks that you can’t ignore.

Associate’s in Business Bachelor’s in Business
Completion Typically two years to complete Typically four years to complete
Cost per Course Associates degrees usually have cheaper courses than their Bachelors counterpart Usually one of the highest in all Bachelors degrees available
Basic Business Courses Basic business courses are accounting, finance, entrepreneurship, human resources, marketing, international business, public relations, consumer behavior, and market structures Every course in Associates degree together with analysis of macroeconomic and microeconomic theory, national income determination, price determination, monetary policy, and global economics
Preparation for Master’s Degree None Tackle positions in accounting, financial analysis, market research, marketing, and sales

A bachelors degree doesn’t automatically mean higher income. As reported by CNN Money, some community college graduates make significantly more than students who went to a university for a bachelors degree in business.

One of the reasons for this is an early head start in real-life experience. Associates degrees usually only take two years, which means that you’ll most likely have two years of experience even before a bachelors degree graduate can start looking for jobs.

Now that you have a little more information about each degree level, which business degree fits your career goals and interests better?

Accreditation

Accreditation for an Associate Degree in Business Administration

An associate degree in business administration can often be the gateway to a lucrative career with tremendous growth potential. But for you to get entry-level jobs at most companies, your school needs to be regionally accredited.

Accreditation is the first factor that you need to consider when looking for a business administration program.

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Regionally accredited colleges and universities follow the guidelines established by the Department of Education. These accreditation guidelines ensure that your associates degree will meet specific quality standards.

Regional accrediting agencies include:

Regional accreditation is important if you want to obtain federal grants or loans to help with the cost of tuition. In addition, most employers prefer that you obtain your degree from an accredited college.

Financial Aid for Associate Degree in Business Administration

Financial Aid for an Associates in Business Administration

Earning your Associates degree may be an excellent stepping stone in the business world without committing to a four-year degree. The courses are cheaper than a Bachelors degree in Business Administration, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t reduce the cost of education.

There are different financial assistance programs available for those who want to earn an Associates degree in business. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can show you the options that you can apply to reduce the cost of education.

You may combine these financial aid options with state programs to minimize your reliance on student debt.

Two-thirds of all Associates degree holders completed their education through financial assistance programs. You can do the same by applying to different scholarships, grants, study-work programs, or internships.

Is an Associates Degree in Business Administration Worth It?

team of business professionals having a meeting in a conference room

Yes, obtaining your associates degree in business administration may be worth your time and effort. Earning your associates degree in business can help open up a lot of opportunities. Getting an entry-level job can help get you in the door of a long-standing career.

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If you decide to go further in your education, you may work towards your Bachelors in Business Administration in just 2 years. Then you may move up in your current job and make more money.

How Much Can You Make with an Associate’s in Business?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average median salary for associate degree graduates is $56,590 per year. Common careers in business administration include human resources manager, operations supervisor, office manager, executive assistant, project manager, and payroll administrator, among others.

Although the median is listed as $56,590 annually, your salary will depend on a number of factors such as industry, regional location, and years of experience.

Are Associates Degrees Worthless in Business?

No, an associates degree in business is not worthless. Business administration is an evergreen career that can provide you with exceptional career growth.

With minimal investment in time and money, an associates degree in business administration can provide you with a wide-range job opportunities.

What Are the Highest Paying Associate Degree Jobs in Business?

Salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that you may qualify for a number of high-paying careers with with an associates degree in business administration. The average salary for associate degree holders is $56,590. Common business careers include Accounting Manager, Human Resource Manager, Operations Manager, and Information Technology Manager.

If you want to take advantage of this ever-growing industry, you can apply to different university programs that have streamlined and accredited coursework for business administration.

These programs can help you get a head start in your career without requiring a great deal of time or money.

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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.