What Can You Do with an Associates Degree in Business? [2021 Guide]

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What can you do with an associate’s degree in business? This two year degree opens up a lot of rewarding job opportunities.

What Can You Do with an Associates Degree in Business

Whether you are planning to build a career or start your own business, this campus-based or online business degree could be perfect for you!

Is an Associates Degree in Business Worth Anything in the Job Market?

Yes, an associates degree in business is certainly worth something. Starting out, you’ll probably earn less than those who have bachelor’s degrees, but getting a job two years earlier has its perks.

Many employers prefer hiring associate’s degree holders because they can take entry-level jobs earlier. Equipped with the core knowledge in business, employers expect you to gain significant experience that will make you more valuable than someone with higher education in the long run.

Students with associate’s degrees in business have an exceptional edge over other associate’s degrees. The usual coursework in business programs revolves around the skills that companies need for their day-to-day operations.

With minimal financial and time investment, you’ll acquire the necessary knowledge and have enough time to hone your skills and adapt to your workplace.

What Do You Learn in a Business Administration Associates Degree?

Business Administration Associates Degree

An associate’s degree in business administration may only take two years, but it covers most of the skills that employers look for when filling their ranks. So, what will you learn from this degree?

Decision-making, teamwork, and ethical reasoning are three of the most prominent skills that you’ll develop from an associate’s degree in business administration. These skills will prepare you for several high-paying positions, such as managerial, human resources, and upper-level management.

Aside from these skills, here’s a taste of the core courses that you will learn in a business administration degree:

Principles of Business Management – tackles the fundamental skill that businesses and organizations need — management. The coursework includes division of work, authority, and discipline, unity of command and direction, centralization, remuneration, scalar chain, and stability of tenure of personnel.

Macroeconomics – covers everything about the strengths, weaknesses, and failures of different markets. It also discusses the long-term effects of various business policies and how they can affect the quality of life.

Microeconomics – deals with the choices that different economists make to manage the resources available to us. It also covers the various factors that affect the hidden price of every product and service that businesses offer.

Business Communications – covers the fundamentals of B2B communications, together with the guidelines in writing memos, letters, and reports. You can also improve your writing and grammatical skills to convey persuasive and compelling messages.

Multinational management – covers the sophistication of managerial, financial, and consulting positions in multinational firms, businesses, and organizations.

What Jobs Can I Get with an Associates Degree in Business?

Associates Degree in Business Management Jobs

Here’s a shortlist of the most common jobs that you can take with an associate’s degree in business:

Medical and Health Services Manager

The medical and health sector doesn’t only need health professionals — they’ll also need someone who can efficiently run different departments’ finances and goals and hire employees to fill the ranks. Medical and health services managers have a median salary of $67,163 per year.

Human Resource Manager

Associates or bachelors — it doesn’t matter in the human resource department, as long as you have experience in managing and dealing with people issues.

If you have the core skills to be a liaison between employees and upper management, businesses will hire you for a position that pays a median salary of $66,963 per year.

Management Analyst

Acquiring the skills to analyze the business’ performance is integral in securing a rewarding career.

If your company is losing clients or the sales are below the company’s expectations, you’ll always be at the frontline to analyze and improve the situation. The median annual salary for management analysts is $66,168.

Sales Manager

Any business needs to deal with sales, and with an associate’s degree, you’ll have the core skills that companies need for generating sales.

A sales manager is different from a salesperson who earns on a commission-basis. It’s a regular salaried employee with a median income of $60,760 per year.

group of business professionals in a meeting

How Much Can You Make with an Associates Degree in Business Management?

Business management is an evergreen degree that will equip you with the skills and knowledge that businesses always need. Aside from starting and managing your business, here are some positions that you can take with an associate’s degree in business management:

Careers Average Annual Salary
Quality Assurance Manager $88,524
Sales and Marketing Director $74,920
Operations Manager $61,103
Operations Supervisor $57,324
Manufacturing Production Manager $56,712
Purchasing Manager $54,324

What Is the Highest Paying Associate Degree Jobs?

Some community colleges have associate degree graduates that earn more than someone with a bachelor’s degree. Here’s a taste of some of the highest paying jobs that you could get with an associate’s degree:

Careers Average Annual Salary
Systems Analyst $65,851
Financial Manager $64,337
CAD Designer $54,907
Executive Assistant $53,091
Operations Manager $50,296
Office Manager $47,114
Accounting Assistant $46,484
Paralegal $46,234
Graphic Designer $43,409
Property Manager $43,315
Legal Secretary $43,155
Administrative Assistant $38,070

What Can You Do With an Associates in Business?

Associates in Business

Is it worth your time and money to earn an associate’s degree in business? There are certain perks in a business degree, which puts you in a better position for future career advancement.

First is earning your degree earlier than students who are earning a bachelors. A lot of employers prefer to hire employees with significantly more real-life experience than someone with higher educational attainment.

Although the core skills are essential when finding a job, having an early start in your career puts you in a better position for future career advancements.

It doesn’t mean, however, that you only need to look for a job as soon as you earn your associate’s degree. It’s still undeniable that getting a higher education after your associate’s degree in business makes you qualified for jobs that pay higher.

You can also take advantage of the cheaper courses that you can take in an associate’s program. Students who have already planned to earn a bachelor’s degree in business take the core courses in an associate’s program, then transfer credits to bachelor’s.

It significantly reduces the cost of education and the time that it will take for them to earn their bachelor’s.

Accreditation for an Associates Degree in Business

Accreditation for an Associates Degree in Business

The two-year head start in a real-life experience that you’ll get from entry-level jobs is, perhaps, more enticing for employers. But it doesn’t mean that career growth and advancement is guaranteed. Your degree will only be valid if you earned it from a regionally accredited school.

A lot of employers only acknowledge regional accreditation because it ensures that the college or university passed the educational standards that accrediting bodies impose.

The US Department of Education monitors regional organizations to keep the standards of education up-to-date and in line with the industry qualifications and expectations.

An associate’s degree in business administration is a remarkable degree that anyone can take. But if you want to reap its benefits, you always need to check the accreditation of the college program that you’re planning to enroll in.

Financial Aid for a Business Associate’s Degree

Financial Aid for a Business Associate's Degree

An associate’s degree in business is a cheaper alternative if you want to get a headstart in the business sector. The courses in an associate’s degree are less expensive than bachelors, and you can reduce the cost of your education even further by applying to different financial assistance programs.

If you want to check the financial aid available to associates in business administration, you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form will help you determine your eligibility for different programs that you can take advantage of to reduce the cost of earning a degree.

These programs may come in the form of scholarships, grants, internships, or work-study. You can combine any of these with the financial aid program that your state offers to prevent yourself from getting into too much student debt.

Is an Associates Degree in Business Worth It?

business professionals in a meeting

Yes, an associates degree in business is worth it. An associate’s degree holder, regardless of the discipline, has a significant edge over someone who only has a high school diploma.

A bachelor’s degree, on the other hand, is better, but not everyone can afford to invest four years and more money for education.

That’s why a lot of people consider an associate’s degree as the best for having the best balance between quality education, versatility, and adaptability in the fast-paced business industry.

Look for an accredited business school and enroll in an associate’s program — it’ll be one of the best decisions you’ll make in your career.

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.