An Associate Degree is a type of academic degree that is awarded by a bachelor’s degree-granting institution, junior colleges and community colleges as well. Typically, an associate degree is equivalent to the first two years of a bachelor’s degree program. Associates degrees are awarded in the United States and, more rarely, Canada, though this type of degree is also being added to the academic degree systems of other countries.
Australia added associate degrees to their Australian Qualifications Framework in 2004, though very few academic programs have begun to use the title. In the United Kingdom, foundation degrees are the equivalent to associate’s degrees. As an equivalent to higher diplomas, Hong Kong initiated various associate’s degree programs.
There are four general categories of associate’s degrees, Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science and Associate of Business Administration.
Associate of Arts degrees are generally awarded for academic programs that are intended for transfer to a four year university or college. Typically students working toward an AA degree will major in social sciences of humanities, though general studies students may also receive Associate of Arts degrees.
Associate of Science degrees are, like AA degrees, awarded to those seeking to enter the work force or a four year college or university upon completion of an associate’s degree program.
Associate of Applied Science degrees are awarded to students to relax some of the general education requirements so that when the have completed the associate’s degree portion of their education, they can focus more on their specific area of study. This type of associate’s degree is especially intended for those seeking to continue their education at a four year college or university.
Associate of Business Administration degrees are often awarded to students for completing academic programs that are terminal or intended for continuing education at a four year university or college, typically with a business related major.
Many people earn associate’s bachelor’s and master’s degrees while working by attending evening classes. This practice has become so prevalent that t has been estimated that more degrees are earned this way than through full-time day studies. Getting an associate’s degree is a wonderful way to get started on furthering your education.