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The Versatility and Value of an Associate’s Degree

Associate degree programs like those at Beal College are offering modern students the ability to find their passions through stability and opportunity.

The realm of secondary education can seem daunting with hundreds of viable choices for majors and a variety of programming readily available. The choices seem endless. Whether a high school senior looking for the next step or a professional wanting to make a career change or improvement, earning an associate’s degree has a multitude of benefits.

An associate’s degree can often be earned in two years or less, which Fremont College sites as a top benefit of pursuing an associate’s degree. Having the ability to enter the workforce in this short amount of time can provide for earlier professional opportunities and career mobility, financial advantages, and reduced education costs.

Within the short time frame of earning an associate’s degree, most institutions like local Beal College, offer flexibility of scheduling too. Beal runs off of an eight-week modular schedule that allows students the opportunity to accommodate their lives while earning their degree. Having the ability to work or take care of your family is another enticing benefit of an associate’s degree program.

Flexibility and speed are major factors in some student’s decision to enter an associate’s degree path. Rasmussen College highlights the fact that, in addition to convenience, having an associate’s degree can “…open a variety of doors to new career opportunities” with a degree in a high-demand field like nursing, business management, health information technologies, web design, and information technology. These categories give students a broad skill set that can be applied to a slew of lucrative job opportunities after completion.

The luxury of choice can make or break the decision to choose a program. At Beal College students can choose between programs in healthcare or nursing, business, criminal justice, substance abuse counseling, and welding. The choices span a wide spectrum of interests. Between the real-world experience with externships and skills-based learning with a variety of coursework, students are ready to step into professional roles in their career field. An associate’s degree allows students the opportunity to take meaningful coursework that builds not only career-specific expertise, but also their critical thinking and communication development — all within a reasonable timeframe. This momentum can carry students right into their chosen field in a variation of roles and positions with the opportunity to advance through experience.

Not only does a hands-on education attract students to programs like Beal’s, but the promise of diverse possibilities in their chosen field is also a selling point for achieving an associate’s degree. Rasmussen College emphasizes the fact that getting an associate’s degree is a way to truly find out what you want from your career. Your associate’s degree can make multiple roles available to you, but can also support your goals of advancement. Taking coursework that allows students to evaluate the field through extern placements in the community (like Beal College offers for many programs) can guide students to a specific branch of their field, support deeper inquiry into the career prospects, and even create valuable networking opportunities for students before they even take their first job in the industry they’ve chosen.

Rasmussen College also points out that having an associate’s degree can present important chances in the future, like advancing through a company or role. An associate’s degree can even be of help if your goals include returning for more training or obtaining your bachelor’s degree. The associate’s degree can create a solid foundation to build your skills and find your true passion while making responsible time and financial commitments in the process. These benefits are highly accessible with a promising outcome.

The State of Oregon Employment Department encourages students that within the next 10 years, an associate’s degree will make a professional more competitive in the job search. It is projected that between 2017 and 2027 there will be 187,000 job openings that will be looking for candidates that have associate’s degrees. Fremont College also explains that those who possess associate’s degrees have a lower risk of unemployment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that when someone has an associate’s degree the unemployment rate drops from 5.4% to 3.8%. Career stability is a major incentive to entering an associate’s degree program.

The prospects of stability, savvy financial gain, and individualistic opportunities can shine some light on the associate’s degree as a viable option for education in the modern world. As a society, we are constantly evolving to meet the career demands and possibilities that present themselves. Getting an associate’s degree at an institution like Beal College can bring advancements and sustainability to help you reach your career goals.

M. Kidder