Thinking about earning an associate degree in a medical- or science-related field? Good for you! Whether you want to enter the workforce immediately or go on to pursue a bachelor’s degree, getting an associate of science (AS) degree can open up a variety of career pathways for you.
How long does it take to get an AS degree and what kinds of associate degree jobs can you get after you graduate? Tallo is here to tell you everything you need to know about AS degrees.
What Is an Associate of Science?
As you might have already guessed, an associate of science degree is geared towards math and science-related careers. Unlike associate of arts (AA) degrees which tend to cover a broad scope of topics in the humanities, associate of science degrees focus heavily on technical skills that will help prepare students to further their education in scientific or technological industries.
Currently weighing your options for degrees? Learn about the many different associate of arts degree jobs you can get with an AA degree on the Tallo blog.
From information technology (IT) and web development to healthcare and beyond, there is a wide range of career pathways available to AS degree-seekers. Associate of science degrees can be earned at most community colleges and some universities, although many students decide to transfer their credits to a four-year university to continue their studies.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Associate of Science Degree?
Associate of science degrees typically require students to complete a minimum of 60 credit hours. Like most types of associate degrees, AS degrees are meant to be obtained in two years or less (four semesters of coursework).
However, this doesn’t mean that you have to complete the program in two years. For instance, do you have a full-time job and/or little kiddos to take care of? You can complete the program at a slower pace to help you juggle your other obligations. There are also accelerated associate degree programs that make it possible to earn your associate degree much faster than usual.
The Best Associate of Science Degree Jobs
Contrary to popular belief, bachelor’s degrees aren’t the only undergraduate academic degrees that can help you land a high-paying job. In fact, there are plenty of occupations that offer good salaries for associate degree holders.
What kinds of jobs can you get with an associate of science, specifically? We pulled data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and rounded up 10 well-paying associate science degree jobs that pay $50K per year or more.
- Dental Hygienist ($76,220)
- Paralegal and Legal Assistant ($51,740)
- Architectural Drafter ($56,830)
- Cardiovascular Technologist ($68,750)
- Web Developer ($73,760)
- Occupational Therapy Assistant ($59,200)
- Radiologic Technologist ($62,280)
- Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technician ($66,020)
- Geological and Petroleum Technician ($51,130)
- Funeral Service Manager ($58,310)
Reasons to Pursue an Associate of Science
While there are many advantages to earning your associate of science degree, this career path isn’t right for everyone. Here are a few reasons why you might want to pursue an AS degree.
- You Want to Work in an In-Demand Field – While nothing is guaranteed after you graduate, getting your AS degree is a safe bet for gaining employment. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM occupations — those related to science, technology, engineering, and math — are expected to grow 8.8 percent by 2028. Plus, you get to work in an evolving industry that challenges you and keeps things interesting!
- You Want Options – Many AS degree-seekers have one of two options: they can find a job post-graduation or continue their education. Indeed, many associate of science degree programs are intended to be a stepping-stone to a bachelor’s degree.
- You Want to Save Money on a Degree – Another reason why some people choose to pursue an associate of science degree is because they want to knock out general education requirements at an affordable community college before they transfer to a costlier university. And like we said, you may decide to call it good after you earn your AS. If you’re on the fence about a four-year university, getting your AS degree is a smart option.
Finding Your Path
For many students, earning an associate of science degree is a good way to go. Not only does an AS degree provide you with flexible options post-graduation, it can also help you explore your interests in greater depth without piling on too much student debt in the process.