Associate Degrees Online:
Tips From a Pro

This experienced professor and online student shares his tips on how associate degrees online can impact your career goals.

By Brian C. Steinberg, EdD (ABD)

associate degrees online Online colleges and universities offer all kinds of certificates and degrees—everything from associates degrees all the way up to doctorates/PhDs.

One of the advantages of taking classes online and working on a degree online is the fact that most online degree programs are very flexible.

This means that you can earn your degree at your own pace.

Working on any associate degrees online, part-time, and at your own pace while you have a full-time job and a family can be very appealing.

But if you want to go full force, you could earn a degree much quicker depending on the online institution.

Some online institutions allow you to work on your degree at an accelerated rate, which is much faster than the traditional face-to-face college campus classes and degree.


In a hurry to get your degree? Some online associate degree programs can cut the typical time in half.


Most traditional associate degrees on college campuses usually take 2 years to complete being a full-time student. You can take the same time to work on a degree online (2 years), but not have to commute to an actual class or go at a set time.

This can be very appealing if you work full-time and have a family and other personal commitments. In the end, this saves you more time by taking your classes online.

Associate Degrees Online in 1 Year?

If you want to complete your degree faster, some associates degrees online can be completed in about a year depending on the online institution and program you choose to go into.

Most online programs are set up so students can complete them much quicker than in traditional classroom classes.

They do this by making the classes more intense and shorter.

For example, most traditional classes on campus are semester-long for 15 weeks at 3 credit hours. Many of the same classes online are online 8-9 weeks and are 3-4 credit hours.

Many students like online classes because they can be cheaper and allow you to get your degree quicker.

But online classes and degrees are not for everyone, depending on their technology skills and learning style. Everyone learns differently, of course.

Learn more about distance learning advantages and disadvantages.

What Associate Degrees Online Can Do For Your Career

An associate's degree can increase your overall salary (both short and long term).

But it is a good idea to research how much money your associate degree will cost you AND how long it will take you with the increase in salary to pay off your degree.

In the long run, it may help your overall long-term salary and career.


Make 27% more with an associate degree.


According to the February 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics, a person with an associate's degree makes 27% more in salary than someone without this degree.

For example, someone with just a high school diploma only made $26,000 a year. A person with an associate's degree made $33,000 a year. Of course, what you major in can be a factor as well.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, associates degrees in the medical, legal, and IT fields had the highest salaries.

Also, having an associate's degree opens up so many more career and promotional opportunities to you. Most people delay going to school for a long time because they simply do not have the time.

But, with online classes, time has become less and less of an excuse.

Other Benefits of Associate Degrees Online

Many people have not done very well academically in high school and have a hard time getting into any bachelor degree programs.

But by obtaining your associates degree, you can often show how you are now more of a serious student and can get accepted into a bachelor’s degree program in the future.

Many students have not done well in the traditional classroom because of learning style and life distractions. Taking online classes might be a more rewarding and successful experience for you.

You can give it a try by signing up for an online associate degree course to see if the online environment is right for you.

Learn about the possibilities with an associate of arts degree online.

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Associate Degrees Online