One Small Step: 4 Surprising Benefits of an Associate Degree

One Small Step: 4 Surprising Benefits of an Associate Degree
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    The number of people getting associates' degrees increased by 40 percent from 1999 to 2009.

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Going back to school may require a sacrifice. However, there are a number of benefits that can be reaped from going back to school and earning an associate’s.

Career-Focused

Many people with a bachelor’s degree do not work in the area that they earned their degree in. Associate’s degree programs typically prepare people for an actual job, so it will be easier for you to find a job in your field. Keep in mind that people who work in their field earn an average of 30 percent more than those who work in another field. Even if you want to earn your bachelor’s degree, you may want to earn your associate’s degree first. You will be able to get your general education requirements by earning your associate’s degree.

Earn More Money

You will be able to increase your earning potential by getting an associate’s degree. Studies have shown that people who have an associate’s earn $7,200 more per year than those who only have a high school diploma. This is equivalent to $693,000 more in a lifetime.

Generally speaking, the more education you have, the more money you will make. However, there are some people with associate’s degrees that are making more money than people with a bachelor’s degree. For example, a dental hygienist earns an average of $72,000 per year. The average salary for someone with a bachelor’s degree is around $50,000.

Cost-Effective

The growing student loan debt is one of the reasons that many people are hesitant to continue their education. However, earning an associate’s degree is a lot cheaper than earning a bachelor’s degree. In fact, people who earn associate’s degree finish college with half the debt of someone who has a bachelor’s degree. Some people are able to finish college without any debt.

Keep in mind that there are programs that can help you if you are able to pay for your degree out-of-pocket. You can apply for assistance by filling out a Free Application for Student Aid. You may be eligible for grants and scholarships, which are forms of assistance that do not need to be paid back.

More Job Opportunities

Many jobs today require that you have an associate’s degree. You will be able to increase your job opportunities by getting an associate’s degree. Studies have shown that earning an associate’s degree can reduce your chances of being unemployed by up to 25 percent. If you do lose your job, then you will likely get a job more quickly than someone who just has a high school diploma.

An associate’s degree looks great on your resume. It shows that you have credentials that many employers are looking for. You will learn how to work with a team and develop your analytical skills while you are in school. These are things that employers are looking for.

Furthermore, even if you want to stay in your current career, you will benefit by having an associate’s degree. You will be more likely to get promoted. An associate’s degree proves that you are able to take on new challenges. This is something that employers look for when they are deciding whether to promote a person.

Getting an associate’s degree can be quite challenging. However, the benefits that you can reap from getting one will make the challenges worth it. You will be able to increase your job opportunities and salary. Earning an associate’s degree is also a lot less expensive than earning a bachelor’s degree. Furthermore, you can prepare for a specific career.

Consumer Tips reference:

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