April 4, 2012
AS

Associate Degree: What’s the Point?

What good is an associate degree? Plenty. Here are my five top reasons to get that associate degree:

  1. The bottom line: money
  2. The résumé line: accomplishment
  3. The employment line: credible, certified, job-ready skills
  4. The transfer line: Can you say “junior?”
  5. The life line: Nobody can take it away from you

1. The bottom line: money

You might be the next Bill Gates, who didn’t finish college, but in the big picture, people with associate degrees make more than people with high school diplomas. They make more than people with “some college” (Bill Gates an exception). An associate degree in a career/technical field may help you find and keep a job. An associate degree for transfer is a step along the way to your bachelor’s and advanced degrees, with added earning power. And the more degreed-education you have, the less likely you are to be unemployed. This chart from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the numbers:

2. The résumé line: accomplishment

On your résumé, it says you set a goal and met it.

3. The employment line: credible, certified job-ready skills

With an Associate of Applied Science and the certificates you picked up along the way, you are telling employers that your skills are up to date. You are job-ready.

4. The transfer line: Can you say “junior?”

With an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science, under the state of Colorado’s Guaranteed Transfer Agreement and the added benefit of “60+60,” your degree is guaranteed to transfer to the arts and sciences schools of any public college or university in Colorado. And “60+60” means you have junior standing and need only 60 more credit hours for a bachelor’s degree.

5. The life line: Nobody can take it away from you

Maybe life happens to you along the way to your bachelor’s degree. A move. An accident. A change in goals. You’ve got an associate degree, no matter what life puts before you.

Tell me, why do you think an associate degree is important?

About the author:

John Feeley is director of public relations at Front Range Community College. He’s a somewhat-frequent bicycle commuter, a certified soccer referee, and a newspaper editor whose subscription ran out.

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