What is the Difference Between a Bachelor's Degree and an Associate's Degree?

About two years and sixty credits.

But seriously, in today's tough economy, you need every advantage you can get in order to obtain (or keep) a well-paying job. One of the key ingredients to most well-paying, secure jobs is education. Studies show that the higher your education level, the higher your salary. So if you are thinking about going back to college to get your degree, this article explains the difference between an Associate's degree and a Bachelor's degree.

An Associate's degree takes approximately two years to achieve and is typically offered at local community colleges. Some major colleges do offer Associate's degrees as well. Associates degree's are preparation for higher studies, which usually means preparation for Bachelor's degree. It is essentially a crash course in a particular field that preps you on the way to becoming a sub-professional in that field. It is more affordable than a Bachelor's degree and can be completed more flexibly. On average, those with Associate's degrees earn less than those with Bachelor's degrees.

A Bachelor's degree is more specialized, and takes four or more years to complete. Bachelor's degrees are obtained at colleges and universities. Instruction is more intensive and students are more highly-trained than in Associate's programs. Bachelor's degrees typically take two forms: Bachelor's of Arts (BA) and Bachelor's of Science (BS) Bachelor's degrees usually earn salaries more money than Associate's degrees. Also, these lessons set up study for more advanced education such as Master's Degrees or professional schools. These schools can include Law School, Medical School, or Dental School.

If you are looking for higher education, overall, the choice is yours, and it is a trade-off like anything else. Do you have the time, resources, and money to pay for four years of schooling in order to earn more money, or to move on to graduate or professional school? Is your goal to just specialize in an area and get done your education in two years? If you already have a job and maybe a family, and Associates degree may be the way to go. Otherwise it may be best to get your Bachelor's, although everyone's goals and prerogatives differ.