Convenience, it’s what people in the world thrive on these days. Each day we see more ways to make our lives easier and more convenient. It used to be that if you didn’t go to college right after high school, you wouldn’t go at all because with family and career demands, fitting school into an already busy schedule wasn’t possible. With the convenience of distance education, adults are going to college to get either an associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree and with good reason. Although it takes time, and can be expensive, the benefits of getting your college degree are worth it.
In this essay I will compare the associate’s degree to the bachelor degree focusing on the amount of time it takes, what it costs, and what the benefits are for degree holders. An associate’s degree is a college degree awarded after completing 20 courses, or 60 credit hours. Typically, an associate’s degree takes between 60 and 64 credits to complete, which is about half of what is required for a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree, sometimes called a baccalaureate degree, is awarded after 40 classes or 120 credit hours.
An associate’s program is designed as a two year program of study as a full time student, whereas the bachelor’s program is a four year program. For non-traditional students who work or have families to support, time is crucial and online associate and bachelor degree programs provide the flexibility in scheduling that they need. Although there are a lot of schools offering distance education as an option, you’ll have to see whether they have programs for both degrees because, typically, associates degrees are obtained at a two year community college, whereas bachelor degrees are earned at a four year college or university.
Ashford University offers both programs online; the price of tuition, $26,130 for associate, $46,800 for a bachelor’s. As you can see, it can be very expensive to get your degree and because of this, many opt for the faster, cheaper option and go for an associate’s degree rather than spend twice as long studying, while paying almost twice as much in tuition. Does choosing the faster and cheaper option pay off in the long run?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those with bachelor’s degrees make approximately $264 more per week than those holding an associate’s degree. This means that by getting a bachelor’s level education you will potentially earn at least $13,000 more annually than someone with an associate’s degree. More than half a million associate degrees are awarded every year and according to the National Center for Education Statistics, a whopping 1,563,300 bachelor’s degrees were given out in the 2007-08 school year.
Although it takes time, and can be expensive, going to college and getting your degree will be worth it once you’re able to go on the vacations, and are driving the car you are able to afford because your degree got you a better job. References Cheeseman, J. D. , & Newburger, E. C (2002). The Big Payoff: Educational Attainment and Synthetic Estimates of Work-Life Earnings. Retrieved from http://www. census. gov/prod/2002pubs/p23-210. pdf Official Web Site of the University of Alabama (2009). Retrieved from http://cost. ua. edu/undergraduate-budget. html.
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