An online associate degree is a two-year general studies degree that is obtained entirely over the Internet. This type of degree is perfect for those individuals who wish to begin their college career or who wish to finish their two year degree before continuing on to obtain their bachelor's or master's degree.
To get an online associate degree, an individual does not need to have any prior college credits. But if you do have prior credits from an accredited college, these credits can be transferred to your online school to cut down on the time it will take to earn your degree. To apply for a degree program, individuals must have a high school diploma or G.E.D.
Earning an associate's degree usually takes two years at a regular onsite college. Earning an online associate degree can take as little as six months. This time difference is advantageous for those individuals who wish to enter the work force earlier or for those who do not have a lot of money or time to spend on college.
As all classes are taken via the Internet either with downloadable software and lesson instruction or through virtual classroom online, individuals must have access to a computer and the Internet.
When choosing an online associate degree program, there are two main choices. Individuals can either choose to earn a degree in general studies or a degree that focuses on one aspect of education. A general studies degree is best for those who just wish to finish their degree or obtain general classes for their current job.
A focused degree program is better for someone who wishes to continue their education with a bachelor's degree or for those who need specific skills for their current career. For example, a person who manages a business or wishes to obtain a bachelor's in business management will want obtain an associates degree in business.
Most online colleges and universities offer an online associate degree program. These programs are usually very similar in content and lessons. The biggest difference in programs will be price and completion time. To offset the price, many individuals apply for student loans. Another option is to see if the program would be covered by your employer's tuition reimbursement program.