Online Associate Degree

An online associate degree is a two-year degree from a university or community college that can be obtained over the internet. It typically takes about two years to complete and consists of about 20 classes or about 60 credit hours.

An online associate degree offers you flexibility in your career plans. For example, some associate degrees are designed for a specific career, such as a respiratory therapist or a police officer. If you plan to get your bachelor’s degree, you can transfer to a four-year university for your last two years.

Many campuses offer online associate degrees in a variety of industries and fields.

Advantages of an Online Associate Degree

Here are some excellent benefits of an online associate degree:

  • Flexibility: You can earn your degree in the comfort of your own home. You can also work on your degree while working full-time and maintaining other responsibilities.

  • Study at your own pace: With an online degree, you can complete your coursework when it’s convenient for you.

  • Save money: An online associates degree, which is typically earned at a community college, enables you to potentially save thousands prior to transferring to a university.

  • Good salary: The average salary for a full-time worker with an associate degree is $43,472. That’s an average of $6,448 more each year in annual salary than those without a post-secondary degree. Source

  • Lower unemployment rate: The unemployment rate of those with an associates degree is 4.4% compared to 5.2% for those with a high school diploma and 7.4% of those who have less than a high school diploma, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Popular Professional Associate Degree Areas

There is a wide range of degrees you can choose from to get your online associate degree. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, 1 million associate degrees were awarded during the 2015-2016 school year.

Some of the most popular online associates degrees include:

  • Accounting

  • Business Administration

  • Communications

  • Computer Information Systems

  • Computer Programming

  • Criminal Justice

  • Early Childhood Development

  • Education

  • Graphic Design

  • Health Sciences

  • Information Systems

  • Marketing

  • Paralegal Studies

  • Telecommunications

  • Web Design

General Studies

If you plan to get your bachelor’s degree online, you will have the option to obtain your associates degree in General Studies. This type of degree consists of core courses, such as:

  • English Composition

  • Humanities

  • Mathematics

  • Physical science, such as biology or chemistry

  • Elective credits

These classes will count as credit toward your bachelor’s degree. As you decide what to get your bachelor’s degree in, you will meet with an academic advisor, who will recommend the types of courses you’ll need to take to count toward your major. Be sure to know which university you’d like to transfer to so your advisor can confirm that the classes you take in your associate degree will be accepted by the university.

Should You Get An Online Associates Degree?

An online associates degree is a convenient way to meet your educational goals. You have the option to earn a degree that qualifies you to begin your career or use your associates degree to transfer to a university and continue your schooling. Either way, you’ll be well on your way to pursuing the career or your dreams.


  • Bureau of Labor Statistics