Why You Should Pursue an Associate Degree


Why You Should Pursue an Associate Degree

Friday, June 2, 2023
Why You Should Pursue an Associate Degree

There’s never been a better time to earn an associate degree. In fact, enrolling in an associate degree program is a wise investment in today’s ever-evolving job landscape, which values specific expertise and skillsets. Just a few of the advantages of earning an associate degree include:

  • Better job outlook. Employment in associate and postsecondary non-degree occupations is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026. That’s faster than the 7 percent average projected for all occupations. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Better annual salary. The average student who receives an Associate Degree from Raritan Valley Community College will see an increase in earnings of $11,200 each year, compared to someone with only a high school diploma working in New Jersey. (Source: RVCC Economic Impact Study
  • Higher lifetime earning potential. Associate degree graduates earn an average of $400,000 more during their careers than those with just a high school diploma. (Source: Center on Education and the Workforce)

In-Demand Associate Degree Jobs

What are some associate degree jobs in demand today? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects numerous openings for associate degree holders in the following fields—most of which can be studied Raritan Valley Community College. In-demand careers include:

  • Computer and engineering careers, including computer user support specialists, computer network support specialists, web developers, and more.
  • Education, legal, and office support careers, including bookkeeping and accounting, teaching assistants, paralegals, and more.
  • Healthcare careers including Licensed Practical Nurses, nursing assistants, medical assistants, dental assistants, EMTs, and more.

Associate Degree FAQs

  • What is an associate degree? An associate degree is an undergraduate degree completed after high school. Some associate degree programs lead directly to full-time employment, while others allow students to transfer to a four-year university to complete their bachelor’s degree.
  • How long does it take to get an associate degree? Typically, an associate degree takes two years to complete.
  • What are the different types of associate degrees? The four main types of associate degrees are:
    - AA degree – Associate of Arts 
    - AS degree – Associate of Science
    - AAA degree – Associate of Applied Arts
    - AAS degree – Associate of Applied Science
  • How many credits for an associate degree are needed? This can vary from college to college. At RVCC, an associate degree is equivalent to 60 credits. 

Online Associate Degree Programs
Did you know it’s possible to earn an associate degree entirely online? At RVCC, you can. Online learning is an ideal option for non-traditional students who are juggling school with a busy work schedule or family life. 

The following RVCC degree and certificate programs are offered entirely online, allowing you to earn a degree without leaving home:

Take Fall Classes at RVCC

Fall is just around the corner. If you’re searching for “the best Fall classes near me," look no further than RVCC.  See our 2023-2024 academic calendar for details.

About Raritan Valley Community College

Raritan Valley Community College is ranked the #1 community college in New Jersey by both WalletHub.com and Niche.com. The College offers more than 90 degree and certificate programs and is an affordable alternative to a state college or private university. RVCC has been serving as an academic and cultural center for NJ residents in Somerset County and Hunterdon County for over 50 years. For more information on The College, visit www.raritanval.edu.