Associate’s Or Bachelor’s–Which One Is Right For You?

Which one is right for you

There are many reasons to pack up and head for college. You get to meet new people, have more opportunities for growth, and have a brighter career ahead of you. You can start with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree- but which one is right for you?

Each option has pros and cons. The more education you have, the more qualified you look for more jobs. Let’s study these degree options to see which one is right for you. 

Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree is typically a 4-year program that shows nicely on a resume. You get an in-depth study in whatever career you choose with some general classes included.

What’s So Appealing?

Receiving a bachelor’s degree comes with:

  • Specialized education
  • Job opportunities
  • Expanded networks

Getting a bachelor’s is the default decision for a reason. If your goal is to make lifelong connections and have the time of your life, then this is probably the best direction. It delivers more career opportunities down the road at the cost of a longer startup. 

This is the way to go if you want to pursue a career requiring a master’s or doctorate. 

Weighing The Costs

The Education Data Initiative concludes that “the current average federal student loan debt balance is $37,113” for a four-year degree. Using the same source, the average graduate will take up to 20 years to pay off their bachelor’s degree. 

Associate’s Degree

An associate’s degree is a stand-alone program that lasts two years or less. You can use this as a stepping stone toward your next degree or go into the work field right after.

Note: You can save time and money by getting an associate’s at a community college before completing your bachelor’s at a university. 

What’s So Appealing?

An associate’s degree offers:

  • Cheaper cost
  • Higher acceptance rate
  • Extensive classes
  • Transfer credits

Some jobs only require an associate’s degree and still pay well. Your technical and industrial interests will put you on a fast track to steady paychecks in half the time. 

Weighing The Costs

Stopping at an associate’s degree is excellent for millions of jobs and trade-based careers. What you are paying for, however, is a lack of growth throughout your work life. Every source confirms that more education opens more doors in the long run. 

You may fast-track your way to a $50,000 salary right out of school. However, depending on the field, you likely won’t see better pay than that over time.

 Which One Is Right For You?

Don’t let this decision overwhelm you. College is exciting! You have the rest of your life ahead of you and are preparing for it now. It all comes down to what your life goals are. 

You can weigh your options and determine which is right for you. The best way to live is with the end in mind–one step at a time. 

For more educational insight, consider our article How to Thrive as a Transfer Student.