While associate degrees commonly take two years to complete, ambitious students can opt for an accelerated associate degree in online colleges.
Online programs allow you to learn and complete courses at your own time. Regardless of whether you are a full-time student or already working, you can customize it to accommodate your schedule. You get the freedom to complete assignments and classes from the comfort of your home. How nice is that?
Nevertheless, you should read and understand the following before deciding to enroll in an accelerated associate degree program online.
Who should take an accelerated associate degree?
An associate degree generally opens doors for entry-level jobs in most industries. Apart from getting a feel of the profession, you get into the reality of the business. An accelerated program gets you inside organizations faster but at a lower level pay scale.
You must be aware that organizations assign middle and senior management roles to persons with a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Hence, it would help if you plan to further your studies from the start.
Alternatively, you may want to accelerate your entry into an online bachelor’s degree program to shorten your overall length of study. So, what is your goal?
Here is an article that goes deeper into associate degrees.
How fast can you complete the program?
A standard associate degree takes two years to complete. However, an accelerated associate degree can be accomplished in half the time, depending on the college and program you choose.
While the minimum period we have seen so far is 11 months, accelerated programs typically run between 12 and 18 months.
Therefore, if you then pursue a bachelor’s degree, you can complete the whole program in about three years!
Having the liberty to complete a two-year program in half the time does come with a cost. We are not talking about money just yet.
An associate degree typically requires 60 credits.
As you will be completing a 24-month program in 12 to 18 months, there is a significant time and effort investment on your part. Do note that most online associate degrees are self-paced and suitable for full-time students and those already working.
Self-motivation and discipline are two vital traits any online learner must possess.
Credits & transfer
When considering an accelerated associate degree, you also need to have a clear vision of your future. What are your goals – to get a job or to transfer credits to a bachelor’s degree program?
Enrolling in an accredited online college would put you in a safe position to transfer credits should you wish to pursue an online bachelor’s degree in your field.
Learn more about choosing accredited online colleges here.
Time and cost considerations
The cost of an accelerated associate degree online varies a lot across disciplines. General studies and arts are typically cheaper than applied sciences. It ranges between $6,293 for an accelerated general Associate in Arts and $32,640 for an Associate of Arts degree in Accounting.
The duration of accelerated programs also differs between colleges and programs. Some can be completed in 11 months, while others take up to 20 months.
A quick way to decide is to weigh the cost against time to see if it is worth spending more money to save a few months in college.
Ideally, you should set clear goals and how to achieve them. The time, cost, and efforts required on your part are vital when deciding to enroll in an accelerated associate degree online.