Going back to school after getting an associate's degree is a practical choice — after all, your associate's degree is the perfect foundation for earning your bachelor's degree. You've worked hard to put the infrastructure in place by attaining that first degree. Now it's time to take the next step forward by pursuing your bachelor's degree.
If you're still unsure if it's the right path for you, consider the answers to these five common questions about why going back to school after getting an associate's degree makes sense:
- How long does it take to get an associate's degree and then a bachelor's degree? If you've already earned as associate's degree, you're halfway to earning your bachelor's. You can earn an associate's degree in as little as 18 months. Now double that, and you can earn your bachelor's. The timing will vary depending on your course load, program, and any transfer or prior learning credits you may bring in.
- Do you need an associate's degree to get a bachelor's? Not necessarily, but doing so means you've earned a degree while getting many of the foundational courses out of the way. That means that by attaining your associate degree, you have already completed most of the general education requirements you need to earn your bachelor's degree.
- Why would I want to continue on after earning an associate's degree? Since you likely fulfilled many of the general education requirements required for a bachelor's degree while earning an associate's degree, you can now focus on the courses focusing on the area that interests you most. In a bachelor's degree program, you can take classes geared to your choice in specialization or major. A degree in your career choice shows that you have in-depth knowledge and can give you more options when it comes to jobs and promotions.
- How much does it cost to get an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree? That common question has as many answers as students. Financial aid packages, scholarships, choice of school, and how quickly you pursue your degrees all factor in to how much it costs to earn a degree. One thing is important to remember, though: Earning your degree is truly an investment in yourself, in your future, and in your family's well being. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with associate's and bachelor's degrees earn more each week than those with a high school diploma alone.
- But I just finished my associate's degree. Can't I take a break? That's precisely why you shouldn't take a break! While pursuing your associate's degree, you likely developed strong study skills, figured out how to carve time into your life for school, and began to develop relationships with professors and other students.
So now it's your turn to answer a question: why would you want to stop the forward momentum now? Go for it! Finish what you started and go for that bachelor's degree now.
Thinking about returning to school but don't want to start from scratch? Download our Transfer Credit guide to find out how you may be able to get credit with previous college, military, or work experience.