Earning an associate degree comes with many benefits. For starters, Associate degrees can be earned on a shorter timeline than four-year degrees, which can mean quicker entry into the workforce. Meanwhile, a growing body of research shows that associate degrees will be in high demand in the future. According to a Georgetown University study on job growth and education requirements through 2020, 30 percent of job openings through 2020 will require candidates to have an associate degree or better. Further, many of the industries where associate degrees
dominate health care, community services and STEM fields,
for example are expected to be some of the fastest-growing occupational clusters.
While earning a two-year, associate degree can help students enter the workforce quickly, it can also be more affordable in the long run. According to figures from the College Board, average tuition at a public two-year school was just $3,347 for the 2014-15 school year, while tuition at public, four-year schools averaged out to $9,139. With such a huge disparity in the cost of these programs, it’s no wonder that so many students see associate degrees as a faster, more affordable option.