Choosing the best and easiest accredited online associate’s degree program is subjective, but there are things that you can look for to make a choice that is best-suited for you. A program that covers topics you enjoy, are engaged in, and find interesting will likely be easier and more enjoyable for you.
Online study provides flexibility and means you can often enroll in a program even if traveling to campus regularly would be a barrier to further education.
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There are several potential benefits of getting an associate degree, such as the opportunity to broaden your knowledge, develop a more competitive resume for prospective employers, and earn college credits. You may also be able to use college credits toward a bachelor’s degree.
How Quickly Can I Earn an Online Associate Degree?
Most associate degree programs can be completed in 2 years. Virtual courses and online programs may allow you to study at your own pace and potentially work through the materials and coursework faster.
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Accelerated associate degree programs are designed to allow students to complete their degrees faster. These programs may be completed in as little as 6 to 12 months.
If your priority is to complete an online degree in a shorter time frame, you might wish to consider:
- The number of hours per day or week you can reasonably commit to study
- Your access to transport should you be required to attend any on-campus assessments or examinations
- Your current knowledge of the subject or real-world work experience
- The syllabus and scheduling of lectures and study sessions
- The flexibility of the program
Your learning style may also impact your ability to achieve an associate degree faster than the average 2 years.
What Is the Best Way to Select an Online Associate Degree Program?
Your strengths, intended career path, and interests can all potentially influence the associate degree you will feel most comfortable earning. It is often worth it to compare programs to help you choose one that will suit your expectations and needs.
Associate degree programs that some students perceive as easier often offer:
- Greater autonomy about how quickly students may progress through the coursework or how many modules may be completed per semester
- Lower entry requirements or accessible admissions criteria
Popular associate degrees also focus on areas of general interest that are relevant to a range of potential jobs, careers, and sectors. Examples include business and management, computers and technology, and education and teaching.
Degrees with a focus on topics like finance, management, and marketing often cover subjects that many students have some familiarity with, meaning the content is not entirely new and may be easier to understand.
Once you have completed your associate degree, you may be able to use your credits toward a further qualification or degree, whether your long-term goal is to achieve a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate.
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