“On education, in order to ensure that America remains a world leader, we must create an educated, skilled workforce in the vital areas of science, math, engineering and information technology. At the same time, we must give every student access to a college degree.” – John F. Tierney

As the quotation mentioned above by John Fierney states, it is vital to educate students in the areas of science and technology, mathematics, engineering, and information technology. At the same time, there is a lot written about the rising cost of tertiary education in the USA, placing a college or university education squarely in the arms of the financially-advantaged.

Lily Rothman in her article titled “Putting the Rising Cost of College in Perspective” states that the issue of paying for college education has been around for over 100 years. Additionally, she notes “that the problem of paying is a national one. The questions of free college, student-loan restructuring and how to get the most bang for your tuition buck are debated at the highest levels of politics and around kitchen tables.”

Associate degree versus Bachelor degree

There are a few differences between an Associate degree and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. The best way to explain these differences is to describe what each degree type is:

Associate degree

This is a qualification which can be obtained from an American university and is made up of around 20 different courses in your chosen field of study. It usually takes two years to complete and is considered higher than a high school diploma but not as high as a Bachelor’s degree. Its aim is to prepare the student to complete the Bachelor degree program.

Bachelor degree

A bachelor degree, on the other hand, is an undergraduate degree that typically takes four years to complete (full-time study), and it consists of about 40 different courses. In other words, double the number of courses that are needed to graduate with an associate degree. This undergraduate qualification is the prerequisite for entry into Masters and Doctoral programs. Ergo, without a bachelor degree, you cannot enroll for any postgraduate degree programs, including law, medicine, and education.

The benefits of completing an associate degree

There are definite advantages to graduating with an associate degree before proceeding with the bachelor degree program. A few of these benefits are as follows:

  • You are well-placed to continue with your bachelor studies.
  • Should you need to work while studying, an associate degree will help you get a higher paying job. If you are studying while working, the associate degree, or in-between step, will help advance your career in the interim.
  • By dividing your long-term study goals into shorter, more achievable tasks, you will greatly improve your chances of reaching your long-term goals.

Final words

There is no doubt that obtaining an associate degree is better than not attending college or dropping out of college. Additionally, by breaking your bachelor degree down into manageable chunks, you have a greater of completing your studies.