An associate’s degree is a two-year college degree from a community college, university, college, or career school. Associate’s degrees are normally earned with approximately sixty college credits, including general education courses, electives, and courses required toward a specific college major. Most associate’s degrees are awarded in business, health, engineering, information technology or early childhood education, and may include an Associate of the Arts degree, Associate of Science degree, or an Associate of Applied Science degree. The recipient of an associate’s degree can then transfer the credits toward a four-year, bachelor’s degree program. In the US, associate’s degrees are available at various types of college, including community colleges, junior colleges and technical colleges, and affiliated colleges of universities. It typically takes two years full-time to complete an associate’s degree.
For some students, an associate’s degree is required before getting a bachelor’s degree, while for others it’s a qualification that improves employment prospects.