Everybody starts at the same place. While it can be attained on the way to a higher degree, an associate degree can open a number of career doors on its own. Following a high school diploma or GED, an associate degree typically takes two years to complete. Many professions only require an associate’s, including paralegals, medical assistants, and technicians in a variety of specialized work.
No, you don’t have to stay single to get this degree. Four-year (on average, on a full-time basis) degrees generally require two years of general education courses and two years devoted to a particular specialization, a major. Depending on your choice of study, you can earn either a bachelor’s of science (B.S.) or bachelor’s of arts (B.A.) degree. Not all majors are available at every school, and some colleges and universities have particularly elite and competitive programs in specific disciplines.
Ambitions toward becoming the Master of the Universe? Start here. Considered a “graduate” degree, master’s degrees require a completed bachelor’s in order to apply for a program. These degrees allow students to pursue a discipline or category of knowledge—sciences, humanities, fine arts—at a further depth and breadth. These degrees typically consist of two years of coursework as a well as a thesis project in order to earn them.
The doctor is not in….yet. The most advanced degree of education offered, a doctorate requires multiple years of commitment and earnest study. The doctorate category includes a diverse set of degrees. Academic and professional doctorates have different requirements for admission, structure of coursework, and requirements for completion, all depending on the discipline. Some programs will include the completion of master’s on the way, while others require one just to apply to the program.
Already know where you want to work? Technical programs and vocational schools train or certify you in a specific and specialized vocation so that when you graduate you can hit the ground running. Many jobs in business, accounting, and health care, among other fields, only require these degrees, which are often separate from associate’s and bachelor’s degrees.
Be a bona fide certified professional. These educational programs prepare students to pass specific exams that will qualify them to work in their chosen career. These programs often follow (and require) the completion of a bachelor’s or master’s degree, and help fill requirements necessary to be licensed to work. Teaching and accounting certificate programs are among the most popular and are offered in many online educational programs.