Online Associate of Applied Science Degrees
Learn the differences between Associate of Science and Associate of Applied Science degree programs. Discover online program options and how they work. Find out how an Associate of Applied Science can help your career.
What is an Associate of Applied Science Degree?
An Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) is ordinarily awarded upon completion of a vocational or technical program. An A.A.S. degree is not designed for students who are interested in continuing their studies at a 4-year college or university, but is intended for you to enter the workforce upon graduation. This is because the A.A.S. general education requirements are more flexible than the Associate of Science (A.S.) and therefore may not satisfy the requirements needed to enroll in a 4-year degree program. If you do decide to enroll in a 4-year program after earning an A.A.S. degree, you may still need to take additional general education courses at your chosen 4-year college or university.
|Program Overview||Intended for those who want to enter the workforce rather than complete a 4-year degree|
|Online Availability||Degrees in business administration, water quality technology, information systems, medical transcription and other programs available|
|Other Degree Requirements||A hands-on internship or externship that cannot be completed online may be required|
|Career Fields||Depends on major; examples include corrections or the court system with a criminal justice degree or management with a business degree|
|Median Salary (2020)||$35,270 (Medical Transcriptionists)|
|Job Outlook (2019-2029)||2% decline (Medical Transcriptionists)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
What Types of Programs Are Available Online?
Online A.A.S. degrees are available in a variety of fields, including business administration, information systems, medical transcription and water quality technology. You'll access the online course content through a variety of software and hardware components that could include a cable or DSL Internet connection, a PC-compatible system, Microsoft Office Professional, the latest Windows operating systems and a CD-ROM drive. Prior to taking any of your courses, you might need to enroll in an online orientation course. This course describes how to access the content and what's expected of you as an online student.
Will I Receive Any Hands-On Training in the Online Program?
If the program you enroll in requires hands-on training, you probably won't be able to complete it online. Instead, you'll travel to an approved location to complete an internship, externship or whatever hands-on training is offered with the program. For example, an internship in a water quality technology program might take place at a wastewater facility in an environmental, industrial or municipal setting.
What Can I Do With an Associate of Applied Science Degree?
Your career path depends on your degree major. For example, an A.A.S. in Criminal Justice will prepare you for careers in security, corrections or other fields in the court system. The medical transcription program will prepare you to work in hospitals, medical offices or from home in your own medical transcription business.
The associate's degree in business program will prepare you for management positions and can also enhance the skills you already have. An A.A.S. in Information Systems can help you land entry-level jobs in computer and network systems administration, configuration, installation and maintenance. With an A.A.S. in Water Quality Technology, you can work as an environmental technician, water plant operator or field service technician for businesses that design and install water treatment systems.