What Can I Do with an Associate Degree?

Possessing an associate's degree can lead to a variety of careers, depending on your area of study. You can also transfer credits earned in an associate's degree program towards a bachelor's degree. Take a look below to learn about some of the career options you'll have with an associate's degree.

Career Options with an Associate's Degree

What you can do with an associate's degree is dependent upon your major. For example, if you get an associate's degree in cosmetology, then you can pursue careers like hairstylist, nail technician or salon worker. Take a look at three popular fields for associate's degrees: computer science, healthcare and general studies.

Important Facts About These Careers

Computer Support Specialist Medical Assistant Administrative Assistant
Median Salary (2014) $50,380 $29,960 $35,970
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 12% growth 23% growth 3% growth
Key Skills Customer-service, problem-solving, listening, and speaking skills Analytical, interpersonal, and technical skills Integrity, organizational, and interpersonal skills
Similar Occupations Computer Systems Analyst, Computer Programmer, Database Administrator Dental Hygienist, Pharmacy Technician, Physical Therapist Assistant Court Reporter, Information Clerk, Medical Transcriptionist

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Computer Science Careers

With an associate's degree in computer science, you can major in several specialty fields that can guide your computer science career in different directions. A popular career in computer science is computer support specialist. These workers are employed by many companies to provide technical assistance to clients and co-workers including e-mail help, internet set up and hardware or software installation.

With additional certification, you can also become a computer administrator. This is more of a managerial or supervisory position, as you're placed in charge of computer support workers. You're in charge of making sure your employer's computer network is running properly. If any issues occur with it, you'll resolve them quickly and efficiently. Regular preventative maintenance and hardware updates are necessary in this role.

Healthcare Careers

Healthcare is another popular field for associate degree holders. Each healthcare major requires a different skill set and educational background despite being in the same industry.

You could become a medical assistant, which is a worker who performs administrative duties on behalf of a physician. You'll also provide minor help with clinical duties like recording patient information. If you want to focus solely on administrative duties, you can become a medical records technician. These workers consistently process, update and create medical records for patients on the behalf of hospitals and healthcare organizations. The information you'll record includes ethical, legal and medical information.

General Studies Careers

If you majored in general studies, you have several different career options available to you. Many graduates seek work in customer service. Any business that has a customer base requires customer service representatives to act as liaisons. In a customer service role, you'll meet with clients and help address any questions or concerns they have with your employer's goods or services.

Administrative assistant roles are another option. You can work in offices directly under the guidance of your superiors to help with paper filing, memo copying and setting up meetings. You'll also act as a representative to customers, clients or other outsides who contact your office. This is done over the phone, in person, by faxes and with e-mail.

Additional Education Options

If you're not interested in pursuing a career right away, then your associate's degree can be an opening towards additional educational opportunities. Many of the credits you've earned from your associate's degree can be applied towards a bachelor's degree. Some students continue working while pursuing bachelor's degrees online. After earning a bachelor's degree, you can even go on to advance your studies in a master's or a doctorate degree program.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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  • Virginia College

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  • The Art Institutes

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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