What Are Common Two-Year Degree Programs?

Depending on your career goals, earning a two-year degree could prepare you for a new job or an opportunity to transfer into a four-year school. Some programs, such as nursing and business administration, tend to be common choices, although you could also choose other programs.

About Two-Year Degree Programs

Associate degrees, which take two years to earn and are often referred to as two-year degrees, come in several types, including the Associate of Arts degree, the Associate of Science degree and the Associate of Applied Science degree. When you choose to earn one of these degrees, you also have to determine a program. Each program focuses on a certain area of study, such as computers or business.

Important Facts About These Programs

Nursing Business Computer Information Systems
Online Availability Programs are available. Programs are available. Programs are available.
Possible Careers Charge nurse, emergency room RN, dialysis RN Account manager, executive assistant, administrative assistant Support services specialist, database administrator, systems analyst
Common Courses Anatomy and physiology, human growth and development, health assessment and promotion Management, public speaking, business ethics Computer systems maintenance, network technology, database management
Programs Residencies are available. Internships are available (typically in the summer). Paid internships are available through some companies.

Common Programs

Associate degrees are offered in a wide variety of programs, but if you're looking for programs that are fairly common, you might choose one related to the health sciences, business, computers or liberal arts. Many of these degree programs prepare you for several different career opportunities.


Earning an associate degree in nursing prepares you to aid the ill in a variety of settings, including hospitals, doctor's offices and nursing homes. If you'd like to work in the health field, but aren't interested in nursing, dental hygiene programs are another common choice among students.


Completing a business program, whether in business administration, business management or general business, gives you the skills necessary to hold entry-level positions in all types of business industries. Common topics of study in these programs include finance, marketing, economics and management.

Computer Information Systems

As a professional with an associate degree in computer information systems, you might work in computer support, database administration or Web management. These programs help you gain skills in programming, software applications, project management and network security.

Liberal Arts

A basic liberal arts degree is generally not awarded for one particular area of study; instead, you can design a program to suit your interests, whether this includes art, philosophy or economics. These degrees are designed to let you transfer into a four-year school and earn a bachelor's degree.

How to Choose

If you can't decide which degree program is right for you, you might visit your school's career counseling services office. The professionals in these offices can offer you advice or have you take career aptitude tests, which might make your choice easier. You might also consider choosing a general studies program if you're planning to transfer to a four-year school; a general studies program lets you explore your interests while completing necessary general education credits.

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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