Associate of Arts

An Associate of Arts in Business is a solid degree choice for students who want to complete a degree more quickly and launch their business careers that much earlier. Because many associate degree programs in business are offered by community colleges, many students are able to save money by pursuing a two-year degree rather than a bachelor’s degree at pricier four-year institutions. In addition, working adults can earn a two-year business degree online from accredited online universities. The flexibility of online programs has helped hundreds of students balance their work, family responsibilities, and degree pursuits more effectively.

An associate degree in business exposes you to the core concepts of industry, including accounting, marketing, management, and finance, and many programs allow students to concentrate their studies in one of these areas. Even so, students who are undecided on a specific career path can open themselves up to a diverse range of career options. In fact, many students choose business programs so that they will not be limited to one specific career area after graduation.

An associate degree in business can also be the perfect stepping stone for students who would like to eventually transition into traditional or online bachelor degree programs. Many two-year colleges have transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities that allow credits to transfer smoothly between the two institutions. Also, many online colleges set up their associate degree programs in business to flow easily into a bachelor’s program at the same college, if the student chooses that route.

What Kinds of Courses Do You Take in an Associate Program in Business?

Students completing an Associate of Arts in Business will likely take courses such as Introduction to Business, Principles of Business Management, Business Writing, Professional Communication, Business Computing, Economics, and Financial Accounting. In addition to these core courses, students take general education courses like American or English literature, psychology or sociology, political science or history, college algebra, and fine arts.

Many colleges require, or at least encourage, a business internship for college credit. Internships are excellent ways for students to obtain valuable career experience to put on their resume, particularly if they don’t have a lot of work experience. In addition, if the organization hosting the internship is pleased with the intern’s work, it may bring on the student for a full-time job, or at least provide a recommendation for other jobs the intern seeks. Many traditional and online associate degree programs in business require students to assemble a professional portfolio, which is also an effective tool for the job hunt.

What Jobs Can I Get with an Associate of Arts in Business?

Graduates of an associate program in business can enter fields include administrative assisting, retail sales, management trainee, bookkeeping, customer service, real estate, or human resources. And these are just a few of the potential careers for associate degree holders — the number of business degree jobs is much broader and growing regularly. However, those who choose to end their higher education at the associate degree level should be aware that many of the most desirable jobs will require at least a bachelor’s degree. So while an associate degree can prepare you for entry-level work, you may want to eventually seek a four-year degree for greater career mobility and higher earning power.

In light of the ongoing recession, the job market is tight, even for those with degrees. That’s why it’s important to pursue a business degree from a college with a high-quality career services department. Top online business schools will have a full-time staff dedicated to helping you build an effective resume, prepare for job interviews, and find jobs in your area after you graduate.

Schools That Offer an Associate of Arts in Business

A number of colleges and universities offer an Associate of Arts in Business. Baker University, for example, offers courses in both online and on-ground formats for its associate program in business. Ashford University also offers an Associate of Arts of Business fully online, allowing students to take one course at a time for five weeks, which can accelerate a student’s path to graduation. Another online business school, Belhaven University, offers an online associate degree program in business where students have the choice of accessing their courses asynchronously (at any time of the day) or in real-time, where students can actually see and interact with their instructors and classmates online at set times during the week.

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