Are associate's degrees actually useful?

What are the careers one can do with an associate's degree? Do they all take two years to earn? Knowing the love of American education system for breadth instead of depth I wonder how much useful information one can acquire in two years. What can an employer expect of an employee with an associate's degree in something? 


In other words, do associate's degree holder actually know there profession (major?) to any adequate level or is it just a general education degree with slight leaning towards a particular field?

6 Answers

  • RICK
    Lv 7
    4 months ago

    Yes they learn the major

    I worked in health care for 40 years, knowledge wise there was very little difference between ADN and BSN. In fact back in the 1990s there was a report that ADNs passed the Nursing Licensure Test  on the first try thsn BSNs did

  • Anonymous
    4 months ago

    An associate's degree is just as useless as a bachelor's degree, a master's degree or a PhD.

    Think about it.  You may major in a specific career field but, realistically, most people ultimately end up in fields completely different to what they majored in due to the nature of the job market.  

    You take whatever you can get.  If you major in aerospace engineering but there are no jobs in aerospace engineering where you live then you work at McDonald's.  If you major in accounting but can't get hired for a job in accounting then you work as a janitor.  If you major in computer science but CS has very limited career potential because the jobs have all been outsourced to other countries then you work at the local service station.

    If you major in marketing and there's only one marketing firm in the rural town where you live how long are you going to be in that "career"?  That's not very much of a career if you ask me.  That's just a job.  If you ever leave that company there is nowhere to go from there other than a different career field.  Dead end.  It's useless.

    You're better off taking a flurry of classes part-time related to the job you currently work in while maintaining that job full-time.  If you're a janitor then take some classes in Janitorial Science.

  • Scott
    Lv 7
    4 months ago

    I have an AS Accounting degree. 30 years ago, I got into the IT industry. I make a very good living.

  • 4 months ago

    Really depends on your degree.  A 2 year general education degree isn't that great.  A more specific degree - computers, engineering, accounting is probably worth it.  I've done fine with my 2 year comp sci degree.  But keep in mind, you're still competing for jobs with those that have their 4 year bachelor's degrees.   

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  • Anonymous
    4 months ago

    Its a little better than a high school degree. Not much unless its something specialized. Like restaurant management or something. And I think cops & firemen get a higher pay if they have an associates. 

    And its only going to help if its between you & someone with just a high school degree.

    I went to a juco but I did not even pursue a degree. I was more worried that all my classes would transfer and I think 2-3 would not.

    I got about 2/3 of the way to a 4 year degree when I quit for a low paying but full time job. I thought I had a good chance of being promoted and getting a more decent salary. I hoped within 6 months. It took 9 months.  I don't think my education made as much difference as my proven work ethic and I was reasonably smart and my boss knew that from working with me. He was promoted and later I was so we no longer worked together but he was my boss that I only saw once or twice a month. It was all about the numbers and he called for them every week. I had great numbers and that is what mattered.

  • 4 months ago

    Considering that half the four-year degrees from current colleges and universities are worthless, associates degrees don't have to meet a very high bar in comparison.

    Most people do not pursue associate degrees just to have a diploma hanging on the wall. They want to learn about a specific topic. They're not going to school until they figure out what they want to major in.

    Most associate degrees are akin to trade schools. They're not focused on worthless liberal arts studies, they focus on topics that will be met in the related industry.

    I got an associates degree. That degree along with experience in the industry landed me a job right out of school. Turns out I was really good at it, and in 11 years I had climbed to an executive level where I recruited professionals with post-graduate degrees and ran a team that produced successful multi-million dollar projects.

    My associates degree was crucial in achieving professional and financial success beyond my wildest dreams.

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