When talking about education abroad, especially in the US, most people are already familiar with bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and Ph.D.’s. However, not everyone is familiar with an Associate Degree. 

What is an Associate Degree? 

An associate degree is a program that usually takes two years to finish, and it is being offered in various higher educational institutions (HEIs) in the US. These HEIs include community colleges, technical colleges, junior colleges, some universities, and affiliated colleges of universities. Moreover, though most of these degrees are offered in the US, there are also some that can be found in Canada, Australia, and Hong Kong. 

An associate degree teaches students transferable skills, and basic technical and academic knowledge needed to pursue employment or to continue education toward their chosen specialization or field. 

In the US, there are four types of Associate’s Degree students can take: 

What are the Benefits of an Associate Degree 

There are many reasons why students should take an associate’s degree.


One of the perks of applying for an associate degree is its affordable cost because it only takes two years to finish. Thus, it is already cheaper than a four-year program. Moreover, even if a student does choose to continue to a bachelor’s degree after taking an associate degree, it will still cost less than taking the whole four-year bachelor course. Also, most associate degrees are also being offered in community colleges, where the cost of education is also less than bigger universities. 

Results to High-Paying Jobs 

Not all high-paying jobs need a four-year bachelor’s degree, a master’s, or a Ph.D., some of them, you can get through an Associate’s Degree. For example, someone with an associate degree can already apply for a job as a web developer or digital designer, some of the highest-paying jobs in the US. In fact, in 2020, the median salary for these job roles cost around $77,200. Another example is cardiovascular technologists and technicians, whose annual median wage is around $60,940

Flexible Education

Another good thing about an associate degree is it offers flexibility in the education of its students. In fact, there are many online associate degrees that students can take, which helps save a lot of time. This flexibility feature makes it easier for students to have part-time jobs while pursuing a degree, especially for students who need to take on jobs to supplement some of their living costs or a part of their tuition fees. 

Also, an associate degree is flexible in a way that students can choose to either continue their education and get a bachelor’s degree, or jump directly into the workforce as soon as they graduate. 

You Can Specialize 

Another benefit to an associate degree is it is easier to specialize in a field. Associate degrees give students content-specific knowledge and skill set that are important in whatever specialization they choose. This is good, especially for students who want to start working as soon as they graduate. Also, specialization is more likely to impress any employer, as long as the student’s chosen field of work is related to their associate degree.

Want to start your journey as an international student in the US but you are worried about the possible expenses? Why not apply for a scholarship? Check out MSM Unify’s article on how to apply for a scholarship to learn more.

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