AAS Degree

Search Campus and Online A.A.S. Degree Programs

Guide to Campus and Online A.A.S. Degrees

AAS degrees generally refer to associates of applied science, but in some cases this acronym refers to associates of arts and science. In both cases, the programs are considered to be undergraduate degrees that can be completed in two (2) years – sometimes less! Below, we have gathered some of the highest-rated online and campus AAS programs.

Kaplan University – Kaplan University is one of the best places for higher education and online degrees. Kaplan invests their interest into each student, providing them with the skills and knowledge needed to successfully fulfill job responsibilities. Each degree can quickly position students for careers in fast-growing fields.
Liberty University – Liberty University features an extensive, 100% online listing of associate's degree programs. These degrees serve as the base for further educational study and can springboard your career to new heights. Programs include Accounting, Business, Criminal Justice, Education, Interdisciplinary Studies, Management Information Systems, Paralegal Studies, and Religion, among others.
DeVry University – DeVry University's Associates Program includes an Associate of Accounting. The 60 credit hour program features a curriculum that focuses on the fundamentals of business. The degree has been designed for individuals that have a few college credits or newcomers just starting in their educational journey. An AS in Web Design is also available
Everest University – As a leading provider of distance education, Everest University takes a practical approach by offering relevant curriculum and industry-driven exercises for students. Courses are available online and can be completed at your own pace from school, home, the library, or even on the go. EU strives to develop education that follows the today's standards and best practices in the field.
Keiser University – Keiser University, a respected leader in in higher education, offers online programs that empower students in two ways. First, students are able to quickly obtain degrees through programs that only last two years. Second, students are able to immediately apply their education to their careers because Keiser uses curriculum that reflects modern technological advances and current best practices. Students can choose from several programs including criminal justice, paralegal, accounting, and information technology.
Strayer University – The Associate in Arts programs at Strayer University are each 90 credit hours. These programs provide students with college-level training in such subjects as the arts, sciences, writing, and literature. The degree can usually be used to satisfy requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree. Strayer requires the student to possess a high school diploma.
Herzing University – Herzing University offers several online associates degrees including Business Management, Legal Studies, Public Safety, and Information Technology Management and Administration. These programs can be completed in under two years (sometimes as little as eighteen months) and offer flexible hours for students with busy or inconsistent schedules. Herzing University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a North Central Association member.

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What types of AAS degrees and programs exist and what are they called?

The acronym AAS can stand for different degrees. Ultimately an AAS degree is a two year degree that explores an area in-depth without completing four years of school. For some, this allows them to make a living at a good job while pursuing a bachelor’s degree as opposed to working an entry level position. Two common types of degrees that use the abbreviation AAS are:

  • AAS – Associates of Applied Sciences
  • AAS – Associates of Arts and Sciences

Are there any AAS online degree rankings?

AAS degree programs are not ranked by an official source. Any ranking system you may run across online are arbitrary and do not reflect the quality of education you will receive as mandated by any higher education organization. Before beginning an AAS program, you should be certain your school is accredited by a national or regional accreditation organization. This ensures the degree you receive from the school is legit and will not be questions by an employer when it’s time to enter the work force for your field.

There are many AAS degrees offered in a myriad of subjects from criminal justice to the medical field. Some are more difficult than others, as those preparing students to work in the health industry will require significant hours spent doing lab work and shadowing existing employees in the field. Any lab or internships required outside of immediate course work should be outlined by your learning institution when you inquire about a program. Some AAS degrees will prepare students for a bachelor’s degree, while others are intended to be the sole preparation before obtaining a specific job position.

Transferring AAS school credits

The great thing about AAS degrees is most serve as the foundation for obtaining a four year bachelor’s degree. Should you decide to go for your bachelor’s in the future, you will already have several credits that count towards that degree. Some AAS degrees are general and those credits can be transferred to nearly any type of bachelor’s program.

Others are groomed for a specific field such as the healthcare industry. In this case, the majority of the AAS credits would transfer, but if you were to want to study a completely different field (i.e. moving from an AAS to be a dental assistant to a bachelor’s in early childhood development), only a portion of the AAS credits would be accepted as credit towards the new area of study. Schools accredited by the same organization would be more likely to accept past credits obtained during your AAS schooling.

Prior to starting any AAS degree program, consult your school’s academic advisor to find out which credits would transfer to a potential degree. Since most students stay studying the same or similar fields, it is likely the bulk of your credits will transfer to bachelor’s program that will increase your career options and earning power.

What sort of career can someone with an AAS degree have?

AAS – Associates of Applied Sciences

  • For this degree, common jobs include dental hygienists, physical therapy assistant or medical assistant. In some cases, additional courses and exams must be taken before obtaining these jobs in specialized medical areas.

AAS – Associates of Arts and Sciences

  • AAS degrees that have arts as part of the background should explore these areas that are in demand. Graphic designers can have high earning power and often work for themselves. Not all accountants must have a CPA to work in finances and this may be an area to look into if you are good with numbers and enjoy working with people. Teacher’s assistants for all grade levels do not require a four year degree.

What are the average salaries of a person with an AAS degree?

The average salary of an AAS degree holder depends on the specific type of degree they hold. For example:

AAS – Associates of Applied Sciences

  • Dental hygienists – Dental hygienists earn about $30 per hour. This can increase or decrease depending on the size of the practice they work for and also the cost of living. A dental hygienist in a large city like Houston will almost always earn more than a dental hygienist practicing in Little Rock.
  • Physical therapy assistant – The average earning rate for physical therapy assistants is $23 per hour. Again, this pay depends on the size of the practice and the city in which they live. Physical therapists are most often employed by private doctors who pay more than clinics or universities.
  • Medical assistant – A medical assistant earns about $12.50 per hour. The term medical assistant is very broad and can range from handling paperwork to assisting with lab work to prepping patients. Because the duties of a medical assistant vary greatly, so does the pay.

AAS – Associates of Arts and Sciences

  • Graphic artists – Graphic artists and designers earn an average of $38,000 per year. Depending on the size of company you work for, you can increase that number exponentially. Freelance graphic artists and designers can also run successful businesses with little overhead.
  • Accounting – With a two year degree with a focus in accounting, you can work in payroll, auditing or billing. These positions can pay anywhere from $14 to $25 an hour. Pay depends on experience and the responsibilities involved with the position.
  • Education – Those with a AAS can work as a teacher’s aide, an area that’s high in demand. Teacher’s aides or para-professionals earn about $10 per hour. This pay can increase if the aide is bilingual, allowing them to work with bilingual or ESL teachers, areas that are also in demand.

How expensive is an AAS degree?

Through a community college or online degree program, most associates degrees total about $8000. This includes all books and tuition, but does not include lab fees that one may encounter if seeking an AAS in the medical field. Most programs have a payment plan system that allows students to pay for courses as they go, so do not expect to plunk down exactly $8,000 when walking in to register for classes.

Speak to a counselor or someone in the registrar’s office prior to signing up for courses to learn about payment plans, AAS scholarships or grants, or any financial assistance that can be provided by the learning institution.

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