An associate’s degree is an undergraduate academic program that teaches the basics of an academic course. Basal knowledge and technical skills acquired from this degree are either used or transferred during employment or further studies. This two-year program comes after obtaining a high school diploma and before bagging a bachelor’s degree.
Vocational schools, technical colleges, and community colleges make up the brunt of institutions that awards an associate’s degree. Other educational institutes like universities and four-year colleges seldom do.
Nevertheless, these institutes collaborate with community colleges to enable students to transfer to a college or university as juniors as long as they complete their associate’s program and meet a minimum GPA requirement.
An associate’s degree in education is a two-year program offered to people interested in becoming teaching experts. Students who pursue this line of work can get jobs using just their associate’s degree, albeit as unlicensed school employees.
The most common associate’s degree in education is in early childhood education. Courses students can take include child development, child psychology, child health and safety, learning theories, and teaching strategies.
The majority of associate’s degrees are earned at community colleges where students spend two years studying the subject. Getting into these colleges is relatively easy as they are aimed at educating as many people as possible.
The education program is not as competitive as others, such as law, so admission is typically straightforward.
Upon admission into the preferred community college, all you need to do is register for courses, attend classes and pass assessments, tests, and exams.
Some colleges offer a practicum where students are assigned to a professional teacher to assist in the classroom and get practical knowledge and hands-on experience.
With the curriculum usually requiring about 72 credit hours of coursework and fieldwork, a full-time student can complete the degree program in two years. Students juggling other essential activities with schoolwork can enroll as part-time students to make studying more effortless for them.
There’s also the option of taking an online associate’s degree program in education. The college selected by the student will just have to have a long-distance learning offer in education.
Although you can’t teach in a public school with solely an associate’s degree, you can get a classroom-based job relating to education. To get employed as a teacher, especially in a public school, you will need to take your studies a step further by earning a bachelor’s degree and getting a license. Some of the jobs you can get with a standalone associate’s degree in early childhood education are:
If you work as a preschool teacher, you’ll majorly work with kids aged 3 to 5. Your role involves helping them learn abstract concepts like the alphabet and numbers, colors and shapes, and developing their social and motor skills.
Preschool teachers get paid an average salary of $28,990.
Child Care Worker
A child care worker basically runs a daycare or works at one. The age group is focused on children between six weeks and thirteen years.
While childcare workers don’t teach so much, they are entrusted with observing and recording children’s behavior to keep their guardians informed, supervising and feeding them, and leading and engaging in activities such as arts and crafts and games.
Their salary, on average, is $23,240 per year.
A teacher’s aide or assistant helps a teacher in the classroom in whichever capacity he/she needs.
A teacher’s assistant’s tasks include paper grading, curriculum tracking, taking attendance, and chaperoning.
The average salary a teacher’s aide receives is between $21,707 and $26,271.
Private School Teacher
Private schools and religious schools are not bound by the same legal laws governing public schools, which states that the least degree a classroom teacher can hold is a bachelor’s degree and appropriate required certification. They have the liberty to hire and give associate degree holders teaching jobs.
So, you can get a teaching job with only an associate’s degree in education, but you’ll be paid less than a teacher who works at a public school.
Get a Bachelor’s Degree
After getting an associate degree at your college of choice, depending on what your goals for the degree are, you can proceed to a university or college to complete a bachelor’s degree. Bachelor’s degrees take four years to complete.
Although stopping at an associate’s degree will get you jobs in the education sector, going for a bachelor’s degree program in education is a significant step forward in your career, pushing you to be a teacher imparting knowledge to your students.
An associate degree gives you more opportunities than when you don’t have it at all. A bachelor’s degree opens you up to even better opportunities in the same vein. It also increases your earning potential.
You could even take it up a notch if you so please and enroll in a master’s program. A bachelor’s degree is worthy of consideration as it broadens your horizon of knowledge and aids in advancement.
Apart from the fact that it is a stepping stone to a bachelor’s degree and other advanced studies, it is also very affordable. It is arguably the cheapest way to get a degree in higher education.
Asides from this, if your only certification is a high school diploma, it is a great and pocket-friendly way to explore education and see if you enjoy it before majoring in the field. If you don’t want to further your studies in the course, it’s all well and good; you lose absolutely nothing as the degree is still useful for you.
However, if you do decide to major, your degree can be applied to universities or colleges.
In light of this information, take a step towards getting an associate degree. Get registered for an education course and begin taking classes. Depending on how involved you can be in the program, you can opt for a full-time, part-time, or long-distance study option.