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Top 3 Reasons to Earn a Bachelor’s Degree After an Associate

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By Loren Germann-McClain
Senior Academic Advisor II, School of STEM

According to a 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, employees switch their jobs an average of 12 times during their career. Because job changes are frequent, it is important for job applicants to be experts in networking and job searching. There are a number of reasons why you may be looking to change jobs, including:

  • Changing your career focus
  • Better alignment between personal values and organizational priorities 

When you’re considering a switch to another job or industry field, you may need a new set of credentials or another degree.

Are you still unsure if getting a bachelor’s degree is right for you? Here are three reasons to earn a bachelor’s degree as your next educational step.

1. Transferring Eligible Credits Saves You Time

Do you already have a certificate or associate degree? Consider transferring your previously earned credits towards a bachelor’s program.

When you’re transitioning from an associate degree into a bachelor’s, one thing to consider is how much time may be saved due to the transfer of previously earned credit. Generally speaking, your general education and electives courses may transfer over from your previously conferred associate degree. This transfer credit will cut down on the amount of time you need to spend taking courses for your bachelor’s degree.

If you have questions regarding how your credits may apply to a new program, contact your Academic Advising team. They can help you figure out how your credits may apply to a bachelor’s program and what classes you need to complete your degree.

There are several ways to maximize transfer credit from an associate degree. For instance, we participate in Air University’s Associate-to-Baccalaureate Cooperative Program (AU-ABC). Airmen with a conferred CCAF degree who participate in the AU-ABC Program are guaranteed to complete select bachelor degrees in 60 semester hours or less.

Some degree programs, such as the bachelor of science in cybersecurity and the bachelor of science in computer technology, have completer options. These options allow students with associate degrees to fast-track their bachelor’s degree completion by receiving up to 60 semester hours (SH) of block credit toward their chosen program.

Eligible students will have to complete no more than 60 semester hours to earn their chosen program. Presently, the bachelor of science in cybersecurity and the bachelor of science in computer technology are the only two academic programs eligible for this type of block credit.

Want to know if you are eligible for these completer options? Reach out to your Academic Advising team; they will be happy to look at your associate degree to see if it meets the requirements.

2. Getting a Degree Prepares You to Meet Industry Requirements

Are you looking for something new and exciting? Regardless of how you have reached the point in your career that you feel a change is necessary, the transition time in between jobs can be daunting. But obtaining a bachelor’s degree is a way to show tangible proof that you are knowledgeable.

If you need more education but don’t have the time to take all of the classes for a degree, look into completing a certificate instead. We offer a wide variety of certificate programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Certificate programs are great for tailoring an education path to a specific goal or even as a study tool for an industry certification. Please keep in mind that we do not offer certifications.

In addition to providing tangible proof that you are committed to a field of study, obtaining a bachelor’s degree after your associate degree is a great way to understand thelatest trends in the industry. With the emergence of new technologies and innovations, jobs have to evolve in order to keep up in today’s modern world.

To stay competitive, you will have to evolve along with the technologies or get ahead of the curve. Knowing what the latest trends are and how they affect you can help lead you down the path toward choosing a bachelor’s degree. Also, our programs are continuously assessed and optimized by Industry Advisory Councils to ensure that student learn emerging trends, practices, and technologies.

Speak with Career Services for Advice

Not sure where to start? Career Services Coordinator Kass Williams encourages students to speak with a Career Exploration Specialist if they are unsure what degree program to enroll into or what career path to take. Career Services offers self-assessments to determine what jobs are a good fit for you and your goals based on your skillset and interests. After the assessment, you can explore applicable careers with the help of an expert Career Exploration Specialist.

Once you know which degree program best aligns with your goals and desired career, reach out to your Career Coach. Williams states, “University students and alumni are assigned to industry-aligned Career Coaches who are here to help guide you through your career journey, no matter where you are academically or professionally. They understand your prospective industry and can prepare you for what’s ahead.”

Related link: Career Services also offers resume reviews and mock interviews at no cost for students and alumni. View more of what Career Services has to offer by reading What You Can Expect from Career Services in 2021.

Our Career Exploration Specialists and Career Coaches have resources that can help you understand which program will align with your needs and goals and can better serve you in choosing into the right academic program. These resources include:

To request an appointment, please use the Coaching Form located in the Success Center. You will need to be logged into your ecampus in order to access this resource.

Only you can make the final decision to seek a bachelor’s degree. Be sure to ask yourself plenty of questions regarding your motivations. Assess your goals, ambitions and constraints to be sure that you are making the best move for yourself.

Have questions? Reach out to your Academic Advising team. We’ll be happy to discuss your questions and walk you through the process of enrolling into or changing your academic program.

About the Author

Loren Germann-McClain is currently in her second year as a Senior Academic Advisor II with the School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). She holds an M.A. in English – Rhetoric and Composition from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, as well as an M.A. in English Literature from Southern New Hampshire University.

Loren previously worked in human resources and public relations at a public library in Indiana, where she helped develop a project to bring mental health first aid and awareness to public and academic libraries across the state. She has earned grants to help develop coding programs for school-age children and develop free, extracurricular activities to help align with the Indiana State standards for computer science, technology, and coding. Her work has helped empower Hoosier students to be equipped with the critical and computational problem-solving skills they will need in order to succeed in a digitally powered and ever-evolving world.

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