Associate of Science Degree: Program Options, Course Information and More


These days you don’t always have to go the distance with your degree hopes and dreams. You can get somewhere in the work world with an associate of science degree and even continue on to earn an undergraduate and graduate degree if you’d like. Today, we’re going to talk a bit about different associate of science degree programs, study tips and much more. Get ready for an information bomb because it’s headed your way!

Associate of Science Degree

If you’re interested in spending two years at a community college with the ability to learn a great deal about a specific field of study, then earning an Associate of Science Degree may be just the thing for you! A.S. degrees are loaded with 60 credits that are combination of general education and elective courses. It is possible to earn an Associate of Science degree in biology, civil engineering, industrial engineering, education, health and many other program options. We’ll talk a bit more about this later, so stay tuned.

Associate of Science degrees are earned at community colleges and are pretty much the same across the board. One of the cool things about earning this type of degree is that you can continue on to earn a bachelor’s degree, which will only take you an additional two years of school.

We’re going to cover a lot today, so get out your note pad and pens out for some note taking!

Success Tips to Finish Your Associate of Science Degree

students_studyingAttending a community college can be a really great thing for new students. It’s less expensive than four year colleges, can work around most work/family schedules and will allow students to cross the finish line at a reasonable pace. Every student could use a few tips that will make finishing up their degree, so we are going to give up the goods now!

Take a look at some success tips to keep in mind when you’re finishing up your Associate of Science degree:

Ask for Help…

Whether this is your first foray into college or if you are a returning student, don’t go it alone! School advisers and guidance counselors are there for a reason, so use them. They will be able to guide you through the process of selecting a degree program and help you select the appropriate courses each semester. One of the key benefits of asking for help is that with guidance you can get the most out of every semester. This will result in getting the most out of your time in school and prevent you from wasting money.

Apply for Financial Aid and Repeat…

From what we have learned during our research as well as from our own experience in college, not fully being aware of how the financial aid system works can be a huge pitfall for students. A lot of students think that a FAFSA is only required one and then your good to go until graduation. This is not the case, however. An application must be submitted each school year and will need to be submitted for any summer semesters that you want to attend.

There should be a financial aid office at your community college, so head on in there to make sure that you have all of your ducks in a row. You will want to verify that you have all of the proper forms submitted, everything submitted by the due date and ensure that you’re meeting all educational requirements to boot.

Know Your Funding Options…

It’s important and pretty helpful to know what types of financial aid is available as well as what you are eligible for. Community college students are most often able to receive aid in the form of grants, scholarships and loans.

Think About Your Career Hopes…

If you have a specific career goal in mind, go ahead and check the associate’s degree programs at your community college. You may be able to find something that jives with your career aspirations and that would be pretty awesome. A lot of jobs these days like their employees to have two or more years of education under their belts anyhow, so knocking that out of the way is surely a good idea.

Study Tips for Associate of Science Degree Students

Attending an Associate of Science degree program is just as important as any other program at any degree level. We want you guys and girls to be successful on your educational journey, so it is with that in mind that we are going to offer up some study tips that will help you kick some serious community college butt!

  • Go to Class: We know that it is easy to skip a class here and there. You’re going to have days when you’re tired, have another exam to study for or you’d rather catch the new Christopher Nolan movie as a matinee. We totally get it…but it’s super important to attend every class unless you absolutely can’t for a very good reason. It is vital to your success to be in class to hear the lecture, take notes, participate in class discussions and hear any other important information pertaining to exams, projects or upcoming classes.
  • Cut Out Distractions: This is probably one of the things that you will struggle with the most when studying, but it will be one of the best things you can do for yourself. When it’s time to study, close Twitter, Facebook, Yik Yak and Instagram. Turn your phone off or at very least put it on silent and face down. It’s also a good idea to find a place that is quiet ad free of noisy distractions. Those distractions can come as music, TV, roommates and even kids if you have them. So, tuck yourself into a little corner where no one can bother you!
  • Get Help: We all need help from time to time and this totally applies to students too. If you need some help studying, working our homework or writing a paper, definitely hit up the Student Success Center that is more than likely available at your community college. Getting a little extra boost from someone that is wise in the ways of tutoring may just be the thing you need to propel you through the semester.
  • Be Prepared: Nothing tops attending class with everything you need to be fully prepared and kick some serious classroom posterior. Make sure you have all of your textbooks, homework, reading assignments and any essays written before you slide into your lecture seat. Trust us, a prepared student is most definitely a successful one.
  • Make a To-Do List: You might be surprised by how helpful making a list of the school related tasks you need to consider is It will help you see what goals you need to accomplish and when, which keeps you on task and accountable.
  • Study on a Schedule: If you can pencil in some study time at a consistent time every day, that will also be helpful and beneficial to your success. It’s better to study in a few hour increments each day rather than cram it all into one night, so try this tactic if you can.
  • Quiz Yourself: Test the amount of information you are retaining from your studies by quizzing yourself or having someone else do it for you. You can use notes, flashcards made out of index cards or any other study tool that you like. This is a great way to see which areas you may need to focus on in order to get good grades.
  • Make the Connection: A good study tip that will help all of those fine details stick in your gray matter is the use of association. Finding helpful things to relate a topic to is extremely helpful (to us, anyhow) and can be used as a little trick to store it in your brain. You can use alliteration or key words as an example.
  • Keep Track: Keep a date book, dry erase calendar board or set notifications on your phone to remind you of when you need to take exams, turn in homework or other large projects. We’re all about covering all the bases and covering our butts when it comes time to turn things in or be prepared. Writing it down where you can see it or setting a notification to go off that you can hear, can really help you stay on top of what you need to focus on.

High Paying Jobs Available for A.S. Degree Holders

The truth is, not everyone has the time or money to earn a bachelor’s degree. That’s becoming less of an issue when it comes to looking for a job because now having an associate’s of science degree is becoming more and more common. So, let’s look at some of the jobs out there that you can get after you earn an associate’s science degree!

  • Mechanical Engineering Technicians: In a position as a mechanical engineering technician, you can design, develop, test and help construct machinery that is used at an industrial level. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that an associate’s of science degree is required and the median annual wage is $51,980. There are projected to be about 12,100 job openings up through 2022.
  • Physical Therapist Assistants: As a physical therapists assistant, you will be tasked with helping patients who are in need of care when they are recovering from injuries, illnesses and surgeries. The main goal of your job will be to help the patients under your care regain movements and through specific exercises, manage their pain. The BLS reports the median annual wage for this position to come in at $52,160 and there are expected to be 45,100 job openings available over the next several years.
  • Geological and Petroleum Technicians: The job of a geological and petroleum technician may be the job for you if you’re interested in providing support for scientists and engineers. You’ll be their right hand man or woman when it comes to locating where natural resources like minerals, oil and natural gas. The median annual salary according to the BLS is $52,700 and there are expected to be 8,100 job openings between now and 2022.
  • Avionics Technicians: A job like this will have you installing, inspecting, testing, adjusting and even repairing various equipment that is used in the aviation field. There will be times when radars, radios, navigation equipment and missile control systems are taken care of by you. The BLS states that the median annual wage for an avionics technician is $55,350 and that there will be somewhere around 4,000 open positions between now and 2022.
  • Web Developer: As a web developer, you will take the lead on designing, creating an modifying websites for various client. You can do all of this with an associate’s of science degree too, which makes it even better! The trusty old BLS tells us that the expected median annual wage for web developers is $62,500 and that we should be able to expect 50,700 job openings until about 2022.
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonographers: This job will require you to use special equipment to retrieve images that are scanned from a patients body using sound waves. This medical technology is used in the process of diagnosing medical conditions. It’s reported that you can earn a median annual wage of $65,860 and there are 35,300 job openings expected between now and 2022.
  • Funeral Services Directors: Of course this position will have you planning, directing and coordinating funeral services for grieving families. The BLS reports the median annual salary for funeral service directors to be around $66,720 and 3,200 job openings available between now and 2022.

Associate of Science Degree Programs

There are a ton of associate of science degree programs out there to choose from. We would be here for days if we tried to tell you about each one. So, here are a few that we found interesting along with some of the courses that you may be able to take during the degree process. Take a look!

Associate of Science: Culinary Arts Degree

Prepare to toss on your chef’s hat because an Associate of Science in Culinary Arts degree is where it is at! Prepare to channel Bobby Flay and Julia Child here, guys and gals because it’s on like culinary donkey long. Take a gander at some of the courses that this degree cooks up:

  • Introduction to Culinary Arts: Beginning food production is presented in this class and topics covered are theories and methods of cooking, proper cooking vocabulary and how to safely develop safe and sanitary kitchen processes. The main things that you will work on in this course are going to be vegetables, starches, stocks, soups and egg cookery.
  • Baking Skills: The principles of baking with the specific ingredients that are cornerstones of baking. There is also a good amount of time spent focusing on how to properly measure and scale the ingredients. You’ll be able to learn how to bake things from scratch such as quick breads, yeast breads, cookies, danish pastries and pies.
  • International Cuisine: In this international cuisine course, you will learn the ways of French, Italian, Asian and other ethnic cuisines. Some discussion topics include native ingredients, flavors, cooking methods and techniques.

Associate of Science: Radiation Therapy Degree

Radiation therapy is a pretty interesting field of study and you’ll be able to really sink your teeth into it during an associate’s of science degree. Here are some course options available during this degree:

  • Anatomy and Physiology I: This course will provide you with a solid foundation to build your understanding of the relationship between anatomy and physiology within the human body. Some other topics covered during the course are: cellular structure, cellular function, tissues, integument, skeleton, muscular and nervous systems.
  • Medical Terminology: A medical terminology course provides students with the basics of anatomy, physiology, pathology, special procedures, laboratory procedures and pharmacology. The course will cover the meanings, spellings and and pronunciation of medical terms. There will also be some time spent discussing abbreviations, signs and symbols.
  • Patient Care in Radiation Oncology: This course will cover some of the basic concepts that those entering the radiation field will need to know when dealing with oncology patients. There will be specific focuses on the physical and psychological conditions of patients in radiation. There is also time spent discussing patient examines, patient handling procedures, asepsis, local and systememic reactions, nutrition and medications.

Associate of Science: Nursing Degree

An associate of science degree in nursing, obviously prepares you for a job in the medical field as a nurse. This is a good transfer degree since most nursing positions require 4 years of schooling anyhow. There are tons of cool classes to take during your time in school and here are a few to wet your whistle:

  • Nursing Techniques: This is a good class for new nursing students a it teaches psychomotor techniques, which result in helping students learn how to deliver care safely and at a quality level. There is a mixture of lecture sessions, laboratory hours and clinical hours during this course.
  • Nursing Care of Women and Infants: Some nursing students may enter into an area of study that has them caring for women and infants. This is an important area of nursing and will cover the care of women through the many stages of life such as pregnancy, prenatal, intrapartal, postpartal as well as during newborn and nursing care needs.
  • Nursing Care – Adult I: A lot of community colleges offer this course as a short 12 week study as a continuation of a medical or surgical course. There is a lot of emphasis on treating patients with critical and acute injuries or illnesses. The following areas will also be discussed: nutrition, metabolism, cardiac, peripheral vascular disorder, respiratory disorders, muscular-skeletal disorders, neurological and sensory disorders and lastly, reproductive disorders. There will be opportunities for students to spend time assisting in the care of patients in critical care, acute care, subacute care and specialty hospitals.

Associate of Science: Visual Communications Degree

International_StudentsAssociate’s of science degree programs that specialize in visual communications are geared towards those that are interested in digital media, website design, video production, electronic art and different variations of print advertising. Let’s look at some courses for a visual communications degree now:

  • Design Basics: This course will focus on the basics of two dimensional and three dimensional designs. Students can expect to be pushed to use their critical and creative thinking techniques that will help them to explore color, typography, image, modeling and the application of each in the design world.
  • Digital Design I: In this class you will learn about the design process from beginning to end. The topics of hand sketching, creation of thumbnails, computer illustration, imaging, photo manipulation, page layout and composition techniques. There will also be some incorporating of industry specific software along the way.
  • Print Production: The basics of printing processes are covered in this course along with the use of digital pre-press techniques in preparation of layouts to print.

Associate of Science: Animal Care Degree

Pursuing an associate’s of science degree with a focus on animal care will prepare you to work in the animal care field on a regular basis. Some degree holders go on to work in animal shelters, animal clinics, zoos and pet stores. Take a look at a few course options available:

  • Animal Care Management: This is an introductory course that offers up the basic care needs of most animals that we have as pets. There is an extra focus on feeding, breeding, health maintenance and housing of animals like dogs, cats, birds, fish, ferrets and various rodents.
  • Kennel Operation and Design: There is a focus on proper animal handling, sanitation, disinfection, proper feeding, water and housing procedures for animals in kennel situations. This can be a helpful class for those that are interested in pursuing careers in veterinary clinics.
  • Introduction to Animal Science: The field of animal science is a rather broad one and is studied in this course. Students will come away with good understanding of the major animal types with an extra focus on nutrition and reproduction of domestic animals.

Associate of Science: Accounting Degree

An Associate of Science in Accounting degree will have you rearing and ready to tackle all of those tough financial needs of your clients. You will be able to prepare taxes, gather and understand financial statements, use financial technology programs for accounting purposes, manage payroll and any other areas of finance. Here are some classes that you may be able to take during your time in school:

  • Accounting I: This is an introductory class that teaches students the fundamentals of financial accounting, recognition of accounting statements, disclosure concepts, impact had by transactions and financial ratios.
  • Basics of Business: The American business system is discussed at length in this course. Topics covered may include: marketing, finance, personnel, customer relations, production and operations, e-business, world trade ventures, internal information systems and decision making processes.
  • Microeconomics: This course covers the way in which households, producers and the government interact to set a checks and balances system in the market. Concepts covered are the role of scarcity, and choice, incentives and competition along with the law of supply and demand.

Sources and Recommended Reading

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