The value of an associate degree




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We all enter a two-year college like Skyline for a reason, whether it is in pursuit of dreams, the future, a better life or a better job. In the end, we are students, regardless of age or sex, following our own paths in life.

But stop for a moment and ask yourself, “What is the value of an associate degree? And is it worth getting one?” The answer is yes, but why? Whether you already know what subject you’ll major in or you don’t know what you want to do in the future, it’s still a good idea to get an associate degree.

According to an article written by Jack Hough published on, earning an associate degree ensures that you have a better chance of getting into the job market and better pay compared to people with only a high-school diploma. But there are more important reasons than just money and the increased chance of getting a job.

Patricia Carter, a biology lab technician here at Skyline College, pointed out that earning an associate degree may not mean a lot to you, but it does give you a sense of success, like managing to get over the first hurdle in your education.

As stated above, an associate degree allows students to get a foot in the door of the job market, giving them a better chance at getting a job. More important is the fact that a student with an associate degree can use it toward getting their bachelor’s degree and more if they are interested in furthering their education.

If students aren’t interested in pursuing their education any further than earning their associate’s degree, they may use it as a firm foundation or starting point from which to build their career as they enter the work force.

There are two more reasons that an associate degree is valuable: Not everyone starting college knows right away what subject they want to major in. Some students don’t know until it’s too late, and others don’t know until they experience a life-changing moment. This is where the value of an associate degree comes in. The degree gives you the freedom to choose a wide range of classes to fulfill its requirements, thus giving students the time to choose.

The last reason for getting an associate degree is that “sometimes things get derailed in your life or whatever, you know at least you have that (the associate degree) to fall on,” Carter said. “Or sometimes if you’re not planning to transfer, then it will look good on your resume.”

In short, life happens, and we never know what could happen in the future, but no matter what it is, at least you’ll have your associate degree and the chance of getting a better job.