When starting out on your path to a college degree you'll need to choose whether to go for an associate degree or a bachelor's degree. Although there are good arguments for going either way, there are some excellent reasons to consider targeting your associates first. For instance, earning your associate degree first gives you a sense of accomplishment and a diploma to hang on your wall while you continue working toward your bachelor's degree, and no matter what your long-term goal may be, going for an associates now can give you a great jump start.
An associate degree is an academic degree normally awarded for completing two years of lower level studies. But, this doesn't mean you have to take two years to complete your degree.
1. Flexibility - AA and AS degrees do not require you to determine a major, and in fact a degree in liberal arts will give you the flexibility to postpone your decision until later when you have a better idea of what you want to focus on.
2. Saves Time and Money - An AS degree will allow you to apply a greater number of credits from your military experience. In fact if you have four or more years of service and have taken and passed the 5 General CLEP exams, you may find that you are just a few credits shy of earning your degree.
3. Increase Your Income - Like any college degree, an associate degree will open doors to higher income and promotions. Many of the military services tie college credits to their advancement and promotion systems. And most of the services require the same to apply for enlisted to officer programs like OCS and OTS.
Remember, the military has a stake in your education too. You should contact your ESO or Navy College Representative before you make your final decision. They can get you started taking your CLEP exams and help you review your transcripts before you start taking classes.
There are several schools that work with the military education systems and students to provide a path to an associate degree. The Military.com School Finder is a good place to start your search for a school.
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