How long does it take to get a bachelor’s degree after an associate's degree?


 Most jobs now require at least some training or education beyond high school. Depending on your field, this could mean getting a certificate, a trade or apprenticeship, or an associate's, bachelor's, or graduate degree. There are so many choices that it can be hard to know which one is the best. If done in a certain way, getting an associate's degree and then a bachelor's degree could lead to more job opportunities down the road. But how long does it take to get a bachelor’s degree after an associate's degree?

Doing some research ahead of time can help you find the fastest way to get a 4-year degree when you are first thinking about college. Here are some tips to help you move quickly from an associate's degree to a bachelor's degree. 

What is an associate’s degree?

How long does it take to get a bachelor’s degree after an associate's degree

A two-year degree, an associate's degree is usually given at a community college. Most associate's degree programmes focus on general studies with a standard of measure based on employment. They can help you meet the requirements for certain jobs, train you for some technical fields, and give you a good start on your education, if that's what you want. 

What is a bachelor’s degree?

A bachelor's degree takes four years to earn and is usually given at a college or university with the same length of time. Bachelor's degree programmes usually focus on getting students ready for success in a wide range of fields that have higher education standards. You might get a bachelor's degree if you want to work in management and leadership, teaching, accounting, nursing, engineering, or healthcare administration, for example. 

How long does it take to get a bachelor’s degree after an associate's degree? 

A bachelor's degree takes about twice as much work as an associate degree. 

  • Only 60 credits, not 120 credits 
  • Twenty classes instead of forty 
  • Only two years, not four. 

If you already have an associate degree and want to get a bachelor's degree, the good news is that you're probably already half way there. Many classes from an associate's degree can be used toward a four-year degree, especially basic classes like math and composition. 

If you change your major, you might have to give up a few credits. For example, if you have an associate's degree in accounting but want to go back to school for a bachelor's in education, those finance and business credits might not transfer. 

Let's imagine again that you want to study communications at Arizona State University. If you got your associate degree from a community college, they will accept up to 64 transfer credits, which is a little more than half of the required 120. 

As a transfer student, you can't get credit for what you've done in life. They also don't accept credits from "noncollegiate institutions" like businesses and government agencies. 

You can still take CLEP courses, but since most of them are introductions to subjects, you probably already met the requirements for those degrees when you got your associate degree. 

You can still get into the fast track degree programme, though. If you start at ASU with 64 of the 120 required credit hours, you'll only need 56 to graduate. If you join the fast track programme, you can cut a quarter of the time it takes to get your degree. 

On the fast track, you could graduate in three semesters if you take 15 credits each semester. You could get your bachelor's degree in as little as a year if you took all of your classes in the spring, summer, and fall. 

Because your Associate's Degree counts for the first two years of your Bachelor's Degree, you can finish it in as little as two years.

Can you transfer credits from a bachelor degree to an associates degree? 

You might be able to get transfer credits if you have an associate degree or even if you have just taken some classes. Each school will look at the classes you've already taken to see how they fit into your new bachelor's degree programme. Most of your general education requirements will be met by the time you get your associate degree, leaving you with just two years of classes to take. 

Credit can be given for more than just college courses taken in the past. During the transfer process, don't be afraid to think outside the box. If you've learned something useful since you last went to school, it's likely that it can count toward your bachelor's degree. Schools that make it easy to transfer, like Franklin University, try to give you the most credit possible. Ask your advisor if you can get credit for things like work experience and test scores from a company outside of your school. 

How many credits for a bachelor's degree? 

In the United States, the average college student needs about 120 credit hours to be able to graduate. Most classes at universities are worth three credit hours, which is why most universities use the "three credit per class" system.

Using this system, this means that the average college student takes about 40 classes during their time as an undergraduate. It's not unusual, though, for classes with labs or extra work to be worth four or even five credit hours. Some labs, though, are only worth one credit hour. Most college students use an online portal to keep track of their credit hours while they are there.

These online portals give you access to your school's most important information, like your GPA, grades, payments, and the number of credit hours you've already earned. You can usually find a list of the classes you still need to take, which you can use to plan your schedule for the next semester. 

It's important for students to keep track of where they are with their degree by keeping an eye on their credit hours. This can help you make sure you take the required classes at the right time and stay on track to graduate in the semester you planned. 

How to Turn Your Associate's Degree Into a Bachelor's Quickly?

How long does it take to get a bachelor’s degree after an associate's degree

If you already have an associate's degree, you may want to keep going to school to get a bachelor's degree. Many students choose to get their associate degree before their bachelor's degree so that they can have more job options in the time between. To turn your associate's degree into a bachelor's degree, do the following:

  1. Think about the jobs you could have; Before you decide whether or not to get a bachelor's degree, you should think about your career options and the type of bachelor's degree you will need to be successful in that field.
  2. Look into the schools you can go to; Once you know what kind of bachelor's degree programme you want to go for, you can start looking into schools that offer it. When looking for the right school for you, there are many things to think about, such as whether classes are offered online, on campus, or both, how much tuition is, and how long it will take you to finish the programme you're interested in.
  3. Find out what options you have for moving; You can usually transfer up to 60 credit hours from an associate's degree to a bachelor's degree programme. That usually means you need another 60 credit hours, or about two more years of full-time study, to finish your bachelor's degree. But some associate degrees with a more technical focus might not let you transfer as many credits. You can talk to a counsellor at the school you want to go to for your bachelor's degree programme about how many of your credit hours can be transferred.
  4. Apply to a programme for a bachelor's degree; The next step is to apply to the bachelor's degree programmes you're interested in. Usually, the application process involves filling out a form with personal information, giving information about your education and background check, paying an application fee, and possibly writing an essay or taking an entrance or placement exam. Many forms can be filled out online. Ask the admissions counsellor at the school you want to go to about how to apply for your programme in particular.
  5. Complete bachelor's degree requirements; Once you've been accepted into a bachelor's degree programme, the last thing you have to do is sign up for classes and finish the work you need to do to get your degree. Usually, most of your classes will be related to your major, since you should have finished most of your general education requirements during your associate degree programme. 

Value of a Bachelor's Degree

When deciding between an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree, there are a few things to keep in mind. The main differences are, of course, time and money. An associate's degree takes about two years to finish and costs about half as much as a bachelor's degree. 

In the end, jobs are the most important thing. Employers may be more interested in people with bachelor's degrees, and their unemployment rate may be lower. But if you have an associate's degree in a skilled field, you can get a job faster. 

So, is it worth the time and money?

Associate's Degree Salary vs Bachelor’s Degree Salary

How long does it take to get a bachelor’s degree after an associate's degree

Salary and Job Prospects for an Associate's Degree 

An associate's degree is a programme after high school that gives students the basic knowledge and skills they need for a certain job. An associate's degree is the minimum level of education needed to get into some jobs, like dental hygiene or medical imaging, so many students choose to get one with a specific job in mind. 

Most full-time students can finish an associate's degree in two years. However, online and flexible learning options can help students finish the programme faster. 

In 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said that those with an associate's degree made about $862 per week, or $44,824 per year, while the median weekly salary for all workers was $932 per week, or $48,464 per year. 

The same report showed that the unemployment rate for this group was about 2.8%, while the rate for all workers was 3.2%. 

Bachelor’s Degree Outlook and Salary

In contrast to an associate's degree, which takes about two years to finish, a bachelor's degree usually takes four years and focuses on getting a deeper understanding of a specific field of study. (There are also shorter, faster programmes.) 

More and more people want four-year degrees. In 2016, a bachelor's degree was required for entry-level work in more than 21% of jobs. The number of jobs that require a bachelor's degree is expected to grow by 8.2% between 2014 and 2024. 

When you have a bachelor's degree, your median weekly earnings go up by a lot. The same BLS report that measured weekly earnings for associate's degrees also found that bachelor's degree holders made about $1,198 per week, or $62,296 per year. 

Rates of unemployment also went down, from 2.8% for those with an associate's degree to 2.2% for those with a bachelor's degree. 

Getting a bachelor's degree can have different effects on different jobs

For example, a survey by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) found that radiologic technologists with a bachelor's degree earn an average of $5,591 more per year than those with an associate's degree. This increase adds up to almost $250,000 more in salary and wages over the course of a 40-year career. 

Bachelor's degree completion programmes are a way for students with an associate's degree who want to move up in their education and career to do so. At Regis College, for example, students can turn their associate's degree into a bachelor's degree by using the credits they have already earned. Students can finish their studies much faster and for less money this way than if they started a bachelor's degree from scratch.


Can you make a living off an associate's degree?

According to BLS data, the median salary in 2020 will be $50,630, and job growth is expected to be 9% through 2030. Next: Some associate degrees are worth a lot of money. After two years of school, a student can get an associate degree and be on their way to making more than the average household income.

What is the fastest and cheapest way to get a bachelor's degree?

Start at a community college and then switch to a public school in your own state. if you can, stay at home. This might not be the most exciting choice, but with tuition costs going up all the time, it might be the best one.

Is a bachelor's degree worth anything anymore?

Getting your bachelor's degree also makes it more likely that future employers will consider you for opportunities to move up in your career. If you want to get a master's degree or PhD in the future, you will also need an undergraduate degree.

What classes are required for a bachelor's degree?

To get a Bachelor of Arts or Science degree, a student usually needs to earn 120 semester units or credits. Specific courses in math, science, English, history, political science, general education courses, and upper division courses in the chosen major are listed as requirements.

What job pays $100 an hour without a degree?

Freelance photographer: Photographers who specialise in graphic design and art can make $100 an hour, but they usually have at least five years of experience in the field. Education requirements: For this job, you don't need a degree, but a high school diploma or GED is recommended.

How many hours is 1 credit hour?

For a traditional 14-week course, a student must spend at least 3 hours on it each week. For a 7-week course, they must spend at least 6 hours on it each week. This time can be used for discussions, readings, lectures, study, research, and assignments.