Choosing a degree can be confusing – especially when you realize you have to choose between an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree for your studies after high school.

What’s the difference between them? Is one better than the other? How do you pick?!

Don’t worry: we’re here to clear things up. By running through the four main differences between these two types of undergraduate degrees, we’ll help you make a choice which fits your goals.

An easy-to-share infographic is located at the bottom of this post.

1. Time – how long your degree takes to complete

This is one of the biggest differences: associate degrees are usually only two years long, while bachelor’s degrees normally take three years to complete.

And if you’re only studying part-time, you’ll take a little longer to earn your degree in both cases. But you’ll still find an associate degree is faster to complete than a bachelor’s degree.

Being able to study at a pace which suits you is highly important. And it’s one of the greatest perks of studying with NAU Canada Online!

2. Cost – how much studying will cost you

Completing an associate degree is much cheaper than getting a bachelor’s degree.

That’s because tuition fees are calculated on a per credit basis – and studying an associate degree involves earning less credits than you do during a bachelor’s degree (which is also why it’s shorter). Makes sense, right?

Here’s a breakdown of degree costs at NAU Canada Online:

Associate degree (which is 90 credits) – $34,470CAD
Bachelor’s degree (which is 180 credits) – $68,940CAD

N.B. These costs are just estimates! NAU Canada Online might increase tuition fees annually…or it might not.

3. Depth of knowledge – how much you’ll learn about the subject you’re studying

You’ll find a bachelor’s degree gives you much more in-depth knowledge than an associate degree.

That sounds great… But if you’re not really sure how passionate you are about a subject, an associate degree is a better place to start. It’s a great way to discover and explore your interests, without committing to three years of studying. And you can always take an associate degree first, then continue your studies with a bachelor’s degree afterwards!

On the other hand – if you’re certain of the subject you want to study and the career you want to pursue, then a bachelor’s degree is the best option for you.

4. Career opportunities – how your degree choice will impact your future job opportunities

The truth is, a bachelor’s degree gives you access to more opportunities than an associate degree. (In most cases).

Often, employers are looking exclusively for folks with bachelor’s degrees to fill their entry level positions. They want the depth of knowledge which only a bachelor’s degree can provide.

Plus, you’ll earn more with a bachelor’s degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, you earn 39 percent more per week with a bachelor’s degree than you do with an associate degree. Over time, that difference adds up!

But there are some careers where an associate degree is enough to get you started. You’ll just need to do a little research into your dream career, to make sure you choose a degree which sets you up for success!

If you’re ready to start your application…

You can apply for either an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree by filling out a Student Application for Admission here.

And if you’re not sure which subject you’d like to study, you’ll find plenty of resources and course descriptions on our website.

Plus, you can call us on 855.210.5641 or schedule a consultation and we’ll answer any questions you have!

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Associate Degrees vs Bachelor's Degrees: What's the Difference?