Am I wrong to think that an associate's degree is seen as useless by people in professional life?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by TeacherBelgium, Sep 10, 2020.

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  1. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    It helped Google!
     
  2. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    It depends on the field, I can see law being a problem as the field is already saturated with tons of people. However, at least in Ontario Canada, licensed electricians on average make more money than many engineering fields and only requires a college diploma.
    A friend of mine was not able to get a job in IT with his Masters degree due to fierce competition and went back to school and got a 2 year college diploma to become a radiotherapy technician.
    Some people with PhDs is fields with no demand such as humanities are going for college diplomas in real estate or similar.
     
    Johann likes this.
  3. Thorne

    Thorne Member

    I finished it in under 5 hours, wasn't exactly difficult to get done with any IT experience to speak of.
     
    nomaduser likes this.
  4. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I think Ontario CCs are great places. And I put my money where my mouth is. More than once. One of my trips through CC was an IT program, back when I was a young whippersnapper of 52. (1995) Quite a few of the class were University grads - smart people who couldn't get a job with their degrees. They mostly made out pretty darn well after the college program. Community colleges here began as a Confederation Centennial Project (1967) How the heck did we ever get along without them? :)

    You take those programs ... you can do stuff! Employers like that. (I liked it, too!)
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
    nomaduser likes this.
  5. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    It helped some people to get a job. One can maximize the use by adding A+ cert and get dual credentials.
    CompTIA partnered with Google, so one can take the A+ exams and earn A+ in addition to Google Professional Certificate.
    You get your 12 credits ACE recommendation for this. Many colleges accept the recommendation.
    Finding job is a job. People do find entry level IT jobs with this credential.
    One can take the next step Google Automation certificate as well.
    The IT market is highly comparative.
    Mark is in his mid 20's, he struggled in college so he got a job as a call center dispatcher. He held the job for 2 years.
    After completing his google support professional certificate he added the credit to his AS degree path and
    rebranded him self as Contact Center IT support professional so gradually the place he works at allowed him to do some basic IT support tasks. from headsets, PC's etc.
    The contact center was migrating to new software solution, and Mark was offered training in Cloud Contact Center software that is using Google Cloud.
    He is no longer a dispatcher but now a member of operations team in support and administration role.
    He went from making 11.5$ an hour to a mach higher pay. I think he is making almost the same as his mom who is a SW for the local government. But the best part he absolutely loves his career now.
     
  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Good news, indeed, Lerner. Congratulations to Mark. His success is obviously well-earned.

    I think there's a difference here: Mark had a job - for 2 years. The skills from his certificates made him a more valuable employee and he got a much better job - at the same company.
    Someone else walks in from the cold - even with certificates - possibly a different story, I'd think.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
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  7. Acolyte

    Acolyte Member

    Wow. Interesting thread.
    My .02 - I've attended I think 5 colleges over the course of in trying to get my degrees - over the course of about 20 years. My favorite experience was at my local Community College - which enjoys a lot of support locally and has a good reputation. In Ohio, we have solid transfer arrangements between our Community Colleges and our Universities, so you are always assured that your time spent at any institution will be respected. I myself had credits from Community College classes that I took in the early 1990's at Columbus State, that transferred fine to American University in D.C. in 2001. I was very grateful for that, as American is a much more "prestigious" institution, and I wasn't sure they would honor those!

    An Associate's Degree is most definitely a "legitimate degree" - but as many have stated, it tends to be more vocational - focusing on the actual skills and information needed to perform a certain job. For some jobs this is all you might need. For some jobs, like graphic or web design, your portfolio and competencies are going to be more important than your degree, in my experience. If you wanted to be a chef, work in construction trades, or even own your own business doing any number of things, you might not "need" a degree beyond what you can learn in an Associate's program, or even at all. I mean, half of a Bachelor's program is general education, the other half is your specialization.

    That said, there are some Associate's degrees that just won't get you where you want to go without a more advanced degree. My wife has a B.A. in Theater from Ohio State, but as she has shifted away from professional talent work, she recently completed an Associate's in Dietetics and Nutrition - but what can she do with that? She's not a Registered Dietitian (RD -which requires a Master's). She passed the exam to be a Dietary Technician, but that just means she is qualified to work under an RD. She can't do much on her own, and any job that is of any interest to her that comes up requires an RD for the position. That leaves her in the odd position of either trying to pursue a Master's or to take jobs that don't interest her. Her original plan was to follow through with a Master's...maybe. But we can't afford it! That's just the way that field is. I would guess the same would be true for something like Law or Psychology. I'm not sure what someone with an A.A. in Psychology would do with that degree - unless it was to transfer to a Bachelor's program. Certain professions simply require certain credentials - and you should be able to evaluate that before choosing your path. While I think the Associate's degree the OP has is a perfectly "legitimate" degree...it simply might not meet the threshold that the profession requires. Throughout my 20's I was denied many job opportunities because their minimum requirement was a Bachelor's degree. I hadn't even finished an Associate's. Finding myself unemployed and broke at 31, with little prospects of working in a field I wanted to work in, I was encouraged by my girlfriend at the time to just put my head down for about 2 1/2 years and get the Bachelor's. So I did.

    I didn't get my Bachelor's Degree until I was 35 years old. And my Master's a t 50. So, 25 is NOT old. If you know what path you want to take, find out what is required and JUST DO IT. Don't try to shortcut it, don't try to figure out a way around it. In the long run, it will remain a barrier to you IF that is the path you want to pursue, so get the credential you need and be done with it.

    .02
     
  8. Acolyte

    Acolyte Member

    Wow. Interesting thread.
    My .02 - I've attended I think 5 colleges over the course of in trying to get my degrees - over the course of about 20 years. My favorite experience was at my local Community College - which enjoys a lot of support locally and has a good reputation. In Ohio, we have solid transfer arrangements between our Community Colleges and our Universities, so you are always assured that your time spent at any institution will be respected. I myself had credits from Community College classes that I took in the early 1990's at Columbus State, that transferred fine to American University in D.C. in 2001. I was very grateful for that, as American is a much more "prestigious" institution, and I wasn't sure they would honor those!

    An Associate's Degree is most definitely a "legitimate degree" - but as many have stated, it tends to be more vocational - focusing on the actual skills and information needed to perform a certain job. For some jobs this is all you might need. For some jobs, like graphic or web design, your portfolio and competencies are going to be more important than your degree, in my experience. If you wanted to be a chef, work in construction trades, or even own your own business doing any number of things, you might not "need" a degree beyond what you can learn in an Associate's program, or even at all. I mean, half of a Bachelor's program is general education, the other half is your specialization.

    That said, there are some Associate's degrees that just won't get you where you want to go without a more advanced degree. My wife has a B.A. in Theater from Ohio State, but as she has shifted away from professional talent work, she recently completed an Associate's in Dietetics and Nutrition - but what can she do with that? She's not a Registered Dietitian (RD -which requires a Master's). She passed the exam to be a Dietary Technician, but that just means she is qualified to work under an RD. She can't do much on her own, and any job that is of any interest to her that comes up requires an RD for the position. That leaves her in the odd position of either trying to pursue a Master's or to take jobs that don't interest her. Her original plan was to follow through with a Master's...maybe. But we can't afford it! That's just the way that field is. I would guess the same would be true for something like Law or Psychology. I'm not sure what someone with an A.A. in Psychology would do with that degree - unless it was to transfer to a Bachelor's program. Certain professions simply require certain credentials - and you should be able to evaluate that before choosing your path. While I think the Associate's degree the OP has is a perfectly "legitimate" degree...it simply might not meet the threshold that the profession requires. Throughout my 20's I was denied many job opportunities because their minimum requirement was a Bachelor's degree. I hadn't even finished an Associate's. Finding myself unemployed and broke at 31, with little prospects of working in a field I wanted to work in, I was encouraged by my girlfriend at the time to just put my head down for about 2 1/2 years and get the Bachelor's. So I did.

    I didn't get my Bachelor's Degree until I was 35 years old. And my Master's a t 50. So, 25 is NOT old. If you know what path you want to take, find out what is required and JUST DO IT. Don't try to shortcut it, don't try to figure out a way around it. In the long run, it will remain a barrier to you IF that is the path you want to pursue, so get the credential you need and be done with it.

    .02
     
    Johann likes this.

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