Flexible Degrees You Could Earn
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Flexible Associate's Degrees You Can Earn From Home

With online education, you could work on your degree on your own schedule.

By Terence Loose    
Last updated on 8/1/2014

Is the thought of four years of college holding you back from pursuing a degree that could help in your pursuit of a satisfying and stable career?

Have you considered earning an online associate's degree which could take as little as two years instead?

Online degrees are a great option for busy individuals who need a flexible learning situation, says Velvet Miscione, a counselor at Coastline Community College in California. "It takes the classroom to the student."

But keep in mind that online education might not be for everyone. In fact, you may need certain skills to succeed in an online program, such as time management, writing, and technology skills, according to University.com, a comprehensive research site for students interested in online degrees and courses.

Think online education might be for you? Check out these five online associate's degree options.

Degree #1 - Associate's in Paralegal Studies

If you've always wanted to earn a legal degree but find the idea of spending years in classroom legal debates equivalent to a prison sentence, you may be better suited for an online associate's degree in paralegal studies.

In a paralegal studies program, you may learn to work under court or lawyer supervision, conduct investigations, and keep records, according to the College Board, a nonprofit organization designed to facilitate college success and opportunity for students.

Click to Find the Right Online Paralegal Studies Program.

You might be interested to learn that according to the U.S. Department of Labor, paralegals have a median annual salary of $47,570 per year. The Department of Labor also points out that paralegals and legal assistants are projected to experience 17 percent job growth between 2012-2022.

Degree #2 - Associate's in Information Technology (IT)

Talk about a degree just begging to be completed online. Using the very technology that you'll be studying, you could complete this online IT associate's degree in as little as two years.

"IT is a great associate's degree now because there's such a demand for it," says Miscione. "The number of IT jobs has increased in the last five to 10 years, whereas a lot of other fields have declined."

Click to Find the Right Online IT Program.

An IT program could offer courses in computer networking, web technologies, database management systems, and professional and technical communications, according to the College Board.

Degree #3 - Associate's in Accounting

Are you itching to crunch some numbers but not too crazy about four plus years commuting back and forth to school? An online associate's degree in accounting could be a good option for you. This flexible online degree option could be completed from the comfort of your own home, and in as little as two years.

In an accounting program, you're likely to study such things as how to communicate, interpret, record, and analyze financial performance information for individuals and businesses, according to the College Board.

Click to Find the Right Online Accounting Program.

And you may have your choice of industries for potential job opportunities, since according to the U.S. Department of Labor, accountants are employed in different industries, including manufacturing, finance, insurance, and tax preparation services.

Degree #4 -Associate's in Health Care Administration

If you're interested in pursuing a career in health care, an online associate's degree in health care administration could be right for you. A potentially good option for busy professionals, this flexible online degree could be completed in as little as two years.

According to the College Board, students of health services administration could learn every aspect of overseeing facilities that provide health care, including policy making, human resources, and financial management.

Click to Find the Right Online Health Care Administration Program.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, industries and occupations related to health care are projected to add 15.6 million jobs from 2012-2022, the most of any industry.

Degree #5 - Associate's in Business Administration

Are you looking for a flexible way to expand your business skills? Whether you want to advance in your current position, or pursue a new career in the dynamic business sector, an online associate's in business administration might help you reach your professional goals.

Click to Find the Right Online Business Administration Program.

This degree is valuable because it is so versatile and convenient, says Miscione. Without having to quit your current job, you're likely to get a broad education that touches on such things as budgets, communication skills, and leadership. It's a degree that could apply to different companies or industries.

Andrew Moran also contributed to this article by updating the information on 8/1/2014

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