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You've Earned Your Associate Degree - Now What?

Wondering what you should do after you earn an associate degree, and if going on to earn a bachelor's degree is right for you? We held a Q&A with Charlie Mackey of Columbia College to help you, and others in the same position, figure that out.


Why would I want to go on to a bachelor's degree after earning an associate degree?

You have completed your associate degree. Take a second to celebrate your accomplishment! That said, a bachelor's degree could help a student achieve sustainable employment and propel their career in the direction of their dreams. 


Should you take a break or jump right back on track for a bachelor's degree?

Now that you are in a stride, I would recommend continuing on to your bachelor's degree as well. Having your associate definitely adds another feather in your cap, but nowadays, having a bachelor's degree significantly increases your chances for sustainable employment.


How do you know if it's the right time?

From what I have noticed in my own personal experience, here are good indicators that you're ready for a bachelor's degree:

  • Promotions at work have passed you by.
  • You feel you have gone as high up as you can at your employer without a higher degree.
  • Despite feeling qualified for positions, you're getting a low response when searching on the job market.
  • You are trying to make a career change and want to improve your chances of transitioning into a new industry or field.


Any tips or specific things to consider?

When thinking about whether or not you should go back to school, ask yourself if you could do the same job for the same pay for the next 25 years. 

I would also tell a student to think about the impact finishing school has on your family and your community. When you finish school, sometimes you become a positive role model for others. Making the short-term sacrifices it takes to go to school will help you build a better life for the future.

These responses have been edited for publication.

Related content:

Opening Doors to a Better Future

Peace of Mind and Finding the Time

Top 9 Reasons to Get an MBA

Higher Education, Degrees

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