AAS Degree

AAS Degree

An AAS degree, or Associate of Applied Science, is a two-year degree completed at an accredited junior, community or career college or a four year public or private college or university. Some who achieve an associate of applied science will go on to finish a Bachelor’s Degree at a four-year program, while others choose the applied science associate degree program specifically to pursue a career in a science-oriented field in which an AAS degree is the minimum education requirement.

Associate of Applied Science Degree Schedule

While the traditional AAS degree is intended to take two years to complete, the actual period of time it take to finish an associate of applied science degree program depends on the program you choose and on your individual schedule and ability to commit time, energy and finances to your coursework. There are still many colleges – both locally and online – which offer the traditional two-year programs. There are also a number of schools these days that offer accelerated degree program in which students are able to complete an AAS degree in as little as one year.

AAS Degree Fields

AAS Degree

Most applied science degrees, whether associates or bachelors, prepare individuals for working in fields where scientific knowledge and skill are applied in a technical manner to solve problems. There are certain career fields in which applied science is the typically required degree for prospective candidates. These include careers in medical technology, medical assisting, computer technology and engineering, to name just a few.

Again, these degrees prepare students to immediate enter the workforce and be able to apply their learning in a practical manner in a work setting. With that being said, there are plenty of students who decide to complete their AAS degree, begin working immediately, and continue to go to school part-time in order to finish a bachelor’s of applied science to further their own knowledge, skills and career prospects. Either plan is a legitimate course of action and one that will make securing gainful employment in your chosen career easier.

Applied Science Associate Programs

AAS degree programs are specifically designed for students who have a clear career path in mind. They teach students how to apply their knowledge in the workforce immediately and with minimal on-the-job training. This is one of the reasons these degree programs are so highly valued by prospective employers in the technically oriented fields of biomedical engineering, healthcare, radiologic technology, information technology, and others.

Programs for associate of applied science degrees typically emphasize the highly technical aspects of a student’s education. They give degree candidates a good base knowledge in their field and then focus the remainder of the program on teaching individuals the technical knowledge and skills necessary for working in a particular field in medicine, science, engineering, or a similarly targeted career path. Upon graduation, degree holders are able to walk in to their first day on the job an immediately begin assisting professionals in the field with complex daily operations.

Prerequisites for AAS Degree Programs

Associate of applied science degrees are most commonly found at community colleges, junior colleges and technical schools, though there are some four-year universities that also offer a range of associate degree programs. As students are not pursing as robust of a liberal arts oriented education and rather are focused on a career trajectory oriented education, AAS degree program don’t have as demanding of entrance requirements as are found with bachelors degree programs.

A high school diploma or GED is the primary requirement for students who wish to gain entrance to an applied science associate’s program. They may also need to take an entrance or placement exam in order to determine their preparedness for completing the science, mathematics and other more challenging courses required to complete the degree program. For those who need them, remedial courses in these educational areas are offered in order to get students up to speed for finishing their AAS degree competently and with distinction.

While most applied science associate degrees have relatively relaxed entrance requirements, there are some in which the prerequisite demands are more targeted. These include the AAS degree programs that prepare individuals to work in the nursing or medical technology fields. Such programs often have requirements that include strong performance in the natural, biological and medical sciences in high school, as well as good scores in mathematics courses, including a specific number of completed credits in high school higher mathematics, chemistry and college preparatory English and composition classes. These programs may also have a minimum grade point average requirement for entrance as well.

AAS Degree Program Course Work

The kind of AAS degree you pursue will determine the specific courses required. Allied health programs will have very different course requirements than will computer science or engineering programs, for example. Following are just a few of the courses you may find in associated or applied science degree programs. In order to discover the exact course requirements for entering the career field of your choice, you’ll need to consult the degree specifications at the college or technical school of your choice and may also want to look into the professional organizations that register and certify individuals who work in your chosen field.

  • Medical terminology
  • Digital communications
  • Data management
  • Mechanics
  • Statistics

Career Options for AAS Degree Holders

As AAS degrees are specifically designed to provide students the necessary knowledge and skills for working in a particular field, the career options for those who hold these degrees are determined mostly by the focus of the associate of applied science degree they achieve and their academic performance while in school. Here are just a few of the potential career paths that students who complete a targeted AAS degree may follow.

  • Blueprint or mechanical drafter
  • Medical technologist or technician
  • Computer repair technician
  • Radiologic technologist
  • Certified nursing assistant or registered nurse

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