What is the difference between an A.S. and an A.A.S. degree in business management?

Today’s economy revolves around the day-to-day business operations that we all take for granted; every food item we purchase, every ounce of gas we put in the car, and every fun activity we participate in requires a business transaction at some point and time. You can be a part of the action!

In business management, you can bring your expertise to the table by earning an online Associate of Science (A.S.) or an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Business Management. But what is the difference between the two degrees, you ask? How do you know which associate degree is right for you? They are so similar that the two are often confused, and you should research the difference before signing on to an online program. By choosing the correct degree program, you can start your career immediately upon graduation, or you can continue your education by earning your bachelor’s degree.

Both the online A.S. and A.A.S. degree programs in business management will provide students with the basics of business operations; however, the A.S. program will also focus heavily on liberal arts topics, such as English, math, history and social sciences. Since the A.A.S. degree program is sometimes considered to be a “vocational” degree, you can expect coursework in economics, communications, organizational behavior, sales and marketing, computer applications, accounting, statistics, as well as, the legalities and ethics of business.  But don’t feel left out; your A.A.S. program will require a few liberal arts classes, as well.

Here’s where you should prepare ahead. If you decide upon completion from your online business management associates program that you would like to earn a bachelor’s degree, the A.S. degree is often transferable to another college or university. In contrast is the A.A.S. degree which generally cannot be transferred; however, of course, there are always a few exceptions that may apply. To summarize, usually, a student who has earned the A.S. degree in business management can transition smoothly into a bachelor’s degree program with no problem. A student who has received the online A.A.S. accolade may be subject to repeating courses or taking additional classes to enter an online bachelor’s degree program. Most definitely, you should research these options before applying to any specific online degree program.

An online A.S. in Business Management degree program will prepare students for a management trainee position within business administration. As an online A.A.S. in Business Management degree graduate, you will be eligible for entry-level positions in various types of businesses, such as in banking, manufacturing, retail, insurance or business administration. Traditionally, you can obtain a job immediately upon graduation with an A.A.S. degree under your belt, as well. Although, please keep in mind that if you wish to pursue an upper-level management position of any type, typically you will need to obtain a higher educational degree, in addition to, the proper certifications.

The key takeaway here is to properly do your research and evaluate your end goals before deciding on a program, therefore, eliminating the possibility of wasting valuable time and your hard earned money on repetitive classwork.

Rowan Jones
Chief Editor