How to Get an Online Associate’s Degree in Arts
An associate’s degree in arts isn’t just for artsy people. Yes, creatives may find their place within this program, but contrary to popular belief, it is actually a very diverse, useful, and versatile educational route worth considering. If you still do not know what you want to do with your life for the long haul, you most likely won’t go wrong with pursuing a liberal arts degree. A.A. degrees are usually earned in business, humanities, and social science fields, in addition to the more creative fields like photography and design. An associate of arts degree gives students a general liberal arts education that prepares them for a bachelor’s degree program at a four-year college. Students also have the option of entering the working world after getting their associate’s, depending on what they want to do.
If your friends and family have told you that you have a keen eye or taste for design, photography, music, or art in any form, getting an associate’s degree in arts may be beneficial to you. Many community colleges will offer programs in art allowing students to spend two years exploring related courses. Some popular areas include photography, graphic design, and art history, to name a few. The great thing about the associate’s program is that it does not delve too deeply into any field; rather, it provides a more general scope for students to grasp a basic understanding of each topic. From there, students can identify which area of study interests them the most. After determining that, they have the option of selecting classes that cater more to their interests, and even pursuing a bachelor’s degree in a related field in the future.
Pursuing an associate’s degree in arts online is a great alternative to traditional schooling for students who have busy schedules and need the flexibility for school. Maybe you are a busy parent, or you already work a part-time or even full-time job. It’s never too late to continue your education or start a new career. If you are a motivated and independent learner, distance learning can work very well for you. By virtually attending classes online, you will have access to all course materials and participate in class discussions just like you would normally in a traditional classroom setting. The main difference is that you would be doing all of this on your own time and interacting with your professors and peers via email or a designated classroom platform.
Common Associate’s in Arts Curriculum
Students pursuing an associate’s degree in arts can expect to be exposed to a wide array of subjects such as fine arts, literature, political science, languages, philosophy, sociology, history, photography, and psychology, to name a few. The options are endless in terms of classes, so you will not likely get bored.
At the associate’s level, students will be exposed to an overview of such topics, without delving too deeply or getting too technical. This program is designed to give students a well-rounded education and perspective that incorporates a variety of different art areas.
By taking classes in the arts, students will be able to gain and hone the following skills:
- Communication – no matter what field or what career you end up in, it goes without saying that strong communication skills are always helpful. Liberal arts students spend a lot of time in school writing and discussing what they are studying. As a result, communication skills are built and honed, and then carried across all careers.
- Cultural Understanding – Liberal arts students study cultures, languages, and people. This fosters a better understanding of the importance of diversity, and provides valuable insight different cultures and backgrounds of various individuals from all around the world
- Reading Comprehension – Reading is not everyone’s forte, but because a lot of art classes require a lot of reading, students get accustomed to reading efficiently and understanding what they are reading the more they do it.
- Analytical Ability – We all know that success in life lies far outside of education alone. Analytical skills are extremely necessary for us to take in information and analyze it in any working field.
In addition to liberal arts courses, students also have general education requirements and electives to complete, which will vary from college to college. These classes are usually not directly business related. They are designed to give students the opportunity to explore other fields while getting a well-rounded foundation of knowledge that will be useful in helping them understand real-life situations and succeed in whatever career they choose to be in. For example, students may have an introductory course in math and science. In order to officially graduate with an associate’s degree in business, students must complete a minimum of 60 semester credits/units.
Associate’s in Arts Careers
Unlike engineering or sciences, those studying in the arts will most likely not have a clear path laid out after graduation. But, that is not necessarily a bad thing. The coursework in the arts teaches students how to function in a variety of settings. With that said, students can dabble in a variety of things after graduation to find what best suits them.
Just like most careers out there today, jobs in the arts are constantly changing and remain competitive. However, there are plenty of ways to increase your chances of standing out and finding stable work after graduation. For example, one can combine their degree with outside knowledge and skills needed in a specific career field and get a job in that area. Some fields that are growing and in demand today include marketing, sales, business, blogging, social media, graphic design, data analysis, and commercial photography, to name a few. For example, as technology gets more advanced and consumers get savvier, the demand for professionals in graphic design and visual communication continues to increase. As social media becomes a more prevalent and convenient marketing platform, more companies are relying on social media influencers and bloggers to promote their product(s) or service(s). By thinking outside of the box and finding ways to differentiate yourself and your skill set from others, you could even potentially become a successful business owner.
There are many full-time 9-5 in-house positions available in the fields mentioned above, but many professionals are also going the freelance route because of the flexibility and the convenience of being able to work remotely and during peak hours of productivity. Annual salaries will vary across the board depending on the route you take and where you work. If you are self-employed, you get to ultimately set your own rates and essentially determine your own income.
Getting the job of your dreams may take time and plenty of hard work, so it is essential to be patient and stay dedicated. Those who don’t make it are the ones who gave up too soon!