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The Difference Between 2 and 4 Year Programs

When going back to school, one of the things people face is whether they should participate in a two-year school or a four-year school. For online education, a two-year program and a four-year program might not actually take that long; these are just the typical measurements for an Associate's Degree and a Bachelor's Degree, given a campus college's schedule structure. Many online colleges follow a similar structure, while others allow students to pick a completely independent progression. Four-year colleges focus on the general education of a student for the first two years, and move into the degree's focus during the second two years. This kind of "well rounded" education is part of a Bachelor's Degree's foundation. For someone studying for an Associate's Degree, or two-year degree, the education will be more focused, tailored to a specific type of education. An example of this is a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts, which with proper credentials, allows someone to teach a variety of age groups; versus an Associate's Degree in Preschool Education, which would limit someone's educational focus to the preschool age. Associate's Degrees are available for all kinds of specific types of employment and should not be written off as undervalued. They are typically the best investment for someone unsure of college, and can often be "transferred" into the general education portion, or first two years, of a four-year college's program, if the student wishes to continue their education. On the other hand, is a student jumps straight into a Bachelor's Degree or four-year program, they will not qualify for an Associate's Degree, and will have to follow the investment throughout the entirely of the four years. The advantage of going straight into a four-year program is that students can bypass potential extra work from certifying their Associate's Degree as comparable to two years of general education, which commonly extends the two-year program student's education by one or two semesters while they adjust to the upgraded four-year program. When looking at colleges, whether it's a traditional campus setting or a distance learning program, it is important to educate yourself on both the two-year and four-year programs available. If finances are an issue, two-year programs are usually the best bet, although there is significant financial aid available, especially for four-year students. Make sure to ask the college of your choice what your options are to decide on the program that is right for you.