Post Secondary Education and Associated Degrees

Post Secondary Education and Associated Degrees

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Disponible en Español.


2 yr vs 4 yr

First and foremost, it's important to understand what college is. Simply put, college is a post-secondary educational institution where students can earn a degree or certification in a particular field of study. These institutions can be public or private, and they offer a wide range of programs and majors. College can be a great investment in your future, as it can open up opportunities for better paying and more fulfilling careers.​​​​

When it comes to college degrees, one of the biggest decisions a student can make is whether to pursue a two-year or a four-year degree. Both options have their own advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice will depend on the student's individual goals and circumstances.

So you want your child to go to college? So does the University of Arizona!

2 year College Degrees

Example: Pima Community College

  •  Also known as an associate degree, is typically awarded by community colleges
  • Can be completed in a shorter amount of time and at a lower cost than a four-year degree.
  • Graduates enter the job market or transfer to a four-year college. 

4 year College Degree

Example: University of Arizona

  • Known as a bachelor's degree, is typically awarded by colleges and universities.
  • Takes around four years to complete and often requires full-time enrollment and more rigorous coursework.
  • Requirement for most advanced positions, and it can lead to better earning potential and career opportunities. 

Types of Degrees: Associate

  • Associate degrees may be a requirement for an entry-level career
  • Can also serve as a stepping stone to earning a bachelor’s degree
  • Full-time- 2 years
  • Offered by: Community Colleges
  • Careers: Teaching assistant, Auditing clerk, Technicians, Administration Assistant

Types of Degrees: Bachelor

  • Types: Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, etc
  • Take between 4-5 to complete or a minimum of 120 credits
  • You to take courses from a variety of focus areas before deciding which track to pursue
  • Offered by: Colleges, University
  • Careers: Software developers, Financial Managers, Researcher, Teacher

Types of Degrees: Masters

  • Want to further your knowledge in the subject, and/or specialize in a particular area
  • Extra qualifications can help you stand out from first-degree graduates and impress employers
  • Offered by: Universities 
  • Careers: Lawyers, doctors, teachers, librarians and physicists

Types of Degrees: Doctorate / PHD

  • Doctorate is usually the most advanced degree someone can get in an academic discipline
  • PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) is a doctoral research degree
  • Typical length of a PhD is three to four years full-time
  • Careers: Doctor, Mathematician, Statistician, Scientist