What is An Associate Degree in Liberal Arts Worth?

June 11, 2021

If you’re considering earning an associate degree, you might be wondering which degree is right for you — and whether earning one is worth it. If you’re interested in a broad range of subjects and want to either work after graduation or transfer to a four-year college or university, the A.A. in liberal arts program at Chatfield College could be a great fit for you.

According to a report by Georgetown University, through 2020, 30% of job openings would require some college or an associate degree. Through 2026, in Ohio alone, the number of jobs requiring education beyond high school/GED is expected to grow by 63%, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Overall, earning an A.A. in liberal arts could make it easier for you to land a liberal arts associate degree job, potentially earn higher wages, and more. Here’s a breakdown of all that an associate degree in liberal arts may do for you — now and in the future.

Career options

What can you do with a liberal arts degree? If you’re thinking about your future, you might be surprised by the variety of A.A. in liberal arts degree jobs that are out there. While some of these jobs may require additional education and training, here are a few positions that may be available to you with your liberal arts associate degree from Chatfield:
• Administrative assistant, secretary, or office support staff member, including human resources assistant
• Bank teller, with the potential to advance to loan officer, management positions, and more
• Customer service representative
• Management occupations, such as office or store manager

Chatfield will help you explore a variety of fields to help prepare you for prospective A.A. in liberal arts jobs, with courses in History, Political Science, Psychology, Composition, Interpersonal or Oral Communications, Introductions to Application Software, Personal Computers or Web Design, and other subjects.

Regardless of the career you wish to pursue, you could be more likely to land a liberal arts associate degree job than you could with a high school diploma or GED alone. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate in 2020 for those with a high school diploma was 9%.

Higher earning opportunities

According to a May 2020 report by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, the average annual salary for people with a high school diploma or GED in the Cincinnati area was $49,155, while the average salary for people with an associate degree was $61,108 — an increase of 24%.

National averages trend a bit lower, according to the compensation analysis firm, PayScale, but the difference in pay remains. PayScale reports an average salary of $53,267 for workers with liberal arts associate degree jobs, but the pay drops to half or less for workers with high school diplomas or GEDs.

When broken down by the week, according to the BLS, the national median earnings in 2020 were $938 per week for people ages 25 and older with an associate degree — and $781 for those with a high school diploma.

Invaluable skills

A liberal arts degree from Chatfield will help you hone a wide range of skills to start or advance your career. With an A.A. in liberal arts, you demonstrate to your current and future employers that you also have highly sought-after “soft” skills, including critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving, according to Hanover Research, a global research, and analytics firm.

These skills, which are hallmarks of your liberal arts education at Chatfield, are often preferred above technical, “hard” skills, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the BLS reports.

Your degree will not only help you develop the know-how to find success at your first A.A. in liberal arts job, but knowledge and experience that will be applicable to your future occupations, regardless of the industry, too, according to Hanover Research. This is because a liberal arts education helps you to develop transferable skills such as problem-solving and more.

While associate degrees are often considered to be stepping-stones to bachelor’s and graduate degrees, that’s not all that they provide. According to a report by the American Enterprise Institute, many of the in-demand skills employers are seeking — such as communication, writing, and problem-solving — are exactly what a liberal arts A.A. program can give you.

Once you build a solid foundation for yourself with skills that can translate for several careers, you may go on to learn more job-specific skills as needed, such as Adobe Photoshop, JavaScript, and others, that a liberal arts associate degree job may require.

A solid — and affordable — beginning to further your college education

If you do decide to pursue a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college or university after you earn your associate at Chatfield, we can help make your transition as seamless as possible. That’s because Chatfield has transfer agreements with more than 80 Ohio colleges and universities, including the Linder College of Business at the University of Cincinnati.

If you decide to stop after you earn your associate degree — or take a break before you pursue a bachelor’s degree — you’ll still be in great shape. According to the BLS, people with associate degrees typically earned more in 2020 and were more employable overall than those who had only taken some college classes without earning a degree.

If you aren’t sure what sort of liberal arts associate degree job you want, Chatfield will help you figure out your career path. We’re also a more affordable option when compared with taking your first two years of college at a four-year institution.

More good news: According to Hanover Research, completing your liberal arts associate degree increases the chances that you’ll go on to earn a four‐year degree.

What Can You Do With A Liberal Arts Degree?

Your A.A in liberal arts from Chatfield can help you qualify for a variety of jobs in a range of fields. Read about what you can do with a liberal arts degree.

Learn more

Get more information about what a liberal arts associate degree at Chatfield entails. Complete this form.

Financial aid and scholarships

Chatfield’s admissions team will connect you with financial aid and college scholarships, including merit scholarships, the Chatfield Achievement Grant, and endowed scholarships.

Contact a Chatfield enrollment advisor

If you want to connect with someone about attending Chatfield, please call the St. Martin campus at (513) 875-3344, the Cincinnati campus at (513) 921-9856, or email admissions@chatfield.edu.

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