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What is the difference between associates, bachelor, masters, and doctoral degrees?

Topic: Academics | Asked by: Anonymous | Asked on 06/17/2010

Answers (35)

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The difference is essentially the amount of time it takes to get each degree. An associates degree is a quick-'n-easy two year degree for high school students that will help them get into the workforce quickly. There are many jobs that only require such a degree for landing a job position; just don't expect any significant luck with job advancement due to the lack of a proper degree. The bachelor's degree is the popular four year degree program that is extremely popular due to how much you can potentially do with it. It is an excellent choice in all fields, except those who wish to pursue their education further in the field of research and development or academic teaching. The master's degree is an additional (after the bachelor's degree) two year program that is somewhat different from the course material of a bachelor's degree. You may also end up working for a graduate professor and performing research to work on a master's thesis paper or a report. While a bachelor's degree teaches one how to DO things, a master's degree is the way forward for the eager student to learn how to LEARN things. A very subtle but powerful difference! Realistically speaking, a master's degree is a very cost effective way of improving your chances of finding a job and getting a higher salary in the long-run, though few will have the time or funds to spend more of their life in the education system. The doctoral degree is the very last stepping stone. Some colleges require you to have taken a master's, some are alright with you jumping from a bachelor's into a PhD program. Either way, you're set to study a very specific number of topics in your field (and usually sub-fields) to write a thesis paper that expands on your degree area in some small, yet significant, way. It is not for the faint of heart, it's a five to seven year commitment! That said, this is close to the highest level of education you can get and virtually every possibility you can think of is opened up to you in your field. If you can pull this off, this is where the big bucks is!

Answered by: Darthcaboose B. | about 4 years ago
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Basically the difference is in the breadth of the content that you are studying. An Associates is like surface level knowledge of your subject, like scuba diving level, no oxygen tank needed. A Bachelors is under the surface about up to basic scuba diving gear, nothing too fancy but, if your friend lost something in a lake, you can scuba dive to find it. A Masters degree is like deep sea diving. Not down to the ocean floor but you need to have some serious gear to survie. Lastly, a Doctoral degree is like jumping in a mini personal submarine to search the ocean floor in the deep dark blue of the ocean where the only things that survive are ugly looking things. Hope you enjoyed the analogy. With each degree, comes more time and effort committment.

Answered by: L Platter F. | about 4 years ago
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The associate's degree is a two year degree that can be earned at a community or technical college. Credits from an associates degree may be applied toward a bachelor's degree (be sure to check the transfer requirements of the school to which you intend to transfer). An associate's degree may also provide training for a particular career. A bachelor's degree provides a more liberal arts education since most universities require a number of general education courses. Bachelor's degrees are available for a wider array of majors than are associate's degree. A master's degree is considered a professional degree. Generally they prepare students for specific careers that require skills and knowledge beyond that of the bachelor's degree. A master's degree usually takes two years (in addition to the bachelor's degree). A doctoral degree normally requires 4 to 7 years beyond the bachelor's degree. The doctoral degree is advanced and very specialized training that normally includes writing and defending a doctoral dissertation.

Answered by: Carolina Girl X. | about 4 years ago
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Level of education needed to get the degree. Associates degrees take 2 years, Bachelor takes 4, Masters take between 5 and 7, Doctoral takes 8 to 10. Different majors have different requirements to get the degrees. What is important to realize is that the higher your level of education, the easier it is to get a job in the field you are looking for so someone with a Masters degree is much more likely to get the job then someone with a Associates.

Answered by: College Student123 T. | about 4 years ago
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They all indicate different types of degrees. Associates usually takes 2 years and can be done at a community college. A Bachelor's degree takes 4 years on average and is earned by undergraduates. Masters and Doctorates come after Bachelor's degrees, usually to further your education and/or to get a better job. Masters and Doctorates are by nature more specified, meaning your career path would narrow after a few more years in school.

Answered by: Ktownmeh O. | about 4 years ago
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In a word: expertise. An associate's degree is what you would receive from a two-year college. A bachelor's degree is what most people who attend 4-year college or university receive. Master's degrees and doctoral degrees are both postgraduate degrees, meaning to obtain them, you must go to graduate school after you finish your four year Bachelor's degree for more focused education in your specific field. Graduate classes are detailed, and have to do only with the student's chosen field, not general education. For a Master's degree, typically 2 years of additional education are required. Doctoral degrees are research-based; students take about 3 years of classes, and then spend 2-3 years working on research in their chosen profession. Most of the professors in junior colleges or community colleges have Master's degrees; in university, most professors have doctoral degrees.

Answered by: Purplpig L. | about 4 years ago
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An associates degree is usually completed within 2 years in a certain field. Its usually more general. As you progress you become more specialized in your chosen field. A bachelor's degree takes 4 years to complete and is more focused than an associates. A masters is usually 2 more years in the liberal arts field and is even more specialized. Doctoral degrees take anywhere from 4 to 10 years in addition to the 4 years it takes for the bachelor's and ensures the utmost expertise in the field.

Answered by: Phrisch Later A. | about 4 years ago
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An Associate's degree is a two-year degree which is typically obtained from a community college. A Bachelor's degree is a four-year degree. A Master's degree is a degree that shows you have mastered a certain subject. It typically takes two years beyond a Bachelor's degree to achieve. A Doctorate degree is a degree that typically qualifies a person to teach in a particular field. The amount of time it takes to obtain a Doctorate degree depends on the type of field you are obtaining the degree in.

Answered by: Iamerica N. | about 4 years ago
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Associates degree is a 2 year degree which generally trains you to do a specific job. Bachelor's degree lets you enter an industry and have flexibility. Master's degrees enable you to teach in your industry. Doctoral degrees prepare you to teach at a university level or for a medical PHD type of environment.

Answered by: Zolty F. | about 4 years ago
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The length of time it takes to get them, which in turn means the amount of depth that each program goes into. An associate's in 2 years and a bachelor's is 4. A master's requires 1 or 2 years of additional study beyond a bachelor's, and a doctorate takes an addition 4-7.

Answered by: Laura46 I. | about 4 years ago
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An associate___s degree is an academic degree, usually obtainable in two years. A bachelor___s degree is called an undergraduate degree. You can obtain it in 3-4 years. A master___s degree is a level above the bachelor___s degree. A doctoral degree or PhD is the highest academic degree you can get. Not many jobs require you to have a doctoral degree.

Answered by: Mcw2004 Y. | about 4 years ago
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The biggest difference is the amount of time invested. Typical time invested for each degree is as follows: Associates: 2 years Bachelors: 4 years Masters: 5-6 years Doctorate: 6-7 years MD/JD: 7 years Of course, the better the degree you have, the more money you're going to make in general. Also note that above the bachelors level, many programs focus more on research, so consider that when deciding what to do next.

Answered by: Null Terminator N. | about 4 years ago
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An Associates degree is an academic degree awarded after two years of study in a particular field. A Bachelor's degree is done at colleges and universities and consists of 3 to 5 years, depending on your course load. This is an undergraduate degree. If you want to further yourself in that field, you can do two more years of schooling for a Master's degree. A Doctoral degree is the highest level of formal study in a field and takes an additional two years normally.

Answered by: Jenny P P. | about 4 years ago
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Associates degree requires for two years of schooling but many people finist it in three years. Bachelors requires you to go to school for 4 years, masters 6 years and doctoral 8 years or more. if you want to be a nurse, the fastest way to get there is a bachelors degree. after attaining the bachelors degree you can attain masters which will enable you to be a nurse practitioner. im not sure what schools offer a master's degree. to be a noenatal nurse you first need a bachelors degree, it is better if you get the bachelors instead of the associates first. look at my question, thanks.

Answered by: Optional D. | over 4 years ago
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StudentAdvisor has a great resource that describes these degrees in detail! http://www.studentadvisor.com/pages/types-of-degrees

Answered by: Taylor C. | over 2 years ago
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An associates degree is usually 2 years of study but some take as much as 3 years, depending on the course load they decide to take on. A bachelors degree takes roughly 4 years to complete and most stop there. If you wish to continue, you can add on 2 more years to get your masters degree. And then your doctoral will take you 8 years in all to complete and is the highest. The main difference is the degree level. The higher your level, the more successful you have become really.

Answered by: Jen B. | about 4 years ago
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A doctorate will take you at least 6 years whereas an associates will take you a couple of years maybe. However a doctorate will qualify you for more lucrative professsional positions on the workforce.

Answered by: Degreehelp Z. | about 4 years ago
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Associates degree requires you to go to school for two years, but most finish in three. bachelors requires you to go to school for 4 years, masters 6 years and doctoral 8 years or more. Some courses of study will not have anything as high as a doctorates,or a bachelors for that matter, but many do.

Answered by: Elitesack O. | about 4 years ago
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An associate's degree is a two year degree that is obtained from a community college. A bachelor's degree generally takes four years (although some people are able to do it in more or less than that time). Both universities and regular colleges offer bachelor's degrees. Master's degree generally involve two years of additional schooling, in additional to having a bachelor's degree. Finally, a doctoral degree is a PhD; these take the longest and can take anywhere from four to ten years post undergraduate education to earn.

Answered by: Mem4dr A. | about 4 years ago
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In general, the number of years of study required and the level of difficulty and specialization each requires. Associates degrees are two-year degrees that can be very general or completely career-specific (RN, etc). Bachelor's degrees are four-year degrees, with about half general coursework and half classes specific to a chosen major. Master's degrees take 1-3 more years of specialized coursework and usually a significant project, thesis, or internship to graduate. Doctoral degrees (Ph.D's) take seven years from start to finish on average, and require original research in the form of a dissertation to complete. You can get a Bachelor's degree without an Associate's. You must have a Bachelor's to pursue a Master's or a Doctorate, and most earn a Master's before beginning a Doctorate.

Answered by: Kissaguard S. | about 4 years ago
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An Associates degree requires you to go to school for 2-3 years. A Bachelors requires you to go to school for 4 years. A Masters degree requires you to go to school for 6 years and you will have to write a thesis. A Doctoral/PHD is about 7-8 years of college and that includes your bachelor and masters degrees.

Answered by: Mi55i3 C. | about 4 years ago
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The different types of degrees are all specific to the amount of time spent studying within a certain field, and reflect different specializations. An associates degrees is normally obtained in 2 years, and a bachelors degree in 4. Masters programs normally take an additional two years after securing a bachelors degree, and a doctoral degree can several more years. Individuals with a masters or doctorate are highly specialized in their particular fields, and may even be seen as experts.

Answered by: Adamkendallz V. | about 4 years ago
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The major difference is the level and number of years. Associate degree is generally 2-3 years course while Bachelors degree is of 4 years duration. Masters degree is a higher degree of two years after Bachelors. Doctoral degree is after Masters with varying duration and involves research work.

Answered by: Sandra P. | about 4 years ago
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Associates, bachelors, masters and doctorate are degrees. You receive your associates roughly during your sophomore year of college, after you have completed 60+ credit hours. You get your bachelors when you graduate from college, after 4 or so years. You go back for your masters, which takes several more years, then after you have your masters you can go back to school or continue going and get your doctorate, which is the highest degree. Associates and bachelors you get while you are an undergraduate and you get your masters and doctorate while you are a grad student.

Answered by: Jen B. | about 4 years ago
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They all indicate different types of degrees. Associates usually takes 2 years and can be done at a community college. A Bachelor's degree takes 4 years on average and is earned by undergraduates. Masters and Doctorates come after Bachelor's degrees, usually to further your education and/or to get a better job. Masters and Doctorates are by nature more specified, meaning your career path would narrow after a few more years in school.

Answered by: Ktownmeh O. | about 4 years ago
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An Associates degree requires you to go to school for 2-3 years. A Bachelors requires you to go to school for 4 years. A Masters degree requires you to go to school for 6 years and you will have to write a thesis. A Doctoral/PHD is about 7-8 years of college and that includes your bachelor and masters degrees.

Answered by: Mi55i3 C. | about 4 years ago
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The different types of degrees are all specific to the amount of time spent studying within a certain field, and reflect different specializations. An associates degrees is normally obtained in 2 years, and a bachelors degree in 4. Masters programs normally take an additional two years after securing a bachelors degree, and a doctoral degree can several more years. Individuals with a masters or doctorate are highly specialized in their particular fields, and may even be seen as experts.

Answered by: Adamkendallz V. | about 4 years ago
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The major difference is the level and number of years. Associate degree is generally 2-3 years course while Bachelors degree is of 4 years duration. Masters degree is a higher degree of two years after Bachelors. Doctoral degree is after Masters with varying duration and involves research work.

Answered by: Sandra P. | about 4 years ago
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Associates, bachelors, masters and doctorate are degrees. You receive your associates roughly during your sophomore year of college, after you have completed 60+ credit hours. You get your bachelors when you graduate from college, after 4 or so years. You go back for your masters, which takes several more years, then after you have your masters you can go back to school or continue going and get your doctorate, which is the highest degree. Associates and bachelors you get while you are an undergraduate and you get your masters and doctorate while you are a grad student.

Answered by: Jen B. | about 4 years ago
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These degrees are different based on their level of education and, sometimes, the time taken to complete each degree. An associate's and bachelor's degree are generally the lowest levels of post-secondary schooling. Associates usually takes two years of study, whereas, bachelor's takes around four years. A master's degree often first requires a bachelors prior to application. Similarly, a doctoral degree often needs both a bachelor's and master's prior to entry.

Answered by: Chaniel K. | over 4 years ago
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The difference between associates, bachelor, masters, and doctoral degrees? The biggest thing is value. Each degree has a certain value to employers. The dirty little secret about college degrees are the person hiring is mostly looking at a degree as you are willing to stick with something. The degree students think the companies are looking for a genius but the degree mostly means that you can get things done. A lot of these jobs really could be learned without a degree. A Degree job usually has a trainer with you about a week teaching you anyway.

Answered by: The Professor O. | about 4 years ago
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These all coincide with differing levels of college education. The associate's degree is a 2 year degree. Bachelor's is 4 years. Master's and doctoral degrees are even higher levels adding 2 or more additional years after obtaining the bachelor's. Each of these levels of education is directly related to income potential and how far you can go in a career. For example, a nurse can have an associate's degree, a bachelor's degree or even a master's degree. However, the nurse with the associate's degree will make less money, have less responsibility and less opportunities for advancement than the nurse who obtains a bachelor's or master's degree.

Answered by: Upallnight I. | about 4 years ago
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An associated degree is a two year degree and is usually offered at a junior or community college. A Bachelor's degree usually takes 4 years to complete. A Master's degree is typically obtained after one has already earned a bachelor's and takes an additional two years, traditionally. A doctoral degree, or a PhD, can be earned after one has completed a Bachelor's degree, though many students earn a masters before beginning to work on their doctorate. A doctorate is a research based degree and requires one to write a dissertation. Most programs take 4-6 years to complete.

Answered by: Collegegrad10 I. | about 4 years ago
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Associates means a joint venture, for example a music troup, will have too many artists who will work and play to-gether in co-operation. You will have friends as associates at school, universities, business fields, in a criket team and where ever people work to-gether. Bachelor means one who does a 3 to 4 years course after Pre-University studies and if You study for 2 more years in the opted subject you could become a Master and if you study further with intergrated research and practice, you could become a Doctor.

Answered by: Whynotuseit Q. | over 4 years ago
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An associates degree is usually 2 years of study but some take as much as 3 years, depending on the course load they decide to take on. A bachelors degree takes roughly 4 years to complete and most stop there. If you wish to continue, you can add on 2 more years to get your masters degree. And then your doctoral will take you 8 years in all to complete and is the highest. The main difference is the degree level. The higher your level, the more successful you have become really.

Answered by: Jen B. | about 4 years ago
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