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Old 10-04-11, 11:11 AM   #1
SonataInFSharp
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A.S. vs. A.A.S. Degree Question, with a Catch.

So, as part of my career-change theme (thank me that I decided not to post the whole story on FOO), I am planning to go back to school, likely for a 2-year degree in a new field.

There are A.S. and A.A.S. degrees in the area(s) I want to go into. I understand that A.S. degrees are more towards people who want to transfer into 4-year programs, while A.A.S. degrees are terminal and while you get more classes geared toward your career, you can't transfer to a 4-year degree.

But, ah-ha, I already have a 4-year degree from a Liberal Arts college in an unrelated field.

So, from the perspective of employers, would I be doing myself a great disservice in trying to get a job with an A.A.S. in the new field + Bachelor's in another field? Or, should I try to get a job with an A.S. in the new field + Bachelor's in another field + the intention of turning the A.S. into a B.S. some day (thus having two 4-year degrees in the far future, after I have started a job)?

Sorry this seems to vague, but I don't want to bore FOO with my entire career-changing story...

Any thoughts appreciated!
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Old 10-04-11, 11:34 AM   #2
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Aw, come on! Stories are fun!
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Old 10-04-11, 11:45 AM   #3
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Get an MS in the new field. It will look far more impressive.
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Old 10-04-11, 11:53 AM   #4
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Is this the part where we discuss the ubiquitization of higher education and degree dilution, whereby the Masters is the new Bachelors and the Bachelors is the new HS Diploma?
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Old 10-04-11, 12:08 PM   #5
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I hope it is not medical imaging.
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Old 10-04-11, 02:01 PM   #6
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I think it depends on the field you want to go into. Some employers are fine with a 2-year degree, others want a 4-year degree; it depends on the position you're looking to hire into.
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Old 10-06-11, 02:19 PM   #7
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Sorry it's taken me so long to answer questions:

The A.A.S. would be in Computer Information Systems.

I already have a 4-year Bachelor's Degree in Music (B.M.)
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Old 10-06-11, 03:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Sorry it's taken me so long to answer questions:

The A.A.S. would be in Computer Information Systems.

I already have a 4-year Bachelor's Degree in Music (B.M.)
Look at job postings for positions you will be applying with that degree. I bet most will say 4 year degree AND/OR x years of experience.
As for Bachelors in Music. Ask yourself this, will it bring anything valuable to your job? Most likely the answer is no, and as such it's not relevant.
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Old 10-06-11, 03:29 PM   #9
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That 4 yr degree in Music and Natty Light parties just doesn't bring in the bling?
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Old 10-06-11, 03:45 PM   #10
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Do you have any computer experience? Business experience? Leadership experience? If so, why not explore a Masters of Science in Information Systems. While highly competitive programs may require undergraduate business or economic degrees, you BA in Music may qualify as the completed undergraduate degree at less competitive institutions and/or places like Univ of Phoenix, Strayer, etc.
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Old 10-06-11, 04:16 PM   #11
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A minor (or certificate) in Geographic Information Systems was enough for me to get a GIS Specialist job. It was only 6 classes.
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Old 10-07-11, 01:16 PM   #12
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I have been looking at job descriptions, and, yes, most all say 4-year degree required. Some, albeit extremely few, want a degree in anything (e.g. music would be okay), and just the know-how of the things they need (e.g. programming languages). My B.M plus an A.A.S. would work in that regard, but those jobs are few and far between, and they pay about 1/3 the other jobs...except for one where my friends work, but I would be competing against those with a degree for the $86,000 salary they are offering. And who knows what would really be available in terms of jobs in 2-4 years from now...maybe more, but maybe more competition, too.

A Master's in something is another way I am leaning...I can't believe that a music bachelor's will qualify me to get into so many Master's programs...unbelievable, but it's true!

As far as spry's comment, my music degree actually got me a rare but very successful career in music...until I dropped it all for love, had a few kids, and wondered what happened... But, I still wouldn't go back in time for anything.
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Old 10-07-11, 01:43 PM   #13
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As far as spry's comment, my music degree actually got me a rare but very successful career in music...until I dropped it all for love, had a few kids, and wondered what happened... But, I still wouldn't go back in time for anything.
That's the spirit!
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Old 10-07-11, 06:31 PM   #14
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I would suggest that you check out the Federal Occupational Outlook Guide for your new career path - it will tell you what employers are looking for - education-wise, and offer earnings guidelines for educational levels.
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Old 10-08-11, 05:36 AM   #15
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Also, don't discount your music education. Turn it into a positive - vision, thinking, composing, solving.

Example...
My son got his BS in History. I, of course, was the old man, "What are you going to do with a degree in History." He ended up getting a webmaster job at a major (Ivy League) university, despite only having 1 computer class - and that was in High School. The reason he got the job, they looked at his personal websites and were impressed by his vision, vs computer graduates bound by rigid tunnel vision. Among his accomplishments, he created the computerized personnel managemment system and several of his web designs were copied by other universities. He utilized the continuing ed benefit and just completed his MBA, graduating with honors, and coupled that with passing the certificate of Human Resourse Management issued by a national professional society.

Don't discount your Music degree...and be prepared with a positive comeback to anyone - like a potential employer - who expresses misgivings.
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