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Overview of an Associates in Business Education

Associate degrees seem to be enjoying something of a renaissance these days, especially a business degree. Many states are offering reduced-cost or even free community college, and other states keep their tuition rates low for students in local colleges, though a four-year school or university will still cost you. You can study a wide range of subjects in a community college including education, business, international business, human resources, human resource management, financial management, and a full range of vocational and academic subjects; and you can even expect your local college to be likely to be an accredited institution. If you're ready to launch a career and a brilliant life, find the best associate's in business management, business administration, or even an Associate of Science in Business or education, and get started today!

Teaching is one of the most noble pursuits. If you are driven to teach middle or high school students, then you should seek out a teacher preparation program with regional or programmatic accreditation. In fact, you can start at the associate level if you want and move on to a bachelor's business degree program when you are ready. Community colleges tend to be cheaper, offer smaller class sizes, and help you complete the core curriculum that all baccalaureate degrees require, while also giving you a solid foundation in the field you choose.

While you cannot attain a full teaching license with only an associate degree, an associate degree program in education will help you solidify your decision that teaching is the profession for you. You can also take elective courses in business, if not business education. After all, to attain a full business education credential from your state, you must pass the appropriate PRAXIS subject-area examination. If you wish, you could also start with an associate degree in business administration, business management, human resources, or general business. With a major in business, you will gain core business skills and be ready for a bachelor's degree while also being prepared for entry-level positions in the business world. This can enable students to find work as business professionals while they complete an advanced degree. Graduates can work in roles such as customer service associate, sales support specialist, market research on a sales team, and more career paths that can lead to an advanced business career. Students with a major in business will take a variety of courses to meet their program requirements, including classes to improve critical thinking skills and business analysis skills. These may include the following subjects.

  • Intro to Business Principles
  • Business Management or Business Administration
  • Principles of Marketing
  • Human Resources
  • International Business
  • Business Decision-Making
  • Business Ethics
  • Student Teaching - if your focus is education
  • And More


An associate degree in business education is a fantastic way to begin your pathway to state licensure. The cost of the degree is typically lower on a per-credit basis and most programs are set up to send you along to your baccalaureate degree. Your two-year degree can also help you land a position in a school as an administrator, teaching assistant, substitute teacher, or paraprofessional. If you have significant experience in business, but don't have a teaching credential, a two-year degree might help you land a position at a private or charter school.

If you choose, instead, to earn an associate degree in business, business management, or business administration, you can find entry-level jobs in the business environment and gain experience that could help you move into a bachelor's degree program or even master's degree programs later on.


One of the biggest drawbacks to a two-year education degree is that students can't use it to achieve a full teaching credential. States require a bachelor's degree from a state approved teacher preparation program with accreditation. You might also discover, at the end of your two years, with or without student teaching experience, that teaching is not really for you. Though having a degree can be a good thing in itself, you won't have any specific academic training with which to launch a career.

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Certificate vs. Associates

A certificate from an online or community college can be a great boon to many careers. Certificate programs typically take up to a year, often less, and they provide students with information vital to their future careers. This route is typically best for particular trades or vocations, and even for professionals who need to add to their knowledge base or credentials.

However, if you are seeking to become a teacher, a full associates degree is more in line with what you'll need to pursue your dreams. That is because you will still need to complete a full baccalaureate teacher preparation program, as required by your state. An associate degree in business education can be the launchpad you need.

What Business Education Associate Degrees are Available?

  • Associate of Science in Education – Business Education:
    The AS degree is typically one that focuses on data and other analytical information. In the realm of education, you might study various statistics that inform pedagogical approaches. You will also study philosophical ideas and theories, but the overall thrust will be on the metrics of social science.
  • Associate of Arts in Education – Business Education:
    An AA degree is much like an AS, but the focus is likely to be on philosophical ideas and principles rather than statistics and hard data. This approach might include more practical, hands-on exercises intended to mimic real-world classroom situations.
  • Associate in Education
    This is typically a non-licensure-oriented degree that offers an overview of the field of education. Your studies could possibly help build an academic career that yields a career in educational administration, counseling, or human services. On the other hand, your credits might easily transfer to a four-year college and count towards a teacher preparation program. Consult with your adviser and plot a brilliant career.

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Admission Requirements

There are generally no tough requirements for an associate in business education program. Community colleges often have open-enrollment policies. However, you will need to have a high school diploma or a GED. While not required in open-enrollment programs, some two-year programs might require SAT or ACT scores.

For those returning to school after some years in the working world, you should consider updating your resume to show an admissions counselor. In some cases, career experience can help your academic work and even help you skip some classes. Nevertheless, it's always good to review and update your resume, just in case.

How long does it take to earn a Business Education Associates Degree?

An associate degree in business education should take no longer than two years if you attend classes full-time and follow the standard academic calendar. However, some programs offer accelerated pathways to graduation that might cut your total time by as much as six months.

However, students typically take more rather than less time to complete their degrees. With this in mind, you might consider mapping out a plan for how to put the maximum focus possible on school work. If you are working, try to cut back on hours and seek out help for any familial obligations you might have. After all, your career in teaching will mean so much more than any temporary circumstances you face as a student.

Potential Careers in Business Education with an Associates

  • Substitute Teacher
    Though you might dream of one day taking over your own classroom, substitute teaching is a great way to meet principals, fellow teachers, and gain familiarity with classroom instruction. If you are able to substitute teach while working toward your Associate in Business Education, you will graduate with both practical and academic experience.
    The average pay for a substitute teacher is $25,200.
  • Office Administrator
    Schools need administrative help to support the chief goal of molding tomorrow's leaders. Your associate degree in education will provide a background that principals will appreciate when hiring office administrators. Furthermore, once you complete your full teacher preparation program you will have valuable experience working with students, teachers, and administrators.
    The average pay for this occupation is $71,100.
  • Early Childhood Educator
    This occupation is concerned with nurturing toddlers and kids younger than kindergarten age, up to preschool. Your duties will include creating fun, creative activities, managing stressful peer interactions, and serving lunches and snacks to hungry little ones. If you have musical skills, this job will allow you to use them in sing-a-longs and you will need to have strong communication skills when interacting with parents.
    The average salary for Early Childhood Educators is $36,300.
  • High School Teacher
    Educators at the secondary level must have specialized subject knowledge that is reflected in their classrooms. You will need to not only have a demonstrated mastery of your subject area, vis-a-vis a PRAXIS subject-area examination, but you should also be well-organized and capable of handling up to one hundred student records. You must be able to convey your subject in a way that is able to reach students and promote retention and further exploration.
    The average salary for this position is $49,000.
  • Middle School Teacher
    Middle grades typically span grades 6-8 and this is when students start to acclimate to subject-specific classrooms after years in inclusive instructional environments. Some teacher preparation programs are structured to include middle grades along with elementary education, while others group middle grades with secondary teacher prep. You will need to pass a subject-specific PRAXIS examination to attain your state licensure.
    Middle school teachers earn an average salary of $48,000.

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Salary by Occupation

Occupation Entry-Level Mid-Career Late Career
GIS Project Manager $54,500 $70,300 $87,100
Cartography $41,900 $54,700 $58,500
Surveyor $52,000 $61,900 $78,900
GIS Specialist $44,900 $57,900 $60,400
Civil Engineer $58,100 $75,000 $98,200
GIS Analyst $45,800 $78,700 $63,000
Environmental Scientist $43,600 $59,000 $81,600
Urban Planner $46,900 $63,600 $85,000
Geologist $48,700 $67,400 $100,000

Options to Advance

To advance in education, you will need more education yourself. One interesting thing about the profession is that, if you wish to move out of a business education classroom, you'll need to pass a PRAXIS exam that suits your goals. Your state might require more approved college courses, as in the case of special education.

Otherwise, if you want a significant salary increase, you can return to school for a graduate degree. State salary schedules will reward your academic achievement. Further, if you get a graduate degree in education, you might be able to move into an administrative position.

Keep in mind that you must first move past a degree in business education and attain a Bachelor of Arts (or Science) in Education. From there you can add a wide range of other degrees and endorsements to your resume.

Best Associate of Science in Business Education Programs

  • Houston Community College
    Houston, TX

    Houston Community College is a two-year institution that can convey an Associate of Arts degree in teaching. You can take your classes on campus or take their online option if you choose. The AAT program is designed to give you a solid introduction to the field of teaching and prepare you to go on to a baccalaureate program and eventual state licensure.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Associate of Arts in Teaching
    • Associate of Applied Science in Child Development
  • Vincennes University
    Vincennes, IN

    Vincennes University offers a wide array of concentrations for aspiring teachers. From a list of seventeen, you can choose subjects such as: English, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Business. Their curriculum conforms to the rules by which Indiana confers teaching certificates. Thus, you can establish a firm ground in education prior to completing a full teacher preparation program.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Associate of Arts in Education – Mathematics Concentration
    • Associate of Science in Education – Business Concentration
  • Miami Dade College
    Miami, FL

    Miami Dade College offers a two-year pathway program that prepares its two-year students to enter teacher prep programs that will lead to a Florida state teaching license. This is a low-cost option that allows students to both take care of the core courses all liberal arts students must take, but also provides a valuable focus on their eventual licensure area.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Associate of Arts in Education with a Concentration in Vocational/Business/Technical/Home Economics
    • Associate of Arts in Elementary Education

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  • Essex County College
    Newark, NJ

    Students in New Jersey can begin their education preparation though a two-year associate degree as offered by Essex County College. The courses required for the degree include the core curriculum you'll need later when you transfer to a four-year institution. The education curriculum is general and will help you create a foundation for later learning and specialization.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Associate of Arts in Education
  • Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology
    Stillwater | Tulsa | Oklahoma City, OK

    The Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology offers the opportunity to get your teaching career off to a great start. Their two-year pre-education program will help you form a foundation for a baccalaureate degree and eventual licensure. If business education is your goal, you might augment your courses selections with a few electives in the business department.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Associate of Science in Pre-Education
    • Associate of Science in Business

Traditional Schools Offering an AS in Business Education

  • University of Phoenix

    University of Phoenix does not offer an AA in Education; however, they can provide a strong foundation in business that will serve you well. Once you move on to a four-year teacher prep program that leads to licensure in your state, your business knowledge will come in handy. After all, you will need to pass the PRAXIS subject test for your specialty.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Associate of Arts in Business Fundamentals
    • Associate of Arts – Professional Focus
  • Liberty University

    Through Liberty's online Associate in Education program, you will be prepared to move on and complete a teacher preparation program that leads to licensure in your state. Their AA in Education is a general course that lets you determine where to go after graduation. You will have a transcript that prepares you to become any sort of teacher you choose.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Associate of Arts in Education
    • Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education
  • Houston Community College
    Houston, TX & Online

    Houston Community College's education department is available online. You can complete most of your coursework for an Associate of Arts in Teaching online. However, note that your required lab science course is not likely to be offered online. If you live outside of Houston, consult with your adviser to find an equivalent course in your local area, or online.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Associate of Arts in Teaching
    • Associate of Applied Science in Child Development
  • Northampton Community College
    Bethlehem, PA & Online

    Northampton Community College offers an associate degree in secondary education that will prepare you for a rich and rewarding career as a high school teacher. This partial-online program is general in nature and will fill your transcript with the core courses you need. You can focus on a specialty subject once you enter a baccalaureate teacher prep program.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Associate of Arts in Secondary Education
    • Associate of Arts in Middle Grades Education
  • Southern New Hampshire University

    While it can be difficult to find quality teacher-education programs online, you can complete an associate degree in your chose subject area. SNHU's Associate of Science in Business Administration will prepare you for your eventual PRAXIS subject test. Later in your teaching career you can always return to SNHU for an MEd that might lead to work in school administration.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Associate of Science in Business Administration
    • Master of Education

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need an education or business degree to teach business classes?

To teach business classes at the K-12 level, you will need to have a teaching license or certification. This typically requires a bachelor's degree in education or a related field and completion of a teacher preparation program. However, to teach business classes at the college level, you will typically need a master's degree in business or a related field such as finance, economics, or management. At this level, you might also require experience in the field, such as work experience in business or industry.

It's important to note that the specific requirements for teaching business classes can vary depending on the level of education, the institution, and the specific position. It's a good idea to research the requirements for the specific teaching position you are interested in to get a better understanding of the education and experience requirements.

Why might someone who wants to be a teacher earn an associate degree?

An associate degree in education or a related field can be a steppingstone toward a career as a teacher. Depending on the specific associate degree program, students may be able to complete coursework in education and related subjects, as well as gain hands-on experience through fieldwork or student teaching. An associate degree in education can be a good option for students who want to explore the field of education before committing to a bachelor's degree program. This type of degree can also be a good option for students who are seeking a career change and want to enter the teaching field.

It's important to note that an associate degree alone may not qualify an individual for a teaching position. Many states have specific requirements for teacher certification, which often include a bachelor's degree in education or a related field and completion of a teacher preparation program.

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