Associate in Occupational Studies degrees and Occupational Studies Certificates are available in a variety of subject areas, and courses required for graduation vary by career field. Programs may be offered in hybrid format or entirely online, and courses can be available in asynchronous and synchronous formats.
In a virtual learning environment, students may use a webcam to participate in online class meetings. In addition, some online programs may integrate a practical or clinical work experience component, allowing students to develop their skills in a hands-on format.
|Online Availability||Fully online or hybrid format|
|Degree Levels Available||Associate's and certificate|
Some schools offer fully online certificate programs in occupational studies. These programs typically require two semesters of full-time study to complete, and all required courses focus on the chosen occupational skills. Generally, credits earned in an occupational studies certificate course can be applied to an Associate of Occupational Studies degree program.
Associate's Degree Programs
Associate's degrees in occupational studies are known as career or occupational degrees and are designed for those students wishing to enter the work force upon graduation, rather than transfer to a bachelor's degree program at a college or university. While an occupational studies associate's degree will not transfer to a college or university, some course credits may transfer.
Associate's-level degrees are awarded in the specific occupational program with the term occupational studies added. For example, a student may earn an Associate of Occupational Studies in Computer Programming. An Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) degree typically requires four semesters of full-time study to complete.
Generally, these vocational degrees require little or no liberal arts credits and instead focus on highly specialized, information-intensive courses designed to develop students' practical skills. However, most occupational studies online programs typically require a few general education credits, such as composition and college math depending on the chosen course of study.
Graduates of occupational studies programs are qualified for entry-level positions in their chosen field. A sample of career fields available as online degree and certificate occupational studies programs include:
- Veterinary technician
- Fashion merchandising
- Business management and accounting
- Medical assistant
- Computer programming
- Graphic arts
- Automotive technology
- Dental assistant
- Culinary arts
- Electronic engineering technology