Which Degree is Right for You?

Which Degree is Right for You?

A person in a white lab-coat holds two test tubes out while they smile.

March 8, 2024 – Have you ever heard that you’ll never get a job making decent money unless you get a bachelor’s degree. While it’s true bachelor’s degrees can increase your earning potential, there are other options that can give your career a huge boost.

Associate in Arts degrees

The Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree is the basic university transfer degree and the equivalent of the first two years of a bachelor’s degree. Every A.A. graduate from the Florida College System will be granted admission to a Florida university under Florida Statute 1007.23. However, admission to a specific university or upper division program is not guaranteed.

If you enroll at Santa Fe College with the intention of transferring to another college or university, you’ll probably want to pursue an A.A. degree. Santa Fe College advisors excel in guiding you on which courses to take to ensure a successful transfer. They know the University of Florida’s requirements inside and out as well as our university partners that guarantee admission to SF graduates.

A.A. degrees are often broad in scope, emphasizing liberal arts and humanities subjects such as literature, history, philosophy and social sciences.

Associate in Science degrees

An Associate in Science (A.S.) degree is a career education degree designed to prepare students for entry into the workforce. Some A.S. degrees transfer into specific upper division programs.

If you want to transfer to a state university to finish your bachelor’s degree, then an A.S. might not be the best fit for you. But if you want to stay at Santa Fe College, most of our A.S. programs work together with our bachelor’s degrees. You might need to finish a few additional prerequisites before starting upper division classes, but with an A.S. degree, you could increase your earning potential halfway through your academic career. That can be extremely helpful if you’re working your way through school.

A.S. degrees are more focused on scientific and technical subjects, including mathematics, engineering and computer science.

Bachelor’s degrees

Santa Fe College offers two types of bachelor’s degrees, the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and the Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.). The bachelor’s degree usually requires two years for completion beyond the A.A. or A.S. degree.

Bachelor’s degrees emphasize critical thinking, communication skills, and cultural awareness, preparing graduates for diverse career paths in areas such as education, government and business. Santa Fe College offers tracks within the following bachelor’s degree programs:

  • Business
  • Education
  • Emerging Technologies
  • Fine Arts and Design Technology
  • Health Science
  • Information Technology


Certificates are perfect for students who need to increase their skills and their income as quickly as possible. Certificate programs consist of postsecondary career education courses designed to prepare students for entry into employment. Students must meet specific basic skills requirements in English, mathematics and writing. Certificates typically take six months to two years to complete, depending on the program.

Certificates programs offer targeted education and practical skills in areas such as healthcare, business, technology and skilled trades.

Ultimately, the choice between A.A., A.S., bachelor’s degrees, or certificate programs depends on you. Assess your interests, career goals and academic strengths. Remember:

  • Associate degrees offer a solid foundation for entry-level positions or further study.
  • Bachelor’s degrees provide deeper specialization and increased career opportunities.
  • Certificates offer a focused approach to skill development and career advancement.

Need help deciding what degree to pursue? Find the best fit for you today. Get in touch with one of our academic advisors.