Career Directions

2 year college

Associate degrees prepare students for entry-level work, basic skills, and knowledge in their field of study. Associate degree holders may go directly into their career or to more schooling. Most instructors have practical experience in the subjects they teach, giving students real world insights into fields of study.

Typically available at community colleges, students who wish to are prepared to transfer to 4 year degree programs with confidence and demonstrated academic success. Many four-year colleges and universities partner with community colleges on a “2+2” program. These programs allow students to earn an associate degree from the community college and then easily enroll for their last two years at a four-year college or university to earn their bachelor’s degree.

Financial commitment

Community colleges tend to cost a lot less than four-year institutions. Costs average less than half of those at public four-year colleges and about one-tenth those at private four-year colleges. Use this tool to search for community colleges in your area and compare costs.

Time commitment

An associate degree is a two-year degree, which means it usually takes two years to complete about 20 courses. Those working on an associate’s degree may choose to go to school full-time or part-time.


Very few community colleges offer on campus housing. Given this, most community college students live at home or acquire their own housing. Pennsylvania is home to one of the few community colleges in the nation that offers on-campus housing. Northhampton Community College is located in Bethlehem, PA– just two hours from Lancaster!

Required Education

Community colleges require students to have a high school diploma or a GED.

Career Opportunities

Engineering technicians, web developers, nurses, and nuclear technicians are career paths that students may consider when pursuing an associate degree. Associate degree holders have the option of continuing their education at a four-year college or launching their career immediately. Check out this Career Calculator to determine what you may earn with the chosen profession after getting an associate’s degree.

2 Year Schools in Lancaster Area

Often 4 year colleges also offer 2 year associate degree programs click here for a list of 4 year colleges

Harrisburg Area Community College

Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology

Lancaster County Career & Technology Center

York Technical Institute

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