Associate degrees are a type of two-year college degree in a specialized field. There is a wide range of degrees available and in many professional jobs and institutions. According to USA Study Guide, there are three basic types of associate degrees available: an associate in arts, an associate in applied science or an associate in science. Within those degrees, the actual course study differs and breaks down further into specific fields of study.

Associate Degree in Nursing

An associate degree in nursing is a type of applied science degree available at many colleges across the country. The students learn about patient health care, applying nursing skills and giving support to families and patients when problems arise. An associate degree in nursing is often a first step to getting into the health care field and allows an individual to gain a license in nursing. Nurses can work upon graduation and licensure and the credits are also able to transfer into a higher educational course later.

Associate of Arts Degree

An associate degree in arts covers a broad spectrum of studies. It should not be confused with an art degree. Unlike an art degree, which focuses on drawing, painting, sculpture or similar artistic endeavors, an associate degree in the arts is a general degree option. Students study a wide range of topics, including English, math, science, fine arts, philosophy and literature. The degree is a general-studies option with the purpose of transferring to a four-year college or university later.

Associates Degree in Psychology

A associate degree in psychology is an Associate of Arts degree which specializes in psychological studies. The students take basic courses as well as psychology courses. By the end of the degree, students should know the nuances between psychologists, psychiatrists and psychoanalysts. Students are also expected to understand at least three of the six perspectives and methods of applying the perspectives. The six psychological perspectives are cognitive, behavioral, biological, humanistic, sociocultural and evolutionary psychology. Students can either transfer credits and get further education or can work with psychological professionals upon graduation.

Associate Degree in Math

An associate degree in math is an associate of science degree. Beyond the general education requirements, students take classes in math and sciences to gain the degree. Upon graduation, students are expected to know data analysis and interpretation, problem solving skills and logical thinking skills. The students learn about a variety of math concepts as well as biology, chemistry and physics.

Associates Degree in Business

Business or business administration associate degrees are a two-year degree in various studies about business, such as business administration or management. Upon graduation, students can continue their education and obtain a bachelor's degree or they can start working. Career options might include management positions or assistant management positions, administrative positions in a business or supervising others at a job location. The degree takes about two years on average to complete and students learn about business skills, like entrepreneurship or management.