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If you're not sure where you plan to transfer to after Northwest, or if you're not convinced you'll stick with your current major, consider an Associate of Arts degree. You'll take a broad spectrum of classes and probably more arts and humanities courses than with other degrees. An AA degree will put you on the road to a Bachelor of Arts degree.
If math and science rock your world, or if you have your eye on a pre-professional course of study at a four-year institution, the Associate of Science degree is worth looking into. Regardless of your major, if you're working toward an AS degree, you'll find yourself in more higher-level math and lab science classes. An AS degree prepares you for a Bachelor of Science degree.
If you're headed straight into the work world after graduating from Northwest but want to hold your options open for a management position later on, the Associate of Applied Science is your best choice. It can also lead to a job in community college technical teaching. With this degree, you'll take more classes directly related to your major and fewer general education classes like English and math. An AAS degree will work toward a Bachelor's of Applied Science degree or a Bachelor of science in career and technical education.
If you want a technical job (in graphic design, radio production or drafting, for instance), or if your major is in a field where having a degree won't necessarily boost your paycheck, a Comprehensive Skills Certificate may be right for you. Your classes will focus almost exclusively on your field of study. Hardly any math or English courses are required.
If you need a particular skill set to get a job or a promotion, a Skills Certificate is the way to go. Depending on the skill, it's possible to earn a certificate after as few as six credits. You'll be more employable without investing the time and money a degree requires. Also consider this option if you want to get a feel for college classes before committing yourself to a degree program.