5 Best Online Associates in Occupational Studies College Degree Programs

Written by College Cliffs Team At, our team, comprising seasoned educators and counselors, is committed to supporting students on their journey through graduate studies. Our advisors, holding advanced degrees in diverse fields, provide tailored guidance, current program details, and pragmatic tips on navigating application procedures.

Reviewed by Linda Weems I got started researching colleges and universities about 10 years ago while exploring a second career. While my second career ended up being exactly what I’m doing now, and I didn’t end up going to college, I try to put myself in your shoes every step of the way as I build out College Cliffs as a user-friendly resource for prospective students.

Updated: February 26, 2024, Reading time: 9 minutes

Find your perfect college degree

College Cliffs is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Occupational Studies degrees are specialized programs that combine the core courses of various disciplines. It equips students with a foundational knowledge of social sciences and liberal arts required for the various careers it leads to!

While Occupational Studies programs offer more generalized learning, students may choose a pre-configured specialization at the associate’s and bachelor’s degree levels.

The Lowdown

An online Associate in Occupational Studies program provides an understanding of employability so that graduates are ready for the workforce, regardless of their career path. It requires two years to complete, wherein students learn the basics of the program, enabling them to become proficient in the workforce with their technical and soft skills.

Occupational Studies Online Associates Degree - fact
College Cliffs is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Ready for a Career in Occupational Studies?

The Occupational Studies associate degree coursework centers on a particular occupation to prepare students to meet organizational and business expectations.

With a high school diploma as a primary requisite, this associate’s degree program covers the full spectrum of skills required for employment, including:

The most common career tracks for graduates of Occupational Studies degree programs include Occupational Therapy and Occupational Health, and Occupational Safety and Health.


Before enrolling in an Online Associate in Occupational Studies, consider the factors to ensure that it is an excellent program! We compiled the top online programs offered mainly in community colleges across the United States. We picked each associate degree that meets these criteria:

More information about our ranking can be found on our Methodology page.

5 Best Online Colleges with Online Associates in Occupational Studies

Washtenaw Community College

Washtenaw Community College

The Washtenaw Community College Associate in Applied Science in Occupational Studies degree program is offered online online. The program prepares students for jobs requiring multidisciplinary skills by combining coursework from multiple occupational areas. 

Through this program, students can build on their occupational/technical courses and credentials as requirements for employment or development in a sector choose this option. 

Students may consult a faculty adviser or divisional counselor for help creating a program of study. In addition to offering transfer and employment information, a counselor may also assist in identifying educational objectives and professional interests.

Students can mix coursework from several vocational fields in the program to get ready for a career that demands interdisciplinary abilities. According to the Michigan Community College Network, this program has high demand, high skill requirements, and high wages.

Here are the courses to expect in this associate degree:

Jackson College

Jackson College

The Jackson College Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Occupational Studies is made available at Jackson College. The program is for apprentices who have completed a US Department of Labor or Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training apprenticeship program.

Carpenters, cement masons, structural drafting technicians, machine builders, machine repairers, millwrights, wood model makers, mold makers, operating engineers, plumbers, pipefitters, and tool and die makers are all acceptable occupations for apprenticeships. 

The lead faculty would need to review other apprenticeship programs on a case-by-case basis. As part of the curriculum, students will receive a strong academic foundation and learn about topics like entrepreneurship, sustainability, and computer systems.

This associate program can be taken online and is intended for individuals who want to enhance their careers by earning a college degree.

Here are the courses to expect in this associate degree online:

Kirtland Community College

Kirtland Community College

After meeting with one of Kirtland Community College’s advisors, many prospective students realize that it’s possible to acquire an associate degree faster than they can imagine. With military experience and former credits earned from an accredited institution, an Associate in Applied Science in Integrative Occupational Studies offered at Kirtland Community can be completed in no time.

One thing that makes this Associate in Integrative Occupational Studies popular among students is that it’s a degree path that can be tailored to fit the needs of individual students.  Some courses are required to complete the associate’s degree, but students still have the liberty to personalize them. 

Below are some courses you need to take in this online degree:

Importantly, it is Kirtland’s only degree that allows you to take credits previously earned and experience previously obtained to design a program based on your interests. You may want to apply as many credits as you can to your degree.

Also, if you changed your mind about your professional path after enrolling in college but don’t want to start gaining academic credits from scratch, this associate degree in Occupational Studies is the perfect choice.

Kirkland Community College advisors understand the importance of giving students guidance and direction in interdisciplinary programs like Integrative Occupational Studies. Your advisor will examine your previous credits and make sure any military training you have translates into college credits. This valuable assistance can help students jump-start their career right after graduation.

Santa Ana College

Santa Ana College

Santa Ana College offers an online Associate Degree in Occupational Studies who want to go into the occupational therapy assistantship field. Students start here as juniors when they start a semester. A strong foundation in Occupational Therapy Assistant skills and knowledge is provided by Santa Ana College’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program. 

As well as focusing on function, occupational therapy also focuses on quality of life. Occupational therapy assistants perform rehabilitation of self-care, work, and leisure activities for individuals with physical, mental, or developmental disabilities. In addition to occupational therapy classes, this associate degree also includes general education requirements in the biological, social, and behavioral sciences.

The curriculum prepares the student to satisfy certification and job criteria through classroom discussions, online coursework, and fieldwork opportunities.  

Some of the courses required for this degree are the following:

Sessions College

Sessions College for Professional Design

Sessions College offers an Associate of Occupational Studies in Web Design degree online that prepares students to enter the field of Web design with an emphasis on visual and interactive design. This is perfect for high school graduates who want to work right away after two years. The curriculum provides a solid foundation in graphic design and knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

This occupational studies in web design program is based on a solid graphic design foundation. Digital photography, Photoshop and Illustrator, color theory, composition, and type are all covered in your first-year curriculum. Some more advanced subjects to take are UX/UI Design, WordPress, and Bootstrap.

In this associate degree, you can join forces with a group of innovative students and business experts. With just two years, you can start your creative career. You will have opportunities and assistance in building a portfolio. Finally, you will complete a guided portfolio evaluation at the end of your program.

Here are some courses included in this associate program:

Career Fields to Pursue After Earning an Online Associates in Occupational Studies

Entry-level positions in various fields are available to graduates of Occupational Studies associate programs:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an online Associate of Occupational Studies?

The goal of associate’s degrees in Occupational Studies, often known as career or occupational degrees, is to prepare graduates for the workforce at the soonest possible time. They are expected to gain the competencies required in almost all industries and sectors.

Students can transfer credits from their associate’s degree in Occupational Studies toward a bachelor’s program.

Can students pursue an associate degree in Occupational Studies online?

Yes, there are now many universities and colleges that offer an associate degree in Occupational Studies online. However, online specializations are frequently unavailable for careers that demand extensive hands-on training.

Some institutions offer a hybrid program. For example, degrees in Fire Technology and Medical Technology can be taken in hybrid formats. If you’re assessing whether an online format is best for you, consider the benefits and drawbacks before making a decision.

What can graduates do with an online Associate in Occupational Studies degree?

Occupational Studies programs are highly adaptable. By combining an extensive liberal arts curriculum with certain job-centered competencies, students become prepared for an extensive range of jobs that require a Liberal Arts education.

Key Takeaways

Additional Information: