What Is An Associate of Applied Science in Financial Services Degree?

Written by Bankovia Team

Updated: January 25, 2024, Reading time: 12 minutes

Embarking on a career in finance often starts with the right education, and that’s where an Associate of Applied Science in Financial Services degree comes in. It’s a specialized program designed to equip you with the practical skills needed to navigate the complex world of financial services.

What sets this degree apart is its focus on real-world application. I’ll dive into how this degree prepares you for a diverse range of careers in financial institutions, investment firms, and insurance companies. Whether you’re looking to break into the industry or upskill for advancement, understanding what this degree offers is your first step.

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Understanding the Associate of Applied Science in Financial Services Degree

Definition and Scope of the Degree

The Associate of Applied Science in Financial Services degree, known commonly as AAS in Financial Services, is designed to blend financial theory with practical applications. My goal here is to give you a clear picture of what this degree entails. Rooted in practicality, this program focuses on equipping students with critical skills needed for a successful career in the fast-paced world of finance. Unlike traditional degrees that might offer a broad overview of business, the AAS in Financial Services targets the specific needs of the industry, preparing graduates for the dynamic challenges they’ll face in financial roles.

Students who pursue this degree typically have goals such as starting a career in finance right after graduation or improving their current job prospects. From managing assets to navigating financial regulations, this degree provides a foundation in how to handle financial operations effectively.

Key Components of the Curriculum

The curriculum of an AAS in Financial Services degree is what sets it apart as a specialized educational path. It bears the key components that tailor a student’s learning towards industry-centric knowledge and skills. Here’s a snapshot of what’s typically covered:

The structured learning experience helps graduates to hit the ground running in a variety of roles. Whether it’s personal finance advising, banking, or working with investment products, the degree ensures I’m prepared to make a substantive impact in the field of financial services.

By utilizing a combination of lecture-based learning, hands-on practical exercises, and internships, my education remains deeply relevant to the needs of employers. The best part is that through this degree, the transition from classroom to career can often be seamless due to the hands-on experience and networking opportunities provided throughout the course of study.

The Importance of an Associate of Applied Science in Financial Services Degree

In today’s fast-paced financial industry, holding an Associate of Applied Science in Financial Services degree can be a game-changer. This degree isn’t just a piece of paper; it’s your ticket into a world of opportunity.

Career Prospects with an Associate of Applied Science in Financial Services Degree

One of the most compelling reasons to pursue this degree is the wide range of career prospects it opens up. Graduates aren’t limited to traditional banking roles; the financial sector is vast and constantly evolving, presenting numerous pathways.

Employment in business and financial operations occupations is projected to grow 5 percent from 2019 to 2029, as fast as the average for all occupations, adding about 476,200 new jobs. An Associate of Applied Science in Financial Services degree provides the foundation to not only fill these roles but also to excel in them.

Further Educational Opportunities

While the Associate of Applied Science in Financial Services degree prepares you for immediate entry into the workforce, it’s also a springboard for further education. It’s a misconception that associate degrees are the end of the line academically. In reality, they provide a solid base to build upon.

Harnessing the power of an Associate of Applied Science in Financial Services degree opens up an array of potential growth opportunities. Whether you’re planning to jumpstart your career or eyeing a long-term educational journey, this degree serves as a robust foundation.

Enrollment and Prerequisites for Associate of Applied Science in Financial Services Degree

Typical Admission Requirements

When considering enrollment in an Associate of Applied Science in Financial Services program, it’s essential to be aware of the typical admission requirements. Most colleges demand that prospective students have a high school diploma or an equivalent such as a GED. Admission criteria can vary; some institutions might require a minimum GPA, while others may place a heavier emphasis on placement tests that evaluate your readiness in key subjects like math and English.

I’ve found it’s not unusual for schools to request personal essays, letters of recommendation, or even interviews as part of the application process. It’s also important to note that those with relevant work experience or prior college credits may benefit during the admissions process, as some programs value the practical knowledge and skills that students can bring from the real world into the classroom.

Expected Qualifications and Skills Prior to Enrollment

Preparing to enroll in a financial services degree program means ensuring you possess or are ready to develop certain qualifications and skills that will set you up for success. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are highly valued, as the coursework often involves analyzing financial scenarios and developing savvy solutions. Additionally, a basic understanding of economics, accounting principles, and familiarity with computer applications is incredibly beneficial.

Many programs encourage or require proficiency in math through at least the algebra level. If you’re coming in with strong quantitative skills, you’ll likely find the financial coursework more manageable. On the same note, effective communication skills can’t be overstated—they’re crucial for collaborating with peers, engaging in discussions, and presenting your analyses.

If you’re someone with an eye for detail and an interest in the mechanics of the financial world, these qualifications and skills are likely already in your wheelhouse. But even if they’re not, don’t be discouraged. Many programs are designed to help you develop and refine these competencies throughout your studies. After all, the aim of the degree is not just to test what you already know, but to expand your knowledge and prepare you for a successful career in financial services.

Comparing Associate of Applied Science in Financial Services to Other Associate Degrees

When considering a career in finance, choosing the right degree is crucial. In this section, I’ll detail how an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Financial Services stands apart from other associate degrees, helping you make an informed choice for your future.

Associate of Applied Science in Financial Services Degree vs. Associate of Arts in Finance Degree

The Associate of Applied Science in Financial Services and the Associate of Arts (AA) in Finance degrees both cater to aspiring finance professionals, but they have distinct differences in curriculum focus and career objectives.

An AAS in Financial Services is tailored towards immediate job readiness. It’s heavy on practical skills and technical knowledge specific to financial operations, such as financial planning, credit analysis, and insurance. Students gain hands-on experience, which often translates into a quicker transition into the workforce after graduation.

An AA in Finance, on the other hand, typically provides a broader liberal arts education. While it also covers fundamental finance topics, the approach is more theoretical. This degree is ideal for students planning to transfer credits to a bachelor’s program as it covers general education requirements alongside finance courses.

Some key distinctions include:

Choosing between these two degrees depends on if you’re aiming for swift employment in finance or planning for extended education.

Benefits Over Non-Finance Associate Degrees

Compared to other non-finance associate degrees, the AAS in Financial Services provides an unparalleled advantage for those keen on entering the world of finance. Here are a few benefits:

The employment outlook for financial positions also justifies choosing an AAS in Financial Services over other degrees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in business and finance is projected to grow by 8% from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations:

FieldProjected Growth (2020-2030)
Business and Finance8%
All Occupations8%

In essence, this degree hones your financial acumen and prepares you specifically for challenging and rewarding roles within the fiscal sector. Whether your goal is to kickstart your career quickly or to eventually acquire higher credentials, an AAS in Financial Services offers practicality and purpose for those determined to excel in finance.

Real-World Applications of an Associate of Applied Science in Financial Services Degree

When considering the real-world applications of an Associate of Applied Science in Financial Services degree, it’s essential to understand which industries derive the most benefit from the skills and knowledge that graduates bring to the table. This degree primes individuals to impact sectors deeply reliant on financial operations and savvy economic strategy.

Industries Most Impacted by Associate of Applied Science in Financial Services Professionals

Banking and Credit Unions

The banking sector is a primary employer of professionals with financial services expertise. Here’s where graduates can shine by utilizing their learned skills in risk management, loan processing, and understanding complex regulatory environments.


In insurance, financial services graduates apply their knowledge to evaluate risks and help build financial products that align with client needs.

Investment Firms

Graduates might find themselves working with investment firms, helping clients understand the nuances of various investment vehicles and managing financial portfolios.

Real Estate

An in-depth understanding of finance is crucial in real estate, where graduates can help clients navigate mortgages and property investments.


Government agencies often seek individuals with a financial services background to manage public funds and work on fiscal policy.

Consulting Firms

Financial services professionals in consulting firms provide expertise to improve other organizations’ financial health and operational efficiency.

Nonprofit Organizations

Nonprofit organizations value the cost-effective financial management skills of financial services graduates, which ensure the maximum impact of funds.

In each of these industries, the practical skills and technical knowledge provided by an Associate of Applied Science in Financial Services Degree are not just beneficial—they’re often crucial in ensuring that financial operations run smoothly and effectively. The hands-on experience and specialized training associated with this degree prepare professionals to handle real-world financial challenges with confidence and strategic insight. Whether it’s through leading financial strategy sessions, analyzing market trends, or developing financial policies, these professionals are equipped to contribute significantly to their respective fields right from the start.

Is an Associate of Applied Science in Financial Services Right for You?

Choosing the right educational path is crucial for career success and personal fulfillment. If you’re aiming for a career where practical financial skills are at the forefront, an Associate of Applied Science in Financial Services might be the perfect fit. This degree equips you with the technical know-how to thrive in various financial sectors, from banking to real estate. With the industry’s growth and the targeted skills you’ll gain, you’re setting yourself up for a future where you can make a real impact. Whether you’re looking to launch your career or elevate your current position, this degree can be a stepping stone to achieving your professional goals. So if you’re ready to dive into the dynamic world of finance, an AAS in Financial Services could be your ticket to an exciting and rewarding journey.

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