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The 10 Best Online Associate in Acquisitions Degrees in 2022

Best Online Associates in Acquisitions Degrees - featured

Are you interested in the field of acquisitions, procurement, and contract management? If yes, you will find our list of colleges that offer online associates in acquisitions degrees and their related fields useful! The associate in acquisition and contract management degree is a popular choice because it opens doors to opportunities in diverse careers.

Best Online Associates in Acquisitions Degrees - fact

Quick Summarization: 

While online programs offering associate degrees in acquisition and contract management are rare, there are several online and on-campus programs that are excellent training grounds for aspiring contract managers and acquisition professionals. Other associate degrees that cover knowledge and skills in acquisitions and contract management are procurement and supply chain management.  


METHODOLOGY

An online Associate in Acquisitions is your key to a thriving career in this specific business field. As they study principles and strategies of close relevance to accounting and management, Acquisitions students deal with statistics, financial figures, business trends, negotiations, and contracts.

If you plan on obtaining quality education and training in Acquisitions and Contract Management, it makes sense to check out the best associate degree that leads to top-paying entry-level work.

Our compilation of the best schools featuring online Acquisitions programs all tout these features that characterize their dominance in online education and training:

  • 100% or hybrid Acquisitions and related degree programs at the associate’s level that provide the same rigor and quality as their brick-and-mortar counterparts,
  • An up-to-date curriculum featuring the modern strategies and principles associated with Acquisitions to shape the most skilled professionals in this field,
  • Acquisitions experts as professors who provide real-world examples based on their experience in this field of business,
  • A learning system management that allows students to easily follow through the coursework thru an easily accessible online platform,
  • An array of student support services, including 24/7 tech support to avoid online learning disruption,
  • Appropriate accreditation status, as well as membership in organizations advancing the business as a discipline,
  • Stellar feedback from students or alumni

Please see our Methodology for more information.

handshake - acquisition concept

10 Best Online Programs for Associate in Acquisitions Degrees 

Strayer University

Strayer University

While there are not too many online programs in acquisition and contract management, Strayer’s online Associate in Arts in Acquisition & Contract Management program leads the pack! Students attend classes online with 20 11-week courses in the curriculum and learn the ins and outs of managing contracts, negotiation, and business skills.  

Learners gain workplace-ready skills in contract administration, from acquisition planning to quality assurance; learn about the federal procurement process and contracts, and become competent in project management including the formulation of work statements. 

Graduates can transfer credits from their associate degree in acquisition and contract management to Strayer’s bachelor’s degree program, too, in preparation for contract manager jobs. 


Northern Virginia Community College

Northern Virginia Community College

The on-campus, 64-credit Associate of Applied Science in Contract Management program is intended for individuals interested in contract management positions or for current professionals in both the corporate world and government. The curriculum emphasizes both theoretical concepts and real-world applications in managing contracts, among other aspects of acquisitions and contract management. 

The courses include fundamentals of federal acquisition regulation, human resources management, and other aspects of acquisition contract management. Credits may be transferred to a bachelor’s degree acquisition and contract management program. 


Shoreline Community College

Shoreline Community College

SCC offers one of the best online programs related to acquisition and contract management – its 93-credit Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences Purchasing and Supply Chain Management program. The online associate program has three admission dates – fall, winter, and spring. 

The coursework covers the fundamentals of acquisition contract management, such as materials management, acquisition planning, and purchasing and supply including contract management aspects. 


Chemeketa Community College

Chemeketa Community College

Chemeketa offers several online programs including an online Associate of Applied Science in Procurement and Supply Chain Management program that individuals interested in an acquisition and contract management career will benefit from. Courses include Procurement for State and Local Government, Contract Management, and Negotiations. Learners gain skills in project management, too, including work statement formulation. 


Cuyahoga Community College

Cuyahoga Community College

The on-campus Associate of Applied Business in Purchasing Management program prepares individuals interested in careers in acquisition and contract management. The coursework includes purchasing materials, supplies, and equipment in government settings and in the corporate world. Graduates become purchasing agents or associates. 


University of Cincinnati

University of Cincinnati

UC offers numerous online programs offering associate degrees with the online 60-credit Associate of Applied Business in Supply Chain Management program being popular. The two-year associate degree program appeals to individuals pursuing careers in acquisition and contract management, particularly as it applies to supply chains. 

Among its relevant courses are Purchasing, Procurement, and Sourcing with a focus on business management and Legal Environment of Business with coverage on contract management. Students can transition into the bachelor’s degree completion program after graduation. 


Northcentral Technical College

Northcentral Technical College 

The online 60-credit Supply Chain Management Associate Degree program equips learners with the knowledge and skills in project management, purchasing and supply management, and acquisition and contract management. If you have completed the Purchasing Agent/Buyer Certificate, your credits can be transferred to the associate degree. Possible careers are as purchasing assistants, materials analysts, and supply chain coordinators.


American Military University

American Military University

AMU grants 60 credits to graduates of its Associate of Arts in Supply Chain Management program with many of its core courses covering acquisition and contract management principles and practices. Like many of its online programs, the associate degree has an online format with courses varying from 8 to 16 weeks in duration. 

The associate degree focuses on acquisitions, reverse logistics, and the Federal Acquisition Regulation procedures. Learners develop their analytical, communication, and problem-solving skills, too. 


Fox Valley Technical College

Fox Valley Technical College

Students earn 61 credits in the Associate of Applied Science in Supply Chain Management program and prepare for careers in acquisition and contract management. These include buyers, materials planners, and purchasing agents, which are jobs that require competency in strategic sourcing, purchasing procedures, and supplier development. 


College of Lake County

College of Lake County 

Learners earn 60-63 credits in the online Associate in Applied Science in Supply Chain Management program, which emphasizes skill sets in acquisition and contract management. The two-year program equips learners not only in contract and acquisitions management but also in leadership, computer skills, and logistics and transportation. 

What to Expect in an Associate in an Acquisitions and Contract Management Program 

While online programs in acquisition and contract management and their related fields have different coursework, learning outcomes, and graduation requirements, there are similarities.

Admission Requirements 

Most acquisition and contract management programs and other similar associate degree programs require a high school diploma or its GED equivalent for admission purposes. A minimum cumulative GPA may also be required.

Program of Study 

Learners in a typical associate in acquisitions and contract management program study traditional and digital principles and practices of sales, procurement, and acquisitions. The coursework includes materials management, project management, program funding, and subcontract management, as well as government contracting. 

The diverse concepts covered also include cost controls and analysis, quality control, and documentation methods. The best associate’s degree in acquisitions and contract management programs also combine theory and practice, and many even provide real-world exposure. 

With an emphasis on contracts, these online programs enable students to understand the life cycle of contracts as well as the fundamentals of contract administration. Ethical and legal considerations in acquisitions and contract management, business administration fundamentals, and accounting are also covered. 

Average Time-to-completion 

Most associates in acquisitions and contract management programs and other similar programs have a two-year completion time for full-time students. 

Graduation Requirements 

Completion of an acquisitions and contract management degree means complying with the academic requirements including meeting the minimum cumulative GPA requirement. Learners may also be required to demonstrate competency in writing, reading, and math aside from competence in acquisitions and contract management and/or procurement and supply management. 

Continuing Education 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that contract management professionals in managerial positions possessed bachelor’s degrees or master’s degrees in relevant fields. These include acquisitions and contract management, business administration, or supply chain management. 

Desirable Skills in an Acquisition and Contract Management Professional  

Even with holders of acquisition and contract management degrees being in demand, it still pays to have an edge – and it comes with exceptional skills that employers look for! Aside from professional-level knowledge in acquisitions, contract management, and procurement, you should develop these desirable skills: 

  • Attention to detail 
  • Excellent communication skills 
  • Ability to lead a team AND work with a team 
  • Effective problem-solving and critical thinking skills
puzzle - acquisition concept

Career Prospects for Associate in Acquisition and Contract Management Degree Holders

The beauty of an associate in acquisition and contract management degree is in the diverse career paths possible! You can apply for several entry-level positions and then pursue management careers with a bachelor’s degree and work experience. 

According to labor statistics, purchasing agents and buyers earn a median wage of $75,410/year, and about 45,800 openings per year are projected. Despite the increasing use of automated technology in many acquisition tasks, the human touch is still a must. 

Here are the top three jobs and their salary information (average annual pay) 

Junior Buyers ($43,944 /year)

The main duties of junior buyers are to determine and meet procurement requirements in accordance with company goals. Finding the best vendors and suppliers, performing contract management tasks, and negotiating terms are among their responsibilities. 

Contract Specialists ($67,642/year

Many contract specialists work under the supervision of contract managers and learn the tricks of the trade. Their duties include drafting, reviewing, and recommending changes to contracts between their company and suppliers/vendors; evaluating bids; and negotiating terms. 

Supply Chain Associates ($51,565/year)

Their duties include assisting with supply chain management from procurement to distribution, inventory monitoring, and meeting sales targets. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What do acquisition and contract management professionals do? 

Basically, acquisitions is a field of business with a focus on buying and selling products and services from one company to another. The field of acquisitions also covers corporate mergers but it typically demands an advanced degree and work experience and involves the highest level of management. 

Why is the acquisition and contract management process important?

The process is instrumental in increasing a business’s market share, ensuring efficient use of resources, and complying with accounting and auditing rules (in the case of government agencies). 

What‘s the role of acquisitions in supply chain management?

The acquisitions process is the starting point of supply chain management, which encompasses the entire cycle of production and distribution (i.e., from the factory to the final user). 

Key Takeaways

  • An associate in acquisitions and contract management can open doors of opportunities in well-paying entry-level positions and for career advancement. 
  • Look beyond the title of the associate program and consider other fields that also provide excellent training in acquisitions and contract management.

Malcolm Peralty
Chief Editor