Earn a Bachelor’s Degree and Watch Your Career Options Magnify
Many times, when people are talking about “getting a degree,” what they’re referencing is a bachelor’s degree. Also known as a baccalaureate degree or a four-year degree, because it typically takes about four years to earn one, a bachelor’s is the doorway to a wide variety of career options.
These degrees are most often awarded by a regionally accredited liberal arts college, and consist of about 120 credit hours. This breaks down to around 40 classes, which means to finish a bachelor’s degree in four years a student will have to take 15 credit hours per semester. If a school goes by quarters rather than semesters, they will say that a bachelor’s degree will require 180 credit hours, but this is also equal to about four years. If four years seems too long, there are accelerated online bachelor degree programs that can be completed in only two years. For the most part, bachelor’s degrees are recognized as four-year degrees requiring 120 credit hours spread out over eight semesters though, so for easy reference we’ll work with those numbers.
The program of study for a bachelor’s will consist largely of general education classes like English Composition or College Algebra along with liberal arts courses such as Introduction to Critical Thinking. Only about 30 to 36 semester credit hours (10 to 12 classes) are required to be from your major. Some of the electives can be major-related, of course, but a four-year degree is designed to cover a broad range of knowledge and produce well-rounded graduates.
There are several good reasons to pursue a bachelor’s degree, such as:
- Many Great Careers Require One: This is the most obvious motivator, but still one worth mentioning. More and more entry-level professional positions require an applicant to hold a bachelor’s degree just to get an interview.
- It’s a Stepping Stone to Graduate School: If your plan is to enter a highly specialized field that will require you to earn a master’s degree or even a doctoral degree, then getting a bachelor’s is a required first step on that path.
- You Have Some College Credits Already: Many high schools offer college-level courses to their juniors and seniors, making it possible for a high school student to graduate with two or three semesters’ worth of college credits. Since you’re already this far along the path, why not go all the way?
Let’s say you’re convinced that a bachelor’s degree is right for you. From that point, you’ll want to choose between the three types:
- Bachelor of Arts: The BA takes the broadest approach to education, requiring the fewest courses in a concentration area and allowing more exploration of subject matter. Common BAs include English, Art, Music, and Communications.
- Bachelor of Science: For a more focused undergraduate education, the BS is the way to go. Popular majors for this career-focused program are Business, Biology, and Computer Science.
- Bachelor of Fine Arts: Dancers, singers, and painters are all prime candidates for the BFA. This is a bit different than other bachelor’s programs in that it is specific to the creative arts world, and is considered more of a professional than an academic degree.
Whatever type of bachelor’s degree you choose and no matter how you pursue it, a baccalaureate really does open up a whole new world of possibilities.
FIND COLLEGES FOR BACHELOR’S DEGREE
4 schools found
Davenport UniversityOnline6191 Kraft Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512Private Non-Profit0 Programs48 Online programs
Purdue University GlobalOnline9000 Keystone Crossing #800, Indianapolis, IN 46240Private For-Profit0 Programs32 Online programs
Saint Leo UniversityOnline33701 State Road 52 Saint Leo, FL 33574Private Non-Profit0 Programs32 Online programs
Western Governors UniversityOnlineMillcreek, Utah, United StatesPrivate Non-Profit0 Programs14 Online programs