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A Bachelor’s degree is the degree type offered by most traditional four year institutions.  It typically takes four or five years to complete and requires either 40 courses or 120 credit hours.  A Bachelor’s degree can also be required for acceptance into graduate schools.  Bachelor’s degrees are typically earned at traditional four year schools however; there is a rise in Bachelor’s degrees that are offered online. In fact, the number of students that are earning a Bachelor’s degree online has grown to 3.9 million students and is beating the growth rate of students earning Bachelor’s degrees from traditional schools by 12 percentage points between 2003 and 2007. There are some employers that appreciate distance learning which could give online students an advantage in the job market upon graduation. With different options on how to earn a Bachelor’s degree, students can take courses both full-time and part-time allowing for flexibility in their schedules. 

Types of Bachelor’s Degrees:

The most popular degree types for a Bachelor’s degree are:

  • Bachelor’s of Arts
  • Bachelor’s of Fine Arts
  • Bachelor’s of Business

Under these umbrellas there are many different areas in which to specialize including but not limited to:

  • Accounting
  • Biology
  • Business Administration
  • Communications
  • Computer Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Economics
  • Education and Teaching
  • Engineering
  • English
  • Fashion Design
  • Foreign Languages
  • Graphic Design
  • History
  • Literature
  • Marketing
  • Nursing
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Religion
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Web Design

Benefits of a Bachelor’s degree

On average, someone with a Bachelor’s degree earns $1,000,000 more in their lifetime than someone without a degree. Also, employers are looking for people with degrees for management positions so the first job you get after earning your degree could be at a higher starting position than if you did not have a degree.  Having a Bachelor’s degree can equip you with a skill set that others in your organization may not have which can lead to promotions.  Having a Bachelor’s degree will make you more desirable so companies will be competing for you and not vice versa.  The increased desirability can also give you options on where you want to live since finding a job in a specific region can be easier than if you did not have the degree or earning potential. 

What to Look for in a School

There are several things to consider when choosing a school.  First, you should make basic decisions like do you want to be a full-time or a part-time student? Do online courses best suit you or are you someone who needs a class room environment to learn best?  Once you have made the decision on traditional versus online programs, you should consider the following when making a decision on a school to attend:

  • School’s accreditation (are they recognized by a national accrediting board?)
  • Curriculum, including what degrees they offer and if you are interested in them
  • The quality of the faculty including the student to professor ratio
  • Academic facilities and support (it would also be helpful to look into what tutoring programs are offered)
  • Career services, job placement rates, and graduate school placement rates as well as the graduation rate of students and the average amount of time the average students takes to complete their degree
  • Tuition as well as what financial aid is available
  • Opinions of former students
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