A bachelor’s degree can make you a field that you have always been interested in, or a career that you already have. Learning about it is the first step to gaining power
What is a Bachelor’s Degree
A bachelor’s degree is a bachelor’s degree where students study a subject of their choice in an academic institution and it is commonly known as a college degree. A bachelor’s degree can open up access to job opportunities, expose you to new ideas, and increase your chances of earning.
Here are some key things to know about bachelor’s degrees in the United States, including how much they cost, what they need in an application, and whether the online or personal experience is good for you.
Here are the basics :
- Bachelor’s degrees typically take around four years to complete, or roughly 120 credits.
- Subjects of study can include psychology, computer science, business, nursing, or English, but vary widely and can be selected by the student based on their interests.
- Traditionally obtained in-person at a college campus, bachelor’s degrees have become increasingly easier to get online as well.
- Though many students pursue a bachelor’s degree immediately after high school, it is not uncommon to seek one later in life.
Is a bachelor’s degree worth it?
There are several benefits to pursuing a bachelor’s degree. These include high-potential incomes, increased job prospects, and new and prosperous life experiences. If you have been working for some time, a bachelor’s degree can help you start a new career or move on to your current career. Graduation can be the first step in obtaining a higher academic degree, such as a master’s or doctorate.
The financial benefit of a bachelor’s degree
A bachelor’s degree can be friendly to your wallet in the long run. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2021, a college graduate averaged $ 1,416 a week working full-time, while a high school graduate with no college experience earned an average of $ 789 a week . The gap has widened to a significant difference in one year – a 2019 report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that a college graduate earned an average of $ 33,000 more a year than a high school graduate.
Jobs you can get with a bachelor’s degree
Many jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree, so having a four-year degree can make you more competitive for more roles. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are some jobs that typically require a bachelor’s degree and are expected to grow rapidly over the next ten years.
- Software developers
- Registered nurses
- Financial managers
- Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors
- Project management specialists
- Market research analysts and marketing specialists
- Medical and health service managers
Cost of a bachelor’s degree program
The cost of a bachelor’s degree depends on a variety of factors, such as whether the program is part of a government or non-government organization, within or outside the state, online or in person, and whether you receive financial assistance. Remember that tuition is different from other living expenses, such as accommodation and transportation.
Private vs. public: The College Board found that one year of college, on average, costs $10,740 at public four-year institutions for in-state students and $27,560 for out-of-state students. Private nonprofit institutions cost $38,070 . However, private colleges may have more institutional resources to give out as financial aid.
In-state vs. out-of-state tuition: Public schools may have lower tuition if you’re an in-state resident. In the US, average annual in-state tuition amounted to $9,037, and out-of-state tuition was $25,657 in the 2017-18 school year, says the NCES .
Online vs. in-person: The average public online bachelor’s program tuition costs $38,496 for in-state students and $60,593 at private ones, according to US News—that’s total, not per year . Online degrees eliminate relocation and transportation costs and offer enough flexibility for people who want to work full- or part-time.
Scholarships or financial aid: Financial aid and scholarships are available for many schools. See if you’re eligible for federal financial assistance and contact your school for opportunities to start.
Bachelor’s degree requirements
Past Grade or GPA: For some programs you need to achieve a certain GPA in high school – such as 2.5 or 3.0 — although not everyone does. The application of a program should state what kind of grade they need.
A GED or High School Diploma: For most bachelor’s degree programs you must complete high school level education. If you do not have one, you may want to consider other programs, such as an associate’s degree or certificate that may not be required. Coursera does not require GED for professional certification.
Standardized Test Scores, such as SAT or ACT: Although some schools are dropping this requirement, many still want test scores. High school students usually take standardized exams in their junior or senior year before applying to college.
Letter of recommendation: These may come from high school teachers who can speak to your good qualities and know you well. If you have been out of school for some time, a past or present job manager, a church leader, a sports coach or a volunteer coordinator can all give you a letter of recommendation.
Personal essays: Colleges may request personal essays to better understand your personal story and why you are interested in a particular program. Coursera or a course on essay writing elsewhere can help build your writing skills.
Requirements for finishing a bachelor’s degree
Students typically need 120 credits to graduate from the undergraduate program in the United States (approximately 180 credits in a school under a quarter system). Credits are earned by passing classes for your principal and other courses that the school may need.
College degrees usually take four years to complete when you are enrolled full-time, but may take more or less time depending on the program you enroll in and the number of classes you take each year.
Types of bachelor’s degrees
Bachelor of Arts (BA): Bachelor of Arts is a type of bachelor that typically focuses on critical thinking, communication skills, and the humanities. A major in history, English, or communication will usually earn you a BA. A Bachelor of Arts can clear a career path that draws features of human connection and critical thinking – such as education, human resources, advertising or government work.
Bachelor of Science (BS): The Bachelor of Science degree usually emphasizes quantitative skills in coursework. This means that science and math degrees are generally classified as BS degrees, which makes them a good way to start a career in science or math-based fields. You can earn BS by majoring in such subjects
Online bachelor’s degrees vs. On-campus bachelor’s degrees
Both online degrees and on-campus degrees provide compelling reasons for students to enroll. Here are a few things to consider when deciding what might be best for you.
Flexibility: Here’s a quick look – in 2017, according to US News, the average graduate age for an online degree program was thirty-two years, and 84 percent of them were employed while in school . This is probably because online degrees are more flexible. Accessing classes from home can allow students to continue working full-time or take care of the family, with ample time to take them. Many on-campus programs also have flexible or part-time options.
Personal interaction: Face-to-face interaction is essential for some people but may be a low priority for others. How important this is may depend on specific factors like your major and what kind of experience you want from the undergraduate degree program. While some majors like computer science may be more convenient to take online, others like theater may be more suitable for learning in person. Being on campus can give you many extracurricular options, but online schools can expose you to a community of people across the country and around the world.
Affordability: Due to low overhead costs, online bachelor’s degrees are more affordable than traditional campuses. Of course, whether the college is public or private, state or out of state, and how much financial help you receive will all affect the value of a school, whether online or in person. The good news is that you can qualify for federal assistance in both cases. May be a good place to start filling out your FAFSA.