The best way to assure a great career is to earn a relevant college qualification. You can select your future career once choosing an appropriate education program and specialty. Often, the salary and job prospects greatly depend on a certain college degree earned. There are four basic college degrees plus two additional ones you can select from once planning your future career. It mostly depends on your professional expectations and a job-specific goal. You decide what college degree to select. Thus, you should be very careful when dealing with this life-changing decision.
Every qualification level requires some credits to be earned. The time required for earning a certain degree varies as well. No doubts, the more complex degree you tend to obtain, the harder requirements you will face. Students often try for a bachelor’s degree first. They then decide whether they want to proceed with their education further or start to work immediately after graduation.
A doctoral program will be required if you want to pay your time to conduct important research or scientific work. Lots of executive positions in modern companies require a Master’s qualification in the chosen sphere. This article can learn the four main college degrees offered for students and check their main characteristics together with the two additional degrees’ information.
Associate Degree (60 credits)
According to official statistics, over 46 percent of Americans have an associate degree. This degree is a common type of community college education. Mostly, the entire study program includes the general education disciplines, like English, math, economics, etc. This qualification level remains a basic one and requires two years of education to be earned.
Graduates with an associate certification can reach for their first work position or proceed with further education focusing on a Bachelor’s diploma. Mostly, students earn Associate of Art or Associate of Science qualification in a community college or some universities.
The biggest part of community college students who apply for an associate program either have no funds for a four-year program or lack any desire to join a college. Those school graduates who tend to start their work as soon as possible always choose an associate degree with its two-year study program.
Bachelor’s Degree (120 credits)
Bachelor’s degree is probably the most frequently applied college qualification. In fact, it remains a standard college degree. To get a Bachelor’s qualification level, a student needs to apply for a four-year program and gain 120 credits within the mentioned period. Students should gain 15 credits every semester. The bachelor’s program includes the major disciplines and free classes chosen by a student. Applicants with an associate qualification can usually skip the first part of the degree.
According to specifications, Bachelor’s degree includes the following sub-degrees:
- BA – Bachelor of Arts;
- BBA – Bachelor of Business Administration;
- BE – Bachelor of Engineering;
- BS – Bachelor of Science.
A Bachelor’s program is a starting point for many professionals. Once you earn a Bachelor’s diploma, you can continue your education by applying for a Master’s program. Besides, you can apply for some professional degrees. It is usually suitable for specialists in law, air forces, and medicine. Based on your bachelor’s degree, you can pass exams for law, medicine, or pilot’s license eventually.
Master Degree (30-50 credits)
Once finishing a bachelor’s program, you can apply for a master’s degree. This is a graduate qualification with more specific disciplines studied that takes about six years to earn. It will be additional 30-50 credits to earn to get the qualification level.
You always focus on more detailed subjects when proceeding with your education in the Master’s program. For instance, if you have a Bachelor of Science, the Master’s program will be more specified, like informational technology, marketing, management, biology, computer science, etc. The basic idea of a graduate school is to let students learn more specific disciplines focused on their area of study.
The most standard master’s programs are following:
- MBA – Master of Business Administration;
- MA – Master of Arts;
- MS – Master of Science;
- MFA – Master of Fine Arts.
Many executive positions require a Master’s diploma. Students can select the Master’s program that is not related to their Bachelor’s qualification if needed. According to official statistics, in 2017, less than 10 percent of Americans had a Master’s degree. Over 36 percent had a bachelor’s qualification only. Also, associate degrees earned more than 46 percent of Americans.
Doctoral Degree (60 credits)
Ph.D. is already a science-related college degree. Mostly, Ph.D. is earned by graduates who tend to proceed with their research or scientific work. You can apply for the Doctoral program once you have completed your Master’s education. Ph.D. calls for significant research work conducted on a defined topic before the application process.
You should have a few submitted academic papers as well. It is not easy to gain your place among doctoral programs for students. First, you need to proceed with an interview with doctoral peers. This is a so-called “terminal degree”. The term defined that the Ph.D. is the final academic degree for most of the students. You cannot apply for any academic degree after your doctoral program.
Still, some areas of study have different procedures and terminal degrees. For example, in law, there is no Ph.D. program, but you are recommended to gain a Juris Doctor title. A Ph.D. allows its holders to conduct huge research projects. Mostly, Ph.D. peers work with complex research work, various experiments, and innovative solutions to existing problems. A Ph.D. qualification allows obtaining top positions in numerous educational facilities.
Professional Degree (60-120 credits)
A professional degree is aimed at preparing bachelor’s program graduates for a specific field of work. Numerous industries require professional certification. It includes landscape architecture, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, education, law, and medicine. Once earning the offered credits, the student finishes the course by passing licensing exams.
The student gets the accreditation which allows processing with a chosen career path. For example, law specialists are required to have a law license. It is also true about medical licenses and pilot licenses. Medical education can take even more time. In addition to the basic college education, students also should complete a residency program once graduated.
Joint Degree (120+ credits)
A joint degree or a so-called double major is mostly aimed at students who tend to earn two college diplomas. Students need to submit course works for both degrees simultaneously, which makes the degree earning a quite complicated issue.
Also, students can submit course works one after another. The courses taken by joint degree students include 40 credits for general disciplines, 40 credits for first major disciplines, and 40 for the second major disciplines. Still, each educational facility has its own requirements for the credits taken for getting a joint degree. It is preferable to learn about the details of the joint degree from your college advisor in advance.
Selecting a Right College Degree
Every student must decide what particular college degree he needs to reach his dream career. When you know what program you want to apply to, you can start your application process immediately. Often, a bachelor’s degree includes lots of general disciplines when a master’s program offers specific classes related to your chosen field of study.
If you want to go into medicine, be ready for more education hours, professional licensing, and a residency program. It is great when you can figure out what your future professional life should be like. In such a case, you will be able to apply for the best education facility to earn your qualification level. Students who want to start working early should apply for an associate degree at a community college or university. It will allow them to start working in two years. Besides, they can continue with their education once applying for a bachelor’s program if they want to postpone their work.
No matter what college degree you select, you will still need to prepare numerous academic assignments. If you are not ready to pay all your time to your college tasks, feel free to reach for expert online assistance. With the help of expert writers, you will be able to submit excellent papers timely. No matter the college degree you are earning, our experts will deliver you the best quality papers with no delays. You are always welcome to reach our experts 24/7.