Online Bachelor’s Degrees
The term “college degree” is most commonly associated with the bachelors degree or baccalaureate degree. This degree can be awarded in a number of different areas of specialization, qualifying the graduate for a number of different career paths. An online bachelors degree typically requires four or five years of full-time academic study to complete. During this time, students are required to complete 120 credit hours of course work, or 40 college classes. In most cases, more than half of the course requirements for an online bachelors degree are in liberal arts, including classes in English, math, science, philosophy, history and religion.
Students seeking a bachelors degree typically pick a major during their second year of study and must complete between 30 to 36 credit hours of study (10 to 12 courses) in their particular field. In certain fields such as pharmacy and engineering, students may be required to complete additional courses before being awarded a bachelors degree. Additionally, students seeking a Bachelors Degree may also choose to complete a minor consisting of 15 to 18 credit hours of study in a field complementary to their major. One specific example is a chemistry major that chooses to minor in mathematics. Students with a Bachelors Degree can seek employment or they can choose additional study through a graduate program (e.g., Masters or PhD) or professional school (e.g., medical or law school).
The benefits of acquiring an online bachelors Degree are both tangible and intangible. The tangible benefits of a college degree can be seen with regard to the earning power of the graduate. Students with a college degree are able to earn, on average, $1 million more over their lifetimes when compared with individuals that have only graduated from high school. As such, the Bachelors Degree provides the individual with a notable economic benefit that pays dividends across the lifespan. The intangible benefits of the Bachelors Degree stem from the ability of the student to pursue a course of study that is interesting for the student and one that will more than likely lead to a fulfilling and rewarding career upon graduation. Individuals that earn a Bachelors Degree often acquire positions in professional positions such as teaching or science that require advanced training and education. In these roles, degree holders may experience a higher degree of job satisfaction and overall life satisfaction. Further, a Bachelors Degree provides the graduate with the opportunity to pursue additional education such as a Masters Degree or professional degree. These advanced degrees will also have implications for the graduate’s earning potential and overall job and life satisfaction.
Bachelors Degrees can be broadly classified into two specific groups: Bachelors of Art (BA) Degrees and Bachelor of Science (BS) Degrees. A BA degree is typically awarded to students that study subjects in the social sciences, humanities or fine arts. BA degrees are sometimes called Bachelor of Liberal Arts or Bachelor of Liberal Study Degrees. BS degrees, on the other hand, are awarded to individuals that study subjects in science, math and statistics. In addition to these two general classifications, Bachelors Degrees in specific subjects can also be awarded to students. For instance, students studying science may pursue a BASc or a Bachelor of Applied Science. Students studying business may be able to acquire a BAA, Bachelor of Business Administration, a BComm, a Bachelor of Commerce, or a BSE, Bachelor of Science in Economics. For students studying subjects in the fine arts, a BFA or Bachelors of Fine Arts may be awarded. Students seeking degrees in healthcare may also qualify for a subject specific degree. Students studying nursing, for example may qualify for a BSN or Bachelors of Nursing. A BPharm degree is awarded to students receiving a four year degree in pharmacy while a BPH, Bachelors of Public Health, can be awarded to students entering into the field of social work.
The particular career path pursued by the graduate will be dependent upon the specific major selected by the student while completing his or her Bachelors Degree. For instance, graduates that have pursued a Bachelors Degree in business may choose to seek a career in organizational finance or management. Individuals with a Bachelors Degree in psychology may choose to pursue a career in organizational or school psychology. In most instances, the career selected by the professional will be a mid-level position. Entry-level positions will be open for individuals with no experience or an Associate Degree. Thus, in terms of placement on a career ladder, the Bachelors Degree can provide additional career opportunities for beginning one’s career. For professionals seeking career advancement, a Bachelors Degree coupled with several years of work experience can be invaluable for moving up the ladder. Further, professionals with a Bachelors Degree can pursue additional education that may further improve their career and job prospects. Some students with a Bachelors Degree may choose a different career path than that dictated by their major. In these cases, a Bachelors Degree will be required for employment leading to hands-on work experience that will promote individual job growth and career advancement.