A bachelor’s degree is a four-year undergraduate degree and is the standard for higher education throughout most of the world. Bachelor’s degrees can be earned at state universities, at private universities, at community colleges and via online universities.
Types of Bachelor’s Degrees
Bachelor’s degree programs and program titles vary by university. There are two primary kinds:
- Bachelor of Arts (BA). This degree may usually requires a majority of coursework in the arts; areas such as social science, humanities, music or fine arts. It may usually involves learning qualitative research methods such as literary analysis and ethnography.
- Bachelor of Science (BS). This degree may usually requires a majority of coursework be taken in the sciences, such as life sciences, physical sciences, or mathematical sciences. It may be more focused on quantitative analysis, such as statistics and other forms of number-crunching.
Benefits of Earning a Bachelor’s Degree
Research has indicated that earning a four-year degree has measurable financial benefits. In fact, the average college graduate with a bachelor’s degree will likely earn at least $300,000 more over the course of his/her career than someone with just a high school education.
But college is really so much more than a financial investment. Your specialized classes give you an opportunity to meet people with shared interests who will one day be working in the same field as you. College is a great opportunity to begin developing a professional network early on. A great network of colleagues is possibly the most powerful asset you can have as you navigate professional life.
Meeting like-minded people is but one door that pursuing a degree opens for you. Specialized coursework may also introduce you to new ideas and passions, upon which you could build a foundation for a career.
Finally, the bachelor’s degree is the gateway to an even higher, more-demanding level of education. This is the necessary route for anyone who wants to practice law or medicine, for example.
Who Should Pursue a Bachelor’s Degree
Classically, undergraduate studies were taken up just after high school. Anyone from the ages of 18 to 23 or 24 who was pursuing a bachelor’s degree was called a “traditional” student. The “non-traditional” student, then, was anyone older or entering from a different set of circumstances: Perhaps after the military, after some years of professional experience, or after earning a GED.
Truth be told, the “non-traditional” student represents the norm today, not the exception. After the economy tanked, people from all walks of life came to understand that the investment in a four-year education paid off with substantially higher lifetime earnings, plus any number of new opportunities that could give their lives new directions.
Ultimately, those are exactly the things you should consider if you are thinking of getting a higher education. A bachelor’s degree may be the right thing for you if you seek professional success, financial reward and a wealth of opportunities for your life.