For many, higher education is the next step after graduating high school. While career guidance, college visits, and applications are common, students are often left with questions. If you or your children plan to further their education, this guide can answer some lingering questions.
What Types of Degrees Are There?
There are four types of degrees you can earn.
A doctorate is the most prestigious type of degree that you can earn. Doctorates fall into two categories: research and applied. Reaching graduation requires the completion of research, exams, and a dissertation. If a career such as a psychiatrist, surgeon, professor, or lawyer is in your future, you will need this level of education. To earn a doctorate, you must first acquire a master’s degree.
Master’s degrees rank just below doctorates. You must have a bachelor’s degree and acceptable test scores to qualify for a master’s program. Students will complete research, coursework, and a capstone project before graduation. The program is a stepping stone for further education or managerial positions.
Bachelor’s degrees are the most typical type earned through a college education. You can apply to a public or private university’s program once you have earned your high school diploma or GED. Courses cover general education and specialization in your degree field. If you completed an associate’s program first, many of your credits may transfer.
Associate’s degrees provide a quicker jumpstart into the workforce. Qualifications to enter the program are the same as bachelor’s programs. You will likely complete the program at a technical or community college. Associate’s degrees are commonly used for careers such as office administration, physical therapy, and paralegal.
How Long Does It Take To Earn a Degree?
The length of time it takes to earn a degree varies by individual and program. Typically, a doctorate’s degree takes between two and ten years, master’s and associate’s degrees take one or two years, and a bachelor’s degree takes about four years. Some universities offer accelerated programs and summer courses which can decrease those timeframes.
Which Majors Are Best?
Consider which major is best for you. A great start is to honestly assess your strengths, weaknesses, and interests. Online quizzes can help you quantify traits and offer career suggestions. You can also research parameters to predict how successful your major will be after graduation. Evaluate placement rates and projected salaries.
Should You Choose Online or On-Campus Courses?
There are benefits to online and on-campus courses. As long as you enroll in an accredited university, the choice is yours.
Many people earn an online degree from the comfort of their homes. Programs are more affordable and offer flexible schedules. However, you must be self-motivated.
Attending on-campus courses offers different opportunities. You are more likely to build connections, use university resources, and interact with professors. Unfortunately, your schedule may be more restricted.
Planning your future education doesn’t have to be intimidating. As long as you research, you can make an educated decision.