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Associates & Bachelor’s Degree Programs are both portals to continued education as well as potential pathways to numerous careers. Preparing for and finding the right degree is an important task. In a way, your undergraduate is like building blocks. Look for a 2-year associates degree, a 4-year bachelor’s degree, or a college that has a 2 + 2 program where you can start your associate degree and transfer the credits to a bachelor’s program. It is your personal academic journey.
Whether you are passionate about fine arts, humanities, languages, STEM disciplines, computer science, health or business administration, there is an Associates or Bachelor’s degree that will leverage your existing talents, strengthen your skills, deepen your knowledge and align with your personality, your goals, and your learning needs.
Associates Degrees generally take 2-years to complete. Some are useful to transfer credits towards a Bachelor’s degree, while others may prepare graduates for entry-level work.
Bachelors Degrees generally take 4-years to complete. A Bachelor Degree is both a pathway to a variety of potential professions and platform for continued education.
Undergraduate certificates can be used as a stepping-stone to a Bachelor’s degree or as a boost to your credentials and career-specific skill-sets.
An Associate’s degree is usually a 2-year undergraduate degree that either prepares you with basic skills and knowledge to potentially enter the work-place after graduation – think entry-level in some fields, or sets the stage for your Bachelor degree.
Typically, prospective applicants need a high school diploma or equivalent, and in two years, can often complete the general education requirements for later transfer into a four-year degree. Hence the expression, ‘transfer degree’. Some traditional and online colleges, universities, community and technical colleges, and junior colleges offer ‘2+2’ programs, which means that students who have completed the first two years of their bachelor degree, have earned their associate’s degree. After that, they may seek continued education post-associate at a larger university or college through an articulation agreement. Sometimes this plan is more affordable than a 4-year degree.
While your best bet when it comes to choosing a Bachelor Degree is reviewing the information from your prospective college, there are a few standard things to familiarize yourself with. For instance, application procedures vary, but if you are reading this from the standpoint of your last year in high school – finish, and do well. Colleges want your high school transcripts, or equivalent.
They may also require a specific grade point average, ACT and SAT scores and letters of recommendation. No doubt, you may have to write an essay on why the specific college you are choosing is right for you. It may be wise to review any useful tips on how to write a successful admissions essay, so that is definitely something for your Bachelor ‘to-do’ list. From here, you want to consider, just what exactly do you want to study?
DID YOU KNOW?
The term “bachelor” in the 12th century referred to a knight bachelor who was either too young or too poor to have any troops. Through time the word evolved to be associated with bacca lauri in reference to the laurels that were being awarded for academic success or honors.
One of the great features of Under.GradSchools.com is that it actually helps you narrow down your search for either an Associate or a Bachelor program by giving you some filters for your preferences. Search by category and subject as well as program learning format. Your college years can be unique and memorable if you are seeking the social learning setting of a campus – meet new people, participate in activities, get hands-on instruction in some fascinating subjects. Or, you can approach your degree with the get-it-done mindset and look for Online degrees, a choice growing in popularity with busy working professionals. If you don’t want to give up the interpersonal experience of campus study, but need the convenience of an online degree, some programs are offered as blended online or hybrid degree.
A Bachelor’s degree may be important for many reasons, but the top 2 have to be potential professional success and a platform for continued education (which may actually go hand in hand!). If you are looking at things purely from the bachelor degree salaries perspective, recent BLS data indicates the earnings are almost double for Bachelor’s degree graduates than for Associate’s degree graduates. And, for that matter, the further along you go graduate school wise (Master’s, Professional and Doctorate Degrees) the higher the median usual weekly earnings .
Just as an Associate’s degree can be used as a stepping-stone to a bachelor’s degree, a bachelor’s can be used as a spring-board to a master’s or doctorate degree, and not just for the potential boost to your bank account. For some occupations, around 33 at least, you’re likely to need a master’s degree to qualify for entry-level jobs, while in others, a master’s degree may not be required, but having one might lead to advancement or higher pay . In terms of your undergraduate degree this means you should research the academic path to any career you are considering so that you make supportive educational decisions during your 4 years at college. This applies to choosing your major, deciding between a B.A., B.S. and B.F.A., supplementing with a certificate or deciding on a minor that aligns with your passions and interests.
Keep in mind that as far as colleges go, there are application and tuition deadlines. Also, if there is any preparatory work you can do, you want to find out beforehand. Some majors are selective and may have limited enrollment which means filling out an application, meeting that deadline, and getting accepted. Continued success may involve using a calendar to map these things out and reading your college’s general catalogue for things like major, minor and certificate requirements. Do not underestimate a good guidance counselor either. To search this site, you can use the navigation to find degrees by subject, by level (Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Certificates) format (Online, Campus or Hybrid). The icons are great to start exploring popular undergraduate majors. Use the live links to request more information from prospective schools, and you are on your way to earning your laurels!