Today, even with the wide range of academic options available after high school, one still holds the top spot among students who want to pursue a college degree – The Bachelor’s!
We all know people who’ve enrolled in or graduated with a Bachelor’s degree.
But what is a Bachelor’s degree? And what does it take to get one?
This quick guide aims to help you answer these questions, and learn a lot more about the most popular undergraduate degree.
A bachelor’s degree – or a baccalaureate degree – is a post-secondary undergraduate academic degree awarded by colleges and universities. A bachelor’s degree is designed to give students in-depth education in a specific field of study. This may include classes in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics, as well as specialized courses in the student’s chosen major. The curriculum is aimed at providing students with the knowledge, skills, and critical thinking abilities they need to succeed in their chosen careers or in graduate-level studies. A Bachelor’s degree is the first level of higher education in many countries.
There are many reasons why someone might choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree. For one, a bachelor’s degree is often a prerequisite for many jobs and can lead to higher earning potential. Additionally, a bachelor’s degree can open up a wide range of career opportunities and help students develop the skills and knowledge needed to advance in their chosen field. Furthermore, a bachelor’s degree can also provide students with personal and intellectual growth, and the ability to think critically and solve problems.
In summary, a bachelor’s degree is an undergraduate academic degree that can open up many opportunities for students, both in terms of their careers and their personal growth. It is a valuable investment in one’s future and can help students build the knowledge, skills, and critical thinking abilities they need to succeed in their chosen fields.
It typically takes 3-4 years of full-time study to earn a Bachelor’s degree. In the U.S., a Bachelor’s degree requires you to earn between 120 to 150 credits – which need to be earned by studying, attending classes, and completing required coursework during each semester of study. Based on the course you’re opted for, your requirements for graduation may differ, but on average, the duration doesn’t vary by much, unless you opt for a part-time course.
In short, it does require a fair amount of time and resources to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree.
There are over 80 different Bachelor’s Degree programs officially recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. All of these can be grouped into 4 major types for better understanding. So, the 4 main types of Bachelor’s Degrees you can get are:
- Bachelor of Arts (BA)
- Bachelor of Science (BS)
- Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
- Other Specialty Bachelor’s Degrees
Here’s a short guide for each of these main types:
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
A Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree usually focuses more on subjects within the humanities, liberal arts, and human sciences. A few possible majors within this degree include:
- Political Science
A BA Degree offers a comprehensive, foundational understanding of the subjects associated with your chosen major. The curriculum of BA Courses offered in the same major but by different colleges is likely to have differences, since the course material is often subjective.
A BA degree program generally consists of a combination of general education coursework and courses in your major. The general education classes are designed to provide you with a broad, well-rounded education, whereas the major-specific classes are meant to give you a better grasp of the topic. A BA degree program also involves writing, research, and analytical skills to assist you to improve your critical thinking skills.
The curriculum for a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree is less specialized than that of a Bachelor of Science (BS). Students must also take electives, which allow them to explore many areas of interest and get a more comprehensive education.
Bachelor of Science (BS)
A Bachelor of Science (BS) is one of the most popular bachelor’s degrees earned by college students. If you want to work in the sciences, this is the degree you’ll most likely come across when looking for programs. BS Degrees typically offer the following majors:
- Computer Science
If you read carefully, you might have noticed that Economics appeared as a major in both degrees. This is because, for certain subjects, it is possible to get either a BA or a BS Degree. BS Degrees tend to be more specialized and objective. BS Degrees in certain subjects are known to be more rigorous than others, which means students typically take longer to graduate or require more credits than in other Bachelor’s programs.
Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
While Bachelor of Fine Arts is not a popular degree, students with an artistic flair can do well with one.
If you’re creative and artistic, Bachelor’s of Fine Arts may be just the right fit for you instead of a BA or BS. A BFA usually lets you major in the following subjects:
- Creative Writing
- Art (Drawing, Painting, etc.)
- Graphic Design
These majors usually require students to submit a portfolio for assessment. This portfolio is a compilation of all the work done since enrolling for the degree. A Bachelor’s in Fine Arts can be pretty hands-on and tends to require pre-existing skills before enrollment.
Many colleges opt to label the degrees they offer differently. They may offer degrees in subjects related to Humanities, Sciences, and Fine Arts, but may refrain from labeling them as BA/BS or BFA Degrees. These degrees are likely to be comparable in nature to a BS, BA, or BFA degree. When researching the types of bachelor’s degrees that exist today, you may come across degrees such as:
- Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.)
- Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.)
- Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.)
- Bachelor of Engineering (B.E./B.Eng.)
- Bachelor of Journalism (B.J.)
- Bachelor of Music (B.M.)
- Bachelor of Nursing (B.N.)
- Bachelor of Technology (B.T./B.Tech.)
These degrees are often quite similar to their BS/BA/BFA counterparts, so don’t be daunted by the odd label given to them.
For many students, getting a bachelor’s degree is worth the time and effort.
Whether or not getting a bachelor’s degree is worth it will depend on your goals. A bachelor’s degree can open up a wide range of career opportunities and can lead to higher earning potential. It will also better position you for a Master’s or Doctorate degree.
A bachelor’s degree can also improve personal and intellectual growth, and your ability to think critically. College also provides valuable opportunities to learn time management, self-discipline, assertiveness, and other useful life skills.
On the other hand, the cost of a bachelor’s degree can be quite high. Additionally, not all jobs require a bachelor’s degree, and some people are able to achieve their career goals through alternative routes such as vocational training, an associate degree, diplomas, apprenticeships, or on-the-job experience.
There is no general answer to this question. You should consider your current and future financial and academic situation to determine whether a Bachelor’s is the right choice for you.
In conclusion, a bachelor’s degree (or baccalaureate degree) is a popular undergraduate course that can prove to be a valuable investment. It provides students with a comprehensive education, critical thinking and analytical skills, and a deep understanding of their chosen field of study. It can position students for a successful career or even for further education in their chosen fields.
There are many different Bachelor’s degree programs available today BS, BA, BFA, and other specialty degrees. Each could be a great start to your college life, but it is important to carefully understand your goals and ambitions before making a decision.
We hope this article answered some of your questions about Bachelor’s degrees. Check out our other articles or reach out to us for any additional information you’d like on any college-related topics.