Bachelors Degree Center

Your Guide To Getting A Bachelors Degree

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bachelor degree

One of the most valu­able ways to invest in your edu­ca­tion, career, and future is by pur­su­ing a bach­e­lor’s degree. Whether you are a high school stu­dent or an adult look­ing for a great place to find infor­ma­tion regard­ing tak­ing the next step in your col­lege edu­ca­tion, you’ve arrived at the right place! Our mis­sion is to help you on your quest to secure the best edu­ca­tion­al foun­da­tion upon which to build a last­ing career and long-term success!

We have the resources ded­i­cat­ed to help­ing you with every step along the way to get­ting your bach­e­lor’s degree online, advanc­ing your career, and align­ing your edu­ca­tion with your aspirations!

From answer­ing your ques­tions regard­ing secur­ing fund­ing through schol­ar­ships, grants, tuition pro­grams, and oth­er rel­e­vant concerns,

To select­ing the best online or on cam­pus degree program,

And even spe­cial­iz­ing in your bach­e­lor’s degree expe­ri­ence,

We have all you will need to make the best choic­es for your present (and future) edu­ca­tion­al needs, career goals, and over­all success!!

bachelors degree

A bach­e­lor’s degree is the stan­dard under­grad­u­ate pro­gram offered at senior col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties to cer­ti­fy aca­d­e­m­ic achieve­ment beyond high school. Also called a bac­calau­re­ate, the bach­e­lor’s degree typ­i­cal­ly fol­lows a 120-cred­it course sequence that can be com­plet­ed in four years if 15 cred­its are passed each semester. 

The first half of bach­e­lor’s pro­grams con­sists of gen­er­al edu­ca­tion cours­es, such as Eng­lish com­po­si­tion and alge­bra, that could be trans­ferred from asso­ciate degrees. Bach­e­lor’s degrees then offer majors for 10 to 16 field-spe­cif­ic cours­es. The NCES Digest of Edu­ca­tion shows that the num­ber of bach­e­lor’s degrees con­ferred in Amer­i­ca has risen from 839,730 in 1970 to 1.894 mil­lion in 2015. Many pro­fes­sion­al indus­tries now con­sid­er a bac­calau­re­ate the pre­req­ui­site for entry- and mid-lev­el careers.

Are Fewer People Enrolling in College Bachelor Degree Programs?

It may seem like there’s a grow­ing dis­en­fran­chise­ment with col­lege and the pur­suit of a degree. Some reports of low­er rates of col­lege atten­dance can make it seem as if many peo­ple have cho­sen to forego col­lege alto­geth­er to pur­sue oth­er avenues of career place­ment and advancement.

There’s some truth to these claims. Stu­dent loan debt, finan­cial aid prob­lems, increas­ing costs of admis­sion to many col­leges, and oth­er fac­tors have con­tributed to some decline among cer­tain demo­graph­ics. How­ev­er, the over­all enroll­ment rate hasn’t dras­ti­cal­ly dropped, it only changed. More stu­dents are pur­su­ing a bachelor’s degree from spe­cif­ic seg­ments of the pop­u­la­tion than ever before.

A bachelor’s degree is still very viable, and there are many ways to achieve that degree with­out going deep into debt. Accord­ing to the Nation­al Cen­ter for Edu­ca­tion Sta­tis­tics, enroll­ment has grown for cer­tain demo­graph­ics. There are few­er full-time tra­di­tion­al stu­dents, but many part-time stu­dents pur­su­ing an online under­grad­u­ate degree. The four-year degree has turned into a six or sev­en-year degree, with work­ing adults pur­su­ing a cre­den­tial that will help their careers. Com­mu­ni­ty col­leges remain strong as well.

A pan­dem­ic and fluc­tu­at­ing eco­nom­ic con­di­tions con­tributed the most to the decline. How­ev­er, the worth of a bachelor’s degree hasn’t demon­stra­bly changed. A bach­e­lor of sci­ence degree (BS degree) from a non­prof­it pub­lic school in an in-demand field will always have value.

Are Bachelor’s Degrees Less Important Today?

A bachelor’s degree holds as much val­ue in the job mar­ket as ever. The increase in an edu­cat­ed work­force means that many sec­tors con­sid­er a bachelor’s degree as a bare min­i­mum require­ment for employ­ment. How­ev­er, some caveats exist con­cern­ing bachelor’s degrees.

While they remain impor­tant, some soci­etal changes have made gain­ing a bachelor’s degree some­thing to put seri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion into before pur­su­ing one. Going for the eas­i­est bach­e­lor’s degree isn’t always the right move. Mar­ket shifts and chang­ing atti­tudes have made it imper­a­tive that those who seek a bachelor’s degree first con­sid­er their future goals and the direc­tion in which mar­kets trend.

For exam­ple, look­ing at the best majors for the future will prob­a­bly give a far bet­ter ROI than attempt­ing to pur­sue a degree in some­thing that may phase out soon­er rather than lat­er. Your area of study mat­ters. Some of the best col­lege majors for the future include things like:

  • Cyber­se­cu­ri­ty
  • Soft­ware Development
  • Indus­tri­al Engineering
  • Elec­tri­cal Engineering
  • Eco­nom­ics
  • Med­ical Technology

This isn’t an exhaus­tive list, but it should give prospec­tive stu­dents some­thing to con­sid­er. The future isn’t set in stone, but it’s not hard to see what indus­tries will play a major role in the things to come. 

A degree aimed at a career in an indus­try that will play a role in the future devel­op­ment of tech­nol­o­gy, infra­struc­ture, and ener­gy will like­ly offer far more of a return than a degree that fol­lows a fad­ing indus­try. A bachelor’s degree can help pre­pare some­one for the future, and that’s where the val­ue of these degrees comes into play today.

What Are the Benefits of a Bachelor’s Degree in Today’s Job Market?

It’s impor­tant to look at the poten­tial ben­e­fits gained from obtain­ing a degree to under­stand just how impor­tant a bachelor’s degree is in today’s job mar­ket. Many of the ben­e­fits of a bachelor’s degree have a lot to do with place­ment, advance­ment, and greater salary poten­tial.

Peo­ple with at least a bachelor’s degree have access to far more job and career oppor­tu­ni­ties than those who lack a degree. A bachelor’s degree works as a major step­ping stone for both edu­ca­tion and career advance­ment. After all, they lead to grad­u­ate pro­grams and beyond. So, for those who want to pur­sue a post­grad­u­ate lev­el edu­ca­tion, start­ing with a bachelor’s degree makes the most sense.

A bachelor’s degree also gives grad­u­ates a skill set that they can then use in sev­er­al ways, not just in the field of their cho­sen major. The crit­i­cal think­ing skills asso­ci­at­ed with bach­e­lor-lev­el edu­ca­tion rep­re­sent a soft skill, and soft skills have appli­ca­tions in any field of study or profession.

What Are the Best College Majors for the Future?

Pin­point­ing the best majors for the future only requires an appli­cant to look at the grow­ing trends of today. In addi­tion, some pro­fes­sions have uni­ver­sal and time­less qual­i­ties that mean they’re applic­a­ble now and in the future. Before seek­ing the best col­lege majors for the future, an appli­cant needs to have a goal.

It would make no sense to pur­sue a degree strict­ly based on what the appli­cant may think the future will hold for it. Nor is it advis­able to seek the eas­i­est bach­e­lor’s degree unless that degree lines up with the ulti­mate goals of the applicant.

No mat­ter the goal or pas­sion, there’s like­ly a major that will sat­is­fy some­one in both the near and long term. Many of the best col­lege majors for the future have applic­a­bil­i­ty across a wide spec­trum of career types and professions.

Some of the best majors for the future include prac­ti­cal­ly any STEM degree. STEM stands for sci­ence, tech­nol­o­gy, engi­neer­ing, and math­e­mat­ics. Not only do these dis­ci­plines encom­pass a host of future-proof edu­ca­tion­al oppor­tu­ni­ties, but they’re active­ly fund­ed and pushed by var­i­ous indus­tries in the pub­lic and pri­vate sectors.

Health­care of prac­ti­cal­ly any type also rep­re­sents some of the best col­lege majors for the future. More peo­ple require more high-qual­i­ty health­care options of every con­ceiv­able type.

There’s an incred­i­bly high demand for health­care pro­fes­sion­als, health­care data experts, health­care tech­nol­o­gy experts, and all the health­care per­son­nel that serve these indus­tries. That demand will grow, and now is a great time to start down that career path.

Many oth­er careers have a bright future, and some occu­pa­tions will always play a nec­es­sary role, no mat­ter the year. There will always be a place for social work or BSN nurs­ing. Human resources, pub­lic health, and busi­ness man­age­ment — will always be there. Graph­ic design or cre­ative writ­ing? Maybe con­sid­er your lev­el of entre­pre­neur­ship — a cre­ative arts degree will mean hav­ing to make your own career.

So, it’s not so impor­tant to strict­ly try to pre­dict what might work best in the future when there are so many oppor­tu­ni­ties right now that will car­ry for­ward any­way. Choos­ing the path that will place the appli­cant clos­er to their goals and desires will still bear fruit in the future. There are so many degree options today that under­grad­u­ate stu­dents may feel lost.

But the type of degree you get doesn’t doom you — use your crit­i­cal think­ing and work expe­ri­ence to increase your earn­ing poten­tial with a master’s degree.

Is It Better to Choose a Trade School Over a Bachelor’s Degree Program?

Trade schools cer­tain­ly offer a lot of val­ue depend­ing on the goals of the appli­cant. A trade school often requires less time, less tuition costs, and can give some­one a set of skills they can put to use imme­di­ate­ly. How­ev­er, trade school and col­lege aren’t mutu­al­ly exclusive.

Learn­ing a trade can become an impor­tant step­ping stone to high­er edu­ca­tion. This is espe­cial­ly true for job advance­ment or for pur­su­ing a fin­er under­stand­ing of the trade in ques­tion. There’s no right or wrong between choos­ing a trade school and a degree pro­gram. Some­times one leads to the other.

Appli­cants would need to research what option will work best for their needs and goals. Some degree pro­grams and tech­ni­cal col­leges offer the type of hands-on approach to course­work that can lead to a skill, a degree, and job place­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties, much like a tra­di­tion­al trade school, so there’s that to con­sid­er as well. Appli­cants have options and should explore them.

Benefits of Pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree

Bach­e­lor’s degrees are crit­i­cal résumé com­po­nents that will prove to employ­ers your skill sets, dis­ci­pline knowl­edge, and ambi­tion for learn­ing. Land­ing a sol­id job with upward mobil­i­ty vir­tu­al­ly requires a bac­calau­re­ate. The Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics shows that the unem­ploy­ment rate for bach­e­lor’s degree hold­ers is 2.7 per­cent, which is sig­nif­i­cant­ly less than the 5.2 per­cent for high school grads. 

Fin­ish­ing a bach­e­lor’s also improves salary poten­tial by rais­ing medi­an week­ly earn­ings from $692 after high school to $1,156 after col­lege grad­u­a­tion. A bach­e­lor’s degree not only lays the foun­da­tion for advanced study in grad­u­ate, med­ical, and law schools for even greater ROI but also seems to affect oth­er impor­tant aspects of life — like salary, mar­riage suc­cess, and increased job satisfaction.

Different Types of Bachelor’s Degrees

Search­ing col­lege cat­a­logs you’ll find that bach­e­lor’s degrees are giv­en var­i­ous two- and three-let­ter codes to sig­nal the dif­fer­ent types of spe­cial­ties available. 

Per­haps the most award­ed is the Bach­e­lor of Arts (B.A.), which is root­ed in the lib­er­al arts and human­i­ties with for­eign lan­guage require­ments but extra flex­i­bil­i­ty in choos­ing electives. 

The Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence (B.S.) is an ana­lyt­i­cal-based degree giv­en in tech­ni­cal fields with greater depth in math and science. 

The Bach­e­lor of Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion (B.B.A.) is a spe­cial­ized under­grad degree deliv­ered by B‑schools to build prac­ti­cal skills for day-to-day busi­ness operations. 

The Bach­e­lor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) is anoth­er spe­cial­ized option for cre­ative under­grads to build art stu­dio expe­ri­ence. For a more in-depth under­stand­ing of bach­e­lor’s degrees, par­tic­u­lar­ly online pro­grams, see our guide From a Dis­tance: Your Com­pre­hen­sive Guide To Online Bach­e­lor’s Degree Pro­grams.

online bachelors degree

Although the Cen­sus reports that bach­e­lor’s edu­ca­tion reached a record high in 2017 at 33.4 per­cent, these U.S. adults aged 25 or old­er have an array of majors. Hun­dreds of majors are offered beyond the B.A./B.S. differences. 

  • Niche report­ed that busi­ness and man­age­ment majors are the most pop­u­lar with 290,928 grad­u­ates annually. 
  • Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in Nurs­ing pro­grams come in sec­ond to cre­ate 128,323 RNs for clin­i­cal bed­side prac­tice each year. 
  • Psy­chol­o­gy is the third most award­ed bach­e­lor’s major where 127,597 grads dig into the human mind and behav­ior yearly. 
  • With 118,215 recip­i­ents, biol­o­gy is the fourth most wide­ly grant­ed bach­e­lor’s focused on study­ing the sci­ence of liv­ing things. 
  • Engi­neer­ing, edu­ca­tion, finance, and com­mu­ni­ca­tions round out the top eight. 

Check out and com­pare our reviews of the most pop­u­lar bach­e­lor’s degree majors by perus­ing our rankings:

Career Opportunities with a Bachelor’s Degree

The George­town Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Insti­tute’s research depicts that 35 per­cent of job open­ings by the year 2030 will require a bach­e­lor’s degree or high­er. Twen­ty-three of the BLS’ 30 fastest-grow­ing occu­pa­tions demand a col­lege degree. For exam­ple, oper­a­tions research ana­lysts will see their bach­e­lor’s-lev­el jobs grow by 30 percent! 

Great prospects exist for finan­cial advi­sors, car­tog­ra­phers, trans­la­tors, foren­sic sci­ence tech­ni­cians, bio­med­ical engi­neers, addic­tion coun­selors, and ath­let­ic train­ers. Bach­e­lor’s grad­u­ates also qual­i­fy for some high-pay­ing jobs earn­ing six figures. 

For instance, engi­neer­ing man­agers have a mean annu­al wage of $143,870 with a bach­e­lor’s degree accord­ing to the BLS. Oth­er top-pay­ing careers include IT project man­ag­er, petro­le­um engi­neer, mar­ket­ing direc­tor, nat­ur­al sci­ences man­ag­er, and air­line pilot.

Finding the Best Bachelor’s Degree for You

Pick­ing the right bach­e­lor’s is a mon­u­men­tal deci­sion, but it does­n’t nec­es­sar­i­ly have to start your fresh­men year. Up to 50 per­cent of col­lege stu­dents have unde­clared majors, and one in eight under­grads change their major at least once. Use your fresh­man expe­ri­ence to reflect on your inter­ests and con­sid­er your learn­ing style. 

Audi­to­ry learn­ers may be excel­lent speech-lan­guage pathol­o­gy majors while visu­al learn­ers could be great archi­tec­ture majors. Choos­ing a respectable col­lege is cru­cial for a bach­e­lor’s degree in any field. Dou­ble-check that the pro­gram is region­al­ly accred­it­ed by one of six CHEA-rec­og­nized agen­cies for the best cred­it transfer. 

Pay atten­tion to bach­e­lor’s degree rank­ings from pub­li­ca­tions like the U.S. News and Bloomberg Busi­ness­Week. Ask­ing a career coun­selor for extra guid­ance is also wise.

What Can You Do With a Bachelor’s Degree? Guides to College Majors and Careers

We’ve told you, at length, why you should get a bachelor’s degree. You know, by now, that a bachelor’s degree is the first step to a pro­fes­sion­al career, and that work­ers with a bachelor’s degree, on aver­age, make con­sid­er­ably more than some­one with just a high school diplo­ma — even in the same field or job. But, what can you do with a bachelor’s degree that you can’t do with­out it? That’s where BDC’s “What Can I Do” guides to col­lege majors and careers come in.

All bachelor’s degrees are not cre­at­ed equal. Bachelor’s Degree Center’s guides to col­lege majors and careers are designed to give you a thor­ough, unbi­ased look at a full range of bachelor’s degree types, their advan­tages and dis­ad­van­tages, and what you accom­plish when you get a bachelor’s degree that is right for you.

Just as our rank­ings point you to pro­grams that have proven their qual­i­ty and val­ue, our “What Can You Do With” guides to col­lege majors and careers help you decide what edu­ca­tion­al path will help you find the kind of work you want, and the kind of pay you deserve.

A Final Word

We here at Bach­e­lors Degree Cen­ter know that pick­ing the right col­lege can feel like find­ing the nee­dle in a haystack. The Nation­al Cen­ter for Edu­ca­tion Sta­tis­tics reports that there are 7,253 Title IV post-sec­ondary insti­tu­tions nation­wide. That’s a lot of col­leges for young fresh­men to sort through and research. Many instead turn to rank­ings to relieve anx­i­ety in the col­lege selec­tion process. 

Each year, sev­er­al pub­li­ca­tions like the U.S. News and World Report, Forbes, Prince­ton Review, and now us at Bach­e­lors Degree Cen­ter issue rank­ings to rec­og­nize the coun­try’s best and bright­est uni­ver­si­ties. Rank­ings are impor­tant sources of infor­ma­tion that can help new stu­dents deter­mine which col­lege is the right investment.

Whether you have zero or 60 col­lege cred­its, a bach­e­lor’s degree could be the per­fect next step to advance the abstract think­ing, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, lead­er­ship, and orga­ni­za­tion­al skills that employ­ers demand. Apply­ing to a bach­e­lor’s pro­gram will always require a high school diplo­ma, GED cer­tifi­cate, or a pass­ing HiSET score. 

Four-year col­leges will gen­er­al­ly look for a prepara­to­ry cur­ricu­lum that includes 3+ grades in Eng­lish, math, and sci­ence. Putting in the effort for a bach­e­lor’s degree pays off more than finan­cial­ly though since col­lege grads are 44 per­cent more like­ly to report hav­ing “good” health.