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Key Infor­ma­tion:

  • Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion and Infor­ma­tion Tech­nol­o­gy are two pop­u­lar accel­er­at­ed bach­e­lor’s degree programs.
  • Accel­er­at­ed bach­e­lor’s degrees often offer online cours­es or night class­es to accom­mo­date the busy sched­ules of work­ing adults.
  • Check accred­i­ta­tion, admis­sions require­ments and sup­port ser­vices when select­ing an accel­er­at­ed program.

Get­ting a job imme­di­ate­ly after high school is a path that many choose to fol­low, look­ing to earn their wage as soon as pos­si­ble. The sad part is that an aver­age of 60 per­cent of employ­ers still don’t hire oth­er­wise skilled peo­ple if they see they don’t have a bachelor’s degree. Depend­ing on your desired job, one degree will like­ly not be enough either. How­ev­er, hav­ing a 9‑to‑5 job might pre­vent you from attend­ing class­es a sec­ond time.

If you want a degree but can’t afford to let go of your day job to go to class­es, you might be inter­est­ed in accel­er­at­ed degree pro­grams.These can pre­pare you for the work­force, open­ing more doors than ever. They’re the per­fect choice for those who only have time in the evening or on week­ends, and the right pro­gram could help you obtain your qual­i­fi­ca­tion in record time. This arti­cle will guide you in find­ing the right pro­gram for your needs. Let’s get started!


Why Choose an Accelerated Degree Program?

Here are the main rea­sons why you might want to choose accel­er­at­ed edu­ca­tion pro­grams over tra­di­tion­al degrees:

· Time Efficiency

The aver­age time required to get a bachelor’s degree in the Unit­ed States is four years. If you need that degree fast, this is not a fea­si­ble solu­tion. That said, with an accel­er­at­ed pro­gram, you can get the degree in three years or less, depend­ing on the major you are going for. Your sched­ule will also play a sig­nif­i­cant role in this, as faster pro­grams could require you to squeeze more hours in per day. If you ded­i­cate more time, espe­cial­ly dur­ing week­ends, you can get the degree in one year or less. 

· Flexibility

Per­haps the best part of accel­er­at­ed degree pro­grams is that they were designed with flex­i­bil­i­ty in mind. Reg­u­lar bachelor’s degrees require you to be in class at a spe­cif­ic hour on a par­tic­u­lar day, usu­al­ly dur­ing the week. This can be chal­leng­ing for work­ing adults return­ing to school, as they would only be able to make it to the evening class­es. How­ev­er, these accel­er­at­ed pro­grams were cre­at­ed for work­ing indi­vid­u­als so you won’t miss any classes. 

· Financial Benefits

When get­ting a bachelor’s degree, you pay for every semes­ter that you are in school. The tuition usu­al­ly depends on the col­lege you are attend­ing, but you could end up pay­ing tens of thou­sands of dol­lars by the end. Com­bined with the oth­er asso­ci­at­ed col­lege costs, you are look­ing at more than $60,000 per year. With fast track online degrees, not only do you save mon­ey on tuition, but you are also spared of oth­er finan­cial hassles.

Types of Accelerated Degree Programs to Choose From

Here are the main fast track degrees you could go for:

· Associate Degrees

Asso­ciate degrees are great when you want to hone a trade, and they often take around two years to com­plete tra­di­tion­al­ly. Offered in com­mu­ni­ty col­leges and post-sec­ondary schools, they are most com­mon for those need­ing a busi­ness or nurs­ing degree. Going for an accel­er­at­ed pro­gram means you can get your degree in around 10–12 months.

· Bachelor’s Degrees

Bachelor’s degrees are giv­en after you fin­ish your first stage of col­lege, a process that lasts four years in the U.S. Depend­ing on how many cred­its you need to trans­fer or obtain, you can get a fast track degree in one to three years. The major you are try­ing to excel in could also affect how long it will take to fin­ish, but an accel­er­at­ed pro­gram is still faster.

· Master’s Degrees

For those who already have a bachelor’s degree and wish to deep­en their knowl­edge, a master’s degree might be the next step. Very often, this degree sug­gests that you are more knowl­edge­able, hold­ing more pow­er over just the bachelor’s degree. Fast online MBA pro­grams can come either as a sin­gu­lar master’s degree or a com­bi­na­tion with the bachelor’s, tak­ing around one year to com­plete. This is con­ve­nient, as the tra­di­tion­al pro­gram takes two to three years.

· Online vs. On-Campus Options

Accel­er­at­ed pro­grams can either be pro­vid­ed online or on cam­pus. The on-cam­pus options offer phys­i­cal class­rooms where you can attend class­es in the evening or on the week­ends. How­ev­er, fast online degrees for adults are pre­ferred, as they spare the need to com­mute. Stu­dents can access class­es and mate­ri­als when­ev­er need­ed, no longer hav­ing to adhere to a fixed schedule.

These flex­i­ble degrees for work­ing adults can have dif­fer­ent forms, depend­ing on your pre­ferred major. Some pop­u­lar options include the following:

1. Business Administration

Busi­ness admin­is­tra­tion degrees prove that you are knowl­edge­able in top­ics such as H.R. man­age­ment, busi­ness com­mu­ni­ca­tion, busi­ness sta­tis­tics, and more. This degree can be use­ful for some­one pur­su­ing a job in account­ing and/or human resources or sim­ply look­ing to start their own busi­ness. These accel­er­at­ed busi­ness degrees often take 12–20 months to com­plete, unlike the tra­di­tion­al pro­grams that can last for years.

2. Information Technology

Tech jobs have seen par­tic­u­lar­ly fast growth over the past few years, offer­ing var­i­ous oppor­tu­ni­ties for those in the I.T. indus­try. Whether you want to change your career or mere­ly get a degree for what you already know, accel­er­at­ed I.T. degree pro­grams could be com­plet­ed online in less than a year or two.

3. Healthcare Administration

There are more and more jobs in health­care admin­is­tra­tion every year, with over 1.8 mil­lion job offer­ings being released annu­al­ly. Whether you wish to change your career or get a degree for some­thing you already know, these online degrees for adults can help clear a path. The course­work cov­ers var­i­ous top­ics, from health­care admin­is­tra­tion to lead­er­ship skills and marketing.

4. Nursing

For reg­is­tered nurs­es (RNs) who already have nurs­ing expe­ri­ence, accel­er­at­ed nurs­ing degrees can offer a bet­ter earn­ing poten­tial. Nurs­es often pur­sue this degree to advance to a high­er spot or obtain a new spe­cial­ty. Since the pro­grams are more flex­i­ble, they are fit­ting for those with these types of busy careers.

5. Education

Know­ing a trade and teach­ing it are two dif­fer­ent things. If you’ve obtained a bachelor’s degree in majors such as math or lan­guages, you may be tempt­ed to pur­sue a teacher’s path even­tu­al­ly. Accel­er­at­ed pro­grams for adults often cov­er class­room man­age­ment, cur­ricu­lum research, and instruc­tion­al tech­nolo­gies that pre­pare you to share that knowl­edge. For the most part, these pro­grams can be final­ized in 12 months.

Criteria to Help You Select the Right Accelerated Program 

Not all accel­er­at­ed pro­grams are cre­at­ed in the same way. If you want to enjoy the best degrees for work­ing adults, con­sid­er the fol­low­ing factors:

1. Accreditation and Credibility of the Institution

All pro­grams that pro­vide accel­er­at­ed edu­ca­tion ser­vices should be accred­it­ed through the U.S. Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion or oth­er high­er author­i­ties. This should prove that the course is reli­able and holds in the workforce.

2. Career Goals Alignment

While there’s noth­ing wrong with pur­su­ing a dif­fer­ent career as a work­ing adult, choos­ing some­thing that aligns with your career goals is much bet­ter. For instance, if you’ve been work­ing in the tech indus­try for a while now, accel­er­at­ed bachelor’s degrees in I.T. might be what you need.

3. Support Services

Depend­ing on your edu­ca­tion­al needs, the ide­al pro­gram should also have sup­port ser­vices. This includes coun­sel­ing to deter­mine your career goals, along with tutor­ing to improve infor­ma­tion retention.

4. Admission Requirements and Prerequisites

The admis­sion require­ments are also impor­tant to check. Some pro­grams need you to attend spe­cif­ic class hours, where­as oth­ers only require the test. In the case of accel­er­at­ed master’s pro­grams, some demand a bachelor’s degree first. Con­sid­er every aspect before mak­ing your choice.

Challenges You Can Come Across and How to Overcome Them

As sim­ple as they may seem, accel­er­at­ed bachelor’s degree pro­grams can come with a series of chal­lenges. How­ev­er, A good strat­e­gy and the prop­er choice of the pro­gram could make these issues eas­i­er to overcome.

Common Obstacles for Working Adults in Accelerated Programs

Here are the chal­lenges you could encounter in your pur­suit of education:

  • Time con­straints make bal­anc­ing work, fam­i­ly, and edu­ca­tion dif­fi­cult, even with an accel­er­at­ed program.
  • You’ll have edu­ca­tion­al lim­i­ta­tions, as the cours­es are more rushed than tra­di­tion­al courses.
  • There might be tech­no­log­i­cal lim­i­ta­tions, as some work­ing adults may not know how to use the pro­grams asso­ci­at­ed with the online courses.
  • There is a lim­it­ed sup­port sys­tem, as accel­er­at­ed pro­grams don’t offer access to the resources uni­ver­si­ties do.

A strong sup­port sys­tem, espe­cial­ly from fam­i­ly and friends, is often rec­om­mend­ed to make grad­u­a­tion possible.

Time Management and Motivational Tips

While accel­er­at­ed pro­grams offer flex­i­bil­i­ty, it is up to the stu­dent to keep up with the learn­ing demand. Below are some tips to con­sid­er in this regard:

  • Pri­or­i­tize the tasks based on the dead­lines, focus­ing on the more impor­tant ones first.
  • Put togeth­er a sched­ule that includes your cours­es, work hours, fam­i­ly com­mit­ments, and self-care.
  • Be clear about your career goals, as this can help you stay focused and motivated.
  • Look for sup­port from your fam­i­ly and friends, not just for encour­age­ment but for the occa­sion­al errands as well.
  • Reward your­self each time you pass a mile­stone, as it helps you hang onto your momen­tum and motivation.

The more orga­nized you are, the eas­i­er it should be to over­come each obsta­cle. Stay focused, but don’t for­get to ask for help when needed!

Final Thoughts

Accel­er­at­ed pro­grams can help you obtain your degree much faster and with less work than a tra­di­tion­al pro­gram. The main advan­tage is that you can keep your day job while con­tin­u­ing your edu­ca­tion. So, if you’re look­ing for bet­ter career oppor­tu­ni­ties, it’s time to take the step towards fur­ther education!



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