The bachelor's degree is essentially an undergraduate academic award from a university or college that usually requires full time study of four years to earn 120 to 128 credits. There is a minimum requirement of credits in major chosen by the student.
A bachelor’s degree, also referred to as a baccalaureate degree, is awarded by a college after the student completes about 40 courses equivalent to 120 credit hours. A bachelor’s degree course normally takes between four and five years of full-time study. Moreover, the student must usually choose a major after two years of the start of the course.
After graduating, a person with a bachelor’s degree can enter the workforce or study for a master’s degree either in the major opted for or a related discipline. Students can also study for a degree in medicine (MD), law (JD), or business administration (MBA).
Earning a bachelor’s degree through an online program
Even though the traditional way of obtaining a bachelor’s degree is by enrolling in a full-time course offered by colleges, many students now opt for online colleges to earn their bachelor’s degree.
Between 2003 and 2007, the students opting for online courses doubled their number to 3.9 million, outpacing growth in full-time college students by 12 percentage points. As more employers have started appreciating the merits of distance learning, a bachelor’s degree from an is a valuable addition to the resume of both job seekers and employees.
Online bachelor’s degree
One can obtain an online bachelor’s degree in any of a wide variety of subjects. One can complete the course by either studying part-time or full-time.
Some popular bachelor’s degree courses are:
- Bachelor of Arts (BA): This degree is awarded to those who study subjects in the humanities such as English, literature, history, and foreign languages. Almost half of the needed coursework to obtain a BA has to necessarily be in the student’s major. The other half comprises general subjects that the student chooses. Those who graduate with a BA can either start working at once or study further.
- Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA): This degree is awarded to those who study performance or visual arts. The majority of the coursework for this degree needs to be completed in studios or laboratories. Most BFA degree holders pursue a career in arts.
- Bachelor of Science (BS): This degree is awarded to those who study science-related, technical disciplines such as nursing, biology, and psychology. Most of the coursework focuses on the major opted for. Though some BS degree holders join the workforce after graduating, others join professional courses such as medicine.
Besides, there are special courses to obtain bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration (BBA) and Information Technology (BIT).
Advantages of an online bachelor’s degree
The main benefits of working for an online bachelor’s degree are:
- Greater Earning Potential: Those with a bachelor’s degree on an average earn $1 million more in their lifetimes than those with who have only graduated from high school. Moreover, those with a bachelor’s degree get paid higher starting salaries compared to those without.
- Greater Job Mobility: People are promoted in the workplace not only because of their better performance but also because of their educational qualifications. A bachelor’s degree gives you an edge over your colleagues during appraisal times.
- Greater Skill Set and Knowledge: Though everyone who wants to study further might not contemplate a career switch, working toward a bachelor’s degree will definitely increase their knowledge and skill sets.
- Flexibility: An online degree program is ideal for those who wish to study further but are not in a position to stop earning. Even as you study for your online degree, you can continue to work either full- or part-time.
- Lower Cost: Most online bachelor’s degree courses cost less than full-time courses. Savings accrue form lower costs travel, food, books, and lodging. You can also opt for courses after ascertaining that you can afford to pay for them.
Locating online bachelor’s degree courses
Numerous institutions including traditional colleges and universities apart from online colleges offer online courses for bachelor’s degrees. You need to go through the course and degree program details carefully to ascertain whether you need to attend contact classes or not.
Additionally, a few online bachelor’s degree courses entail laboratory work, internships, or other special criteria to be fulfilled.
Preparing for an online bachelor’s degree course
It is best if you start early and prepare for a bachelor’s degree course even when you are in high school. As a high school student you should opt for courses such as English, science, mathematics, history, and social studies to help prepare for college.
Also, by participating in extracurricular and volunteer activities, you can have a more impressive application. Such activities can also expose you to subjects you can consider for a career choice.
For admission, most online bachelor’s degree courses require you to apply, pay an application fee, submit high school and/or other college transcripts, write an essay giving reasons why you should be selected, and marks from Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or other college entry tests. You need to check with every school for their specific requirements.
Many institutions assess students using standard tests in basic subjects such as mathematics, English, and foreign languages before assigning them to classes appropriate for their skill levels.
If you already have an associate degree, you might be permitted to transfer those credits and use them to lower the time taken to earn a bachelor’s degree.