Once you get into a college or university, it is important to determine your path of study. Your choice of career will most likely influence your choice of degree. Some professions require more credits than others, and some will mean a more advanced degree. Usually, the higher the degree you hold, the higher your salary, making it good motivation to continue your education. We’ve put together a quick reference guide to help you understand the different types of degrees and what they entail.
An Associate’s Degree usually consists of 60 credits. They are most likely concentrated in the realm of general education classes with a few specialty classes peppered in. Sometimes, they are specific to an industry, like plane mechanics. Most students complete an Associates Degree in two years through a program at a local community college. They are a great place to get a jump start on your career. If you are planning on eventually getting a bachelors at another school, it’s easier to transfer a degree than two years of credits. you can typically transfer credits over to a four-year program. An Associate’s Degree can be an Associate of Arts (A.A) or an Associate of Science (A.S.).
A Bachelor’s Degree is sometimes known as the typical college degree. It consists of 120 credits, usually broken up into 15 credit semesters. The first two years of the program usually cover general education classes, like an Associate’s Degree, and then the second half of the program focuses on classes related to the student’s choice of major. Bachelor’s Degrees are usually known as a Bachelor of Science (B.S.), a Bachelor of Art (B.A.), a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (B.S.B.A. or B.B.A.), or a Bachelor in Engineering (B.E.).
A Master’s Degree, also known as a Graduate Degree, consists of between 30 and 50 credits. A Master’s Degree is more specialized in your field of study, and you cannot get one without first obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree. It is typically finished in two years and shows potential employers you have a higher grasp on the subject.
A professional degree focuses on a particular field of study. For example, a medical doctor might receive an M.D. after completing a medical program. A teacher might receive a certification to teach a particular subject matter or to follow the teaching standards in a certain area of the country. These degrees vary by the different programs and are usually completed in three years of study.
Master’s of Fine Arts
Though there is some argument about whether a Master’s of Fine Arts degree is a terminal degree (like a Ph.D.) or more like a Master’s degree, if you are in the creative fields of arts or writing, consider finding a school where this kind of degree is offered.
A Doctoral Degree is a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). You must complete a Master’s Degree before entering a Ph.D. program. To complete the Ph.D. degree, you must complete a significant amount of original research and write an academic paper on the topic. After the paper is written, it goes before a group of peers in the doctoral program for review. A Ph.D. is the end of the academic line. There is no degree higher in the educational world, meaning it holds great significance when applying for jobs in the field.