Many jobs in today’s work environment require a Bachelor’s Degree. Fortunately, earning your degree hasn’t been easier as online programs combine convenience with fast-pace courses – some programs can be completed in three years! Below is a list of some of the highest rated schools offering online bachelor’s degree programs.
What Bachelor’s Degrees Exist and What are They Called?
With literally thousands of majors to choose from, bachelor’s degrees are available in just about every area of study, and we have included some of the most common ways they are referred to below.
- Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS)Not only is the academic area of the science specialized in taught, but this degree also shows its applications in everyday life and work.
- Bachelor of Arts (BA)One of the most common of the bachelor’s degrees, a BA can be given in areas such as history, literature, design, and many others.
- Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)The Master of Business Administration remains one of the most popular graduate degrees offered and many earn a BBA in pursuit or in place of it.
- Bachelor of Computer Information Systems (BCIS)Also known occasionally as a Bachelor of Computer Science, this degree instructs students on the latest aspects of technology.
- Bachelor of Design (BDes)This design degree can be awarded in several fields including interior design, graphic design, and more.
- Bachelor of Education (Bed)Many states have a bachelor’s degree as the standard for those who want to become teachers and a BEd can help put students on track towards a teaching license.
- Bachelor of Engineering (BEng)This degree can be earned in mechanical, biological, chemical, or one of the many other areas of engineering.
- Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)Learn how to practice one of the fine arts in addition to studying with a BFA.
- Bachelor of Science (BS)Another of the most common of the bachelor’s degrees, it is offered not just in the sciences but in business, math, and other areas as well.
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)One of the more popular bachelor’s degrees in medicine, registered nurses often earn them in order to advance their careers.
Although many bachelor’s degrees fall into one of the above categories, there are still many others that are offered to specific careers such as architect or mathematician. If you know which career you would like to go into, do some research on the educational requirements to go into that career, along with which degrees are required or preferred.
Where Can I Find Bachelor’s Degree Rankings?
The most important aspect to choosing or ranking a bachelor’s degree, or any other degree for that matter, is accreditation. Making certain a school or program is accredited, or approved, by the U.S. Department of Education is vital to making sure that tuition dollars are spent correctly and that the degree ultimately earned will be respected by prospective employers. The easiest way to see if a school or program has been accredited is to visit the database at the U.S. Department of Education. A quick search can tell you if the school you are interested in is accredited, what agency has done the accrediting, and whether or not the agency does national or regional accreditation.
If interested in the more traditional ways to rank bachelor’s degrees, visit U.S. News & World Report. Each year, they come out with a list of the most recognized schools, including those offering undergraduate and bachelor’s degrees. One of their best features is the ability to rank schools by criteria such as acceptance rates, most students on/off campus, most merit aid, transfer students, and many more.
There are also other options for more specialized rankings. To get more of an academia ranking of schools there is the Princeton Review. They use student reviews to help put together their rankings and also offer choices such as most religious students and most politically active. If looking for bachelor’s degree rankings for community, technical, and junior colleges, try Community College Week. Visitors can check out their Top 100, read the blog with loads of tips, and much more with a visit to the site.
Although the above rankings can be useful when choosing a bachelor’s degree, they should not be the only items considered. Factors such as available financial aid, flexibility of classes, transfer credit policy, etc. all mean different things to different students. Figuring out which is most important to you and choosing a school by those standards should take precedence over any single ranking system.
Can I Transfer Bachelor’s Degree School Credits?
If you have already completed some collegiate level courses, whether in high school, junior college, or even university, you may be eligible for transfer credits. By giving credit for courses already taken, transfer credits can be invaluable in saving students both time and money by not having to retake classes. Because having transfer credits rejected can be incredibly frustrating, it is essential to find out as soon as possible your past, present, or future school’s transfer credit policy.
One of the most common obstacles to obtaining transfer credits is the issue of nationally accredited bachelor’s degrees versus regionally accredited. If switching from a school that is nationally accredited to one that is regionally accredited or vice versa, transfer credits may be denied. This is because although both schools are accredited, different agencies have done the accrediting. If the school offering the bachelor’s degree is both regionally and nationally accredited or both the past and future schools have been accredited by the same agency, transfer credits are more likely to happen. To see what a school’s current regional or national accreditation status is, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s database. Clicking on the Search by Accrediting Agency tab shows all the national and regional accrediting agencies.
One of the easiest ways to get past the transfer credit issues for a bachelor’s degree is to already have a degree from an accredited college, institute, or university. For example, an applicable associate’s degree can put students two years ahead in their studies for a bachelor’s degree, which takes an average of four years to get for those who have no transfer credits to offer. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can still get one in another area of study or go back to school for a double major. Depending on the current degree, type of bachelor’s degree sought, and school offering it, those who are seeking a second bachelor’s degree can get it in about one to two years.
What Sorts of Careers are Common for Someone With a Bachelor’s Degree?
Just as there are tons of bachelor’s degrees to choose from, there are also tons of careers available, and we have listed a few below.
- AccountantWork as part of a staff or independently, accountants take on numbers focused-tasks such as budgeting, taxes, and much more.
- Administrative AssistantNeeded in just about every area of employment, this entry level position can have those with a bachelor’s degree or even those studying for one working at the administrative level in a company or organization.
- EngineerMany entry-level careers as an engineer require a bachelor’s degree in the area and it is a must if an engineering license is sought.
- Executive AssistantWhether it is to a division manager, CEO, or other, the executive assistant works closely with their supervisor to accomplish a wide variety of tasks.
- Financial ControllerThis career involves working in areas from financial accounting to forecasting and being able to advise on future financial opportunities and difficulties.
- General ManagerAlso known as an operations manager, the general manager is often tasked with overseeing an entire branch or department of a company or organization.
- Human Resources ManagerThis career involves the hiring, training, and/or compensation and benefits of new and current employees.
- TutorNo matter which subject is chosen, a tutor helps students as individuals or groups in a variety of areas and grade level.
- Project ManagerHead up tons of different projects from software design to building construction in this career.
- Physician’s AssistantOften asked to have a qualifying bachelor’s degree in healthcare, these professionals work in the offices of doctor’s to assist in diagnosing, caring for patients, and other duties associated with healthcare.
And the above are just some of the few careers available with a bachelor’s degree. The four year degree is also sought by those looking to go into graduate school or as a stepping stone to a master’s or doctorate degree.
How do I get a Bachelor’s Degree?
The first step to earning any accredited bachelor’s degree is a high school diploma or equivalent. Once accomplished, students must apply to an institution, college, or university offering the bachelor’s degree. Depending on the school, the process involves filling out an application – which is usually accompanied by a fee – gathering transcripts for submission, essay questions, or even an over the phone or in person interview.
Even though there may be multiple application fees, it is usually a good idea to apply to several schools. This can allow students to see which schools they are accepted by and even learn how much financial aid they can qualify for before choosing a school. For example, there may be little to no financial aid at a school with a lower cost, but a school with a higher tuition also tends to have more financial aid options and can even be cheaper in the long run.
Once accepted into a school, it takes an average of four years to get a bachelor’s degree in just about any field. Along with taking two years of core classes and another two of specialty classes, many schools also have other educational requirements for a bachelor’s degree. These can include learning another language, writing a thesis, choosing and completing a minor, and others, depending on the school.
What is the Average Salary of Someone With a Bachelor’s Degree?
Someone with a bachelor’s degree in any area is likely to make $308,588 more in average salary over a lifetime than someone with the average associate’s degree. Those with an associate’s degree in any area make $116,550 more than someone with a high school diploma, meaning that those with a bachelor’s degree make over $425,000 over a lifetime than a high school graduate, which makes the degree an intensely worthwhile investment.
The type of bachelor’s degree chosen also has an effect on average annual pay. A visit to Payscale.com features charts of both those who hold a Bachelor’s degree and Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree. Typical positions and their average salaries include administrative assistant ($34,070), office manager ($34,104), and financial controller ($71,608). Careers with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and their average salaries included staff accountant ($44,111), human resources manager ($60,485), and general manager ($64,097).
To get loads of information for jobs that require a bachelor’s degree and their average annual salaries, there are other sites such as Indeed. They currently list jobs that require a bachelor’s degree as having an average annual salary of $64,000. Scrolling down shows that tutors in various subjects made average salaries of $51,000 to $55,000 per year. The current highest paying careers were civil engineer at $84,000 and general engineer with $93,000 in average annual salary.
Where Can I Find Bachelor’s Degree Scholarships and Grants?
Paying for four years of higher education can seem frightening, but we have listed several scholarships, grants, and other forms of aid to help.
- FAFSA The first stop to any type of financial aid is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is a must to qualify for any federal grant and is also asked of when applying for many scholarships.
- StudentsLoans.govThis site is for anyone with questions on scholarships, grants, financial aid, and how to get them. Newest and most popular links are also useful.
- Federal Student AidThe U.S. Department of Education offers this free resource to help students find information about grants, student loans, and scholarships.
- FastWebUse this site to match yourself up with scholarships to pay for all sorts of bachelor’s degrees from business to world studies.
- Scholarships.comSimilar to the above, this is another scholarship matching site. Simply sign up for an account to get connected to opportunities for tons of scholarships.
- Edvisors ScholarshipsWondering how you’ll cover the cost of attending school this year? Enter your information and see which of our lending partners are offering loans for your school.
- FinAidThis site is known as “the smart guide to financial aid.” It offers answers to student’s questions on scholarships, loans, military aid, applications, and much more.
- Military Scholarship FinderIf you or a family member has been a member of the military, you can use this free search engine to find scholarships specifically for you.
The main similarity between bachelor’s (or any) degree scholarships and grants is that both are free money that does not have to be paid back if the student meets certain requirements such as graduation, minimum GPA, etc. The main difference between grants and scholarships are who gets them. While scholarships can be given out based on academic performance, needs, or both, grants are mostly need based and are awarded to everyone who qualifies for and applies for them.
The best stop for anyone looking for information on bachelor’s degree scholarships and grants is the financial aid office of your school. They are full of people whose specific job is helping students find opportunities to pay for school. They can also help answer questions, locate scholarships, fill out forms, and much more at no charge.