What is a bachelor's degree? (2023)


professional development

What is a bachelor's degree?

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Use this guide to learn more about undergraduate courses: where to start, factors to consider, how to choose a degree, and how to maximize your potential.

What is a bachelor's degree? (1)

A bachelor's degree is a form of post-secondary (post-secondary) education that many students pursue for further academic and professional development. There are many different career paths you can choose after high school, but earning a bachelor's degree can give you career opportunities that match your talents and interests. In this article, we'll discuss what a bachelor's degree is, who it might be right for, and how you can get started.

What is a bachelor's degree?

A bachelor's degree is usually a degree obtained after graduating from high school. In the United States, a bachelor's degree includesEvery timeIBachelor's degree. Three major institutions typically offer bachelor's degrees: universities, liberal arts colleges, andpublic higher education institution

Bachelor's and Master's degrees

job titleProvides basic training within your field while allowing you to use general subject knowledge outside of your field. As a student, you often have the opportunity to build a community of people from all walks of life as you pursue your educational goals.

frequencyHowever, they allow you to specialize in an area of ​​study that interests you and help build your expertise in that area. As a student, you focus on specific courses in smaller settings. After obtaining a bachelor's degree, you can move on to a master's degree. degree includesMaster diplomaIPh.D.

What is a bachelor's degree? (2)

4 benefits of a bachelor's degree

A bachelor's degree is a great way to become more marketable once you enter the job market. Consider the following potential benefits of earning a bachelor's degree:

1. Better career prospects

It is estimated that nearly two-thirds of jobs require higher education.1] With a bachelor's degree, you can prepare for a more specialized career in a growing job market. As a job seeker, having this competitive advantage can create opportunities for positions that support greater career growth.

2. Higher salary

Those with a bachelor's degree typically earn more[2] While the median annual salary for high school graduates is $35,630, that rises to $42,860 for college graduates and $59,130 ​​for bachelor's degrees, according to 2019 data compiled by the National Center for Education Statistics​ ​$[3]

3. Opportunities to develop interests

Undergraduate programs often give you the opportunity to design your education around your interests. Continuing your undergraduate studies gives you the chance to develop your passion and make it a rewarding career.

4. Professional networking

Whether you choose to complete a two-year or four-year bachelor's degree, advancing your education is one way to maximize your potential and find a rewarding career path. As you continue your undergraduate studies, you will meet a network of people, including professors and colleagues. These connections can often lead to future career opportunities.

learn more: 11 high paying jobs you can get with a liberal arts degree

How long does it take to get a bachelor's degree?

A bachelor's degree usually takes two to four years, depending on the field of study. They also grant you different qualifications.

  • two-year program: ATwo-year bachelor's degreeOften called a diploma. Prepare for entry-level positions or take more in-depth courses at a four-year college or universityart assistantitscientific employee, the two most common types of associate degree. An associate degree typically requires 60 credits, which you can transfer to a four-year university.

  • four-year program: A bachelor's degree is usuallyFour-year program. An estimated 2,278 colleges and universities in the United States offer students the opportunity to complete a four-year bachelor's degree.4] Four-year undergraduate programs are structured around majors and other course requirements, which vary from school to school.Bachelor diploma, you usually complete 120 to 128 credits.

Read more: Can you get a bachelor's degree from a community college?

How much does a bachelor's degree usually cost?

The cost of a bachelor's degree varies depending on where you study. Charter colleges, state public schools, out-of-state public schools, and private colleges may charge different rates for a bachelor's degree. Here's a breakdown of the average U.S. tuition and fees by institution type for the 2019-2020 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics [5]:

  • Public school:$ 3.900

  • Private non-profit colleges:$ 18.000

  • For-profit private community colleges:15 800 $

  • Public college or university:$ 9.400

  • Private college or non-profit university:$ 37.600

  • Private college or university for profit:$ 18.200

learn more:Is it worth having a bachelor's degree?

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Choose the right degree

An important step in earning a bachelor's degree is choosing the degree that's right for you. Here are some steps to help you find your best match:

Limit your career options.

The first step in choosing a degree is narrowing down your options. A good starting point is to base your decision on your skills, interests and employability.

learn more: What should I specialize in? How to choose a field of study

Keep costs in mind.

Once you have a better idea of ​​the career path you want to take, it is always wise to look at the available options that best suit you. Be sure to consider both your financial situation and the wider economy to make the most financially rewarding decision.

learn more: work to pay for tuition

Ask your peers.

Ask someone you trust for an outside perspective. By consulting the insights of others, you can decide which path is best for you. Colleagues understand your situation better and can provide you with useful information.

learn more: Top 10 most popular areas of study

Discover online.

When in doubt, check it out. Once you have a clear idea of ​​what you want to achieve with your undergraduate degree, you can start looking for courses that might suit you.

learn more: 10 surprising benefits of online learning

Can I get my diploma online?

Online degree programs are a flexible, efficient and cost-effective way to earn a bachelor's degree from the comfort of your own home.online educationIt is growing in popularity as it brings more and more people into higher education. If you are a mature student or someone who is already working and wants to further your education, an online degree could be the way to go.

Remember that research is crucial in choosing the right solutiononline diploma. Be sure to check post-secondary settingsrecognized, ratings and reviews, student resources, tuition costs, and student achievement after graduation.

What is a bachelor's degree? (3)

Alternatives to a bachelor's degree

there are manyAlternatives to universityIf you think a bachelor's degree isn't for you:

  • getting an entry-level jobGain work experience in a low-stress environment.

  • be certified orProfessional certificateValidate your knowledge.

  • Attending a trade or vocational school allows you to perfect new skills.

  • Apply for internships and learn from successful business people.

  • apply for an internshipStudy a specialization in your chosen field and increase its marketability in future job searches.

  • start your own businessAnd learn to be your own boss.

Next step

Learn more about what it's like to make moneyBachelorOnlineFrom the world's leading universities on the Coursera platform. If you need more information to decide which way to go, consider taking an online course on a topic that interests you until you find the right solution.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Yes! While it's relatively easy to change your program at a four-year college or university, it's important to choose a program that fits your skills, interests, and career aspirations. Choosing the right bachelor's degree can often help prepare you for a more rewarding career.

Read more: What should I specialize in? 5 things to evaluate

While there is some overlap between the BA and BA degrees, the BA usually focuses on the study of art, history, literature, writing, philosophy, and religion. A bachelor's degree, on the other hand, is usually (but not always) focused on math and science studies.

Read more: What is the difference between a bachelor's degree and a bachelor's degree?

This will depend on your goals. An associate degree provides basic study before you begin a four-year bachelor's degree program. A bachelor's degree typically requires 120 semesters of study and can typically be completed in four years of full-time study.

After completing a bachelor's degree, you can continue with a more specialized degree or find additional employment. Depending on your career aspirations, interests and financial situation, a college degree or bachelor's degree may be useful.

Written by Coursera • Updated on

This content is for informational purposes only. Students are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that their coursework and other qualifications meet their personal, professional and financial goals.


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