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Questions to Ask Before Pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree

Written by K Fisher on December 15, 2021

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Pursuing a bachelor’s degree is serious stuff when it comes to knowing exactly what career field is being pursued for that degree. The why’s, how’s, when, how long, and what’s are needed to know what involves gaining and achieving a bachelor’s degree. Is it easy to obtain a bachelor’s degree? What classes do are needed? What type of G.P.A.?

There are fast tracks to obtaining a bachelor’s degree quickly more so than later in life.

First, what is a Bachelor’s Degree?

A bachelor’s degree is considered an undergraduate degree that a student receives after fulfilling their studies and passing with high marks to achieve a degree in that specific career field. A bachelor’s degree comes after an associate and before a master’s degree. Some master degrees do not need a bachelor’s degree present to receive a masters.

However, what can you get a bachelor’s degree in:

  • Bachelor Arts (Communication, Education, English, Languages, Philosophy, Psychology, and Sociology)
  • Bachelor of Science (Biology, Business, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Math, Nursing, and Physics)
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (Creative Writing, Theatre, Film & Photography, Music, and Visual Arts)

Do all universities/colleges offer bachelor’s degrees?

Specifically, universities, colleges, and liberal arts colleges do offer bachelor’s degrees. Typically, any higher education institution offers a bachelor’s degree program.

Universities – There are 2 variations when it comes to universities: public (or state) universities and private universities. Public universities are funded by the state in which they are located, while private universities are funded by endowment funds and tuition fees. The most common bachelor’s degrees offered by public and private universities are BA and BS degrees.

Liberal Art Institutions – Liberal art institutions tend to focus on undergraduate programs. Students take a variety of courses in the humanities, arts, sciences, and social sciences. Liberal arts colleges offer BA, BFA, and BS degrees.

Community Schools – Community schools, as called junior colleges, offer a limited number of bachelor’s degree programs. Generally, they award 2-year associate degrees designed to help students transfer to a four-year degree program.

What Is the Fastest Way to Acquire a Bachelor’s?

Did you know that students can test out of required classes for the first two years of college? Required classes are simply classes that covers all the basics like math, science, English, and languages. Students can be opted out of these classes since really, they will take up about two college years before the student starts classes for a bachelor’s degree.

This is where high school AP college courses come in handy. Another example is to satisfy general curriculum requirements by taking AP classes in areas like English, even if you intend to enroll in a STEM degree program because virtually all college students take at least a semester or two of English.

This ultimately means taking more classes to acquire the bachelor’s degree 120 credits. Yes, sadly only first year college students tackle a whole 12 credits. Taking on more classes will help to boost a student towards a better chance at securing a bachelor’s early.

The other handy plan in gaining a head start with reaching a bachelor’s degree quickly is to take summer classes if they are being offered.

What Classes are Needed to Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree?

The listed required classes will take up a full year, where required classes are needed to even think about obtaining this type of degree.

What is needed is this list below:

  • Complete a minimum of 120 semester hours of credit towards graduation – there is no variation to this
  • Satisfy the UI and CLAS residence requirements – otherwise there will be no real other way to acquire this level of degree
  • Complete the requirements of the CLAS Core General Education Program
  • Choose a major and complete that major
  • Meet the College’s academic standards which differs from college to college
  • Clear any “I” marks from your record (by completing any incomplete courses or allowing the “I” to lapse to an “F”) – If any incomplete marks are on your academic record this will mean that student needs to re-take an entire class from start to finish. No one has ever been able to have an incomplete and receive a degree.

Students who wish to earn a BA, BS, BFA, or BM degree from CLAS must complete the requirements of the CLAS General Education CLAS Core.

Can Students Transfer Credits to Fill-Out the Rest?

Yes, students that have extra credits may transfer those credits to pretty much, create a full complete academic record. The only way a transfer credit can be redeemed is by the admissions office who over sees all academic records from each student.

The initial rule of thumb for transferring credits is a 90/30 rule that all colleges follow. This is 90 hours to be eligible for a college credit transfer. Afterwards this requires that a student must complete no less than 30 credit hours in a single program in order to earn the bachelor’s degree at hand.

What About Transferring Credits from or To an Online School?

Yes! But this depends on the online schooling and the in-person university who will accept those credits. If a student started out as a traditional on-campus student, they can opt to transfer to an online education. This is far easier for these students, rather than the opposite. Where students who previously started out their bachelor degree program via online and then decide to transfer to an on-campus college.

How Difficult Is It to Achieve a Bachelor’s Degree?

Ah, the difficulty standard when it comes to studying and pursing a bachelor’s degree depends on the individual. On average from statistical studies, it takes a single student 52 months to reach their bachelor’s degree. This does not disregard the difficult waters they may face.

The standard dropout rate when students are studying for this degree is around 40%. From 4-year institutions on average for each year about 56% student’s dropout without finishing their degrees. The percentage for students successfully reaching their bachelor’s degree is 60%.

Since there is a fairly even consideration between dropping out and reaching that degree level, it’s seen as a fairly difficult degree to reach. Nevertheless, everyone is different and has different college experiences that may influence their decisions to dropping out.

The only real way to earn a bachelor’s degree is to fully commit one’s self to the process. For a full-time student they will earn 30-hours a week or 30 full credits when it comes to working towards a bachelors. But a lot of students can rush a 2-year span to earn that degree.

Things to consider to move quickly towards a bachelor’s degree:

  • Bachelor degree completion programs
  • College courses during high school
  • Transfer credits
  • Accelerated degrees
  • Take summer semesters
  • Take night classes
  • Military or applicable training
  • Testing out
  • Existing credits available for transfer

Earning this degree faster can save time, money, and general savings. Hardwork is needed dearly for this otherwise, slackers will not achieve this in a 2-year span.

 

What Subjects Can Students Decide to Not Receive a Bachelor’s Degree On:

  • Stockbroker
  • Mining Construction
  • IT
  • Commodities trader
  • Offshore oil-platform worker
  • Digital Marketing
  • Nuclear technicians
  • Air traffic controller
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurse
  • Medical Records Clerk
  • Massage Therapist
  • Patrol Officer
  • Firefighter
  • Insurance Sales Agent
  • Plumber
  • Maintenance and Repair Technician
  • Ophthalmic Technician
  • Dental Assistant
  • Esthetician
  • Physical Therapy Aide
  • Computer Security Analyst
  • Phlebotomist
  • Computer Programmer

Oddly enough certain specific jobs do not require a bachelor’s degree only the proper training for that career position is needed.

What Bachelor Majors Make Easy and A lot of Income?

This is a normal question to ask especially if a student is looking to have a steady income with their career. The top jobs for this purpose would be any accounting jobs, along with medical professions. Then especially any criminal justice careers that can easily turn into the student going back to school for law, and passing the bar exams which all lawyers have to pass to become a real lawyer in the eyes of the state.

 

Let’s Look at the Disadvantages of Having a Bachelor’s Degree

The cost can be well… costly. Some people work hard and find that even though the spent a ton of money on having a Bachelor’s Degree… depending on what study field that student has chosen, there may not be a huge job market for it right now.

When a specific field for example nursing is always in need of students to go to college to earn the right degree to become a certified nurse. Because nurses are always in demand no matter what. That has been proven these last 3 years. However, a career in interior design has such a low demand because of what the world has been through with the pandemic and closing down cities and entire countries.

Students will need to look at the job market growth to see in 2 years’ time what their field will be in demand of. It’s not to say that students shouldn’t go for a degree in something they are passionate about, it’s more about being smart about the decision in the long run. And asking “how will I be able to use this degree to its fullest?”

Sacrificing time with family, yourself, and friends. This is very high on the priorities list, because many first-year students start to realize that they have left their family home and they haven’t yet made friends with anyone at university. This can add to students’ anxiety and depression if they have already experienced this set of illness before.

Not being able to hold a full-time job for 4-years is the reality of the degree pursuing situation. Students who go to university for a 4-year stint don’t understand that they will not be able to have a full-time job unless it involves teaching or a job that is situated within the university itself. Otherwise, a part-time job is all that student will be able to handle for 4-years.

Students may not gain technical and common-sense skills. Oddly enough this is what employers are looking for when hiring employees. That want an employee who can make a rash decision if necessary or a team leader who knows how to deal with conflict in the office. It is best of students can find a part-time job possible in an office or work space where they can learn these skills quickly to add to their resume.

It may not need to be talked about but the real debt situation in the United States is outstanding. Less than 50% of students graduate with a bachelor’s degree that includes not needing to pay off any school loan debt. The other 60% will spend 10 years or more paying off school loan debt. Just for a 3-year span at college and accumulate around $90,000 of student loan debt. And the interest rates continue to skyrocket.

The Pro of It All

Typically, after reading the disadvantages a student may be persuaded to do something else. However, the other reality is that a lot of students complete the financial aid packet and receive a grant to cover 75% of the full cost of attending a 4-year university. This in itself becomes highly rewarding. Allowing students to continue their higher education and graduating with a top grade point average.

The old saying goes, choose what works for you, and that is true. Everyone should create a detailed life map to see what their budget will be able to handle (ask help from family too) to see what year span can be completed. A lot of students who thought they could not finish college end up doing so just out of sheer determination and typically end up being the top 15% in their class with highest grade point average.

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