No matter what your interests and talents are, you can select from an array of degree programs to provide you with a competitive edge in obtaining the job you want. Despite a larger number of individuals obtaining degrees today, degrees are no less valuable toward landing a satisfying and lucrative career. Read on for an overview of the four primary levels of college degree programs.
Associate degrees are usually obtained at a community or junior college or a technical school. Some schools provide online associate degree programs. Four types of associate degree programs exist: Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Science (A.S.), Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.), and Associate of General Studies (A.G.S.).
Some associate college degree programs are either in technical or vocational specialties, where an individual, after obtaining the degree, can typically enter the workforce. Associate degrees, also known as transfer degrees, parallels a degree offered at a university or college and serves as the first two years of the four-year degree.
An increasing number of American high schools also offer programs where high schools students may concurrently take college courses at a local community college, earning credits toward an associate degree.
Should a student decide to continue his education many associate degree credits, such as an A.S. in Accounting, may also count toward a bachelor degree.
Common majors within an A.A. degree program include history, social sciences, and music. Common majors within an A.S. degree program include mathematics, natural sciences, and technology. Individuals with an A.A.S. degree typically go into healthcare related fields, such as nursing or radiological technology. Other common A.A.S. college degree programs include computer science and web design.
According to data released by the Education Department, community colleges are the most affordable option for higher education because they increase tuition at a fraction of the pace found at four-year universities and colleges.
Traditionally students earn a bachelor degree through attending colleges or universities; a bachelor degree generally takes four to five years to complete. Some colleges and universities offer online bachelor degree programs.
The most common types of bachelor degrees include a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Science (BS). Some of the most sought after bachelor degrees by employers in 2013 include business administration, finance, accounting, marketing, and economics.
Average in-state tuition at public schools is $8,244 and $28,500 at private schools, while out-of-state tuition easily rivals private schools.
According to The Economic Benefit from Postsecondary Degrees, A State and National Level Analysis December 2012 report, Americans who have a bachelor degree have a median income of $50,360, whereas Americans who only have a high school diploma have a median income of $29,423.
Master degrees are typically designated as either a Master of Arts (MA) or a Master of Science (MS). A student must obtain a bachelor’s degree before continuing their education for a Master degree, which takes an additional one to three years. Many colleges and universities offering bachelor degree programs also offer master degree programs.
Many employers are most interested in master degree programs related to business, engineering, and computer science.
According to FindAid.org, the average cost of a master’s degree is between $30,000 and $120,000. The cost of a master degree varies on the master degree program and the school providing the master degree. The average cost for an MBA degree is $40,000 per year or $80,000 for two years.
Benefits of a master degree include an edge in job competition and a larger average salary. The average salary across the U.S. for an individual with a master degree is approximately $92,000.
Typically an individual must have at least a bachelor degree before applying for a doctoral degree program. The doctoral designations include a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D), doctor of education (Ed.D), or doctor of public health (DPH). Many schools offering bachelor degree programs also offer doctoral degree programs. Doctoral degrees consist of course work, independent study, and a final dissertation. Doctoral degrees may take seven years or more to obtain.
The average salary across the U.S. for an individual with a doctoral degree is approximately $135,500. A doctoral degree helps job seekers stand out from the crowd. There simply aren’t very many Americans who continue their education to the doctoral level; typically people with a doctoral degree are quite highly regarding within their industry. Individuals with doctoral degrees may apply to teach at college and universities.