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    What is a Bachelor’s Degree?

    March 31, 2021 | Staff Writers

    Degree Finder
    BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

    Most people feel that education is a basic requirement to live a comfortable life. There are many forms of education; however, formal education is considered the most crucial of them all. There are various levels of formal education, and the amount of knowledge and skills you acquire depends on the level you choose to pursue. Higher education is offered in vocational training institutions and at the college and university levels. To show that you have completed a certain educational level, you receive a diploma or degree when you complete a program. For example, at the high school level, you get a high school diploma. Colleges and universities offer certificates, diplomas, and degrees, depending on the program you complete.

    There are different types of degrees offered in colleges and universities. The most common college degree is a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree is the first level of academic qualification available at the university level. Universities offer different bachelor’s degrees, and the degree you receive depends on the program you choose. Being a student in a higher learning institution has many challenges. To complete an undergraduate degree, you need to focus on academics and co-curricular activities at school. Discipline in studies is also essential, even for those taking online degree programs.

    To understand the bachelor’s degree better, we are going to explore the following:

    1. Significance of earning a bachelor’s degree
    2. Benefits of getting a bachelor’s degree
    3. The average cost of a bachelor’s degree
    4. Top bachelor’s degree programs.

    Significance of Earning a Bachelor’s Degree

    Many employers require you to have at least a bachelor’s degree before they consider hiring you for entry level positions. That said, you might be wondering why a degree is so significant or why it is called a bachelor’s degree.

    Historically, the term bachelor referred to apprentice knights who were too young and too poor to gather vassals under their banner. The term was later used to describe young men and women joining colleges and universities. This use is attributed to the fact that they had no prior experience in whichever field they were going to study. A bachelor’s degree was considered the lowest form of qualification in any profession. However, a degree holds a higher value in the modern world since lesser qualifications, such as certificates and diplomas, have been introduced.

    A bachelor’s degree is important in many ways, but the significance of a bachelor’s degree depends on the degree program you complete. Here are some of the main reasons why you should have an undergraduate degree.

    Entry into A Career

    A bachelor’s degree is the initial qualification you need to get an entry-level position in many fields. The degree you study determines the trajectory of your career. Completing a bachelor’s degree equips you with the basic knowledge and skills to practice in a specific field. However, some degree programs, such as data science and a bachelor’s of art, cut across more than one industry. Some people choose to complete an associate’s degree from a technical college first and then go on to pursue a bachelor’s degree to advance their education. Getting an associate’s degree first can be beneficial as it allows you to work a decent job while in school, helping to offset tuition costs.

    Higher Marketability and Employment Opportunities

    Having a bachelor’s degree means you have the necessary knowledge to perform in certain professions. Most employers look for individuals with bachelor’s degrees related to areas they practice. Having the right credentials sets graduates with degrees apart from the competition in the job market. However, the marketability of a degree depends on the course you study. In the modern world, an undergraduate degree in technology and medical fields are in high demand, which means such graduates have a higher chance of getting employed quickly and making more money than someone with only a high school diploma.

    Personal Fulfillment

    Pursuing a career out of passion is the best decision you can make. Doing what you love and earning a living from it makes your career and day-to-day life enjoyable. To achieve this, pursue a bachelor’s degree in your field of interest to gain more knowledge about your desired area of practice. Having adequate information about what you like creates a sense of satisfaction. With the information gained, you can find other ways to make money instead of being employed. Self-employment guarantees you the freedom to focus on other important aspects of life, such as family.

    Pathway to Advancement

    Many people desire to hold senior positions in their preferred fields during their professional careers. If you want to be an expert in your chosen field, say technology, an undergraduate degree is the first step. After an undergraduate degree, you can advance to the master’s degree and Ph.D. levels. A higher college degree guarantees you senior positions in your profession as you become more of an expert.

    Many jobs require you to have a bachelor’s degree. While some involve hands-on skills, others require critical thinking, which implies that the job you get depends on the degree you choose. The amount you earn while working as a degree graduate depends on your employer and job description. Some jobs have higher median earnings than others.

    Benefits of Getting a Bachelor’s Degree

    There are many levels of education you can pursue to get you started on your desired career path. In the modern world, you must get at least a bachelor’s degree. Here are some of the benefits you get by attaining a bachelor’s degree in a field of your choice.

    • Increased Employment Opportunities:  A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for many jobs. It increases your chances of getting an entry-level position in your field of study. Employers consider those with undergraduate degrees as skilled and knowledgeable. For this reason, they don’t plan to spend a lot of money and time training them for the duties at work. Additionally, a person with a bachelor’s degree can think critically to provide solutions to problems that might arise. Applying what you learn in class is a significant factor in how you will benefit your employer. Therefore, most employers want graduates with as much prowess on hands-on experience as possible.
    • Financial Freedom: Financial freedom is one of the main reasons people go to school. Most people hope that once they complete their bachelor’s degree, they find a decent entry-level position in their field that will eventually earn them a decent salary. However, having a bachelor’s degree provides more than employment as a mode of income generation. With the knowledge and skills attained from your bachelor’s degree and a graduate degree, if you choose to continue your education, you are qualified for many jobs and can grow your career in the future. For instance, a college graduate with expertise in technology and a graduate school degree can start their consultancy firm and earn more than a salary.
    • Social Status and Respect: Being an educated member of society comes with a certain level of respect from your peers. With an undergraduate degree, you can contribute to essential conversations that could spark change within society. Your knowledge puts you in a position where your peers value your input and may reach out to you for collaboration. However, your character also determines how much respect you get from those around you. Some people have excellent academic records, but their character and reputation turn people away from them. Being approachable makes networking easier for you.
    • General Personal Improvement: Undergraduate degree programs prepare you for a future in the professional world. For this reason, you learn essential interpersonal skills to make your life after school easier. For instance, the networking skills you learn at school set you up for employment opportunities and learning from other people. The critical thinking you developed during your course of study is essential in solving real-life problems.

    There are many reasons why employers want to hire people with a bachelor’s degree. Although the reasons vary from one business to the next, each employer wants to bring on employees who can help the business succeed. Here are some common reasons why employers go for employees with bachelor’s degrees.

    • They Are Cost-Efficient: Paying people with bachelor’s degrees is relatively affordable for many employers. Employees with bachelor’s degrees have the skills to deliver quality work at a lower salary than people with master’s degrees expect. Therefore, many employers prefer training those with undergraduate degrees to hiring those with master’s degrees. On the other hand, employees with qualifications lower than a bachelor’s degree need more on-the-job training, which costs the employer more money. People with bachelor’s degrees are the perfect middle ground.
    • Technical Skills and Versatility: As a bachelor’s degree holder, you are trained to work in a certain profession but not perform a specific role. Employers seek bachelor’s degree holders because they have the technical skills to perform multiple functions in their field. Employees without a bachelor’s degree may not have the technical skills to perform many tasks and have more limited performance.
    • Dedication and Work Ethic: Most bachelor’s degree holders are in the initial stages of their careers, which means that they are determined to climb through the ranks and are more dedicated to work. Employers prefer having motivated entry-level employees over master’s degree holders who might already have higher-level positions in other companies. Additionally, most bachelor’s degree holders are still passionate about their fields of study and willing to learn new techniques and methods, which is good for employers.

    There are many types of bachelor’s degrees classified in terms of performance or the specific area you’re pursuing. In terms of performance, you can choose from an honors degree and a pass degree. To get an honors degree, you must display excellent academic performance in your coursework. Other degrees are awarded to those who meet minimal requirements in academics. In terms of the course of study, you can pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree or a Bachelor of Science degree. Bachelor of art degrees are awarded to those who take courses related to arts, such as humanities. Bachelor of Science or a BS degree goes to individuals in science courses, such as engineering or computer science.

    Attaining a bachelor’s degree could be expensive. If you cannot afford your studies, you can apply for student loans and grants from the government. Student loans and grants are government initiatives to make education affordable and available to all citizens.

    Average Cost of a Bachelor’s Degree

    One of the most crucial stages of getting an education is attaining a bachelor’s degree. Finding a profitable yet affordable bachelor’s degree has a lot of advantages. A bachelor’s degree sets you up for your career life; therefore, it is essential to have one no matter the cost. The cost of a bachelor’s degree depends on several factors like:

    • Field of study: The course you choose to study determines how much your bachelor’s degree costs. Tuition fees for science courses are usually higher than art-related courses. This difference in fees is due to the facilities that academic institutions have to provide to facilitate learning in each type of program; for example, science labs and art classes require special labs and studios whereas math and English courses do not. Additionally, some majors require students to purchase materials and equipment to be used during the course. For science courses, such as engineering and medicine, students may have to invest in some pretty expensive equipment, making the cost of attaining a degree in these fields very high.
    • Duration of the degree program: Paying for a degree is not just about tuition fees and equipment. While studying, there are many other expenses, including accommodation, transportation, and other bills, such as food and clothing. The longer you stay in school, the more they have to pay for these things. Courses that require complex skills such as medicine and pharmacy take a long time, which means you are likely to spend more to attain your degree than someone pursuing an arts degree that could take only two years.
    • Mode of study: Academic institutions offer many options to pursue a bachelor’s degree, depending on the program you’re pursuing and the institution’s policies. Many programs are available completely online, like criminal justice or business administration. But technical courses, such as medicine, computer science, or engineering, require in-person courses. The main reason for in-person classes is that they are a better environment for understanding complicated concepts. Attending online bachelor level classes is a cheaper way to attain a bachelor’s degree. By attending online bachelor degree classes, you eliminate the cost of transport and accommodation, especially if you live in your own home.

    Although it is expensive, attaining a bachelor’s degree has advantages. There are many ways to make the costs lower to match your budget. However, this requires financial discipline to keep the costs as low as possible.

    Here are some tips on attaining a bachelor’s degree without straining your finances:

    Apply for scholarships and other financial assistance

    To make education more accessible, the government and other organizations offer financial aid to students who are pursuing higher education. Financial aid is usually in the form of scholarships, grants, student loans, and subsidies. To get financial assistance, you have to submit applications to various organizations and departments. These entities then assess your application to determine whether you qualify for the assistance. Most non-governmental organizations offer scholarships to students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in courses related to the organization’s interest. For instance, the World Health Organization provides scholarships for students pursuing degrees in the medical field.

    How you receive and use the financial aid depends on the policies of the organization giving it out. While some institutions send the funds to your account, others go directly to your college tuition costs. Some scholarship programs offer both tuition fees clearance and stipends.

    Avoid unnecessary expenditures

    Financial discipline determines whether your degree program is bearable or not. With limited financial resources, budgeting and prioritizing essential needs is the best way to live. Settle critical bills such as rent, electricity, water, and food first. If your field of study requires intense research, internet bills should be considered a priority. However, this does not mean you have to live a caged life while pursuing your degree. Budgeting allows you to spare money for leisure activities such as traveling.

    Find part-time jobs

    Your finances might not be sufficient to cover all your essential and leisure needs, which is one reason why you should find a part-time job if possible. Part-time jobs supplement your financial status so that you can live somewhat comfortably through college. Additionally, part-time jobs are the best way to spend your free time outside coursework. Being idle in most cases leads to temptations to overspend on unnecessary stuff. It is even more beneficial to find a part-time job related to your studies, especially if the job allows you to network with potential future employers.

    Find cheaper modes of studying

    Universities and colleges offer different forms of study. Often, you can enroll for a full-time course or a part-time program. A part-time bachelor’s program is cheaper and more convenient since you attend fewer classes. If you are already employed and pursuing a degree, part-time study is the best option for you. For full-time enrollment, you can cut down on commuting costs by relocating to a place closer to your institution of choice. Some colleges offer affordable accommodation to students, and you should take advantage of such opportunities if possible. Online degree programs are also an option for pursuing higher education because they cut down on both transport and accommodation costs. With an online bachelor’s program, you can attend classes and sit for tests in the comfort of your home.

    Although you can apply for financial aid, financial discipline is important if you want to live comfortably while in college. The mismanagement of scholarship or grant funds is particularly dangerous. It can have severe repercussions, even leading to the money being withdrawn.

    Top Bachelor’s Degree Programs

    Choosing the best bachelor’s degree to study is one of the hardest decisions you face in the early stages of your career. Choosing one requires critical thinking and a lot of research. A bachelor’s degree will set you on a career path, and the career path you choose should be rewarding in all aspects of your life. Here are some of the most popular bachelor’s degree programs available:

    • Bachelor of Science in Data Science: Data science is one of the most in-demand professions in the modern world. A data scientist’s role is to collect, analyze, and present data to give relevant information for decision-making processes. Having a bachelor’s degree in data science places you in a position to work in all industries. Organizations in governance, manufacturing, and any other industry require data and information to run their daily operations, which implies you are likely to be employed immediately after you complete school. The advantage of pursuing a degree in data science is that you can enroll as an online student to complete a baccalaureate degree at most universities, which we’ve already seen can save you money
    • Bachelor of Science in Engineering: There are many disciplines in the engineering field. However, having a degree in any of these disciplines is equally beneficial. An engineering degree equips you with the knowledge and skills to solve real-life problems that could be catastrophic if left unattended. Examples of engineering disciplines include electrical engineering, civil engineering, and software engineering, among others. Civil engineers specialize in construction activities, while electrical engineers deal with electricity. Software engineers focus on developing and maintaining computer programs to perform certain functions. As a software engineer, you can work in any industry since most companies rely on this type of technology to function.
    • Bachelor of Science in Medicine: If you want to be a doctor, you must start with a bachelor’s degree in medicine. Medicine is one career that is constantly changing and increasing in terms of job opportunities. Medical institutions need specialists who can handle existing medical complications and perform research, hunting for cures and vaccines for various diseases. Other degree programs that are related to medicine include nursing, pharmacy, and psychology. Once you are certified to practice medicine, you have to keep updating your skills and knowledge to remain relevant in the field. Diseases and health complications evolve, hence the need to further your studies.
    • Bachelor of Arts in Education: Teaching is an essential profession. They create the foundation for future learners and professionals in all other fields since they introduce them to basics. By having a Bachelor of Arts degree in education, you may be employed by the government or private academic institutions. As long as students need to learn, the demand for teachers will always be there.

    Once you have chosen a degree to pursue, the next task is choosing the school you want to attend. The choice of a college depends on several factors. The main thing to consider is whether the school you want to attend offers the program you want to study. Although some colleges might have the degree program you want, they may not be equipped for the course since it is not their main focus. Choose a college that focuses on the degree program you have chosen and has the proper accreditation.

    Finances are another factor you should consider. Choose to attend a college whose tuition fees and other expenses you can afford. This approach makes your study period comfortable and fulfilling. Having peace of mind improves your academic and co-curriculum performance.

    The cost of a bachelor’s degree depends on how marketable it is and the institution’s policies. However, if you find a degree program too expensive, you can seek financial assistance. Scholarships and government grants can help lower the cost of the degree.

    In Summary

    A bachelor’s or baccalaureate degree is an essential academic qualification for entry-level jobs in just about every industry. Other than setting you up for a good job, it equips you with the knowledge to survive in the professional world and prepares you to pursue graduate-level education if you prefer. Although some seem more beneficial than others, there is no guarantee that you will get a good job by enrolling in such degree programs. Benefitting from a bachelors degree requires more than academic excellence and employment. You have to be proactive in your field of practice to climb the ranks as a professional. Networking and dedication to the work involved will open your mind to more opportunities in your field of study. This attitude is essential for your future as an employee, manager, independent business owner, or employer.

    Before starting a bachelor’s degree program, assessing the risks and expenses involved is essential. Financial considerations help you plan the amount of time and money to invest in the degree. You can estimate the returns of investing in a degree program to try to determine if it’s worth it for you. If you want a career with a lot of potential, you should invest in more marketable degree programs, such as medicine or engineering. Such degree programs have a lot of employment opportunities that pay higher salaries. If you want to save a bit of money, look for an online bachelor’s degree that offers what you need for your future career.

    Your levels of discipline determine how you benefit from your bachelor’s degree. Financial discipline determines how stable your financial status will be before, during, and after attaining your degree. Having a financially sound mind helps you make good choices as an employee and an employer in the future. Discipline in academics guarantees excellent performance. Attaining a bachelor’s degree makes you a good investment for employers and sets you up nicely to begin your career.

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