Types of College Degrees
The conception of a “college” degree always implies a bachelor degree, which requires 4 years of studying. Still, you can choose between various types of college degrees, which have their upsides and downsides. Your task is to decide which of them is the best for you.
The decision which degree to do is dependent on what you aim to achieve by means of your education and what kind of profession you want to pursue, as every profession requires specific education and training.
For instance, to be a doctor in the USA implies getting a medical license, which can only be obtained by holding a medical degree at a medical educational institution with accreditation. In contrast, for the profession of an investment banker, one can major in a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA), in finance, economics, etc.
Professional Certificates and Licenses
For lots of technical or vocational professions having a professional certification or licensing is a must. In some fields, these two concepts are synonyms but that is not always the case. To receive a license, one must first have a professional certification. Before opting for a vocational degree, you must study the certification and licensing requirements for your vocation in the region where you live, as they can differ depending on the state.
Whereas professional certification programs deal primarily with helping students acquire technical skills that will enable them to fulfill a certain function or prepare for a certain job, college degrees traditionally give all-rounded education and more profound understanding of a subject. For instance, an electrician needs a professional certification and licensing that will enable him to practice his trade but an electrical engineer must receive a “bachelor” or sometimes even a graduate degree.
This is a degree, which is pursued after getting a high school diploma or GED. An undergraduate degree is often referred to as a post-secondary degree, since it is the first degree that one can pursue after secondary education. The education here is comprised of a general education component, elective and core courses. All post-secondary students, irrespective of their area of study, must do the same general education courses. After the completion of general education courses, students will take elective and core courses, which correspond to their future profession.
There are two categories of undergraduate degrees in the USA: Associate Degrees and Bachelor Degrees.
Students usually get a 2-year associate degree at a community college with an intention of transferring to a regionally accredited college or university after its completion. Such degrees are known as Transfer Degrees. If you intend to transfer to a four-year school, you need to do a degree at educational institutions that are regionally accredited. It is essential, as a lot of them are not actually regionally accredited. Almost all 4-year colleges and universities are accredited by the region, and a college accredited by the region will only consider transfer credits from a community college if it is regionally accredited, as well.
A transfer degree fits the educational requirements (and some of the core requirements) of a 4-year bachelor’s degree.
Associate degrees are undergraduate degrees, which take two years to complete and require students to complete 60 semester credit hours. An advantage of pursuing an associate degree is that credits cost less in comparison to other undergraduate degrees. As credits at a community college are more reasonably priced compared to those received via a bachelor degree at a 4-year educational establishment, lots of people take their general education courses at such colleges and then head for colleges or universities in pursuit of their bachelor’s degree. If the community college, where the credits are earned, is accredited by the region, it is a way-out if you aim to obtain a bachelor degree without excessive expenditures.