Bachelor’s Degree

Bachelor’s Degree

In the academic world, a Bachelor’s degree, or Baccalaureate degree, is the second level of academic achievement. A BS denotes a Bachelor of Science and is associated with more concrete areas of study such as science, while BA refers to a Bachelor of the Arts and is associated with humanities such as social sciences.

There are many other types of Bachelor’s Degrees, including a BPharm (pharmaceutical studies), a BTech (Bachelor of Technology) and a BSF (Bachelor of Science in Forestry), among many others.

A Bachelor’s Degree typically takes approximately four years to obtain, and comes after an Associate’s degree and before a graduate degree such as a Master’s or Doctorate.

Here, we will walk you through the process of earning a Bachelor’s Degree, from your general education requirements to your last few courses. We’ll also highlight some important things to remember in today’s competitive academic and professional worlds, as well as give you some pointers for helping your educational experience run according to plan.

Starting Out – General Education

For the most part, the first two years of a four-year Bachelor’s Degree involve general education requirements. These are core subjects considered to be vital to a well-rounded educational experience. While there is variation between schools, some core subjects that you will be required to take include basic algebra, some type of science or chemistry, English, communications, social sciences and art.

Before you take on more than the required number of credits, however, be absolutely certain that you can maintain a high grade point average in all courses. There’s no point in letting your GPA suffer in order to race through college, since ultimately your performance matters more than your speed.

Choosing Your Bachelor’s Degree Major

Bachelor's Degree

Your Bachelor’s Degree will be awarded in the subject of your major. Majors and minors can be confusing, especially for high school students planning their future.

A major is your main field of course study, and typically your chosen career field. A minor is added to bring depth to your studies, and also to give you more flexible career options upon graduation. Some students also choose to minor in a subject they simply enjoy studying.

Majors and minors can be complementary, such as in the case of a Business major with a Communications minor. They can also be completely unrelated, such as a Computer Science major with a minor in Forestry. There are no specific requirements. It is generally beneficial, however, to choose a minor which complements your major, since this opens more employment doors for you after graduation.

While some students have their major chosen by the time they enter high school, many enter college with no concrete idea of what they want to do with their lives. There are many ways to choose your major, including visiting a career advisor and taking aptitude tests. However, there are those who believe that the best way to determine what you want to do with your life is to follow your passions and talents.

If you’ve always been good with computers, a Bachelor’s Degree in computer science will allow you to enter the world of information technology and use your skills. If your passion is painting, an art major will give you the background to work in museums and galleries. Whatever you’re interested in, there is a major, and a Bachelor’s Degree, to fit your talents.

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Common Bachelor’s Degree Majors

In recent years, the most common Bachelor’s Degrees included Business, Social Science, Health Science, Information Technology and Education degrees. While these are all extremely valuable and worthwhile degrees, it’s important to set yourself apart from the crowd. In today’s highly competitive professional world, a Bachelor’s Degree in certain fields is extremely common. Therefore, specializing your degree is the key to getting yourself noticed and recognized in a sea of job applicants.

Specializing your Bachelor’s Degree is as easy as choosing a highly sought-after or an unusual minor. Your minor should be, of course, something which interests you and will offer broader employment opportunities.

Another way to enhance a common major is to do volunteer work related to your minor. If you are pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in education and want to primarily work with impoverished youth, you could add a Youth Studies minor and volunteer at local urban schools, community centers, or any other institution which puts you in contact with marginalized young people. This combination of study and volunteer work will show prospective employers that you are serious and dedicated to your chosen field.

Individualized Majors

In some cases, a student desires a Bachelor’s Degree in a subject which is not offered as a major by their school. If switching schools is not an option, the student may speak to his or her advisor about creating an individualized major. While not all colleges and universities offer this option, a great many do offer it and encourage students to design their own education.

An individualized major lets you choose what your Bachelor’s Degree will be awarded in, depended on school approval. If you’re attending a school which specializes in liberal arts and you want to attain a business degree, your school can often work with you to make it happen. Individualized majors come together in different ways. In some cases, it’s a simple matter of taking certain classes online from a different school.

In other cases, you can literally create a degree, plan out your classes with your advisor, and take those courses wherever they are offered. As long as “X” school approves your major, you will receive a Bachelor’s Degree from “X” school.

Keep Your Eyes on Your Future

When in college, it’s common for students to let their grades slide, assuming that as long as they pass, they’ll obtain their degree. They feel that the grades themselves don’t matter. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Accolades such as Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Cum Laude are awarded for academic excellence, and these awards look excellent on a resume. In addition, previous grades are often taken into account when applying for a Master’s or Doctoral degree.

Earning your Bachelor’s Degree is your first step toward building a solid career and life for yourself. Take every course seriously and always keep looking for ways to enhance and distinguish your educational background.

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