Online Bachelor's Degrees
When most people refer to a "college degree" they are typically referring to a traditional four-year, bachelor's degree. Most bachelor's degrees require 120 to 128 credit hours of coursework which typically includes general education, major, and elective courses. Most colleges and universities will allow prospective students to transfer up to 60 credits from an associate degree earned at a regionally accredited community college or vocational school.
There are two general types of bachelor degrees. These include:
- Bachelor of Arts (abbreviated B.A. or A.B.)
The Bachelor of Arts is a 4 year college design that typically requires that students take a majority of their courses in the arts, namely humanities, social sciences, music, or fine arts.
- Bachelor of Science (abbreviated B.S. or B.Sc.)
The Bachelor of Science is a 4 year college degree that typically requires that students take a majority of their courses in the sciences, namely life sciences, physical sciences, or the mathematical sciences.
Why Earn a Bachelor's Degree?
The bachelor's degree is the degree of choice among employers seeking to fill entry-level positions. In fact, for a growing number of career positions, having a bachelor's degree is becoming a requirement. Employers recognize that employees who have taken the time to earn a bachelor's degree are more likely to have the skills, knowledge, and dedication required to perform well on the job.
Notwithstanding, we recommend earning a bachelor's degree in a discipline that is directly applicable to your future career path and job prospects. Earning just any degree may not be worth it. Graduating with $50k in student debt with a liberal arts degree may not be the right choice if you want to have immediate job prospects and a decent salary after you graduate. Earning a bachelor's degree in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) where jobs are plentiful and demand is high makes more sense. Earning a bachelor's degree in business, accounting and other applied fields of study is also a good idea.
Earning an Online Bachelor's Degree
While online degrees still carry a slight stigma with some employers, most employers view online degrees as equal to degrees earned on campus. According to a report published by Cleveland State University, as recent as 2009 employers and hiring managers still had a negative perception of online degrees – but that's no longer the case. These days, online degrees are viewed favorably by most employers, and some employers see having an online degree as advantageous.
Why the change in perception? There are many reasons. First, more and more top-ranked schools and universities are now offering their degrees and/or courses online. Second, employers recognize that online programs maintain the same accreditation and quality standards as their campus-based counterparts. Finally, employers are recognizing that online degree programs are often as demanding – if not more demanding – than campus based degrees and that a student who successfully completes an online degree has a unique set of skills.
If you decide to pursue your bachelor's degree online, we recommend earning your degree from a regionally accredited institution that has a good reputation and brand recognition.