Degrees: Which should I get?

There are a variety of college degrees out there, usually they will fall into the following categories: An Associates Degree is given after two year of university study. This is an indication that you have completed some college work, but not finished the full course of study.  Bachelor’s degrees are awarded after completing the full course at a university. Masters degrees and Doctorates come after completing the bachelors degree.

These four year degrees come in a variety of flavors; Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Nursing, and the list goes on.  So the question comes up, “What is the difference?” The answer, as is so often the case, is that it depends on the university.

To start, the American university system is based on the classical Greek style of education, with an emphasis on a broad-based education that includes study from a large number of fields.  If you are an Economics major (more on that next week) you may have to take a foreign language class and a biology class.  This broad-based focus will usually result in a Bachelor of Arts degree. a Bachelor of Science would have a greater focus on the sciences, with less non-science classes.  You can extend the analogy for all of the degrees, a Bachelor of Fine Arts, would focus more on Fine Arts and less on Political Science.

Two important things to keep in mind, as always each university in the US will have its own requirements and offerings, many will not offer some degrees.  The other is to pay careful attention to the licensing requirements of your career; for example a Bachelor of Architecture is a professional degree, in other words once you earn this degree, you can become an architect, however a Bachelor of Science with an Architecture major is not a professional degree.  With a B.S. in Architecture, you would have to continue with your education and earn a Master’s Degree in Architecture in order to get a license to be an Architect. So be sure to do your research to find out if a certain degree is better for you.

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