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Degrees Defined: Why You Should Earn Your Bachelor Degree

What Is a Bachelor Degree?

A bachelor degree is by far the most common degree students earn after high school. It typically takes four years of full-time study, although some bachelor degree programs, such as engineering or architecture, may take five years.

At most colleges and universities, you need to fulfill certain general studies requirements in a variety of subjects as part of your degree. You also must choose what's called a "major," which signifies the subject area upon which you want to concentrate.

How Do Employers View Bachelor Degrees?

To qualify for most jobs, you need at least a bachelor degree. In today's struggling economy, with intense competition in all fields of employment, bachelor degree holders may apply for jobs that only officially require an associate degree or less. This means if you don't have a bachelor degree, you could be at a distinct disadvantage.

The fastest growing occupations requiring a bachelor degree include:

  • Accountants, auditors, and financial analysts
  • Computer software engineers
  • Elementary school teachers
  • Network systems and data communications analysts
  • Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors

Benefits of a Bachelor Degree

In 2008, unemployment for those with a high school diploma was 5.7 percent, while unemployment for holders of a bachelor degree was only 2.8 percent.

A bachelor degree can also increase your earning potential. Those with a bachelor degree average $978 per week compared to those with a high school diploma who average $591.

Online Bachelor Degree

Earning an online degree enables you to work while studying, gaining practical experience while obtaining new skills. Tuition is also typically far lower for an online bachelor degree program.  These degree programs also offer the convenience of attending classes from your own personal computer, on your own schedule, as long as you have an Internet connection.

Overall, a bachelor degree can significantly increase both your employment opportunities and your salary. It is definitely worth taking the time to earn one in your particular area of interest.  After all, you can't steal 2nd base with your foot on 1st!