Bachelor’s Degree

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A bachelor’s degree, also called a baccalaureate degree, is an undergraduate degree offered by four-year colleges and universities. It can take anywhere from 3-5 years of full-time study to complete and requires the completion of 120 to 128 credits, which equates to about 40 courses. Bachelor’s degrees are by far the most popular undergraduate degrees offered in the United States. A bachelor’s degree is a prerequisite for entry into most graduate programs and is the degree level that most employers are looking for in new hires.

Most bachelor’s degree programs have a general education component, composed of courses in English, science, math, communications, humanities, and social sciences. For students entering a bachelor’s degree program with an associate’s degree under their belt, they may have already met some, if not all, of the general education requirements. Most universities allow the transfer of up to 60 credits, from an accredited associate degree or community college program. In addition to general education courses, bachelor’s degrees require students to select a “major”, or a particular area of academic focus (e.g., Biology, Math, Arts, English, Foreign Language, etc.).

Average Salary With a Bachelor’s Degree

Median Annual Earnings by Educational Attainment

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those with a bachelor’s degree earn 68% more than someone with only a high school diploma or GED and 42% more than someone with an associate degree. That’s an annual salary of approximately $59,124 with a bachelor’s degree vs $41,496 with an associate’s or $35,256 with a high school diploma. Need more convincing of the monetary benefits of a bachelor’s degree? The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce found similar data on the monetary value of a bachelor’s degree. They found that those with a bachelor’s degree earn about $2.3 million in their lifetime, on average, which is 35% more than those with an associate degree ($1.7 million) and 77% more than those with a high school diploma ($1.3 million).



Most Common Types of Bachelor’s Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts (abbreviated BA or AB) The BA Degree is a 4 year college degree that usually focuses on the arts. Coursework may include social sciences, humanities, music or fine arts.
  • Bachelor of Science (abbreviated BS or BSc) The BS Degree is a 4 year college degree that usually focuses on the sciences. Coursework may include life sciences, mathematics, and physical sciences.

Types of Bachelor’s Degrees

Architecture and Design

Arts

Engineering

  • Bachelor of Engineering (BEng, BE, BSE, BESc, BSEng, BASc, BTech, BSc(Eng), AMIE,GradIETE)
  • Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech. or B.Tech.)
  • Bachelor of Engineering Technology (BSET)

Business and Management

  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
  • International Business Economics (BIBE)
  • Bachelor of Science in Business (BSBA)
  • Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS)
  • Bachelor of Administrative Studies
  • Bachelor of International Business Economics (BIBE)
  • Bachelor of Commerce (BCom, or BComm)
  • Bachelor of Business (BBus or BBus)
  • Bachelor of Management and Organizational Studies (BMOS)
  • Bachelor of Business Science (BBusSc)
  • Bachelor of Accountancy (B.Acy. or B.Acc. or B. Accty)
  • Bachelor of Comptrolling (B.Acc.Sci. or B.Compt.).
  • Bachelor of Economics (BEc, BEconSc; sometimes BA(Econ) or BSc(Econ))
  • Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management (BAOM)

Computer Science and Information Systems

  • Bachelor of Computing (BComp)
  • Bachelor of Computer Science (BCompSc)
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSc IT),
  • Bachelor of Computer Applications (BCA)
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Technology (BAppSc(IT)
  • Bachelor of Business Information Systems (BBIS)

Healthcare and Medicine

  • Intercalated Bachelor of Science (BSc)
  • Bachelor of Medical Science (BMedSci)
  • Bachelor of Medical Biology (BMedBiol)
  • Doctorate of Dental Surgery (DDS)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BN, BNSc, BScN, BSN, BNurs, BSN, BHSc)
  • Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH)
  • Bachelor of Health Science (BHS & BHSc)
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Biology (BSc)
  • Bachelor of Kinesiology (BKin, BSc(Kin), BHK)

Aviation

  • Bachelor of Aviation (BAvn)

Divinity and Theology

  • Bachelor of Divinity (BD or BDiv)
  • Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.; Th.B. or BTheol)
  • Bachelor of Religious Studies (BRS)
  • Bachelor of Religious Education (BRE)

Fine Arts

Film and Television

  • Bachelor of Film and Television (BF&TV)

Integrated Studies

  • Bachelor of integrated studies (BIS)

Journalism

  • Bachelor of Journalism (BJ, BAJ, BSJ or BJourn)

Landscape Architecture

  • Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLArch)

Liberal Arts

  • Bachelor of Liberal Arts (B.L.A.; occasionally A.L.B.)
  • Bachelor of General Studies (BGS, BSGS)
  • Bachelor of Applied Studies (BAS)
  • Bachelor of Liberal Studies
  • Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS)

Library Science

  • Bachelor of Library Science (BLS, BLib)
  • Bachelor of Library and Information Science (BLIS)

Music

  • Bachelor of Music (BM or BMus)
  • Bachelor of Art in Music (BA in Music)

Music Education

  • Bachelor of Music Education (BME)

Mortuary Science

  • Bachelor of Mortuary Science (BMS)

Philosophy

  • Bachelor of Philosophy (BPhil, PhB)

Psychology

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (BAPSY)
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology (BSc(Psych))

Education

  • Bachelor of Science in Education (BSE, BS in Ed)
  • Bachelor of Arts for Teaching (BAT)
  • Bachelor of Science and/with education degree (BScEd)

Forestry

  • Bachelor of Science in Forestry (B.S.F. or B.Sc.F.)

Science

Science in Law

  • Bachelor of Science in Law (BSL)

Social Sciences

  • Bachelor of Social Science (BSocSc)

Social Work

  • Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BSW or BASW)

Technology

  • Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech)

Talmudic law

  • Bachelor of Talmudic Law (BTL)

Tourism Studies

  • Bachelor of Tourism Studies (BTS)

Mathematics

  • Bachelor of Mathematics (BMath)
  • Bachelor of Mathematical Sciences (BMathSc)

Urban and Regional Planning

  • Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning (BURP and BPlan)

Public Affairs and Policy Management

  • Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management (BPAPM)

Most Common Bachelor’s Degrees

Field of StudyNumber of DegreesPercent of Degrees
Business363,79919.2%
Health professions and related programs216,22811.4%
Social sciences and history166,9448.8%
Psychology117,5576.2%
Biological and biomedical sciences109,8965.8%
Engineering97,8585.2%
Visual and performing arts95,8325.1%
Education91,6234.8%
Communication, journalism, and related programs90,6504.8%
Homeland security, law enforcement, and firefighting62,7233.3%
Computer and information sciences59,5813.1%
Parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies49,0062.6%
Multi/interdisciplinary studies47,5562.5%
English language and literature/letters45,8472.4%
Liberal arts and sciences, general studies, and humanities43,6472.3%
Agriculture and natural resources36,2771.9%
Public administration and social services34,3631.8%
Physical sciences and science technologies30,0381.6%
Family and consumer sciences/human sciences24,5841.3%
Mathematics and statistics21,8531.2%
Foreign languages, literatures, and linguistics19,4931.0%
Engineering technologies17,2380.9%
Philosophy and religious studies11,0720.6%
Theology and religious vocations9,7080.5%
Architecture and related services9,0900.5%
Area, ethnic, cultural, gender, and group studies7,7820.4%
Communications technologies5,1350.3%
Transportation and materials moving4,7110.2%
Legal professions and studies4,4200.2%
Military technologies and applied sciences2760.0%
Library science990.0%
Precision production480.0%
Not classified by field of study00.0%

Best Jobs For Bachelor’s Degree Holders

OccupationProjected New JobsProjected Growth Rate2015 Median PayOn-the-job Training
Operations research analysts10,000 to 49,99930 percent or faster$75,000 or moreNone
Personal financial advisors50,000 or more30 percent or faster$75,000 or moreLong-term on-the-job training
Biomedical engineers5,000 to 9,99920 to 29 percent$75,000 or moreNone
Computer systems analysts50,000 or more20 to 29 percent$75,000 or moreNone
Actuaries1,000 to 4,99910 to 19 percent$75,000 or moreLong-term on-the-job training
Computer and information systems managers50,000 or more10 to 19 percent$75,000 or moreNone
Database administrators10,000 to 49,99910 to 19 percent$75,000 or moreNone
Environmental engineers5,000 to 9,99910 to 19 percent$75,000 or moreNone
Financial analysts10,000 to 49,99910 to 19 percent$75,000 or moreNone
Financial examiners1,000 to 4,99910 to 19 percent$75,000 or moreModerate-term on-the-job training
Geoscientists, except hydrologists and geographers1,000 to 4,99910 to 19 percent$75,000 or moreNone
Information security analysts10,000 to 49,99910 to 19 percent$75,000 or moreNone
Management analysts50,000 or more10 to 19 percent$75,000 or moreNone
Medical and health services managers50,000 or more10 to 19 percent$75,000 or moreNone
Petroleum engineers1,000 to 4,99910 to 19 percent$75,000 or moreNone
Software developers, applications50,000 or more10 to 19 percent$75,000 or moreNone
Software developers, systems software50,000 or more10 to 19 percent$75,000 or moreNone
Cartographers and photogrammetrists1,000 to 4,99920 to 29 percent$55,000 to $74,999None
Forensic science technicians1,000 to 4,99920 to 29 percent$55,000 to $74,999Moderate-term on-the-job training
Accountants and auditors50,000 or more10 to 19 percent$55,000 to $74,999None
Dietitians and nutritionists10,000 to 49,99910 to 19 percent$55,000 to $74,999Internship/residency
Environmental scientists and specialists, including health10,000 to 49,99910 to 19 percent$55,000 to $74,999None
Film and video editors5,000 to 9,99910 to 19 percent$55,000 to $74,999None
Market research analysts and marketing specialists50,000 or more10 to 19 percent$55,000 to $74,999None
Medical and clinical laboratory technologists10,000 to 49,99910 to 19 percent$55,000 to $74,999None
Registered nurses50,000 or more10 to 19 percent$55,000 to $74,999None
Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents10,000 to 49,99910 to 19 percent$55,000 to $74,999Moderate-term on-the-job training
Social and community service managers10,000 to 49,99910 to 19 percent$55,000 to $74,999None
Technical writers5,000 to 9,99910 to 19 percent$55,000 to $74,999Short-term on-the-job training

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