And you thought choosing a college would be hard? Wait until you're faced with B.A., M.A., M.B.A., Ph.D. Let's not forget B.S. (bachelor of science, that is.) If you're having flashbacks from Sesame Street, well, this is a bit more serious then figuring out the letter of the day. Soon you'll have to decide just how much education you wish to pursue, at which point this alphabet soup of degree choices will take on new meaning.
Advanced degrees, beyond the plain vanilla bachelor's you earn after a typical four-year college stay, are proving more valuable these days in a challenging job market. According to a National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Job Outlook 2003 survey, college hiring has dropped 3.6 percent in the past year. Marvin Sills, director of admissions at Rowan University in Glassboro, says, "A bachelor's degree is like a high school diploma 20 years ago," meaning that it carries some weight in the job market, but may not be enough. "One has to stay competitive in the job market in order to dictate what they want. An advanced degree is obviously going to give you more in-depth background in a particular discipline and better status in finding a job and keeping that job.
Your first step in designing your own education roadmap is to understand the different degree options. Check out the descriptions below. If you're hungry for more knowledge, visit www.universities.com.
You can earn a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science degree after completing a certain number of required credits and major credits as an undergraduate at a recognized four-year college or university. Although the average time span to complete this is four years, some students may take longer to fulfill all requirements.
You may opt to start at a community college for two years and either complete your education after the two-year program, earning an associate's degree, or go on to complete a bachelor's degree at a four-year college or university.
You can earn a postsecondary award certificate or diploma in a particular specialty that takes one, two or more years to complete. Certificates are offered in everything from accounting to woodworking. Certification in a specialized area can help advance your career or lend credibility to your skills.
You may decide to continue your education after earning a bachelor's degree. This will require acceptance into a graduate school (which typically lasts one or two years full-time) to earn a master's, either in the field you studied in college, or in a completely new field. A...