To build a career, college degrees are important for students. However, the foremost thing is to understand what do different college degrees mean? What is the scope of these degrees in the professional world? How can it positively impact one’s life?
You have to keep all the aspects of your mind before enrolling in a particular program because your future would depend on your education. The article discusses college degrees in order from lowest to highest.
Types of College Degrees in Order from Lowest to Highest
Generally, college degrees have two broader classifications: undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees/courses. Every category contains two standard types of degree. Following are the details of degree levels.
College Degree Stages
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Undergraduate Degree Level
There are two levels of undergraduate degrees: The Associate degree and the bachelor degree.
In general, it takes two years to complete an Associate degree. Typically, technical institutes or community colleges offer these degrees. These degrees feature general education as well as major. Primarily, Associate degrees have two varieties: occupational degrees, for example, the Associate of Applied Sciences (AAS). The purpose of this degree is to equip you with the fundamental knowledge to build the foundation of your careers, such as knowhow of medical terms and description about important topics.
The second type is the transfer degree, which is normally the Associate of Arts (AA), and an Associate of Science (AS). These programs aim to facilitate the transfer to a four-year bachelor degree program.
The associate degrees prove to be beneficial for students when they enter a four-year program because they develop a reasonable level of knowledge about the subject, they study in the Bachelor degree.
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The duration for the bachelor’s degree is four years. At the bachelor’s level, the main focus is on a particular field, unlike Associate degrees that contain general education material. In other words, the bachelor’s degree enables you to develop skills in a particular subject. After completing the degree, you can prove your candidacy for a job.
Predominantly, Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) are the two categories of bachelor’s degrees. For example, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Similarly, for Bachelors of Arts, History, English, and others are common examples.
Although bachelor’s degrees tend to provide specific education about the subject, general education is also the part of these degrees.
After getting a bachelor’s degree, you get the confidence to explore the job market and forward your application because you have successfully completed a four-year degree program.
College Degree Types
Graduate degrees provide more detailed education. These are advanced degree programs that aim to make students more specialized in their fields. You may have to face competition for getting admission into a graduate school.
Some institutes have strict admission policy, and only competitive and brilliant students can become part of such institutes. Graduate programs require students to be hardworking. In order to qualify for a graduate program, a bachelor’s degree is a pre-requisite.
Students may have to appear for GRE (Graduate Record Examination). Some organizations and professions require a graduate degree; this indicates that there are good career prospects for Graduate degree holders.
Career-oriented students would get admission in graduate courses so that they can build their careers effectively.
Master’s degrees are the higher level of degree programs. The students of Master’s degrees get an insight into the subject. They study the subject at an advanced level. After completing a Master’s degree, you can say that you have a command over the subject you have studied.
Like bachelor’s, Master’s also has two categories, i.e., Master of Science abbreviated as MS, and Master of Arts abbreviated as MA. The key part of a Master’s degree is the thesis, dissertation or the final project that you complete toward the end of the final semester.
In the thesis, you apply all the knowledge that you acquired about the course in your degree program. If you want to work on higher positions in the job market, then consider taking admission in Master’s program. For example, a healthcare administrator and other management positions.
After completing the Master’s degree, different doors are open for you because the professional world acknowledges you as an expert in your field.
A doctorate degree is the highest level of education or degree for the students. It requires a considerable amount of time and money investment. The common title for Doctorate Degree is Doctor of Philosophy abbreviated as PhD.
The duration for this degree is generally 3.5 years to 4 years. Intelligent, ambitious and brilliant students enrol in Doctorate programs, because studies at this level are complex, and require more focus and commitment. The doctorate degrees require students to carry out research in their field.
In the first year of the Doctorate program, you study the standard content. In the subsequent years, you move toward research and in-depth analysis of the course. Doctorate students have to defend their thesis in front of the expert panel. The doctorate students first need to get the approval of their research hypothesis. After the approval, they start working on their thesis.
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There are some advanced or professional level degrees that are different from the conventional Bachelor of Arts/Science, Masters or PhD degrees. For example, A Medical doctor is a field-specific to medicine and surgery. Similarly, Juris Doctor abbreviated as JD is for ambitious lawyers.
The professional degree programs are highly competitive, and students need to work hard to get admission into the institutes offering professional degrees. A student can have both a professional degree and a PhD degree in the same field. Professional degrees are highly prestigious fields. These degrees need 3 to 4 years to complete.
Before getting admission in the colleges, students need to be sure about different types and levels of the degrees. The college degree starts from undergraduate, which has two levels: Associate degree and bachelor’s degree. The next level is the Graduate degree, followed by the Master’s Degree. The highest level of Education is Doctorate level or PhD Professional degrees such as Medical doctor and Engineering are different from traditional BA/BS or MA/MS. A professional degree holder can also study to get a PhD degree.