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What is a Professional Bachelor’s Degree?

Professional Bachelor's Degree Programs

Not all bachelor’s degree programs are created equal. When you look at the numerous programs across the country, there are many different structures for degree programs, and it all depends on the subject matter you’re studying.

When it comes to “professional bachelor’s degrees,” these programs generally have a different structure than a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science program, because these professions are regulated by a governmental or licensing body. Professional degrees have a curriculum that is made up, in large part, of career training.  For example, a Bachelor’s of Science in nursing program has a very strict set of classes students must take in order to learn the hands-on knowledge required to be a nurse.

In addition, some professional degrees take longer to earn or require post-graduate study. Many professional degrees require a certification exam before the student can start practicing, such as the CPA exam for accountants or the NCLEX for registered nurses.

To help you chose the professional degree that’s right for you, we’ve put together a list of those bachelor’s degrees that fall into this special category.

Professional Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture

If you’re looking to become an architect, you’ll need highly-specialized skills. You have two options to choose from: the first is to earn a Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch), which, unlike other bachelor’s degree programs, takes five years (if you are able to finish on time).

Another option is to earn a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in architecture, which still follows the normal four-year bachelor’s degree timeline. If you choose this option, you’ll be required to earn a Master’s of Architecture (M. Arch) in order to practice.

Once either the B. Arch or M. Arch is earned, you must pass the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), which is the licensing exam for the field.

Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting

The field of accounting is for those who would love to work with finances and taxes, which for someone who loves numbers may be a dream come true.

Although a Bachelor’s degree in accounting looks like it should take the normal four years, as of 2009 the requirements of 46 states increased the credit hours necessary for becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

You must pass the CPA exam after earning the necessary hours, so be sure to factor that into your educational timeframe.

Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering

Engineers are necessary for making this country run. Whether it is biomedical engineers, civil engineers, or chemical engineers, these professionals deserve way more credit than they receive.

A degree in engineering includes a strong foundation in mathematics, science, English, social sciences, and humanities. These areas are studied for the first two years, while the last two are focused on a specialty such as biomedical engineering.

Once they earn their degrees, engineers must have licensure before providing their services directly to the public. Licensed engineers who have passed the required state examination are called professional engineers (PEs).

Bachelor’s Degree in Education

This Bachelor’s degree does look more like a typical degree program than the last three, but the similarities stop at time commitment. Degrees in education at any level (i.e. elementary and secondary) are designed specifically for teaching students in their target area. Many schools across the country even offer professional development schools, which are partnerships between universities and elementary or secondary schools that allow students to teach for a year while under professional guidance.

After earning their degree, education students must be licensed by the state if they plan on teaching at public schools (which is the usual place for teachers to work).

Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work

A Bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) is required for most positions in the field of social work, but a Master’s degree is necessary in order to advance in the field or to work in specific areas such as clinical work.

In addition to this degree, social workers need to be licensed by their state in order to practice. Although these requirements vary from state to state, the normal conditions require two years or 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience.

Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology

It would make sense that the people who study the mind would need to be licensed to make sure they know what they were doing. In general, psychologists must have a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related subject, as well as a master’s degree and preferably a PhD.

After earning a degree in psychology, students need to adhere to their state-specific requirements, which vary depending on the state.

Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing

If professionals studying your mind need to be certified to practice, the people in charge of keeping you physically alive should be held to at least the same standard.

A Bachelor’s degree in nursing prepares you to become a registered nurse typically, but before practicing, you need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-RN.

In addition to passing this licensing examination, requirements to practice vary by State.

Of course, these are just a few examples of professional degrees, which also include medical programs, pharmacy programs, law programs, and many more.