By Noël Rozny
Web Editor & Content Manager
If you’re thinking about enrolling in college or going back to school for your bachelor’s degree, you probably have at least million and one questions about your program, what it will entail, and what you need to know to succeed.
To get started, here are five important things to know about earning your bachelor’s degree.
Bachelor’s Degree Programs Help You Earn More
Right off the bat, you should know that your bachelor’s degree can help you find a job and make more money during the course of your career. As this study shows, workers who only have a high school diploma have a higher unemployment rate than college graduates. In addition, high school graduates with no additional education will make a media annual wage of $30,000 to $35,000 in their mid-twenties and thirties, while college graduates of the same age will take home closer to $50,000. (If that doesn’t make you excited to head to class, I don’t know what will!)
There are Different Kinds of Bachelor’s Degree Programs
BA, BS … what does it all mean? Bachelor’s degrees fall into two main categories: a Bachelor’s of Arts or a Bachelor’s of Science. Both degrees will require you to take a wide range of classes to gain a liberal arts education; however, the Bachelor’s of Science will be more heavily focused on science and mathematics. Students who study biology, chemistry, or ecology would graduate with a Bachelor’s of science, while students who major in English, foreign languages, or psychology would graduate with a Bachelor’s of the Arts.
Not All Bachelor’s Degree Programs Require a Major Right Away …
We get a lot of calls and emails from high school seniors and incoming college freshmen who are worried that they don’t know what they want to major in. Take a deep breath and relax: you don’t have to declare your major right away. In fact, many colleges and universities encourage you to take a wide variety of classes your freshmen year to get a sense of all the majors available to you. Once you know what interests you the most, then you can talk to an academic advisor about declaring your major.
… But Some Specialty Bachelor’s Programs Do
While many bachelor’s degree programs don’t require you to declare your major right away, there are a few that do. These specialty programs, such as nursing or engineering, require a highly-specialized level of training, and therefore you generally start taking classes in that field right away. If you know you want to go into a specialized field, contact an admissions representative at the college you plan on attending to find out what you need to do to get started.
Yes, You Can Change Your Major
Many incoming freshmen feel anxious about declaring a major because they’re worried they might change their mind. Don’t worry – you’re not the first college student to be unsure about your studies. If you start down one educational path and realize you need to change course, that’s totally doable. Just try to change majors before you junior year if possible, as that’s when you’ll be completing much of your field studies. The longer you wait to switch, you could run the risk of having to stay in school and extra semester or two to complete your required classes.
Do you have a question about your bachelor’s degree programs? Ask it in the comments below!