Tag Archives | degrees

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You already know that getting a college degree is a great way to get started on obtaining a higher paying career in a field you love, but the world of college degrees can be slightly confusing. How do you know which type of degree is right for you?

Here, we’ll look at the three main types of college degrees — Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s — along with the pros and cons of each type, so you can make a more informed decision about your college education.

Associate’s Degree

Associate’s degrees are two-year college degree programs that prepare you for working in a certain field or industry. Most Associate’s degrees prepare students for entry-level jobs, and they are offered in several different areas. Examples of careers you can prepare for with an Associate’s degree include administrative assistant, graphic designer, paralegal, information technology manager, and network engineer.

The pros: Associate’s degrees are cheaper to get than Bachelor’s or Master’s, both because they involve the fewest semesters and are usually offered at community colleges, which cost less than four-year universities. With an Associate’s degree, you can graduate and start your career (and begin making money) earlier, or you can use the less expensive community college degree to transfer credits to a four-year school and go on to obtain a Bachelor’s.

The cons: You may earn less in a career when you have an Associate’s degree, and depending on your field, you may be competing for jobs with people who have Bachelor’s degrees. You may also have problems getting a supervisory or management position.

Bachelor’s Degree

Bachelor’s degrees are four-year college degrees with a wide range of degree programs for just about every industry, field, or profession. Common careers that require a Bachelor’s degree include engineering, production management, financial analytics, industrial design, and network security.

The pros: No matter what type of job you’re interested in, chances are there is a Bachelor’s degree program for that type of job. In fact, some fields specifically require at least a Bachelor’s degree, such as law, medicine, and teaching. With a Bachelor’s, you will have increased job opportunities and increased earning potential, as well as more specialized knowledge and skills.

The cons: Bachelor’s degree programs can be expensive and require a greater investment of your time and focus, taking four years to obtain. There are also additional costs you’ll incur, such as room and board, rent, and transportation.

Master’s Degree

Master’s degrees are programs with Bachelor’s degrees as a prerequisite for entering. A Master’s program may last from one to four years, in addition to the four years required for a Bachelor’s. They are highly specialized and usually build on a prior educational foundation — for example, advanced practitioner jobs require graduate-level education.

The pros: Because they are highly specialized, Master’s degrees prepare you for advanced practitioner jobs that are not available to people with lower degree levels. You’ll also have vastly increased earning potential with your additional education.

The cons: Obtaining a Master’s degree is a very high investment in cost, time, and effort. The programs are typically very challenging as well as expensive, and require five years or more to fully complete.

There is no one-size-fits-all education. Depending on the type of job you want and the income range you’d like to achieve, one of these types of degrees will help you achieve your dreams.

This article was contributed by guest author Shae Holland.

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According to a study by MarketWatch, 80% of US students have part-time jobs while they’re in school. Many of those jobs are in retail. Students are attracted to retail jobs for a whole slew of reasons – flexible scheduling and demand, for starters. But one of the things that makes many students fall in love with the work and pursue a future in small business is that there’s no formula for success. They have to learn to listen to their customers, observe their behaviors, anticipate their desires, and then buy, sell, and market accordingly. It’s not a multiple choice test; the work is delightfully nuanced. Small business success is all about instinct, education, and hard work. A little bit of good luck doesn’t hurt either.

There are two camps of students and/or prospective students who consider retail degrees as a part of their formal education: the novices and the seasoned business owners. Retail novices are those recently bitten by the retail bug and interested in pursuing it as a first career. The more seasoned variety are business managers and owners who are already actively involved in retail and want to improve the big-picture aspects of their work. People in both of these categories have unique needs and goals, and tend to be drawn to different area of study.

Retail Novices
These are the high school and college students who take a part-time job at a small business to help ease the burden of tuition, and fall in love with retail in the process. They are the indigo children of the retail world, the ones store owners secretly hope might want to take over someday in the distant future. They’re the ones who are innately skilled with Facebook marketing, selfie tickets, and naturally take cues from global tech trends like Pokemon Go.

An all-around retail business management degree can be extremely informative for early-career students like these men and women. A business degree helps train those who are inexperienced or less-experienced in a retail setting about things like how to manage a staff, decision-making, and merchandising.

While the coursework for a retail management degree might feel redundant for a seasoned retail employee, for a newbie it’s a fast-track to understanding the inner workings of a business and culture.

Seasoned Retailers
It goes without saying that in retail, experience goes a long, long way. If a lifetime shop owner attended a class about retail management, they’d likely spend most of it nodding their head, rolling their eyes, and silently muttering, “Yup, yup, true” and “Got it.”

For a person already succeeding as a retailer, an entry-level college course wouldn’t be much more than positive affirmation and a few new tips. Most small business associations can offer as much, often for free.

But that’s the thing about education: there’s always more to learn. One just has to get creative about the avenues.

Big retailers like REI and Whole Foods are known for hiring people with MPAs, Masters in Public Administration, because they have excellent minds for policy and managing the various aspects that keep a business running smoothly. Online MPA degrees are a popular choice among nontraditional students — like store managers who want to become owners but can’t stop working in the interim — because it’s an online degree offered by some of the most reputable higher education institutions around. Traditionally, MPAs were thought to be exclusive to those who wanted to work for the government or nonprofits, but the retail world has already benefited greatly from the expertise that comes from an MPA degree.

It makes perfect sense really. No matter the size of a shop, it’s always a bit of a microcosm of social wellbeing. If the public is thriving, more people spend money. If the public is stressed-out and riddled with anxiety, retailers will encounter more difficult customers than usual.

When it comes down to it, any form of education is a good thing. A degree in the arts, while not generally considered one of the top money making degrees, will greatly benefit a student by refining the way he or she sees and expresses him or herself in the world. And a unique voice is a huge asset to small business. Business degrees have modernized. Students, whether they’re traditional students or online students, now have more freedom than ever before. And small businesses around the nation are reaping the rewards.

This article was contributed by guest author Katie Kapro.

Image by Wokandapix, pixabay.com

Image by Wokandapix, pixabay.com

If you just graduated high school, you’ve probably got no shortage of people trying to give you advice for your future. “The world’s your oyster! You can be anything you set your mind to be.” However, you have to realize that some of the professions you are interested in are either highly competitive, or don’t pay very well. If you want to move on to a high-paying career instead of moving back in with mom and dad once you graduate, here are six career choices you should consider.

1. Medical Careers

There is a worldwide shortage of nurses and trained medical professionals. This practically guarantees that you can find a job with a degree in the medical field. And, with most programs lasting only two years, you can get to work much faster than people chasing a four-year degree.

For example, ultrasound technicians with a two-year diagnostic medical sonography degree, made median salary of over $66,000 in 2015.

2. Welding

The average welder is 55 years old. That means that many are soon to retire, and the world needs welders for everything from construction to the fine arts. With a standard hourly rate of more than $17, welders have job security and command an excellent salary.

3. Paralegal

If you have an interest in law, you should consider being a legal assistant. You’ll work under a lawyer in a fast-paced, exciting environment. What’s more, the median salary for a paralegal last year was nearly $47,000.

4. Marketing

As long as people have companies, they will need to communicate with potential customers. That’s where marketers come in. If you are looking for a job that allows you to be creative but also has a median salary of more than $60,000, you should consider becoming a marketing specialist.

5. Plumbing

It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it! And the people who choose plumbing as a career seldom regret it when they bring home an average yearly salary of $49,000.

6. Auto Repair

As cars get more advanced, fewer people are able to fix their vehicles themselves. This, combined with a lack of mechanics, has contributed to a career with a median salary of $36,610.

These are by no means the only careers available to you, but they do offer great pay and job security. Whatever career path you choose, we wish you the best of luck for your future!

This article was contributed by guest author Lizzie Weakley.

Image by Neslihan Gunaydin, unsplash.com

Image by Neslihan Gunaydin, unsplash.com

Education is important. However, simply being an educated person is not enough to succeed in today’s world. Most popular careers are over saturated, which makes it hard to land a secure job in those fields. To truly succeed, you need to think outside the box and choose a career path that is in demand, yet not very common. It starts with having the right education. Here are some non-traditional degrees that you may be interested in exploring.

Decision Sciences
If you enjoy problem solving and making decisions, decision sciences may be a degree worth pursuing. In this degree program, you will learn the process of decision making, problem solving, analytical techniques and data analysis. This business-oriented degree will teach you how to help companies solve a variety of problems. It’s definitely a degree that would be useful – every business has problems and every business needs help solving them.

Soil Conservation
If you have a passion for the outdoors and you don’t mind getting dirty, a degree in soil conservation will allow you to get up close and personal with dirt. Subjects covered in this degree program include erosion, types of soil, organisms that live in soil and regional soils. With a degree like this, you will be able to help farmers and others in the agriculture industry learn how to keep nutrients in the soil as well as make the most of their water usage. Possible career paths available can be found in government agencies, private farming companies, and public health and environmental agencies.

Environmental Law Degree
If getting dirty is not your thing, but you still want to help the environment, perhaps an environmental law degree is your calling. With this degree you will study the laws, rules and regulations associated with keeping the Earth healthy. This is definitely a great way to do your part in taking care of the planet and standing up for what you believe in. If you love watching out for our planet this is a degree you will want to look into.

Technical Writing
If you have a gift of communication and the ability to understand complex ideas, consider getting a degree in technical writing. It’s not just about technology; you will study math, science and communication. Once you graduate, work positions will be available at all sorts of companies. More information about this career path can be found here.

Yacht Operations
If you love being on the sea and need a way to get paid for it, a degree in yacht operations may be right for you. You’ll get a hands on lesson on boat management and navigation. You can even specialize in sailing or speed boat management. With a degree like this you will be able to live out your days on the water – and get paid to do it.

While you may have to search a little more to find institutions that offer these unusual degrees, the payoff will be worth it when you’re in a unique career that you really enjoy!

This article was contributed by guest author Kara Masterson.

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Image by Sean McAuliffe, unsplash.com

Most young people today want to change the world either single-handedly or have a hand in it – it’s one of the defining traits of millennials. There are any number of avenues to take on your quest to make the world a better place, so read on to discover the best degrees to help prepare you to serve your country and make a difference.

1. Environmental Science
The magnitude of environmental issues facing the United States and the world is staggering. Everything from environmental destruction and species extinction to the application of renewable energy solutions are real problems that need to be addressed. With an environmental studies degree, you will be equipped with knowledge of how the environment works and how it is affected by humans, so you can ask the right questions and come up with new technologies, approaches, and answers to some of the biggest problems plaguing the world today.

2. Social Work
While social workers don’t tend to affect earthshaking change on a national level, most people who go into social work do it because they want to help people, and make a difference one person at a time. Social workers not only need boundless compassion and patience, but also the knowledge of legal, political, and psychological aspects of their work, which a quality program will teach. The best programs will also afford students hands-on experience and request or require the completion of an internship so students can put knowledge gained to a practical use.

3. Political Science or Public Administration
Political science or public administration programs provide students with a solid foundation on which to begin a life of public service. In an online master’s of public administration program, for example, students are prepared to address public issues such as budgeting with increasingly smaller funds, leadership and crisis management, and dealing with a variety of special interest groups. Obtaining a graduate degree from an accredited university will further your education and strengthen your skills and experience, leaving you better equipped to take on the challenge of keeping our country running.

4. Liberal Arts
Liberal Arts majors are in the perfect position to pursue careers at non-profit organizations. A liberal arts education teaches students important well-rounded skills, such as writing, communication, diplomacy, and critical thinking. Writers and filmmakers expose issues to the general public that truly have the potential to make a lasting impact.

There are many different avenues of service, and creative students can make a difference in the world with just about any college degree. But the four listed above will give you a good start. Get out there and change the world!

This article was contributed by guest author Anica Oaks.

Image by UNE Photos, Flickr

Image by UNE Photos, Flickr

With a profound passion for the past and the people who made it happen, the history buff loves to read, speculate on the causes of events, and apply the lessons of the past to current affairs. Here are four degree paths that are particularly appropriate if you’re one of those people who has a real flair for studying the past.

Bachelor’s Degree in History with Teaching Credentials

Like many degrees in the humanities, the bachelor’s degree doesn’t always come with specific career opportunities attached. But if you enjoy sharing your passion for the past with others, teaching may be the route for you. Many universities offer degree programs that allow you to major in a given area of history, such as contemporary America or the European Middle Ages, and at the same time earn a certificate for public-school teaching.

If you’d rather teach at a college or university, a master’s degree or doctorate will be necessary; a number of academic institutions have developed online programs leading to an MA or PhD in specific historical areas, such as the online master’s degree in American history at Norwich University.

Master’s Degree in Museum Studies

Museologists are trained to create museum displays, handle artifacts, and promote exhibits to the public at large; some are also involved in art restoration. If you’ve already earned a bachelor’s degree in history, then further education in museum studies will open the door to a career in which you’ll make your history passion come alive for others.

Associate’s Degree in Journalism

History buffs love to analyze events and draw conclusions about cause and effect. These are skills taught in journalism programs, making a degree in this field particularly appealing to the history aficionado. Journalists research and write the stories you read in the newspaper and hear on radio and television. An AA degree can get you into an entry-level position, one that allows access to the very heart of the events that make history.

Master’s in Library and Information Science

Without the ancient Assyrian king Ashurbanipal’s library, we wouldn’t have the epic of Gilgamesh. And without librarians trained in techniques of information and archive management, we’d have a lot less access to crucial data today. A commitment to preserving information and making it accessible to others, the basic focus of library science degree programs, goes hand in hand with a love of history.

A passion for history can guide you in a number of directions. The four degree programs listed here will give you some areas to consider.

This article was contributed by guest author Anica Oaks.

Image by COD Newsroom, Flickr

Image by COD Newsroom, Flickr

While college is a natural step for many students after high school, it is also a time filled with uncertainty concerning a future career. If handled properly, the college experience can be one filled with exploration and discovery as to what passions a student truly possesses. Very often, many students find their way into careers they never dreamed of, simply due to taking a certain class or joining a campus organization. If you’re in search of some different paths that may prove to be unique, consider these options.

Yes, You Can be a Philosopher
Contrary to many popular opinions in today’s high-tech age, the world still needs plenty of people with critical thinking skills who can see situations from many different viewpoints. No college degree gives students these skills more so than philosophy, which can lead to numerous career paths. Some graduates wind up as CEOs of major corporations, while others join the Peace Corps and are off to see the world. Whichever path you choose, a philosophy degree can prove to be very beneficial.

An Unconventional MBA
While most people believe earning an MBA is a safe choice of degrees, it can also be made very unique along the way. For example, students who earn an MBA in information systems can take their training not just to Wall Street, but to many other areas as well. Due to the ever-increasing threats to national security, more and more law enforcement and government agencies are recruiting people with backgrounds in business and information technology to assist with intelligence analysis and much more. If you’ve dreamed of being a special agent or a spy for a specific organization, this degree path just might get you there.

The Worldwide Medical Degree
For students obtaining a medical degree, most career choices come down to working in a hospital or entering private practice. However, some students have very different ideas for their training. Some choose to travel the world to help the poor through such organizations as Doctors Without Borders, or use their training by moving to rural areas to assist those in need.

If you find yourself struggling with finding the ideal path to take while in college, consider these options and many others as well. While many people leave college with similar training and skills, it is those who march to the beat of a different drummer who eventually wind up changing the world for the better.

This article was contributed by guest author Rachelle Wilber.

Image by inbal marilli, unsplash.com

Image by inbal marilli, unsplash.com

Most college students’ greatest fear is that they’ll wind up trapped in a job that has no meaning and leaves them completely uninspired for the entirety of their careers. While that’s definitely plausible and has happened to many, it doesn’t have to be the case. Regardless of your interests or location, there are plenty of jobs that make a difference in people’s lives, and you can start your journey toward one by considering one of these four degrees.


Healers have always been revered among their communities not solely for their ability to save lives but also for their continuous efforts to improve it. In our modern society, these healers are doctors, surgeons, nurses and anyone else who works in the medical field. You can earn your Bachelor of Science in Medicine and go on to med school if you dream of working at the top of the industry, but you can also break into the workforce faster by earning an associate’s degree in nursing.


Just as important as our physical health, our mental wellbeing needs professionals like psychologists and counselors. By studying for a bachelor’s degree in psychology, you’ll gain an invaluable understanding of the human mind and all its inner-workings. Individuals with a social work master’s degrees or other related degrees are very common in the psychological field of medicine. This knowledge and expertise can prepare you for a career such as a psychologist, counselor or social worker – all of whom help people better comprehend their emotions in order to lead happier, healthier lives.


Each young generation is the face of the future, and each generation needs passionate teachers who are willing to commit their time and energy into passing on valuable knowledge. One of the greatest things about earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in education is that you will be able to truly diversify your own higher education. Teachers come from all walks of life and teach all sorts of subjects, so whether it’s regaling the world’s greatest literary works to high schools in your hometown or teaching English to underprivileged kids in third-world countries, a degree in education is one way to guarantee that your life will leave a lasting impression on another.


Police officers are the defenders of our communities and heroes who are prepared to lay down their lives if need be. But police officers aren’t the only ones who benefit from a degree in law. There are dozens of careers in law that range from environmental conservation to human rights, and you can be as directly or indirectly involved with the public as you like. The one thing that doesn’t change across the board is the impact a career in law leaves on the world.

Finding Your Dream Job

Thinking back on people who shaped your life growing up and the causes closest to your heart will help point you in the right direction when choosing a degree. What’s most important to remember is that regardless of how many years you study and what career you choose, the people who leave the greatest impact on others’ lives are the ones who work honestly, diligently and are 100 percent committed to their job’s mission. When you have a true passion for your work, it radiates from you, and it’s inevitable that your love for what you do will leave a positive mark on others over the course of your career.

This article was contributed by guest author Rachelle Wilber.

Image by Evonne, Flickr

Image by Evonne, Flickr

Journalists and authors covering the world of tech startups love to point to famous entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and other daring founders who dropped out of college to pursue their business. This has led many to believe that skipping college is the ticket to startup success.

Unfortunately, there is an element of what is known as survivorship bias, in which you only notice the individuals who succeeded while missing all of the failures. In reality, completing college can give you a big advantage when building a startup. Below, we’ll look at three college degrees that could give you an edge in the competitive world of entrepreneurship.


Any good business is designed to work as a system, and engineering is the art of building elegant and robust systems. In addition, every startup needs an awesome product, which also requires engineering. So it should come as no surprise to learn that many successful startups are built by people with engineering backgrounds. The most popular and in-demand fields are computer science and electrical engineering, either one of which will help you build the next generation of disruptive new products.


The startup community has a tendency to ignore the importance of an MBA and the closely related MPA, but in reality, both can offer a number of advantages for startup founders. The MBA and MPA cover a wide range of business skills that will be a powerful advantage over competitors who lack such a skill set. In addition, you can get a master’s of business administration or a master’s of public administration online, making them ideal for a busy person with dreams of launching their own startup.


It might be surprising to learn that most of the great products you use every day are built with psychology in mind. The human brain has a variety of cognitive biases and mental shortcuts that are often leveraged to build addictive and appealing products. In addition, every startup needs marketing, and marketing is all about reaching the forefront of people’s decision making process. A degree in psychology will provide powerful insights into how people make crucial decisions.

A great startup requires a great founder, and being a great founder requires a diverse skill set and broad knowledge. Before you pass up on a college education, consider the powerful advantages offered by any of these three college degrees.

This article was contributed by guest author Lizzie Weakley.

Image by moleshko, pixabay.com

Image by moleshko, pixabay.com

While a bachelor’s degree can open the doors to more lucrative jobs and employment opportunities, not having one doesn’t have to mean you’re never going to have a fulfilling life. Depending on your goals, certain positions require a degree and you may need to seek out proper training to get the job of your dreams. However, some positions don’t require a bachelor’s degree – here are a few options:

Web Development
You don’t have to have a degree to become a Web developer. If you can learn to use the right tools to create a good-looking and functional website, you can stand to make good money. According to Business Insider, there are 50,700 projected job openings for web developers between now and 2022.

Postal Worker
Postal workers make good money, and you don’t need more than a high school diploma to get hired. There is moderate on-the-job training involved, and it will keep you active and make you known within your community.

Gaming Managers
If you live in an area with casinos, you can get a job working on the ground floor and make your way up to gaming manager without anything more than a high school diploma. These jobs are more difficult to get, but it’s highly attainable for the person with the right attitude.

Nursing Programs
A nurse doesn’t need a bachelor’s degree to get started. Ameritch College of Healthcare notes that it’s possible to get a degree in nursing in less than two years. Finding a program with a good reputation is also important to help you land that first nursing job. If you want to increase your employability later, you can always get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree while you work.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists
If you have an associate degree, you can monitor the safety of patients and check images to make sure the MRI machines are taking high-quality images. These jobs are in fairly high demand, but there are also expected to be 11,300 openings through 2022.

Several other jobs exist that can help you get the type of income you need to live your life. Funeral service directors, power plant operators, nuclear technicians and retail jobs are all available to people without a degree. The important thing is to decide what you want out of your life, and then begin looking for the type of job that could help you meet those goals. If it means going back to school, that’s okay too.

This article was contributed by guest author Anica Oaks.