There are many reasons why people go back to school. Some of you may feel like your career has reached its peak and are considering obtaining a second bachelor’s degree to get a promotion at work.
This article will show you the pros and cons of getting a second bachelor’s degree. We’ll discuss the details you need to know to make the right career decision.
What Is a Bachelor’s Degree?
A bachelor’s degree is an undergraduate academic degree that generally lasts four years and requires 120 credit hours. A bachelor’s degree is one of the most common undergraduate degrees in the United States.
A bachelor’s degree program is designed to prepare you with critical thinking and communication skills. It also gives you an in-depth knowledge of the field you are interested in learning. Know that seeking a second bachelor’s degree is not something many people do, as they opt for a master’s degree instead.
Master’s vs Bachelor’s Degrees
It can be confusing to some why completing another undergraduate program might be more beneficial than attending a graduate program. The choice depends entirely on your career goals, financial situation, and time you are willing to spend in school.
A master’s degree program is for those who want to delve into the same or a related field of study. Obtaining a master’s degree requires more time and money–it is far more challenging than obtaining a bachelor’s degree. For some, this path might be the only viable option for career progression.
However, in other instances, a second bachelor’s degree is a cheaper and quicker way to advance your career. This path is perfect for those looking to change careers entirely. A person who majored in civil engineering and is now employed in the field may want to transition into a career as an architect or construction business manager.
Below are some reasons you should or shouldn’t obtain a second bachelor’s degree and some questions to ask yourself before going into it.
Why You Should Obtain a Second Bachelor’s Degree
- If your career goals require it.
- If you are deciding on a new career field or want to expand your knowledge.
- You can transfer credits and have a cumulative GPA.
- If your first bachelor’s degree is no longer up-to-date with today’s standards, especially in tech or computing programs.
- If you have started a career you are good at but don’t have a title due to a lack of certification.
- If you can’t afford a master’s degree but want to further your education.
- If you want to complete a career-advancing course in a short period.
- If you want a broader and less intense curriculum.
Why You Should Not Obtain a Second Bachelor’s Degree
- You will acquire debt.
- When there are cheaper career-training alternatives to advance your position.
- It is not as long as obtaining a master’s, but it is still four years of study.
- It is not as highly regarded as a master’s degree.
- Not all schools provide a second bachelor’s degree.
- If you have just finished studying for a bachelor’s degree and have no career experience.
Universities Offering Second Bachelor’s Degree Programs
If the reasons why you should far outweigh why you shouldn’t pursue a second bachelor’s degree, then below are some universities that offer second bachelor’s degree programs.
Keep in mind that admission requirements and application fees differ for every college and university.
The Tandon School of Engineering and the Rory Meyers College of Nursing at New York University offer a second bachelor’s degree. For Tandon, you will require math and science skills, whereas for Rory Meyers, students must complete medical prerequisites.
Rutgers University offers a wide range of programs for second bachelor’s degree students. If your first degree is in pharmacy, engineering, or biological sciences, and you are interested in the fields of art or sciences, then this is a viable option.
To enter the University of South Alabama’s second-degree programs, you will need to have a grade point average of 2.0 or more. Plus, scholarships and financial aid are available for students.
Only if students have studied at UIC can they go for a second bachelor’s here, and the study is not permitted if there is a considerable overlap of coursework between your two degrees.
OSU requires a minimum grade point average of 2.25 and a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree. Like most on this list, the subjects are a range, so be sure to examine the individual websites.
Second BA/BS Financial Aid
Students must be made aware financial aid is not as great the second time around. You will not be able to apply for grants, but you will have options for loans, scholarships, and work-study options.
Federal Student Loans
Students are still able to apply for federal student loans, but the lifetime limit for these loans is in tandem with their first undergraduate degree, whereas a master’s degree would be a new lifetime limit altogether.
Much like a first-time undergraduate, you can still apply for the majority of scholarships available. Make sure to research what scholarships might suit you, as some being made available are specifically for women and those of disadvantaged backgrounds.
The jobs available for work-study for second bachelor’s degree students are usually on-campus. Plus, these are usually minimum wage.
Highest-Paid BA Graduate Careers
There is a wide range of prospective careers for BA/BS graduates. If your interests lay in computer programming, finance, marketing, human resources, etc, there are wonderful career paths for you.
Below is a list of the highest-paid careers you can get with a bachelor’s degree, using information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Computer and Informations Systems Manager: $142,530
- Architectural and Engineering Manager: $140,760
- Marketing Manager: $135,900
- Financial Manager: $127,990
- Natural Sciences Manager: $123,860
- Software Engineer: $123,200
- Compensation and Benefits Manager: $122,270
- Human Resources Manager: $113,300
- Software Developer: $110,000
- Physical Scientist: $107,230
- Psychologist: $80,370
- Historian: $63,680
- Journalist: $62,400
Is a Second Bachelor’s Degree Worth It?
To answer this, figure out your career aspirations, the requirements you need, and assess all the potential avenues. In some cases, you may only require a professional certificate to advance your career. In other instances, you will need a degree.
One Career Karma tip: If you are unsure if a second bachelor’s degree is for you, try taking a few classes at a community college in the subject before committing to obtaining a bachelor’s degree.