There are multiple ways to get your second bachelor’s degree. You can take additional courses while earning your first degree or apply to another institution for a second degree. If you are accepted, you may be able to get credit from previously completed courses towards your second bachelor’s degree.
If you want to expand on your career opportunities, you can do so by getting a second bachelor’s degree. In some cases, going back for a second degree is the perfect first step to change careers, prepare for a significant promotion, or simply update your knowledge.
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Getting two bachelor’s degrees may seem like a daunting task, but it can take less time and money than you think. If you are wondering how to get a second bachelor’s degree, you have come to the right place. We discuss financial aid options, pros and cons, the best schools to attend, and more.
Getting a Second Bachelor’s Degree
There are many reasons why people go back to school. If you feel like your career has reached its peak, getting a second bachelor’s degree could help you get a promotion at work or expand into a different field.
In many fields, having a four-year degree is not enough to stand out from the competition. Two bachelor’s degrees will show hiring managers that you have a more diverse educational background and are dedicated enough to go above and beyond.
Best Reasons to Get a Second Bachelor’s Degree
While furthering your education can take on several forms, going back for a second degree offers various unique benefits. Here are some of the scenarios in which you should consider getting another bachelor’s degree:
- If your career goals require it.
- If you are deciding on a new career field or want to expand your knowledge.
- If you need to transfer credits so you can improve your grades and have a better 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.
Reasons Not to Get a Second Bachelor’s Degree
Despite the benefits, getting a second bachelor’s degree is not the best course of action for all workers. It is a significant financial and time commitment, so you should carefully consider all your options. Here are some drawbacks to review before making your decision:
- You may acquire debt.
- There may be cheaper career-training alternatives to advance your position.
- It may take longer than obtaining a master’s degree.
- It is not as highly regarded as a master’s degree.
- Not all schools provide a second bachelor’s degree.
- In most cases, there is no guarantee that getting two bachelor’s degrees will provide the career progression you are looking for.
Universities Offering Second Bachelor’s Degree Programs
If you have decided on going back for a second bachelor’s degree, either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science, the next step is to choose a school. 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 can gain a second degree in the major of your choice, regardless of your original field of study. The College of Nursing offers an accelerated and a non-accelerated option, depending on what prerequisites you have completed.
Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences
Rutgers University offers a wide range of programs for second bachelor’s degree students. The school recommends gaining a second bachelor’s degree if your first degree is from a professional program and you are now interested in the arts or sciences. To be accepted into the program, you will need a minimum GPA of 2.5.
University of South Alabama
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. Scholarships and financial aid are available. Most students are able to apply credits from their first degree to their second degree program, allowing them to graduate in less time.
University of Illinois, Chicago
You will need to complete at least 30 semester hours to gain a second bachelor’s degree from UIC. In most cases, you will not be accepted into the program if there is a substantial overlap in the coursework between your first and second degrees. UIC also allows students to gain two degrees concurrently.
Oregon State University
OSU requires a minimum grade point average of 2.25 and a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree. Like most schools on this list, students hoping to earn a second degree at OSU are accepted by the individual department rather than the university office of admissions. The requirements vary by major, so make sure you consult with your chosen department to discuss your options before applying.
Financial Aid For a Second Bachelor’s Degree
You should keep in mind that there are fewer opportunities for financial aid for your second bachelor’s degree. You will not be able to apply for grants, but you will have options for loans, scholarships, and work-study programs.
Federal Student Loans
Students are still able to apply for federal student loans to fund their second bachelor’s degree, but the lifetime limit for these loans is in tandem with their first undergraduate degree, which means the amount you can borrow may not cover as much of your tuition as you need it to. If you were applying to earn a master’s degree, you would access a new lifetime limit altogether.
Much like a first-time undergraduate, you can still apply for scholarships to fund your studies. Make sure to research what scholarships might suit you, as some may not accept second-degree students. There are also scholarship opportunities for women and those of disadvantaged backgrounds to look into if you’re eligible.
The jobs available for work-study for second bachelor’s degree students are usually on campus and tend to relate to your major in some way. These are part-time jobs that allow you to earn money to help cover tuition while, ideally, broadening your understanding of your field.
Highest-Paid Careers For Bachelor’s Degree Graduates
There is a wide range of prospective careers for BA/BS graduates. If your interests lay in computer programming, finance, marketing, human resources, or something else, 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: $159,010
- Architectural and Engineering Manager: $152,350
- Natural Sciences Manager: $137,900
- Airline and Commercial Pilot: $134,630
- Marketing Manager: $133,380
- Financial Manager: $131,710
- Petroleum Engineer: $130,850
- Compensation and Benefits Manager: $127,530
- Human Resources Manager: $126,230
- Software Developer: $109,020
Alternatives to Getting a Second Bachelor’s Degree
Earning a second bachelor’s degree is not the best option for every student, and there are many alternatives available if you want to continue your education. If you are not convinced that multiple bachelor’s degrees will help you achieve your career goals, consider these additional pathways.
Deciding whether to get a second bachelor’s or a master’s can be confusing. The choice depends entirely on your career goals, financial situation, and the time you are willing to spend in school. In general, a master’s degree is a better option if you want to continue in the same or a related field of study.
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.
A coding bootcamp is a short, skill-based program that prepares you for a specific career in the tech industry. Popular topics covered in bootcamps include data analytics, software development, and cyber security. Bootcamps generally offer flexible payment and scheduling options, making them ideal for students who want to work while they study.
If your goal is to start a career in the tech industry, a coding bootcamp is a strong alternative to multiple bachelor’s degrees. The education you gain will be more skills-focused, and most bootcamps cost less and take less time to complete than a four-year degree.
To gain professional certification, you will need to study for and pass an exam. This will prove to potential employers that you have the required skills or knowledge to perform a certain job. There are a wide range of certifications available in various fields, including some for entry-level workers all the way up to advanced professionals.
Gaining a professional certification is cheaper than earning a second bachelor’s degree and will take less time. Make sure you research your field and the required qualifications for your dream job to determine whether a certification or a bachelor’s degree is a better option.
Is Getting a Second Bachelor’s Degree Worth It?
Getting a second bachelor’s degree might be worth it if you are looking to start a career in a new field and you want to acquire comprehensive background knowledge. The first step is to figure out your career aspirations and the requirements you need, and then assess all the potential avenues.
In some cases, you may only require a professional certification to advance your career. In other instances, you will need a degree. 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 a bachelor’s degree.
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Getting a Second Bachelor’s Degree FAQ
It typically takes four years to earn a bachelor’s degree. However, if you can transfer credits from courses completed during your first bachelor’s degree program, it may take three years or fewer.
No, FAFSA will not pay for your second bachelor’s degree. While you won’t qualify for federal grants, you can apply for student loans, scholarships, and work-study programs to pay for your education.
Yes, you can get two bachelor’s degrees from two different schools. As long as you gained your first degree from an accredited institution, most schools that offer second degrees will allow you to enroll.
Yes, you can get two bachelor’s degrees simultaneously. These are dual degree programs or double majors. A dual degree program can either be two bachelor’s degrees or a bachelor’s degree combined with an advanced degree.
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