Choosing the Right Degree Program Whether it’s for educational purposes or to advance in ones career, obtaining an academic degree has become the main goal for many who seek an education. Studies have shown that academic degrees can significantly higher the chance of individuals succeeding in the working world. People often seek higher degrees believing they will land a better job and also to make more money, although this notion is true not everyone can have the same result. However, our society views education as a sign of success, productivity, and character so achieving a degree has proven valuable. There are several degrees and individual can pursue and many different avenues for the pursuit of higher education. The education system in the United States has had the same threefold system for academic degrees since the end of the 19th century. Individuals can earn one of the following degrees from the majority of colleges and universities across the country: • Bachelor’s Degree (Bachelor of Art or Bachelor of Science) • Master’s Degree (Mast of Art or Master of Science) • Doctorate Degree In recent decades an associate’s degree has become an increasingly popular degree for individuals to achieve. An associate’s degree is considered to be one of the easiest degrees to achieve. Associate’s degrees in the United States are awarded pre-dominantly by junior colleges, community colleges, and technical schools. Occasionally, four year bachelor-granting universities and colleges will also award associate’s degrees for individuals who seek them. There are several associate’s degree programs an individual can pursue with all of them including a heavy dose of pre-professional coursework. The next step on the ladder of academic degrees is a bachelor’s degree. Roughly 80% of students in the United States enroll in a four year university in search of attaining a bachelor’s degree upon graduation. Bachelor’s degrees are awarded to students upon successful completion of coursework tailored towards a specific field and generally take four years to earn. However, there are exceptions with bachelor’s degrees in architecture or engineering often taking five years to complete. Some universities will allow students to move at an advanced pace, either through higher class loads or advanced placement in order to achieve a bachelor’s degree in three years. The most common bachelor’s degrees issued today are the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. Students who focus their studies on academic realms such as English or Chemistry will receive a Bachelor of Arts degree, while those who focus on a profession such as finance, political science, or nursing will earn a Bachelor of Science degree. People who want to further their education after a bachelor’s can achieve a master’s degree. In the United States a master’s degree is always obtained after a student has successfully completed their bachelor’s degree program. Much like a bachelor’s degree, a master’s can be awarded to students based upon their area of study. Most students will earn either a Master of Arts or Master of Science. The structure of a master’s course can vary from institution to institution. Courses are usually comprised of course-based or research-based work and at times it is even comprised of a mixture of the two styles of study. However, not every university or college offers master’s degree programs. Students may have to enroll in a different institution to continue their education in search of a master’s degree since some institutions offer students only a few areas of study.