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Among the various degrees you will be able to obtain, the Associate Degree is the most fundamental degree you will need. The degree is awarded after the completion of two years in school. This degree is traditionally offered by technical schools, community colleges, and a small handful of four year universities. Students may take up to achieve 60 credits or 20 courses within this stipulated time.
In many instances, the majors available to those pursuing their Associate Degree may be slightly more limited than those pursuing a four year degree; however, this degree is designed to allow graduates to transfer their credits to a four year degree. Most Associate Degrees can be earned online or on campus, making this degree the perfect fit for nearly everyone.
During the Renaissance, students whom received their doctorate were traditionally decorated with branches of bay, a symbol of the highest honor in ancient times. In more modern times, the French derivative “baccalaureate” was born of this, and thus the English modification “bachelor.”
The Bachelor’s Degree is the most commonly earned degree among students today. Although students may take anywhere from three to six years to earn their Bachelor’s Degree, typical completion time is roughly four years. The majors available to those pursuing this degree are far more varied than those available to students in pursuit of their Associate Degree. These majors can include, but of course are not limited to, medicine, criminal justice, business, fashion, art & design, education, and more. In today’s job market, more and more employers are treating the Bachelor’s Degree as a minimum requirement.
The Master’s Degree is awarded to those who have completed two years of study above and beyond the traditional four year Bachelor’s Degree. Specifically, individuals who are granted this degree have demonstrated a mastery of a specific field of study. There are multiple types of Master’s Degrees as well as multiple avenues to pursuing this degree.
Master’s degrees have become increasingly more common over the last decade, and account for one of every four university degrees obtained in the US today. Since the 1970s, there have been two times as many Master’s Degrees awarded.* This degree can be obtained online, however it is generally granted by a university after a bachelor’s degree
In medieval times, the Doctorate made its most notable appearance in Europe as qualification to teach, although its roots can be traced to the early days of the church. At that time, the term “doctor” actually referred to the Apostles, church fathers, and other Christian authorities who taught.
The Doctorate, which stems from the Latin term - “teacher” - reflects the highest form of formal study and is typically completed after 8-12 years of schooling. This degree is broken into two categories: the academic degree and the professional degree. As implied, the academic or research doctorate incorporates published original academic research performed and executed by the student. The professional doctorate focuses more on occupational preparation in such professions as law and medicine.
This degree is most commonly earned in preparation of a specific job or career. The Certificate can also be referred to as a diploma or vocational degree. Certificates are often granted for very concentrated areas of study. Certificates take much less time to earn than traditional two and four year degrees and are perfect for those who are anxious to begin their careers or simply get into the job market.
Although the typical certificate takes one to two years to complete, some more fast-tracked programs can take as little as a few weeks to adequately prepare students for their chosen professions.