Your Ultimate Guide to the Degree Types

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Your Ultimate Guide to the Degree Types

During the last couple of months as a secondary level student when you are giving it your best and counting down the days until your last exam, you can’t help but think, what next? You are constantly asked by everyone about your future plans and which degree you will pursuit, you hear about people who have completed their further study degree types and congratulate them fully knowing that they have achieved something excellent but now fully knowing what their degree means or why they chose that specific one for study. But don’t worry, we’ve all been there and let’s start here; there are six different academic degree types!

Associates Degree

After completion of your secondary level education, you are eligible to apply for an associate degree, one of the degree types. This degree takes from two – three years for completion and is offered for a variety of study fields. The degree is most common if you want to study in the United States, Netherlands and Hong Kong. The requirements for an associate degree are easier than that of a four-year bachelor degree and so are the fees, with higher acceptance rates.

This makes it a suitable option for students who want to earn a degree at a reputable establishment and cannot afford paying high tuition costs. These students are usually seeking employment at an entry level job. Some students also complete associate degrees in order to be better prepared for their next step while completing a bachelor degree, have an advantage over other graduates by adding it to their résumé or transfer after completion to a bachelor degree which will now take less than four years to complete.

As previously mentioned, there are different types of study for associate degrees and they fall under the following four categories; Associate of Arts, Associate of Applied Arts, Associate of Science and Associate of Applied Science. The difference between an associate applied degree and an associate degree is the practicality of taught skills, where applied degrees are intended for students who want to join the workforce immediately upon completion. While the other is for students who will move on to study a bachelor degree, which brings us to the second type of degree.

Bachelor Degree

The second one of the degree types is the most popular degree and is pursued by the majority of secondary level graduates, most sought after undergraduate degree. A bachelor degree takes an average of 4 years for completion, to complete 120 credit hours, some degrees are completed over 5 or 6 years and these are the degrees with a practical work module such as a degree in medicine. This degree type offers students a well-rounded curriculum about their chosen field of study, there over 80 officially recognized types of bachelor degrees but the most common ones if you choose to study a bachelor’s degree are the following:

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Architecture
  • Bachelor of Education
  • Bachelor of Engineering
  • Bachelor of Computer Science

Over the course of the four years, you will expect to study three main components at your university or college; general education which comprised on set courses studied by all students of all majors and are obligatory, major courses which are concentration courses provided to students of your chosen major and electives which allow you to register for courses which you think will benefit your but are not required by your major for completion.

Read more: The Top 5 Bachelor Degrees to study in 2023

Master’s Degree

This degree, one of the most popular degree types, is awarded at the postgraduate level and is completed over the course of 2 or 3 years, depending on various reasons. There are a number of reasons why students who wish to study a master’s degree are usually doing so to increase their chances of employability or to earn a promotion at where they already work, explore a specific specialization in depth while combining their previous knowledge to their work experience in the field.

A master degree is also a very suitable option for people who wish to change their career paths but are afraid to do so because of their lack of knowledge in the prospective field, as this one of the degree types will increase your chance of working work at a new career and help you excel at it. Additionally, while registering for this degree you will be able to register as a part time student, in order to work around your work schedule and not have to stop working to complete it.

There two main types of masters’ degree types; the first one is instructor based, where you would have to attend lectures, seminars and have an instructor for all courses while the second type is research based where you do not attend lectures or seminars but are provided with the material, you have to self-study and required a lot of intense independent work. Both types will require you to conduct a research based thesis and will be required to hand it in at the end of your studies.

Read More: Popular Study Locations When the Library is Closed

Doctorate Degree

In postgraduate academic level studies, this degree is the most prestigious and advanced one can earn and completed over the course of four to six years. A bachelor degree is a mandatory perquisite for applying for a doctorate degree. A doctorate degree is a representation that you have mastered studies in a certain specialization. Earning this degree is not an easy done task as it involves a remarkable amount research to be conducted and articulation of theory where you present your own theory and value added to existing ideas.

There are two variations for doctorate degree types, the first one is the Doctor of Philosophy which known as the PhD and the second one as The Professional Doctorate, though the difference between both is not very significant. The first one is primarily focused on research and the second one on practicality where it is more suitable for people completing it for their job. However, either one of the degree types is going to provide you with very sufficient knowledge, will require a significant amount of time to be spent researching and are perceived very highly but employers.

Professional Degree

A professional degree is also a postgraduate degree awarded to those who have specialized and excelled in a specific field. However, the main difference between this degree and a doctorate degree is their area of focus; the professional degree focuses more on practical work than research.

The curriculum entails that you must complete internships during your time of study and this internship must be relevant to your field of study. The people enrolling for this degree ought to be very clear about their career goals and their abilities as it is very precise; the most sought after professional degrees are the following: Doctor of Business Administration, Doctor of Education, Doctor of Nursing Practice and Doctor of Public Health.


Degree types

Honorary Degree

The honorary degree, per its name, is a degree of honor granted by your university and may be awarded to people with no previous postgraduate degrees. The selection process is extremely competitive, but those who are demonstrating public excellence in the research field or in their practical work might be eligible for one of these degree types.

Meaning that the award is based on your previous work and potential work. Recipients of honorary degrees are to refrain from the use of the title “Dr.” before their names, in order to avoid any misinterpretations that the person has earned a doctorate degree or a professional degree. The award is common and even the lead institutions in the world awarded it; yet, it is not perceived as highly as other degrees and is considered more of an award than an actual degree.

The different degree types equip you for different potential and prospects, the degree should be selected based on what you want to achieve in your career. There are different prerequisites for enrolling at each degree type and as you move up the educational ladder, you are more likely to achieve your personal and career goals. If you’re still hesitant about which of the degree types to pursue, Uniapp can give you a hand!


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