Request program information directly from the college or university that is hosting each class. You may be able to receive degree credit for the courses you take online, so be sure to inquire. You should take your courses from a school that employers will recognize.
College credit is the standard measurement of a student’s academic competency. Essentially, it represents how much effort you, the student, put into a single course over a semester. This effort is most often represented by hours of work. You must complete 120 college credits to earn a bachelor’s degree. That’s about 40 classes, which most people assume you can complete in 4 years.
A bachelor’s degree is a highly-structured form of study. Most colleges want to ensure their students have a good foundation in the liberal arts while also covering the major you’ve chosen in greater depth. General education requirements exist in order to maintain a broad education. Colleges may require you to take up to 60 credits of low-level courses spanning a variety of general subjects. While you get to choose which choose which specific courses you take, you must pick from within your college’s requirements. On the other hand, the free electives you choose are drawn from available courses within other departments. Generally, many of these courses will be upper-level courses and more time-consuming than the rest of your bachelor’s degree.
One of the best ways to save money on college is by transferring credit. There’s a myriad of ways to earn college credit that will save you thousands of dollars on your degree. Community college, CLEP, DSST, and affordable online courses are just a few examples. But even if you’re not trying to save money on your degree, if you’re simply considering switching colleges, understanding how degrees are structured will help you when earning college credit.
There are many factors to be taken into account when choosing a college major. You might pick your major based on your abilities. Understanding what areas you have skills in and which areas could use work is a great way to start the process when choosing a university major. However, don’t discount the fields where you lack ability just yet; you’ll be able to build those up more during your studies. Finally, will you be able to easily and readily find employment in a related field after you earn the degree? Avoid the possible discouragement from employment rejection later on by considering a broad field of study. Employment rates will differ between professionals who enter the workforce with a bachelor's degree and those who go on to earn a master's or other advanced credential.
Alternatively, you may pick your major based on values that you hold. Choosing a major based on your core beliefs can lead to work that is more rewarding and encouraging. However, attending university is a time of experimentation and self-discovery, and most people solidify their values during their college years. At first glance, your passions seem just like interest areas, only stronger. But this is quite an understatement. Passions are areas of deep interest, sure, but they also incorporate your values and abilities into something that becomes a burning, lifelong desire.
Before rushing into your choice of studying business, engineering, or healthcare, look over this long list of alternative, high-paying career paths. Competition for jobs in common, popular fields is intense, leading to many-fold numbers of applicants for the same few available positions, with jobs only going to the top 25% of graduates. This leaves millions of new grads either overqualified or misqualified for the jobs that they eventually settle on, seeing the reality of their situation only after graduation, or already well into their university studies.
Don't be one of them, caught unawares. Choose your career based on research into your personality and what type of work you might enjoy doing. Figure out in advance where you want to fit into society, and how you will specialize. What can you do to set yourself apart from other students when it comes time to get a job, or start your own money-making enterprise or independent service offering?