understanding college degrees

College is a rewarding opportunity to change your life and begin working towards a better tomorrow. As you start your college search, you may find find yourself stumped with making a decision about the type of degree you want and how long you want to stay in college for. Choosing the right degree will be dependent on the goals you have and your financial capabilities. Here’s list of the most common college degrees:

Certificate Program

Certificates are typically awarded from programs lasting 18 months or less. These programs focus specifically on a trade or vocational subject and are awarded once a student has achieved the school’s standard of excellence.

For more information view the various certificate programs offered.

Associate’s Degree

Associate’s Degrees typically take approximately two years to complete with 60 to 70 credit hours. On average, Associate Degree holders make a median wage of $40,000 a year. There are two types of Associate’s Degrees. An Associate of Arts (AA) degree focuses on social science and humanities fields, while and Associate of Science focuses on studies of science and technology fields.

Learn more about associate degree programs.


Bachelor’s Degree

Bachelor’s Degrees are awarded upon completion of 125 to 132 credit hours and four years of full time study. However, some Bachelor Degree programs, such as engineering and architecture, can take close to five years. There are two types of Bachelor’s Degrees. A Bachelor of Arts degree focuses on a variety of different studies before requiring students to choose a specific major. A Bachelor of Science degree is one where a student decides their field of study before starting college or within the first year, leaving little room for courses outside their area of study.

According to the NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers), the average starting salary for college graduates with a Bachelor’s Degree is $45,000. On total, those with a Bachelor’s Degree have a median wage of $55,000 a year.

Get an overview of bachelors degree and view the various program offerings.

Master’s Degree

A Master’s Degree is obtained after one to three years of 30 to 40 credits of study beyond a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degree programs focus on specific fields of study to give students an in depth understanding of their field. In the United States, those with a Master’s Degree make approximately $66,000 a year on average. There are two most common forms of a Master’s Degree — Master of Arts and Master of Science.

For more information, visit the masters degree program guide.

Doctoral Degree

A Doctoral Degree (Doctorate) is field specific and takes approximately three to five years after the completion of a Bachelor’s Degree to complete. In the United States, on average, it takes seven years for a person to obtain a Doctoral Degree. Doctoral Degree holders make, on average, $81,000 a year.

Learn more about doctoral degrees and view the various program offerings.