If you feel like you’ve hit a wall in your career, chances are you’re considering going back to school. You typically have two choices —a master’s degree or another bachelor’s degree. While a master’s degree may seem appealing, there are several benefits of having a second bachelor’s degree on your resume.
New Career Paths
The average number of times workers in the U.S. switch jobs over the course of their careers is 12, according to The Balance Careers. While some do this switch for a change of scenery, others change jobs to explore different fields or industries.
A second bachelor’s degree could be a sensible choice for professionals seeking a change in career. If you want to impress employers in an entirely new field of practice, your current credentials may not be enough to prove your expertise and knowledge. A second degree in that industry can help jumpstart your new career.
Before making the switch, be sure to connect with recruiters or study how a bachelor’s degree can help you secure the position you have in mind. For instance, while medical professionals can pursue an official teaching job, they may need additional credentials to do so.
Career Advancement Opportunities
When you are in the middle of your career and ready to take on bigger responsibilities, pursuing a master’s degree may seem like the next step. However, your current bachelor’s degree may not be enough to get you into graduate school. Reasons may range from your academic performance (low GPAs) or that you intend to pursue an area of study that wasn’t covered by your undergraduate program. Getting another bachelor’s degree is one good way to address those problems.
Furthermore, a second bachelor’s degree can open up more possibilities for graduates. A master’s degree could limit you to a specialist subject, in turn eliminating a variety of career prospects. If you are looking to broaden your potential opportunities, then obtaining an additional bachelor’s degree could be more appropriate.
Fortunately, some universities can fast-track students pursuing a second bachelor’s degree, provided you have completed the prerequisites. For example, registered nurses can sign up for BSN programs, which will allow them to advance their careers in a shorter period of time.
If you want to impress employers in an entirely new field of practice, your current credentials may not be enough to prove your expertise and knowledge. A second degree in that industry can help jumpstart your new career.
Keeping Up with Trends
In today's modern world, lessons in your first year of study can be outdated by the time you begin your third. Jobs are evolving because of the emergence of technology trends. Innovations like artificial intelligence and machine learning may render certain degrees outdated, which is why getting a second degree can help address the problem.
Educational institutions and online platforms now offer degrees in newly developed areas like data science, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity. These kinds of programs are great for anyone looking to stay ahead of the curve. The University of Arizona Global Campus Information Technology degree programs even have an updated curriculum to accommodate new trends.
Affordable Alternative to a Master’s Degree
Undergraduate programs are generally less costly than graduate programs. Online bachelor’s degrees are also deemed to be more affordable than traditional undergraduate programs since you won’t have to pay for things like travel costs.
However, do note that the financial aid options available for students taking a second bachelor’s degree are very limited. Before you pursue an additional diploma, check with your financial aid advisers to see if you are eligible for federal or university-based loans or grants.
Shorter Period of Study
For adults with work and family responsibilities, four years for a traditional bachelor’s degree may be considered a long time. However, today's colleges have started to offer online accelerated programs that let students obtain their second bachelor's degrees in less time. All bachelor’s degree programs are comprised of 5-week courses.
Although getting a master's degree may be the first choice for many professionals looking to go back to school, there are many good reasons to opt for a second bachelor's degree too. Not only does it open up more opportunities for those looking to expand their skill sets or change career trajectories, it also can be an affordable and convenient alternative. Of course, this can differ from person to person, so be sure to take your time and weigh your options before deciding the best course of action for you.
Written by guest contributor Gina Holt
Doyle. A (2018) How Often Do People Change Jobs. Retrieved from Doyle. A (2018) How Often Do People Change Jobs. https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-often-do-people-change-jobs-2060467