Different Types of Degrees Explained (Associates, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate, and Professional)

Today we’re going to be going over the different types of degrees. So we’re going to be talking about Different Types of Degrees Explained (Associates, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate, and Professional).

We’re going to be talking about the differences and all of them, how long they take, and everything that is important that has to do with these types of Degrees. This is something that confuses a lot of people.

1. Associate’s Degree

So the first one we’re going to talk about on this list is the easiest one to get. It doesn’t take as much time that’s going to be the Associate’s Degree, these degrees are typically going to take around two years, you can attend a community college or a university in order to receive one, this is the first degree that you can get very bare bones.

It takes around 60 credit hours in order for you to receive it. And for the most part, most of your associate’s degree is going to be comprised of general education or pre-requisite classes, these are going to be your basic intro level, like 101 type classes English, one on one math, one on one psychology one on one, etc.

Then depending on what major you pick, there is going to be a small number of classes that are going to be devoted to that major. And to be honest with you, many people actually end up skipping the associate’s degree altogether, if they’re going for a bachelor’s.

However, if you’re somebody who doesn’t want to go to four years of school, or you know, you want to go to a community college, you don’t want to go to the more expensive state schools or public or private schools, there are some very good Associate Level Degrees that you can get.

Now sometimes associate degrees are going to get thrown in and kind of bunched in with different certifications, they can take around two to three years as well. There are a lot of really good associate-level degrees that take around two years or so in the health field, as well as technology.

2. Bachelor Degree

Next on the list is going to be a Bachelor’s Degree, which is generally going to take around four years, and it’s going to be around 120 credit hours. Now, in my opinion, there are many bachelor majors where it really shouldn’t take four years in order to get them done.

They can be done in two to three years. And then there’s somewhere it’s pretty tough, and it’s gonna be hard to even get it done in four years, it might even take you five, but colleges kind of just make every single major fit into that cookie cutter for your mold.

Because in my opinion, they’re kind of stuck in the past, and they haven’t really caught up with the times. But I’ve talked about this and other videos, but there are ways for you to reduce the amount of time that it takes to get a bachelor’s degree, sometimes you can cut it in half.

So you can get a bachelor’s degree in two years instead of four graduating two years early not only is going to save you money, time, but it’s also going to save you opportunity costs because you can start working two years earlier than everybody else.

Now when it comes to your return on investment for how much you have to spend in order to get a degree versus how much it’s going to return to you. Out of all these different types of degrees, the bachelor’s degree does seem to be you know, on average, the one that gives you the best ROI.

3. Master’s Degree

So the next one on the list is going to be a Master’s Degree, this is the one that you would go into after you’ve already gotten a bachelor’s, this is going to be another extra 40 to 60 credit hours, right, so you already took your 120 credit hours to get your bachelor’s degree, and then the Masters is going to be another 40 to 60.

So you could end up taking 180 credit hours total. Now, in my opinion, master-level degrees can sometimes be worth it when you look at it from a financial perspective. It really depends though; it’s not always going to give you a better ROI than just getting the bachelor’s degree alone.

A lot of the time is just going to complicate things. So for instance, there are some master-level degrees where you will actually end up being overqualified for entry-level positions after you graduate but generally, you can knock a master’s level degree out in about two years or so.

So overall that would be four years for your bachelor’s degree and then another two years for your master’s. So master’s degrees are generally going to take around six years now.

4. Doctorate of Philosophy PhD

The next one on the list is going to be a Ph.D. this is going to be a Doctorate of Philosophy. Now, this isn’t the same type of doctor that you go to see when you’re getting a medical checkup, this is different, this is more of an academic doctorate.

Basically, a simple way of describing this is, you know, you get your associate’s degree, and you know a little bit about a subject, right, you know, a decent amount about it, you get your bachelor’s degree, and you’re pretty, pretty well versed in the subject.

You now know a lot about it, you get your master’s degree, and you’re like an expert like you are a master in that subject, no pun intended. If you get a Ph.D., you know, so much about a certain subject, that you can actually move the entire field forward and discover completely new things.

So you have such a high-level understanding of the subject, that instead of having to read the books, you can write the books yourself. Now a Ph.D., they say, takes around 90 credit hours or so. But there’s actually a lot more to it than that.

First of all, when you’re doing your Ph.D., you’re going to be doing a lot of hands-on work, a lot of the time, you’re going to be working like eight to 12 hours a day, you might be doing it in a lab or an office setting kind of depending on what degree you’re going for.

On top of that, you have to write what’s known as a dissertation that is original research, and then you have to defend that original research in front of a panel of experts, if you’re able to successfully do this, then you can graduate with your Ph.D. or your doctorate level degree.

Now a lot of people think in theory that a doctorate only takes another two years because they think of a doctoral-level degree as eight years total. Right. So the associate’s degree was two years, the bachelor’s degree was four years Master’s was six years.

Then the doctorate is another two years on top of that, right, so it’s eight years not right at all, that is totally wrong. PhDs on average will take around eight years all on their own.

So you might have gotten a bachelor’s, a master’s, and then you begin a Ph. D. program that takes around eight years, sometimes they integrate the master’s and the Ph.D. program together. And so that can take a little bit less time. But still, you get my point. Many people do not graduate with their Ph.D. until they’re in their early to mid-30s.

Many people don’t graduate at all, because it’s extremely rigorous, right? There’s a reason that people who get PhDs get so much respect because getting a Ph.D. is incredibly difficult. Now, from a financial standpoint, I’ve done videos on this, I broke down the numbers.

Generally speaking, getting a Ph.D. from a financial standpoint, is not going to be a good idea, there are really only two reasons that you should seek out getting a Ph.D. And that is one you truly love the subject like you’re just absolutely in love with it.

You want to know everything you possibly can about that subject and to the only way that you can reach your goals, which would generally be like moving the entire field forward somehow. So you know, coming up with completely new ideas, new discoveries, is getting that Ph.D., right.

So if you’re thinking about getting a Ph.D. for financial reasons because you’re going to make more money, I can almost guarantee you, it’s not going to be worth it. Sometimes master’s degrees can be worth it financially, PhDs almost never.

5. Professional Degrees

Now the next one on the list I’m going to talk about is going to be Professional Degrees. Now Professional Degrees are usually master or doctorate-level degrees but do not get them confused with PhDs, PhDs, and professional degrees are not the same thing, right?

So you might get your medical doctorate. But that is not a Ph.D., that is not a Doctorate of Philosophy, medical doctors don’t have to create a dissertation and then defend it, for instance. So it’s completely different.

Generally speaking, professional degrees are the highest paying type of degree on average, they’re also going to generally take less time to complete than a Ph.D.

So for instance, a Pharm.D, that’s a professional degree, that’s the degree that I have, that can take sometimes six to eight years instead of a Ph.D., which a lot of the time is going to take 10 to 12 years. And that includes all of the undergraduate study, as well as the post-grad study.

So some examples of professional degrees would be a JD, that’s what you would get in order to become a lawyer. Another one would be an MPa or Master of Public Administration. Now there would be an MSW or Masters of Social Work.

One thing you’ll notice about nearly all of these professional degrees, is they directly lead into a specific career, right? So you get this degree and you know exactly what career you’re going for. If you get a medical doctorate, you’re going to become a medical doctor.

If you get a Pharm.D, you’re going to become a pharmacist. If you get a JD, you’re trying to become a lawyer. Whereas with a lot of other types of degrees, it can be a lot more wishy-washy. You think you’re going to go into this field, you graduate, you can’t find a job and you end up getting a job in a completely different field.

So that’s one of the great things about professional degrees is they tend to be very straightforward in terms of what type of degree you’re getting. what career you’re going into but with that being said, professional degrees also tend to be the most expensive, they’re even more expensive than PhDs.

They do tend to make the most out of all the different types of degrees by far and another thing is they do tend to be able to be done faster than your average master’s or doctorate level degree.

So there are a lot of opportunities to take accelerated routes and basically cut corners when you’re getting these types of degrees. So for instance, I was able to get my doctorate in my Pharm D in about five years and nine months whereas generally speaking, it takes most people around eight years to get it.

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