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Victoria M

Victoria M

Students who enroll for a first degree can choose an associate or a bachelor degree. They have numerous differences between them.

Time of Study

An associate's degree is a 2-year program resulting to an Associate of Science (AS) or Associate of Arts (AA) degree. It is usually a general degree structured in a similar way the initial two years for bachelor’s degrees. An associate degree usually does not require you to choose a particular or significant area of study. An associate degree is applicable when you intend to join a particular profession or prepare for a bachelor’s degree. It is especially a good option when you not sure about what to focus on but intend to enroll for a four-year degree; an associate degree can be good starting point.

Part-time student takes a longer time to complete the degree, but the program cannot last long as a bachelor’s program. Universities accept credits you earn an associate degree for transfer to a bachelor degree program. When you acquire an associate degree, find out about the credit transfer policies at your school to determine if you can fast-track the bachelor's degree and complete it in two instead of four years.

Bachelor's Degree

A bachelor's degree is a 4-year program that students complete as a Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. Many bachelor’s degree programs require students to choose a major and complete a kind of a final project as a prerequisite to earning the degree after completing the course of study. Bachelor’s degree programs are a preserve of the universities and colleges providing a more advanced study in a different major(s). To complete the program, it will take you approximately 120 coursework credits to complete. Some fields of work such as engineering and teaching require a bachelor’s degree as the minimum level of education.

Level or Coursework and Studies

Two options are available to get an associate's degree. One way is by preparing to a join a career in a particular field through enrolling for a highly skilled technical or vocational program such as culinary arts or nursing. The other method to acquire the degree is by taking general studies that allow you to gain both an associate degree and transfer credits at the same time. This associate degree does not require you to choose any major (particular academic field of focus).

On the other hand, many of the Bachelor's degree programs require enrolling students to choose a major and also complete a final project. The coursework in the chosen major begins after completing general education coursework that takes around two years. It is the point where holders of an associate degree have an advantage. Universities allow them to explore elective studies that suit as a minor to complement the major.

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Career Opportunities

An associate degree opens up the way if you intend to join a job in a skilled-labor or technical industry within a short period. Various jobs require an associate degree including cosmetology, licensed practical nursing (LPN), Computer programming, dental assistant among others.

The disadvantage is that for any job applies, the chances are that you will find competing candidates who already have Bachelor's degrees. Employers regard it to be a superior qualification thus finds the holders to be more attractive.

The fields seldom have openings for people without a minimum of Bachelor's degree. These jobs include finance, accounting, and business management. Such jobs normally have more opportunities for promotion and career advancement. Some companies do not require a major in particular area but just a four-year bachelor's degree for certain positions that do not require special skills. All the same, it is wise to seek a career relating to your major as it presents more chances to make faster career progress.

Both associate and bachelor's degrees prepare students for a career in advanced education. However, a bachelor's degree increases your potential if your interest is a career requiring graduate studies or you plan to apply for a Master's program.

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Many people confuse the term concentration, major and minor as they all affect a degree program in a certain way. Concentration is the particular area of emphasis of your degree courses but within the chosen major. A major is a primary area that a student decides to study on in college. It is the specialization that will lead to the target career. A minor is the secondary area of education in which you explore other subjects. They may be relating to the major or not. A concentration relates more to major as it refers to the courses that a student chooses to study within the major. When you make your choice, it will determine the types of classes attend in order so as to fulfill your requirements.

Purpose of a Concentration

For instance, if your major is in business and declares a concentration in entrepreneurship, it requires you to take more classes relating to starting your company. If your major is in political science, you can choose a concentration in public policy, foreign affair or governance. Concentration, therefore, determines your academic track within the major. For instance, you may declare accounting to be your concentration for a business major.

Since you choose classes that help you to reach your designated career, it will also help to inform recruiters about your areas of interest and expertise. During your studies, you will study the usual necessary classes for your business major then take several extra classes focusing specifically on accounting such as taxation or audit procedures.

Schools view it as a tool for students to customize their classes and college experience. Each school has a unique approach to concentration. Some will not even require students to choose a concentration in the initial semesters. If it is not mandatory to declare a concentration in the initial period of training, you should take some time if you are not sure about the right course cluster for you. Use your first two years of your college life to studying general education requirements that are within your major. This time will help you to establish the topics that draw most of your interest before you place yourself in a specific concentration path.

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Nevertheless, it will be better if you can declare your major and emphasis/concentration sooner than later into your studies. It will contribute to the better planning of your academic career and ensure that you graduate on time within the 4-year educational program.

It is important to clarify with your college about how it allocates credits for the concentrations. Most of them will consider 12 credits as full-time but can allow you to take up to 18 credits at no extra cost to the tuition charges. If you register for at least 15 credits every semester, it will increase the odds for you to graduate in four years. Unless there is a crisis, there is no reason to study longer than necessary.

Choosing the Right Concentrations

Research on the concentrations that equip you with the skills you needed when choosing your major. Find out about those that enable you to acquire skills set that is in high demand to help in quick entry into a career. Steer away from concentration that includes courses that you did not like.

Attend career fairs to network with prospective employers to hear the kind of coursework, training, and knowledge they seek from graduates with interest in the job you plan to join. Participate in alumni events to listen to guest speakers and network with professional associations affiliated to fields relating to your career. The information you gather helps you to determine the concentrations, majors, and minors in demand within your profession.

Pep talks to your designated advisor will also assist you to narrow down the options and settle for the most appropriate concentration.

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Saturday, 20 May 2017 09:39

Importance of A College Minor

A major for college and university students is their particular area of study while the minor is the secondary study area of focus. A minor is a set of courses a student takes to enhance the value or complement the major. If you wish to earn a minor, you should undertake to study about 5 courses relating to the subject field. For instance, if you choose Religious Studies minor, you should take five courses within the scores such as:

  • Religious movements
  • Bible studies
  • Teaching by major world religions
  • Islamic studies
  • Religion and culture

Most colleges offer minors as an arbitrary way for their students to explore another subject without the necessity to declare it as a second major. They require students to take few courses for them to earn a minor hence making a declaration is a moderately small commitment. College minors do not need much responsibility hence you can choose a minor you find interesting but not necessarily relating to your career goals. Such a choice enriches and expands the learning experience without compromising on the post-graduation success.

However, it is wise to minor in courses relating to a field of your interest as it would be a backup plan if you find out that your major is not a good fit as you thought. You may wonder whether a minor has any importance if it just supplements the major. Even in its additional role, it will help you in these ways:

Enhances Personal Skills

A minor can contribute to further personal interests if you choose a subject where your passion lies. For example, you may take biology as your major in a medical school, but you also love playing the guitar. A minor in music will be an excellent choice. You could also have a personal interest in receiving training and gaining skills in a particular field, but you do not have the interest to pursue the topic to an extent the schools requires for a major.

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Expands Professional Horizons

In professional terms, a minor is helpful when you need additional training for your career path that it can provide. For instance, if your major is in business management, you can take youth study as you minor if your career plan is to work in a non-profit action focusing on their issues. Accounting as a minor as it will complement your ability to calculate the financial performance. It will help you to supplement a part of academic training with another providing theoretical and practical training. It also increases your suitability to the employers since you have more knowledge than someone who concentrates only on the major.

Builds a Foundation for Double Major or a Second Degree

If your minor is unrelated to the make, it will provide you with the core coursework that you can build on if you decide to get another degree in the field. It is common for students to minor is a subject only to find out that they love it more making a decision to pursue it full time and gain an extra degree. You will have the best of both. A major allows you to broaden your scope of knowledge while a minor enables you to focus on something you love.

Bolsters Your Academic Credentials

A minor is essential when you apply to graduate school or pursue other educational endeavors. Your minor will show that you possess additional interests and skills such as having a foreign language minor when you apply to a medical or law school. It will show your mastery for languages enables you to use your education to help people various nationalities than someone who can only speak just one primary language.

A minor might not add anything to your credentials, but the additional qualifications will separate you from the crowd. When at school, it is worth learning much as you can. A minor will not cost much extra effort and time especially if it relates to your major. Take a minor, and it might be the tie-breaker that separates you from other applicants for employment or admission to an advanced academic program.

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Friday, 19 May 2017 13:36

What Is a Major in a Degree Program?

A major is a field that a student gives more focus during a degree course. For example, a student in the US has to compete for 10 of the mandatory 20 credits in the major subject area to a degree. For every major, there is a minor. It refers to a secondary concentration of the courses to complement the major. It usually requires a student to complete 4 of the necessary credits in a minor subject area.

For instance, you can choose a major in business and minor in public relations. Students choose a Major to complement their career goal while a minor enhances the major. Four-year institutions award both majors and minors.

How Do You Choose A Major?

You should be careful when selecting your major as it will affect your academic track and job qualifications after graduation. When the time to choose a major, minor and concentration, many students are in confusion about the choices to make and how they are going to impact their academic and professional career.

You should choose a major in a particular study area in which you want to focus in college. For example, a major in Film qualifies you more for an entertainment role than when you study languages. It should be the area that drew your interest to enroll in the program. Universities usually have a broad range of majors for students to choose from including sciences, technical, humanity and linguistic courses. If your interest is in more than one major, enroll in a school that allows 'double majoring' (choosing two majors).It will save the time and money it will cost you to finish one degree then enroll for the other.

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When Will You Choose A Major?

Your faculty will most likely allow you to study for part of a sophomore year before declaring a major. Take advantage of this period to define your preferred career path and the area of study that help you to achieve your dreams. It is best to try different classes and figure out the major you like most. It is essential to have various solid options unless your program requires you to make a choice from the first day. When you get a better idea of the major you like most, begin taking courses necessary for your graduation. You will have a better perspective of the classes and department to choose before the time to officially declare you major. It will eliminate the need to switch majors after realizing that the first one is not suitable enough for your career aspirations.

The Role of a Major in Developing Your Career

A major might directly lead to your career or not, but it is essential that you start thinking about how it will give rise to a job soon after graduation. Consider clubs, research programs, internships and part-time jobs relating to potential career options for the chosen major. Some majors such as engineering, accounting or nursing are job specific. They include skills that you need for the future job but you should also consider engaging in other activities outside the regular classroom routine for better preparation.

A degree in liberal arts like history might lead to a variety of careers. You can consult an academic counselor to start to guide you about the jobs that you are likely to get after completing your major. A major in math or sciences also leads to different types of jobs in the fields such as research, education, and business. You can figure out your career early in your studies by working in a lab, helping a professor as a research assistant or participating in a research project.

It is important for you to learn the specifics of every course you are studying to determine the essential cluster to choose for your target career and make an informed decision.

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An internship is an opportunity that employers provide to college and university students who are potential employees. It can be part-time during a semester or full time during a holiday. Such placements take 4-12 weeks. Interns are usually undergraduates, and some are close to their graduation. The internship is not part of school lessons, but it is beneficial to the students because it gives them a chance to achieve the following:

Sharpen and Develop New Skills

You could have the necessary skills in your field, but there is no harm in further learning. The extensive interaction with experts during an internship enables you to sharpen your skills. Working with a professional every day helps you to study how to perform tasks for a longer time than it would have been possible during illustrations at school. You also learn about the latest methods and equipment. Additionally, you learn about teamwork, workplace communication, problem-solving and leadership skills all attract employers to you.

Understand your Profession Better

During the internship, you will practically relate your coursework to the practical aspects of your chosen career. You will discover if there are any gaps between the lessons you learn in class and the professional practice. If you find any gaps, you can quickly strategize on how to fill them. Some employers will help you to address the challenge by suggesting the right additional courses complete your knowledge of the subject matter.

Build Your Resume and Network

Recruiters receive numerous resumes and only consider those with relevant resume. A career relating internship on your resume makes a better impression on potential employers as it is proof that you have some form of experience in the profession you are applying to join. Always include internship experiences relating to your academic program on the resume. It markets your skill excellently.

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Build Networks

Building a network in your profession is important as gaining work experience. All the people you meet during internship become a potential contact for your network. Others become mentors, advisors your referrals when hunting for a job close to graduation time. A professional network is essential as some of these people will even inform you about career opportunities for your first job or later when searching for better opportunities.

Gain Experience

Most companies expect college students to have some degree of experience when applying to work in entry level positions. An internship is a great chance for students to acquire well-rounded experience and see how companies work for first hand. It will provide you with a valuable understanding of the industry you intend to work in soon after graduating. Your background will be more credible when you present a resume with internship experience especially if it is from different companies throughout your academic program. The knowledge gained during the internship will help you to answer questions by hiring managers during an interview.

Glimpse into Daily Activities Of Your Profession

You may have ideas about the kind of job that characterizes your profession but might not know about the activities that make a full working day. An internship exposes you to the real-life work environment, and you will know if it is appealing enough to warrant a life commitment. Since you are still a student, you have the time to change your specialty to another related niche field within the same profession if you dislike it. You can do an internship in another field as well. After a certain time, you will discover where your real interest lies.

Get a Job

Employers seek employees who will add value to their organizations. An internship allows you to showcase your talent, value, and commitment. During the period, the company will invest time and money. Employers have much inclination towards hiring people they train, and it might be your chance to get a full-time job.

The internship program has a lot of benefits. When you have a gap in your semester or holiday, try an internship as it will contribute much towards building your future career.

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In academia, academic credit is the value that an institution assigns to a course or any form of learning. It counts towards the completion of the program or credential. College credits transfer is the procedure of granting credit to a student for studies he/she completed at another school. It is also known as transfer credit or advanced standing. For example, if you are in a community college and intend to transfer to a university offering four-year bachelor's degree course you transfer your credits rather than begin your studies from scratch. Another reason to transfer credit is when you enroll in a four-year institution only to find that it is not the best fit for you and decide to seek other options. Credit transfer procedure also happens when students and adult learners go back to college after stopping for a long time and plan to complete their education at a different school

Importance transfer credit

The main aim of transferring credit is to help you continue with education at the new college at the point you stopped rather that starting as a fresher student. The more credits you transfer, the fewer courses that your new school requires you to take. The transfer helps to save time and money. It is however not obvious about how many credits that a school accepts for you to earn a bachelor's degree. It will depend on the institution.

Each institution has its transfer policy to dictate the transfer credit it can accept from others. Some of them accept different transfer credit from various schools. When you apply to a college, it will look at your previous school and determines whether it will agree to a credit transfer. If it accepts, the concerned members of the faculty decide how much credit will apply to your degree plan. It will appear on your academic transcript of your new institution. Typically, they do not include grades in the transfer process hence cannot factor them as a part of the GPA (Grade Point Average). The institution may, however, record the GPA to show the performance level in the transferred course and other attributes like the time a student took the course.

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How does transfer credit process work?

Transfer Credits are a measure of comparable prior against the current offerings of a college by assessing the applicability and currency of credit petition and claim. Credit measurement covers courses, practical and examinations. Credit transfer can convey your attendance in more than one college. The annotation for credit transfer will, therefore, be per course. Usually, a student should begin by petitioning for credit transfer except in situations where there is transfer articulation agreements with clear outlines about acceptance of credit based on dual enrollment or another form of collaboration between the concerned education providers.

What does transfer credit cover?

Transfer credit will cover formal course work. Institutions also accept examinations, external training, and experiential credits. Nonetheless, all the courses do not count. For example, Remedial course credits and Continuing Educational Units (CEU) do not count as transfer credit. It is important for students first to establish if the courses that they intend to transfer to their new institutions are eligible.

The general steps to transfer credit are for the student to send the transfer application. High school and college transcripts should also be sent. After receiving the transcripts and application, the academic officers evaluate the previous credit and make an admission decision. Transfer credit becomes official when you receive a written verification confirming acceptance.

It is essential for students who plan to transfer credit to apply early and avoid missing deadlines. It is important to begin by contacting the transfer admission representative to get information about the application guidelines, deadlines, and the handling office.

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The number of people who are studying up to university has been increasing drastically even in the developing countries. Students enroll in universities for various reasons. Some go university education simply because of their quality. Others want to gain an advantage in the employment market while others just want to increase their knowledge.

What are the main benefits of getting a university education?

Increases Knowledge

Modern society has become more knowledge-based. University education usually teaches students the skills to discover such knowledge and built on ideas. These are vital skills for the fast changing world. Universities are the center of knowledge that helps to open up a different view of the world leading to success in business and career. University education helps you to further your interest in a particular vocation or subject. The knowledge you gather during your graduate program enables you to practice in careers that require a particular vocational degree such medicine, law, Pharmacy, and Architecture.

Helps To Learn and Discover New Skills

University education will expose you to new technology and research. It, in turn, increases your creativity and ability to think independently. Students who get a chance to study abroad learn more about other cultures and backgrounds.

Enhances Life Skills

There are many skills that you cannot learn at high school but are priceless in life. At university, no one follows you up. It teaches you to be independent and manage your time. For instance completing various assignments teaches you to work hard as you must research and prioritize the urgent tasks. The self-discipline that comes with balancing various tasks at the university helps in grooming the ability to make better decisions and leadership. They are essential skills that will help you even later in life.

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Increases Chances of Getting a Job

A university degree increases your chances to get a better job in the profession of your interest as you specific skills. Employers all over the world prefer hiring graduates as they have more qualification in given subjects than high school students. Some professions such as medicine, engineering, and law among others require a minimum of a degree. When you complete a university program, your ability to analyze and solve problems is higher which employers find essential. The education you gain at the university also enables you to make better progress in your career as university training is of high level. In these days when the job market is extremely competitive, almost every employer will only hire job applicants with degrees.

Better Remuneration

Due to a higher level of skills, your undergraduate or graduate degree will earn you a better salary than someone who did not acquire higher education. Most likely the salary you receive will be greater than the pay for a non-professional job by a non-graduate. Your degree and area of the profession can also enable you to earn a better salary than other graduates. Despite the cost of tuition, the pay you receive upon employment will compensate the cost of education. In many countries, there is some reprieve period before you start paying your student loan.

Enhances Your Entrepreneurial and Management Ability

It is not all the time that a student enrolls in a university program with the intention of seeking employment. A degree in business, fine arts, music, architecture, agriculture and psychology among others prepare you to be an entrepreneur who runs an own business and consultancy. Before earning the degree, you will teach various subjects that will enhance your ability to manage your business entirely for it to profitably.

Interaction with Different People

University education is not in isolation. There are different ways to interact with lecturers and students even when you study online. On-campus students have a chance to meet an even higher number of people. Either way, you will interact with academic staffs who are top experts in their academic field, mentors, and friends who become future contacts. They will help you to advance your career or business in the coming days. University education makes you more confidence in pursuing more opportunities as you are sure about your abilities hence a degree is a significant step in life.

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