What are the 4 Types of College Degrees? (2023)

What are the 4 Types of College Degrees? (1)

Going to college to earn your degree can provide new skills, job opportunities, and salary increases, but what is the best degree for you?

Whether you want to earn your first degree, gain new skills to change careers or earn a promotion by building upon your existing education, it’s important to explore how different degrees can help you reach your goals.

Understanding the types of degrees available, how you can advance through degree levels and the amount of time it will take to complete a program is key to choosing the degree that's right for you.

Exploring College Degree Levels

What are the 4 Types of College Degrees? (2)While it is possible to achieve a high-paying job without a degree, completing a basic college degree is a great asset for long-term career progression. With so many types of degrees to choose from, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or unsure of the best educational path for you.

What is a college degree able to do for your career? It all depends on your field of choice and long-term goals.

Explore the list of college degrees, below, in order from lowest to highest. Discover the benefits of different types of degrees and understand how you can work through these levels of education to further your career.

(Video) Different Types Of Degrees Explained: (Associates, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate, and Professional)

Types of Associate Degrees

If you’re just starting out with higher education or want to add education credentials to real-world experience, an associate degreecould be a great fit.

Different types of associate degrees, such as an Associate of Science (AS) or Associate of Arts(AA), are 60 credits and can be completed in 2 years or less, and are a great first step toward earning an entry-level job or promotion. There are job opportunities for associate degree holders across many fields, including:

  • Associate in accounting
  • Associate in criminal justice
  • Associate in digital photography
  • Associate in information technology
  • Associate in merchandising
  • Associate in liberal arts
  • Associate in marketing

What are the 4 Types of College Degrees? (3)

An AS degree will prepare you for jobs available across many industries including marketing, information technology and accounting. While earning an AA degreecan help you develop the soft skills employers look for such as problem-solving, critical thinking skills and communication.

Starting with an associate degree is worth itas there are great benefits and opportunities that come with it. Earning an associate degree can have a significant economic impact. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), associate degree holders earn 20% more than workers with only a high school degree.

If you’re unsure about starting a bachelor’s degree program, earning an associate degreeis a great way to kickstart your education and enter the workforce before enrolling in a more advanced degree. If you decide to continue on to a bachelor’s degree, your associate degree credits are typically applied toward the four-year degree.

With an associate degree in business administration, for example, you can gain a solid foundation in business principles and practices that will prepare you for entry-level positions. Continuing on to bachelor’s degrees in business administration can help you dive deeper into a specific area of study, such as finance, project management or marketing.

(Video) How to Choose a Major | Crash Course | How to College

Types of Bachelor Degrees

Designed to be completed in 4 years, bachelor’s degree programsprovide in-depth knowledge and skills across a wide variety of career paths to help you stand out in today’s competitive job market.

Bachelor's degrees are in high demand. According to a 2020 U.S. Census Bureau report, more than 36% of adults over age 25 hold a bachelor’s degree.

What are the 4 Types of College Degrees? (4)In today’s competitive hiring climate, it pays to advance from an associate to a bachelor’s. According to BLS, bachelor’s degree holders earned about $19,000 more per year than workers with a 2-year degree.

Bachelor’s degrees like Bachelor of Science (BS) and Bachelor of Arts (BA) offer more opportunities to focus your learning on a specialized area of study. With a business administration bachelor’s degree, for example, you can concentrate your studies on anything from finance, accounting and healthcare management to marketing, entrepreneurship and public administration.

Earning a bachelor’s degree opens the door to advancing your education with a graduate-level degree - an increasingly common step for workers looking to further their careers.

Types of Master’s Degrees

Earning a master’s degree is a great way to gain more technical knowledge in your field and set yourself apart from other workers.

With growing opportunities for online master’s degree programs, including programs that can be completed in less than 2 years, this degree path is becoming increasingly popular with full-time working adults.

(Video) 30 university degrees described in 1 sentence

Employers are also increasing demand for master’s degree holders. According to BLS data, jobs requiring master’s degrees are projected to grow by 16% by 2030.

Earning a master’s degree can open the door to advancement within your company, help you tackle new career goals and can also boost your long-term earning potential. Master’s degree holders’ median weekly earnings were 18% higher than bachelor’s degree holders and 65% higher than associate degree holders, according to BLS.

What are the 4 Types of College Degrees? (5)

Master’s degrees, like Master of Science (MS) or Master of Arts (MA), are available across a wide variety of subjects. Master of Business Administration (MBA)programs are among the most well-known master’s degree programs, with opportunities to study finance, accounting, international business, criminal justice, information technology management and more.

If you’re looking to advance your education even further, you may be wondering what comes after a master’s degree. The answer depends on your career goals.

Types of Doctoral Degrees

If you’re looking to advance your education to the highest degree in college, a doctoral degree may be right for you.

Depending on your industry and career goals, there are several types of doctoral degrees to consider. A few include:

(Video) The EASIEST College Degrees!

  • Doctor of Business Administration (DBA): A terminal degree tailored to business professionals looking to explore, examine and address business issues.
  • Doctor of Education (EdD): A doctoral degree geared toward leaders (and aspiring leaders) in educational organizations and the education system itself.
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD): An academic doctorate available to a range of fields. A PhD is typically required to become a professor and can help you start a career in research.

Doctoral degrees can take up to 7 years of intense study to complete. After completing doctoral degree coursework, you might sit for comprehensive subject matter exams. A dissertation based on your research interests may also be required and reviewed by a committee of graduate school faculty.

Determining Your Educational Path

What are the 4 Types of College Degrees? (6)What is the degree that will help you advance your career? To define your path, take some time to explore job descriptions and industry news to better understand the educational requirements of your chosen field.

While advancing your education can have significant economic impacts, each career has its own unique job requirements and there are often benefits to remaining in the workforce while working toward a college degree. Many companies offer tuition assistance programs, for example, that can help pay for more advanced degrees.

Do some research and reflect on your long-term goals and you’ll be on the path to choosing the college degree level that is right for you.

A degree can change your life. Find the SNHU degreethat can help you meet your goals.

Danielle Gagnon is a freelance writer and marketer focused on higher education. Connect with her on LinkedIn.


What degree is 4 years of college called? ›

Types of Bachelor Degrees

Designed to be completed in 4 years, bachelor's degree programs provide in-depth knowledge and skills across a wide variety of career paths to help you stand out in today's competitive job market. Bachelor's degrees are in high demand.

What is a 5 year degree called? ›

Bachelor's Degree - An award (baccalaureate) that normally requires at least 4 but not more than 5 years of full-time equivalent college-level work.

What is a 6 year degree called? ›

A bachelor's degree (from Middle Latin baccalaureus) or baccalaureate (from Modern Latin baccalaureatus) is an undergraduate academic degree awarded by colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study lasting three to six years (depending on institution and academic discipline).

What is the easiest degree to get? ›

The 16 Easiest College Majors – 2023 Rankings
  • Psychology.
  • Criminal Justice.
  • English.
  • Education.
  • Religious Studies.
  • Social Work.
  • Sociology.
  • Communications.
Nov 1, 2022

What is the hardest degree to go for? ›

What are the hardest degree subjects? The hardest degree subjects are Aerospace Engineering, Law, Chartered Accountancy, Architecture, Chemistry, Medicine, Pharmacy, Psychology, Statistics, Nursing, Physics, Astrophysics, Biomedical Engineering, Astronomy, and Dentistry.

What is a 8 year degree called? ›

A doctorate degree typically takes anywhere from four to six years to complete. On average, a Ph. D. is earned within eight years. The length of time it takes to earn your doctorate is based on numerous factors.

What's the highest paying major? ›

The No. 1 spot goes to electrical engineering and computer science. The early-career median pay for majors is $119,200 annually.

Which degree is the highest? ›

A doctorate degree is the highest traditional academic degree. Earning a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D.) or a Doctor of Education (Ed. D.)

What is a 2 years degree called? ›

An associate degree is a two-year degree typically offered at community colleges, technical colleges, and career colleges. However, some four-year universities offer them as well.

What is the best degree to get in college? ›

The Best College Majors
  • Business Administration. ...
  • Finance. ...
  • Social Science. Median salary (2020): $68,000. ...
  • Marketing. Median salary (2020): $68,000. ...
  • Human Resources. Median salary (2020): $65,000. ...
  • Public Relations. Median salary (2020): $59,000. ...
  • Communications. Median salary (2020): $66,000. ...
  • Education. Median salary (2020): $58,000.

How many years is a master degree? ›

Master's degrees typically take two years to complete, but the timeframe can vary from person to person. Depending on your degree program and whether you're going to school full-time or part-time, it could take you less time to get your master's degree – or more.


1. Different Types of Degrees : Bachelors, Masters, Doctors and Associates Explained in hindi | 2022
(Career Platform )
2. Top 10 Bachelor Degrees
(Shane Hummus)
3. Bachelors Degree Tier List (Ranking Top 100 Bachelor Degrees)
(Shane Hummus)
4. Types of Colleges and Degrees
(Jamie Dukowitz)
5. Different levels/types of college degrees.
(S Frazee)
6. How to Types of College Degrees
(computer tecnology)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Dean Jakubowski Ret

Last Updated: 03/05/2023

Views: 6079

Rating: 5 / 5 (70 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Dean Jakubowski Ret

Birthday: 1996-05-10

Address: Apt. 425 4346 Santiago Islands, Shariside, AK 38830-1874

Phone: +96313309894162

Job: Legacy Sales Designer

Hobby: Baseball, Wood carving, Candle making, Jigsaw puzzles, Lacemaking, Parkour, Drawing

Introduction: My name is Dean Jakubowski Ret, I am a enthusiastic, friendly, homely, handsome, zealous, brainy, elegant person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.