All parents hope their high school students will transition easily into college, knowing exactly what they want to study, and without the chance of a change in their major mid way through school.
An important part of the preparation process for college is taking the necessary time to explore different areas of study and what is required to achieve a degree. There are Bachelor of Arts Degrees, Bachelor of Science Degrees, Associate Degrees, and even licenses and certifications for careers that require specific training but not necessarily a “degree.”
A case in point applies to the field of nursing. A student seeking an RN degree can attend either a 2 or 4 year institution. The 2 year school offers the Associate Degree in nursing, while the 4 year school offers the Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Registered nurses with either degree typically make the same salaries as registered nurses. So why, you might ask, spend the time and money toward a Bachelor of Science Degree when you can earn the same amount of money with the Associate Degree?
Here are some things to consider regarding the Associate versus the Bachelor of Science degree in this particular situation:
1. Which degree to choose depends on whether or not the graduate plans to continue their education after the initial degree is obtained. For example, if an RN with an Associate Degree plans to advance their degree in order to become a nurse practitioner, they would have to first advance the ASN into a BSN, and then move forward from there. In this scenario, it might be a better choice to go ahead and work toward the BS degree at the outset.
2. Some job positions specifically state a Bachelor of Science degree as an application requirement. Employers know the difference in the two degrees, and if a decision comes down to two candidates for the same position, most times the one with the more advanced degree is going to be the choice selection.
The specifics for different professions and areas of study will vary, but the main concept is to give some forethought and planning to a desired career and the degree choices so the best decisions can be made for the long term.
Every parent wants the best value results for the amount of the investment made into their child’s college education. In order to achieve this, it is essential to do some research and also spend time discussing the future with their college bound senior long before the college years begin.
Author: Rhonda Manns, A2Z College Planning