There are many things to think about when deciding if getting a second bachelor’s degree is right for you, such as what are the benefits of a second bachelor’s degree, how will the transition back to school be, and what is the transfer credit process is like?
Why get a second bachelor’s degree?
Feel like you’ve hit a plateau at work? Technology and methodologies are always changing. There are many ways to stay updated on the current trends within your field. Getting a second bachelor degree is just one way. While taking classes, you will be learning new skills as well as current trends. At the same time, you will also be enhancing skills you may already have. Both combined will improve your chances in the job market. Having a second bachelor’s degree will make you more employable. It can be hard to find a job regardless of the number of degrees you have, but having two degrees will help employers understand that you have a range of skills.
A second bachelor’s degree can also be helpful if you are considering getting a master’s degree. It can help you reach those requirements. You can raise your GPA, take the pre-requisite courses, and learn information that will help you succeed in your graduate program.
Transitioning back to school
Going back to school provides you with the opportunity to learn from your past college experiences. Since you have already been through college once, you have a bit of an advantage compared to those just starting out. You understand the structure of attending college and have learned what works for you and what doesn’t work for you.
Multiple ways to study
You already learned that figuring out the best way to study is essential while working towards a degree. There are different ways to study. You could prefer to study in a large group, a pair or individually. By now you have probably tried out which works best for you. Perhaps you enjoy complete quiet or need some noise to help you focus. You can also choose the location that will best accommodate your studying habits. The library could be good for someone who likes to study in a group or needs a bit of noise to focus, while home could be a good option for someone who likes to be alone with no noise at all. I know for me, that I prefer to study by myself with music in the background and preferably in my room or the library. This is where I can be the most productive with my studies.
A friend of mine had a different experience. She tried a couple different methods of studying before finding the magic fit. First, she tried out many different study groups but soon realized that she needed quiet. Eventually, she found a single study partner that worked best for her. Her study partner was very focused and would prevent her from getting too distracted. Her partner would also ask her questions about the subject at hand, turning my friend into the teacher. Figuring out the role you like to play, whether teacher or student, can help you discover new learning techniques to help you excel. Capitalize on the opportunity to further your studies and continue to learn from it.
Remembering how you learn best
There are also different approaches towards studying. You can memorize all the material before a test and then most likely forget it, you can try teaching it to someone to better grasp the concept, or you could even find someone that previously took the exam, and study of that. My favorite method of studying is memorizing. I find this to be the best method for me. I memorize everything before a test, use it on the test and then in most cases forget it after, but everyone is different.
You could also figure out your learning style, to better understand which method works best for you. Perhaps you’re a visual learner, or perhaps you need to hear everything, write down everything or read your notes again. It could even be a combination of the four. During my experience throughout school, I learned that I needed to repeat things out loud after writing study guides. Just rereading my notes did not help me. Everyone learns in a different way. What works for one person, might not work for you. You most likely already know about your learning style and how it affects your study methods. Take some time to remember that and include it in your next degree. Use the opportunity of going back to school to really learn how you study best and learn from it.
Planning your time efficiently
Having been through school once, you understand the importance of a schedule. It is possible that you didn’t plan your time efficiently during your first degree, so aiming to achieve better time management skills during your bachelor’s degree is a good goal. Some prefer every minute of every day to be meticulously scheduled in their planners, while others simply jot down their due dates for assignments or make a To Do list. To help manage my time, I followed the course syllabus to know what was due when, and sometimes I would create a To Do list for each week of assignments. Your second degree could provide you with the opportunity to figure out how you like to schedule your time and keep track of assignments.
Choosing the right institution for you
When you studied for your first degree, you might have wanted to experience the social life that traditional universities offer, but perhaps you are in a different place in your life now. Perhaps today you have a family and are less interested in the parties and other aspects of university social life that brick and mortar schools offer. This can open other options for you such as online universities. Online universities provide a more flexible schedule that can fit around your existing life. It might be a little intimidating to choose something that you are not already familiar with, but keep in mind that there was a learning process in your first degree as well. Eventually, you will get the hang of it. UoPeople has created an orientation class for students with no prior experience at online learning, so don’t forget to ask to join if you think it will benefit you.
Remember, online learning provides flexibility for a busy schedule, family life or full-time workers. It is also possible to start with just one course in the first term to make an easier transition.
How long will it take to graduate?
While the answer to “how long will it take to graduate” is much simpler for your first degree (usually 4 years), it is a little more complicated for your second bachelor’s degree. The answer depends on which degree you have completed already and which one you would like to start, along with the transfer credit policy of that institution.
Some universities will only accept a few credits from a first bachelor’s degree, but University of the People has an open policy and usually accepts a high number of your credits as transfer credits, for up to 75% of the program requirements. The number of credits transferred will determine how long it will take to complete your second bachelor’s degree.
How many credits can be considered for your second degree at UoPeople?
If you have a bachelor’s degree similar to the new degree you wish to pursue, you can transfer equivalent courses for your second degree. However, in the case that your first degree is very different than the second, such as a first degree in education and the second in computer science, you can transfer some or most as electives based on their discipline. Let’s try to explain: At UoPeople, everyone enrolled in a bachelor’s program must take general education courses, which includes courses in social disciplinary areas, humanities, social behavior, natural sciences, and technology. It is possible to use courses from your first degree to be exempt from taking these. The courses do not need to be an equivalent course to be awarded a transfer credit. The requirement is that they fit into one of the categories mentioned above.
For example, UoPeople does not offer American History as a course, but if this course is on your transcript, it could count towards your humanities credit.
There are many benefits of going back to school to earn a second bachelor’s degree. It provides you with an opportunity to be up to date on current trends in your field. It gives you a chance to learn something new about studying and potentially finding out how you best study and learn. It most likely will not take as long as your first degree since some of those credits could be accepted as transfer credits.