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College Beat: Should I Get an AA, BA or Master’s Degree?

This week on College Beat, I am addressing the different types of degrees and asking your opinion on whether you think you should get an associate’s degree (AA), a bachelor of arts degree (BA) or a master’s degree.

Some people may ask: Is an AA degree enough? Nowadays, there is more competition in attaining a job, but it really depends on what type of future and career you want. If you are seeking to work in hospitality, you may be successful just achieving an AA degree. If you want to be more administrative or in business leadership strategy or entrepreneurship, a BA may benefit you, and if you are striving to achieve a higher paying position, you might seek a master’s degree.

[Source: U.S. News & World Report]

Certain jobs require a specific program, certificate or education, and some require less. Most jobs of average pay will require some college, but you are more likely to get the job by having a higher education level. Unfortunately, the recent percentages of students who received job offers right after graduation seems to be low on average or in the middle, but this doesn’t mean don’t aim for higher levels of education. The good news is regardless of your pay, education will benefit you in life regarding the skills and discipline you will achieve by going to a university or state school. Going to college is a positive and life-altering choice.

Nowadays, it seems the pressure has increased regarding the level of degree you should have. In some instances, AA degrees don’t make that much of a difference in pay, and also when competing with someone who has a BA or master’s, job competition is fierce. Not going to college because you don’t feel a certain degree will be honored is one thing, but it can be applied toward a higher degree such as a BA. I applied my junior college credits to a university, and so far I have had a positive experience. In some cases, people say AA degrees are not looked at as much as BA degrees or master’s degrees.

[Sources: AOL, Forbes]


Five Things to Evaluate When Deciding on Your Higher Education Level


1. Consider the cost. Consider the length of time to complete the degree, which can be beneficial and also can be expensive.

2. Before you decide on getting your master’s, make sure you need it for your career. Does what you want to do in life require a certified degree of education? Most jobs outside of starting your own company typically require this.

3. Consider the competitiveness of the job market. If you choose to not attend college or go higher up in your education level, you may be making the right choice for your situation financially. But depending on your interests and career, it can be more difficult to receive your dream job without a degree.

4. Understand your situation and goals. Not everyone will get a degree and it is not necessarily a license for success. Of course you were successful in achieving the degree, but it isn’t a guarantee of a successful future—especially if you either don’t use the degree or don’t apply what you learned. Do what is best for you overall. No one is less of a person if they have an AA or a better person if they have a master’s. Having more education can better you as a person and is more of an investment of time, studying and finances, but don’t compare yourself to others. Make sure you set the goals for your life—no one can make decisions for you. Do what you think fits for your life and will ultimately benefit your future.

5. Pray about it and ask your parents their thoughts. You may want to get your master’s after you finish college at a university or your state school, but remember that it is a lot more time and investment on your parents’ part and/or your part (if you have student loans). Also, you need to decide if you want to complete grad school where you studied for your undergrad or if you want to go to another school. This isn’t to discourage or discredit the choice of going to grad school—just be praying about God’s will and plan for your life. Ask your parents, teachers, counselors or anyone who will give you a well-balanced, fair opinion for your particular life and your goals.


PI Girls, what do YOU think? Are you planning on getting your AA or BA? Are you considering graduate school? Comment below!

Image: Thinkstock.com


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  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by Jordanmixon on August 11, 2014 at 14:01

    This was certainly an interesting list of things to just take into consideration! Because I want to either become a licensed therapist or MD, I know that going all the way through graduate school or medical school are the ways to go for me. I may be starting my senior year, but I’m not anywhere close to done with my education– good thing I actually love learning and school!

  2. Smylinggirl

    Posted by Smylinggirl on August 10, 2014 at 13:06

    I am CLEPing an AA in Liberal Arts. Since I don’t really know what I want to do, this seemed to be the best option. Plus, if I want to go for a Bachelor’s someday, I can have most – if not all – of my first two years done! Woohoo!