Online education has made it much easier for people to earn a degree, and a common question is how long it takes to complete an online bachelor’s degree. With a large percentage of jobs now requiring a bachelor’s degree, it is the most popular degree for aspiring students. Completing a bachelor’s degree online offers many opportunities to those who might not otherwise be able to go to college. Determining the time needed to earn the degree is typically a deciding factor for those considering a bachelor’s degree.
What Does a Bachelor’s Degree Entail?
Bachelor’s degree program requirements are generally based on semester credits. Whether the program is online or on campus, students are usually required to complete about 120-semester credits worth of courses. This number is not set in stone. It can vary either way, but it’s pretty close to that number. Students are also required to complete general education courses, which are included in the 120 credits. Many online students complete their general education courses before starting the baccalaureate program so they can shave even more time off the program.
What Affects the Time it Takes to Earn the Degree?
Several things can determine the time it takes a student to complete an online bachelor’s degree.
- Fast-track option: If the school offers the student a fast track option, students can complete the degree quicker by getting credit for what they already know.
- Transfer credits: Students who previously earned college credits have military experience or relevant professional experience can apply this towards the degree requirements.
- Course load: The number of courses the student chooses to take each semester can shorten or lengthen the time it takes to earn the degree.
- Commitment: The stronger the commitment, the quicker the student will earn the online degree.
Advantages of Earning a Bachelor’s Degree Online
Earning a bachelor’s degree online offers many advantages.
- Convenience: Imagine studying, taking tests and earning a degree from the comfort of your home and not having to travel. This is what earning an online degree is like.
- No commute: Earning the degree online eliminates the need to commute to college each day.
- Affordability: With less commuting, students are saving money on gas. Online students also do not have to pay the costs of lodging and meals.
- Flexibility: Students can continue to work, take vacations, work in the military or meet other family obligations and still earn a degree.
- Accelerated learning: Many online programs offer students accelerated learning programs, which allows them to finish quicker.
How Long Does it Take to Complete an Online Bachelor’s Degree?
The time it takes to complete an online bachelor’s degree can vary for every student. Traditional bachelor degree programs at brick-and-mortar colleges usually take four years, but this is with students taking a set number of classes each semester. Online students have the advantage of deciding how many classes they wish to complete each semester. If they have a lot going on in their lives, they space it out and complete the degree in five or six years. If they’re in a hurry, they can carry a heavier load and complete it in two to three years.
Related Resource: 20 Best Affordable Schools in Florida for Bachelor’s Degree
When choosing a career, people generally look into some of the most popular fields, such as business, healthcare, information technology, finance, community and social service, engineering, and teaching. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the majority of jobs in these fields require at least a bachelor’s degree. Earning an online bachelor’s degree is an ideal way for a candidate to prepare for a promising career.