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Whats it like going back to get a second bachelors degree over a masters?

Decided to go back to school for another bachelors degree. But this time its in something I actually feel passionate about.
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Helen’s Answer

Hi Ambrojhae,

This is as great question.


Personally, I would almost always recommend getting a masters over a second bachelors. The reason is because a masters degree will typically command a higher salary. Now, if you are changing your career path completely, for example, you are going from liberal arts to engineering, you may want a second bachelors because engineering is a very specific curriculum. I would probably say that about MIS and other technical degrees. On the other hand, you can get a law degree, MBA and other masters degrees with almost any undergraduate degree. It really depends on your career goals.


When you get a masters, definitely be sure this is the path you want to go down. Sometimes people keep getting degrees because they aren't sure what career path to choose. Being enrolled in school can be helpful to gain clarity but doing research and taking advantage of your university's career resources can save you a lot of time and get you on track much faster.



Helen recommends the following next steps:

Visit the career center and take a career assessment. Have a career counselor walk you through the results. Attend the career center's workshops and company information sessions.
Get an internship in your area of interest. This can be a powerful way to start your career.
Work for 5-7 years before you enroll in a masters program. You will be more marketable and you will get more out of the classes because you will have real life experience.

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n’s Answer

  • Hopefully this time your undergraduate degree leads you to a more productive life path. Getting a second bachelors' degree is advisable if you want to change your field of work 180 degrees. Changing fields may lead to jobs with better compensation or better overall career trajectory. For example, let us say your first Bachelor's was in Journalism and Publishing. But the second time around you go for a degree in Clinical psychology. A lot of novel venues open up for employment, such as counseling, Case manager, rehabilitation specialist, psychiatric technician, human Resource manager, social worker, and others, with the new degree. Or you can use skills from your previous degree to your advantage, and start your own consulting business in writing for psychologists. The advantage a second time around would be, that some of your credits would transfer, so your tenure as a student may be shorter.

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David’s Answer

Its a really interesting and refreshing college experience. If you go to the same school as the BA you won't have to redo any of the mandatory classes (freshman art, freshman english, institutional 300 level requirements not connected to your major for example). You get to study the subject of your choice almost exclusively. Its great!


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Dewis’s Answer

It will take you more time to finish but so long as you're not overextending loans or funding sources and you're passionate and interested in the topic (especially if it's more relevant to what you want to be doing) then there's no harm in it. Do be prepared to be more mature and prepared than first time BA/BS students and make sure that you keep established friendships so that you don't feel like you're adrift in a sea of younger people. The most important thing to remember and prepare for is to validate to future employers why you wanted to return and redo a bachelor's rather than a master's.

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