Bachelor’s Degree Guide: Resources for Your Undergraduate Education

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Learn more about bachelor's degrees, including what it takes to apply, the best major for your career goals, and how to accelerate your time to graduation.

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Earning your bachelor's degree can be rewarding—you can deepen your knowledge, develop key job skills, and increase your career opportunities. Even when a company doesn't require a bachelor's degree for entry-level roles, it may be beneficial to have as you advance in your career.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), bachelor's degree holders earn a median of $1,334 a week (or $69,368 a year) compared to high school graduates, who earn a median of $801 a week (or $41,652 a year) [1]. Moreover, the same study showed that high school graduates experience higher rates of unemployment compared to graduates with a bachelor's degree.  

You may also qualify for more jobs with a bachelor's degree. Georgetown University estimates that 65 percent of all jobs require some education beyond high school, while 35 percent of all jobs require a bachelor's degree (as of 2020) [2].

As you consider whether a bachelor’s degree is right for you—and which type of bachelor's program aligns with your goals—keep checking back here as we add more resources to help guide your journey. 

Bachelor’s degree overview

A bachelor’s degree is a significant investment in your education. Understanding what it takes to earn your undergraduate degree is important before beginning the application process. Learn more about choosing an accredited school, transferring previously earned college credits, and the difference between the two most common bachelor's degrees, Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS). 

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Applying to bachelor’s degree programs

A bachelor’s degree program tends to require an array of application materials to help admissions committees learn about you in a few different ways. Learn more about what to gather so you can develop a proactive plan that ensures you have everything you need.  


How to pay for college

The cost of college will depend on whether you attend a public school (either as an in-state or out-of-state student) or a private school. In the US, it's important to submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year you plan on attending college because that will determine what kind of aid you qualify for. Outside of that assistance, many students apply for additional scholarships or work part-time to cover some portion of their education costs.

Choosing a college major 

Besides choosing to embark on an undergraduate education, deciding what to study—or major in—is an important step. We’ve got you covered. Learn more about why it’s important to declare a major, how to select a major to support your goals, and other options like double majoring. 

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Succeeding in college

Applying to college is just one moment of your larger undergraduate journey. Once you begin your studies, it’s important to develop strong study habits, whether you’re learning online or in person. 


Career outcomes for bachelor’s degrees

Interested in learning more about what you can do with a bachelor’s degree? We’ve compiled career outcomes for some of the most popular majors so you can better understand the possibilities after graduation. 

Advanced degrees 

Once you graduate with your bachelor’s degree, you have the option of entering the workforce, or you can continue pursuing more advanced education, like a master’s degree. Take a look at three of the most popular master's degree tracks.

Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MS) degrees

Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees 

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Article sources

1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Education Pays," Accessed July 22, 2022.

2. Georgetown University. "Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements Through 2020," Accessed July 22, 2022.

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This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.