When someone already has a bachelor’s degree, it seems logical to assume that the next educational step is a master’s degree. But it might actually be as beneficial to pursue a second bachelor’s degree instead. Here are a few factors to consider when making that decision.
Suppose you’re someone with a liberal arts degree who loved critical theory and deconstructing the classics in school, but the jobs you found after graduation didn’t provide enough of a challenge or mental stimulation. Maybe you’ve realized that along with the classics, you love programming and code. Maybe it’s time to add a second bachelor’s degree, this one in computer science, and move into software development. The first degree isn’t wasted—what you learned in liberal arts will always be useful in any work setting that requires critical thinking. But the second bachelor’s will give you another broad platform in which to pursue a career, especially one outside of the first bachelor’s realm.
Industries and career fields are often subject to cycles of change. Technology, in particular, has changed the way companies do business, both creating new roles and making others obsolete. If your industry looks like it’s moving toward the latter, a second bachelor’s could help you reorient and make a lateral move into a new field.
Many people decide to go for a master’s degree in their discipline to qualify themselves for lateral moves or additional responsibility. However, you may find that you don’t have the foundational skills or training to qualify for admission into an advanced degree program in the new position. A second bachelor’s degree would fit the bill, allowing you to diversify your skills and act as a bridge between differing departments.
For example, if you have a bachelor’s in business and find yourself interested in moving into an IT role, you might not have the IT foundation necessary to pursue a master’s in IT right away. Getting a second bachelor’s, this time in IT, not only gives you that foundation, it also gives you a strong footing in both business and IT.
The key to making a second bachelor’s degree both fulfilling and lucrative is to choose a discipline that complements your first degree. This might require a little research on your current industry or some conversations with managers or coworkers to give you some advice. Dual-discipline workers who have a degree in a technical field and some other field could have a wider platform to market themselves. Tech skills are sought after in nearly every company out there, and your ability to program, design, or handle technical systems could give you an edge. If you don’t want to go into a technical field, it might help to talk to your managers about pain-points they’re experiencing in the organization and positions they have trouble filling. Chances are there may be a non-technical job that you could fill with a second degree to enhance your skills.
The bottom line is: a master’s degree may be what you need or want—or a second bachelor’s may be the right fit. Understanding what you hope to gain will help you choose.
Learn more about Strayer University’s bachelor’s degree programs.