A bachelor's degree is often required for a number of careers.

A bachelor's degree is a four-year degree that people commonly earn to gain access to entry-level jobs in a particular field. While you may find good careers and pay with an associate's degree, a bachelor's typically provides greater tangible and intangible advantages relative to a diploma or two-year degree.

Professional Credibility

The necessity for a bachelor's degree has increased over time as the percentage of people earning them relative to available jobs has increased. In essence, while a bachelor's used to give you a competitive advantage, it has become a virtual necessity for some careers. Additionally, you may gain access to jobs with an associate's degree, but a bachelor's can give you greater professional credibility among peers and with clients and industry associates.

Better Job Performance

Students often focus on what they gain personally from higher education, but the reality is that more education is intended to give you more skills and abilities to perform better in your job. An April 2009 article in PeoriaMagazines.com noted that while aspiring nurses can get certified with two-to-three year diplomas or associate's degrees, those with a bachelor's have demonstrated better quality work on the job. Among the improvements were lower rates of death in the treatment of hospitalized patients.


An August 2012 study front the Brookings Institute noted that bachelor's degrees offer a higher degree of job security. The study centered on recessionary conditions in 2010 and 2011 and showed that workers with a bachelor's degree retained their positions at a higher rate after the recession than less-educated peers. Companies are more selective during tough economies, making a bachelor's degree more important to gaining and keeping employment.

Increased Earnings

Higher education has consistently proven to contribute to higher lifetime earning potential. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed median weekly income for bachelor's degree holders of $1,066 in 2012. This marked a 36 percent increased income potential relative to an associate's degree and a 64 percent increase compared to a high school diploma. Some employers not only pay more for workers with a bachelor's, but they will offer partial or complete tuition support because they value the benefits of more educated workers.