Should You Get a Second Bachelor’s Degree?

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March 25, 2022

According to a 2021 Harris Poll, 52% of people surveyed said they were considering a job change; what’s more, 44% of those surveyed had already made concrete plans to change jobs. Those plans can encompass a range of steps, one of which can be earning a second bachelor’s degree. 

Acquiring the expertise to change careers is a great reason to earn an additional bachelor’s degree, but that’s only one of several reasons that working toward another undergraduate degree has appeal. The desire to advance in your current career, expand your earning potential or simply pursue a love of learning can drive you to return to school for another undergraduate degree. 

If you’ve been considering a second bachelor’s degree, it can be helpful to know more about earning that degree, the benefits of getting that degree, and the merits of a bachelor’s degree versus a master’s degree.

What Is a Second Bachelor’s Degree?

Individuals who already hold a bachelor’s degree can earn a second bachelor’s degree by working toward an undergraduate education in a different field. This often occurs when individuals have been in the job market for some time, and then decide to return to school to pursue a different career path. Individuals can also work on earning two bachelor’s degrees simultaneously. 

Many circumstances can lead an individual to seek a new degree. Consider the example of a bachelor’s degree in business administration — one of the most popular undergraduate degrees, according to the employment website Indeed. If, for example, your first bachelor’s degree was in engineering, communications or information technology (IT), and you want to start your own business, earning a second bachelor’s degree in business administration can give you valuable expertise in concentration areas such as marketing, management or accounting.

Perhaps you already have a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in marketing, but you’d like to learn more about human behavior to refine your marketing approach. Earning a  supplemental bachelor’s degree in psychology can be a great way to gain expertise to enhance your marketing skills.

Some individuals desire to move into an entirely different field. For example, perhaps your first bachelor’s degree was in history or the social sciences and you’ve been working as a teacher. However, as you’ve grown older, current events may have spurred a new interest in criminal justice. Working toward an additional bachelor’s degree in criminal justice can position you for a career as a caseworker, law enforcement officer or crime scene investigator.

Why Earn a Second Bachelor’s Degree?

A range of motivations can explain the desire to earn a second bachelor’s degree. For example, individuals may wish to:

Make a Career Change

Changing careers is a common reason to earn a second undergraduate degree. According to a 2021 survey by career website FlexJobs, the desire for more work-life balance, more challenging work and expanded skills were among the top reasons for career changes.

Become Eligible for a Promotion

Perhaps you love your current career but the absence of a particular bachelor’s degree is holding you back from getting a promotion. According to Indeed, individuals who are content in their career field may want to earn another bachelor’s degree, so they can qualify for promotions.

Earn a Higher Salary

As Indeed notes, earning a second degree can lead to a better salary. In some cases, employers may even finance a portion of your education costs. A 2021 survey that the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) conducted found that 43% of employers surveyed offered tuition reimbursement benefits and 17% offered assistance with student loans.

Return to the Workforce

If you’ve been away from the workforce for a while, Indeed points out that earning another bachelor’s degree can make you more competitive in the job market.

Pursue Your Passion

Even if earning another undergraduate degree has no connection to your career, you may want to pursue the degree simply because you’ve developed a passion for a particular field. Achieving a sense of personal fulfillment can motivate people to pursue a second bachelor’s degree. 

Second Bachelor’s vs. Master’s: Comparing Degrees

If you’re weighing the relative merits of a second bachelor’s degree vs. a master’s degree, considering how the two degrees compare is beneficial. For example, according to Indeed, earning an additional undergraduate degree can result in:

  • Lower cost. If the cost of education is an important factor in your decision-making, keep in mind that the cost of earning a second bachelor’s degree can be lower than the cost of earning a master’s degree. 
  • Broader job possibilities. The relatively broader scope of a bachelor’s degree may open individuals to more job opportunities than a master’s degree, which typically has a more narrow focus.
  • Potential for faster degree completion. While it may have taken you four years or more to earn your first bachelor’s degree, earning your next bachelor’s degree can happen more quickly. You can typically apply the general education credits you earned when you obtained your first degree toward the completion of your second bachelor’s degree in a different subject. If you can apply enough of your prior credits to your second undergraduate degree, earning your second degree can be faster than earning your master’s degree.

Expanding Your Expertise Through a Second Bachelor’s Degree

Whatever your reason for pursuing a second bachelor’s degree, the endeavor is rewarding and can expand your career potential. No matter what undergraduate degree you earn, you’ll have the benefit of expanding your horizons and the opportunity to explore an entirely new subject. If you have an interest in earning an additional bachelor’s degree, explore Peru State College Online’s bachelor’s degree programs, and discover how they can help you achieve your goals. Start your journey toward a second bachelor’s degree today.

Recommended Readings

Criminal Justice Degree Jobs

Exploring a Career Path in Education Through Online Learning

Guide to Starting a Business in Nebraska

Sources:

Employee Benefit Research Institute, “2021 EBRI Financial Wellbeing Employer Survey: Focus on COVID-19 and Diversity Goals”

FlexJobs, “Career Changers Seek Better Work-Life Balance Ahead of Better Pay: FlexJobs Survey”

Indeed, Second Bachelor’s vs. Masters: Which Degree Is Right for You?

Indeed, 25 of the Most Popular Undergraduate Majors

Indeed, What Is a Second Bachelor’s Degree and Why Pursue One?