Posted in Career Planning, College Majors, HS4CC, Resources

I Need How Much Education?

Earning college credit in high school tends to keep our discussions centered around associate and bachelor’s degrees, but sometimes a teen is shocked to learn that their degree won’t prepare them for the job they want. Did you know a bachelor’s degree in psychology doesn’t qualify you to be a psychologist? In this post, we’ll look at jobs that require an additional degree higher than a bachelor’s degree as the minimum educational credential needed to get work.

DEFINED: Educational Degrees

Associate Degree = aka “2-year degree”

  • Associate Degree for transfer = meets the first 2 years required of a bachelor’s degree.
  • Associate of Applied Science AAS= a “terminal” degree in the field. Does not transfer.
  • Not required to earn or complete a bachelor’s degree.

Bachelor’s Degree = aka “4-year degree”

  • Usually required for admissions into a master’s or doctorate degree program.
  • Must be Regionally Accredited to qualify for a state license in nearly all professions.
  • Must be Regionally Accredited to qualify for admissions into nearly all graduate programs.
  • Does not “transfer” up; it is a point of exit.
  • Often called an “undergraduate” degree.
  • Students planning a doctorate degree often say they are “pre-…” at this phase, but colleges don’t offer degrees in “pre-doctorate” areas like “pre-law” or “pre-med” or similar. Saying you are “pre” is simply stating your intention to meet prerequisites that will be required for admissions.

dividing line between undergraduate & graduate degrees

Master’s Degree = aka Graduate Degree

  • A master’s degree does not usually count toward a doctorate degree.
  • Usually takes 2-3 years.
  • May qualify for state license depending on the profession.
  • Transfer credit between Master’s degrees is not typical.
  • Not usually required for admissions into a doctorate degree program.

Doctorate Degree = aka Graduate Degree

  • Minimum requirement for admissions is a Bachelor’s degree.
  • PhD is awarded for programs that focus on research and creation of knowledge.
  • Professional doctorates vary by profession. Here are a few common ones:
    • MD = Doctor of Medicine (medical doctor)
    • DO = Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (medical doctor)
    • JD = Doctor of Jurisprudence (lawyer)
    • AuD= Doctor of Audiology (audiologist)
    • PharmD = Doctor of Pharmacy (pharmacist)
    • DDS = Doctor of Dental Surgery
    • DMD = Doctor of Dental Medicine
    • OD = Doctor of Optometry (optometrist)
    • DVM = Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (vet)
    • DC = Doctor of Chiropractic
    • DBA = Doctor of Business Administration
    • EdD= Doctor of Education
    • DNP = Doctor of Nursing Practice

Jobs that require a DOCTORATE DEGREE

This data pulled from the United States Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook. This is to say that in order to be the profession listed below, the minimum degree your teen must obtain is the doctorate degree. Before you can begin a doctorate degree, you must complete a bachelor’s degree. In some programs, a master’s degree may give you some credit toward a doctorate, but that is generally not the case. In most cases a student enters a doctoral program directly after they earn a bachelor’s degree. Look up educational requirements here.

Associate/Bachelors –> Doctorate

OccupationEntry-Level EducationProjected Growth Rate2020 Average Pay
AudiologistsDoctoral or professional degreeMuch faster than average$80,000 or more
Medical scientists, except epidemiologistsDoctoral or professional degreeMuch faster than average$80,000 or more
Nursing instructors and teachers, postsecondaryDoctoral or professional degreeMuch faster than average$60,000 to $79,999
Physical therapistsDoctoral or professional degreeMuch faster than average$80,000 or more
VeterinariansDoctoral or professional degreeMuch faster than average$80,000 or more

OCCUPATIONENTRY-LEVEL
EDUCATION 
PROJECTED
GROWTH RATE 
2020 MEDIAN PAY 
ChiropractorsDoctoral or professional degreeFaster than average$60,000 to $79,999
PsychiatristsDoctoral or professional degreeFaster than average$80,000 or more
Dentists, generalDoctoral or professional degreeAs fast as average$80,000 or more
LawyersDoctoral or professional degreeAs fast as average$80,000 or more
OptometristsDoctoral or professional degreeAs fast as average$80,000 or more
Oral and maxillofacial surgeonsDoctoral or professional degreeAs fast as average$80,000 or more
OrthodontistsDoctoral or professional degreeAs fast as average$80,000 or more
PhysicistsDoctoral or professional degreeAs fast as average$80,000 or more
ProsthodontistsDoctoral or professional degreeAs fast as average$80,000 or more

Jobs that require a MASTERS DEGREE

This data pulled from the United States Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook. This is to say that in order to be the profession listed below, the minimum degree your teen must obtain is the master’s degree. Before you can begin a master’s degree, you must complete a bachelor’s degree. Look up educational requirements here.

Associate/Bachelors –> Masters

OCCUPATIONENTRY-LEVEL
EDUCATION 
PROJECTED
GROWTH RATE 
2020 MEDIAN PAY 
Computer and information research scientistsMaster’s degreeMuch faster than average$80,000 or more
CuratorsMaster’s degreeMuch faster than average$40,000 to $59,999
EpidemiologistsMaster’s degreeMuch faster than average$60,000 to $79,999
Genetic counselorsMaster’s degreeMuch faster than average$80,000 or more
Marriage and family therapistsMaster’s degreeMuch faster than average$40,000 to $59,999
Nurse practitionersMaster’s degreeMuch faster than average$80,000 or more
Occupational therapistsMaster’s degreeMuch faster than average$80,000 or more
Orthotists and prosthetistsMaster’s degreeMuch faster than average$60,000 to $79,999
Physician assistantsMaster’s degreeMuch faster than average$80,000 or more
Speech-language pathologistsMaster’s degreeMuch faster than average$80,000 or more
StatisticiansMaster’s degreeMuch faster than average$80,000 or more
ArchivistsMaster’s degreeFaster than average$40,000 to $59,999
EconomistsMaster’s degreeFaster than average$80,000 or more
Educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisorsMaster’s degreeFaster than average$40,000 to $59,999
Healthcare social workersMaster’s degreeFaster than average$40,000 to $59,999
Mental health and substance abuse social workersMaster’s degreeFaster than average$40,000 to $59,999
Nurse anesthetistsMaster’s degreeFaster than average$80,000 or more
Nurse midwivesMaster’s degreeFaster than average$80,000 or more
Anthropologists and archeologistsMaster’s degreeAs fast as average$60,000 to $79,999
Counselors, all otherMaster’s degreeAs fast as average$40,000 to $59,999
Education administrators, kindergarten through secondaryMaster’s degreeAs fast as average$80,000 or more
Education administrators, postsecondaryMaster’s degreeAs fast as average$80,000 or more
Instructional coordinatorsMaster’s degreeAs fast as average$60,000 to $79,999
Librarians and media collections specialistsMaster’s degreeAs fast as average$60,000 to $79,999
Political scientistsMaster’s degreeAs fast as average$80,000 or more
Rehabilitation counselorsMaster’s degreeAs fast as average$30,000 to $39,999
Urban and regional plannersMaster’s degreeAs fast as average$60,000 to $79,999
Acupuncturists and healthcare diagnosing or treating practitioners, all otherMaster’s degreeSlower than average$80,000 or more
HistoriansMaster’s degreeSlower than average$60,000 to $79,999
Industrial-organizational psychologistsMaster’s degreeSlower than average$80,000 or more
MathematiciansMaster’s degreeSlower than average$80,000 or more
Psychologists, all otherMaster’s degreeSlower than average$80,000 or more
SociologistsMaster’s degreeSlower than average$80,000 or more
Survey researchersMaster’s degreeSlower than average$40,000 to $59,999

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Site Owner, Homeschooling for College Credit

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