The decision to transition to a new career is a difficult one to make. Even those dissatisfied in their current job may resist making a change out of concern it will prove too difficult. Fortunately, modern college degree programs make a career transition much less complicated than in the past.

Online learning has changed the landscape when considering whether to return to school and complete a bachelor’s degree. By enrolling in an online bachelor’s degree completion program, working adults can earn a degree while working full-time. Rather than traveling to campus multiple times a week, students can learn at their own pace and view coursework and lectures wherever they have a good internet connection.

Benefits of Earning a Bachelor’s Degree

Before choosing a suitable bachelor’s completion program, working adults must determine whether to make a career change. Is going back to college and finishing a bachelor’s degree worthwhile? In most cases, the answer is “Yes.” Even those considering making a career change after 30 benefits from what a bachelor’s completion program offers.

Become More Marketable

Making a career change means taking the knowledge, skills, and experience already earned and combining it with education specific to the targeted new career. The best bachelor’s degree completion programs allow students to focus on concentrations that prepare them for a particular field.

For example, the Merrimack College Pathway Bachelor Degree Completion program offers students the opportunity to take courses in various fields.

  • Child and Family. Students explore child growth, development, and leadership in early childhood settings and prepare themselves as advocates for children and families.
  • Business. Students learn business fundamentals, including accounting, marketing, and effective management.
  • Communication. Students learn to research, analyze, and clearly convey information through writing, speaking, and mediated communication.
  • Health and Wellness. Students learn about healthy lifestyles and nutrition and develop administrative, ethical, and professional skills to educate individuals and communities.
  • Leadership. Students learn the foundations and theories of leadership, effective leadership styles, the role of diversity, and how to lead in times of crisis.
  • Psychology. Students understand human behaviors and how to interpret research findings concerning human behaviors.

Earn a Higher Salary

A college degree makes a significant impact on salary, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Workers with a bachelor’s degree earned a median weekly income of $1,305 in 2020, while those with an associate degree earned $938. Those with “some college, no degree” made $877 per week.

Salaries for college graduates have also shapely risen in recent years. A recent report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) found that the average starting salary for the college class of 2020 was $55,889, an 8.5 percent increase over the class of 2018.

Enjoy More Opportunities

Professionals with a college degree have more jobs to choose from, with about a quarter of all jobs in the country held by those with a bachelor’s degree (another 15 percent are held by people with a master’s degree). The Chronicle of Higher Education projects that by 2027, there will be even fewer jobs for those without a degree.

Acquire Transferable Skills

Many skills learned in a bachelor’s degree program are transferable to a new profession. This includes skills in leadership, collaboration and teamwork, diversity, equity and inclusion, communication, and empathy. These soft skills are critical in supporting a transition into a new career.

Merrimack College designed its online Pathway Bachelor Completion program for working adults who either aspire to a promotion at their current job or want to make a career change by returning to college. In either case, completing a four-year degree through online courses can make their career goals more attainable.