What Are the Different Types of Adult Degree Programs?

M. Kayo
M. Kayo
Adult degree programs offer opportunities for adults to earn degrees, often at an accelerated pace.
Adult degree programs offer opportunities for adults to earn degrees, often at an accelerated pace.

Many colleges and universities offer various types of adult degree programs for those who want to get a first degree or an advanced degree. These programs offer courses of study in just about anything from accounting to zoology. Some adult degree programs can be completed in a few months while others may require some work over many years. Other adult degree programs offer more than just one career option and provide more opportunity for the time and money invested in earning a degree. Accelerated adult degree programs allow students to complete the required coursework on their own time.

Before starting any adult degree program, be sure to consider the amount of time, effort, and money required to complete the program. Undergraduate degrees include an associate's degree, which typically requires about two years to compete, and a bachelor's degree, which takes about four or five years to complete. Once a bachelor's degree is earned, post-graduate degrees can be pursued. A master's degree is typically earned in one or two years and is usually designed to provide the graduate with additional skills and expertise in a particular field. A doctorate, or doctoral degree, may require three or more years to complete depending upon the type of degree desired.

When considering the many different types of adult degree programs, look at degree programs that offer more opportunity within a single field of study. For example, nursing is a career field that offers many different opportunities, such as nurse's assistant, licensed practical nurse (LPN), registered nurse (RN), certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), and nurse practitioner. A master's degree in business administration (MBA) may be useful in just about any type of business. Accounting is another career field that offers many different types of career opportunities. Other multidisciplinary degree programs include bioinformatics, architecture, engineering, and marketing.

Due to time constraints, many adults look for adult degree programs that offer accelerated learning. Accelerated degree programs may be designed for adults who are already working, or they may be tailored to fit into an existing schedule. For example, classes may be offered one or two nights a week and require only a few weeks to complete. Some schools offer online accelerated degree programs that offer pre-recorded lectures and course work that may be completed at the student's convenience.

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    • Adult degree programs offer opportunities for adults to earn degrees, often at an accelerated pace.
      By: Sergey Nivens
      Adult degree programs offer opportunities for adults to earn degrees, often at an accelerated pace.