There are 17 major types of bachelor degrees ranging from the common Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees through to uncommon ones such as a Bachelor of Architecture.
About 2 million Bachelor degrees are conferred per year in the USA. The vast majority of those students study generalized degrees like Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science (where they can go on to major in a specialty of their choice).
However, other students may choose to do a specific type of bachelor degree like a Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) if they already know what career they want to go into.
The benefit of a general BA or BS is that you have some time in your first year to decide upon major, while specialized bachelors degrees have the benefit of giving very specific applied job ready skills for your future career.
Types of Bachelor Degrees
Note: Universities around the world have the freedom to create their own degree programs. Therefore, this is not an exhaustive list.
1. Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc)
A Bachelor of Applied Science, not to be confused with the more popular Bachelor of Science (BS) degree, is a technical degree designed to provide students with hard skills in scientific disciplines.
The term ‘applied’ means that the degree is focused on vocational rather than research and theoretical skills.
Skills you Learn: The Bachelor of Applied Science degree has a strong focus on workforce readiness. Students do not complete research dissertations typical of a BA or BS, but rather focus on skill development. While there are a wide range of majors to choose from, students most commonly choose to major in engineering or technology.
Career Options: BASc students have the advantage of entering the workforce with a strong practical skills base. Career options include engineering, resource management, business, and surveying.
Related: The 6 Types of Degrees
2. Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Bachelor of Arts is one of the two main bachelor degrees, alongside Bachelor of Science. Its focus is on liberal arts, humanities, and social sciences subjects whereas a Bachelor of Science focuses on hard science subjects.
Students studying a Bachelor of Arts degree have one of the widest ranges of majors to select. They can major in anything from theater to French to psychology.
Skills you Learn: Graduates with a Bachelor of Arts degree can demonstrate to their employer a range of soft skills including dedication, commitment, general writing and research capabilities, time management, and teamwork skills. Depending on their major, they may be able to demonstrate other hard skills as well, like capabilities with computer software or even speaking a second language.
Career Options: People with a Bachelor of Arts degree go on to work in a wide range of fields from government to NGO to the corporate sector, depending on their chosen major.
Related: Is an Arts Degree Worth It?
3. Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
A Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) is a much more specific type of degree designed to prepare people to go into leadership roles in business environments across a range of private and public sector industries.
Skills you Learn: BBA students usually learn foundational business management skills including accounting, strategic planning, financial planning, project management, and industry analysis.
Career Options: People who study a BBA can go on to work as entrepreneurs in their own business, managers in the private and public sectors, actuaries, and project managers. Often, you get the option to select a specialty major in areas such as hospitality and tourism, supply chain management, or legal management.
Related: Is a Business Degree Worth It?
4. Bachelor of Economics
A Bachelor of Economics is offered in some universities as an alternative to a BA(Econ) or BS(Econ) degree.
The Bachelor of Economics is a specialized bachelor degree that is usually more structured than a general Economics major in the BA and BS programs. It has a strong focus on theoretical and applied mathematics.
Skills you Learn: The degree has a strong focus on finance, accounting, higher-level statistical analysis, and economic theory.
Career Options: Economists typically work in public and private sectors in roles that focus on financial markets, infrastructure development, and business planning.
Related: Is an Economics Degree Worth It?
5. Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS)
A Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS) program prepares people for management roles in organizations. While similar to a BBA, it generally has a stronger focus on human resources management than business per se.
Skills you Learn: People who study a BMS get foundational business and management skills which are usually followed-up by HR, PR, and project management specialized courses.
Career Options: BMS graduates often go on to complete careers in labor management in the public and private sector. There are potential jobs in the healthcare, construction, education, and labor union sectors.
6. Bachelor of Science: (BSc)
A Bachelor of Science is one of two major types of bachelor degrees (the other being the Bachelor of Arts).
Those who study a bachelor of science have a wide range of majors that they can specialize in, from mathematics to pharmacy to forestry.
Skills you Learn: BSc students will be required to complete foundation level courses that have mathematical and language components. They will then go on to choose a major that has a strong scientific foundation.
Career Options: Graduates with a Bachelor of Science can go into just about any field, depending upon their major. Most graduates will head toward hard science related (rather than social science) topics.
7. Bachelor of Commerce (Bcom)
A Bachelor of Commerce degree (Bcom) is very similar to a BBA, explored earlier. Generally, a Bcom degree is offered in commonwealth countries, while the United States tends to confer BBA degrees.
Skills you Learn: A Bcom degree teaches students foundational business subjects including finance, business planning, industry analysis, accounting, and marketing.
Career Options: People who study a Bcom can go on to work as entrepreneurs in their own business, managers in the private and public sectors, actuaries, and project managers. Often, you get the option to select a specialty major in areas such as hospitality and tourism, supply chain management, or legal management.
8. Bachelor of Computer Science (BCS)
A Bachelor of Computer Science (BCS) degree is a heavily mathematical degree focused on computer systems and how they operate.
Skills you Learn: Most BCS degrees will teach skills in computer programming (across several programming languages), data networking, distributed systems, and artificial intelligence.
Career Options: BCS graduates work in IT roles in the public and private sector, computer programming, computer games, API management, and software engineering.
9. Bachelor of Design (B.Des)
A Bachelor of design prepares students for a creative career in a wide range of design industries. There is a fair spectrum of majors in this field, allowing creative students to enter the bachelor degree with general understanding of what they want to do before they need to niche down in their second and third years of study.
Skills you Learn: Students generally develop foundational knowledge in design theory before going on to major in a specialty such as textiles, graphics, interior design, audiovisual media, et cetera.
Career Options: Depending on your major, you can go on to work in graphic design, advertising, interior design, game design, product design, and textiles.
10. Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
A Bachelor of Fine Arts degree focuses on the applied arts such as graphics, illustration, performing arts, interior design, and photography. Around the world, equivalents include the Bachelor of Visual Arts (BVA) and Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts).
Skills you Learn: The bachelor of fine arts degree will provide foundational knowledge in art history and a range of artistic endeavors. They will then follow-up by majoring in a specialty such as photography, theater, dance, et cetera.
Career Options: Many graduates land jobs in the creative sector, including as graphic design freelancers, historians, librarians, and working in theater. It’s also common to follow the degree with a Masters in Education to go into teaching.
Related Article: 141+ Illustration Essay Topics
11. Bachelor of Laws (LLB)
The bachelor of laws degree prepares students for careers in law. Note that while this degree is common around the world, it has been phased out in the United States, replaced with a Juris Doctor graduate degree.
Skills you Learn: Students are taught common and civil law as well as given a strong education in critical and analytic skills designed to identify potential legal issues that will enable them to advise potential employers of how to protect their business.
Career Options: Students typically go on to work in law firms, but can also be employed as in-house lawyers for large businesses or go into the public sector.
12. Bachelor of Engineering (BEng)
A Bachelor of Engineering degree prepares students for a career in engineering. Students can major in a range of engineering specialties, including mechanical, chemical, nuclear, automotive, and civil.
Skills you Learn: The degree has a strong foundation in math and science subjects. Strong skills in physics and logical analytical skills will be required.
Career Options: Students go on to work in a range of engineering fields. Common examples include working for a large automotive company, construction firm, or for the government on infrastructure projects.
Related: Is an Engineering Degree Worth It?
13. Bachelor of Technology (BTech)
A Bachelor of Technology degree prepares students for a career in the technology sector. Unlike a Bachelor of Computer Science, which has a stronger scientific focus, the BTech explores management, economics, business, and communications with a focus on how technologies interact with each discipline.
Skills you Learn: Skills learned include communication, change management, business management, and teamwork.
Career Options: Students typically go on to work as project managers, construction managers, quality assurance agents, technologists, and technology researchers.
14.Bachelor of Education (BEd)
A bachelor of education degree prepares students to go into a teaching role in early childhood through to adult education. Students are often given the chance to major in a specific age range, specialty (such as educational technology), or subject matter (such as physical education).
Skills you Learn: Students learn education theory and pedagogical skills so they know how to teach, as well as what to teach.
Career Options: Students generally go into the education sector as an early childhood educator, primary or elementary school teacher, or high school teacher. Others can go into curriculum design and development.
Related: Is Being a Teacher Worth It?
15. Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)
The MBBS degree prepares students to go into medicine, usually as doctors. It is conferred throughout most of the world, although the United States prefers to confer a Doctor of Medicine degree.
Skills you Learn: This degree has strong science, human biology, chemistry, and pharmacy elements. Students develop also develop strong critical thinking and teamwork skills.
Career Options: Students go on to work as junior doctors. Each country has its own procedure following graduation, but this usually involves an internship in a hospital or further study before students are allowed to practice independently in medicine.
16. Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc)
The Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) prepares students for a career as a veterinarian. The degree is awarded in most countries outside of North America.
Skills you Learn: Students develop skills in veterinary science, animal medicine, pharmacology, and zoology.
Career Options: Students can go on to work as vets in private practice and zoos.
17. Bachelor of Architecture (BArch)
The Bachelor of Architecture degree gives students specialized skills in architecture for a career in the field. It is often accompanies by a trade internship or apprenticeship so students can graduate with strong applied skillsets.
Skills you Learn: Students learn hard skills in design, drafting, engineering, and computer-assisted animation. They will also acquire soft skills in project management, teamwork, and communication.
Career Options: Graduates with an architecture degree can work in civil architecture, landscape architecture, graphic design, urban planning, surveying, and restoration.
How Many Americans have Bachelor Degrees?
About 32% of all Americans have bachelor degrees. This figure is rising year on year. In 2009, only 27% of Americans had bachelor degrees.
What is the Average Wage for Bachelor Degree Students?
According to Education Corner, the average American with a bachelor degree earns $1248 per week. This is higher than the average wage of people with a high school diploma only, which is $746.
Those who go on to complete a masters degree will earn even more, with an average wage of $1497.
Bachelor degrees are the gateway to both good paying white collar jobs as well as further education, such as a Masters or doctoral degree. While the vast majority of degrees conferred by universities are Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees, you can also do a specialized applied degree to prepare for a specific career.
Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]