Decreasing the Time You Spend on Your Degree

On average, people spend between four and six years on their college degree. This includes time spent in community college or a four-year university and doesn't include students who require 6-8 year educations, such as for medical or law school. The problem is that while spending half a decade in school, it makes it difficult to get work experience and start earning a living. In a difficult economy, it is more important than ever to finish college and start work. Here are some ways to decrease how long you spend on your degree.

Accelerated Degree Programs

The first option is by attending an accelerated degree program. As you can imagine, this is a type of program that speeds up how quickly you complete the program. Typically, you can earn an associate's degree in 18 months, bachelor's degree in 3 years and a doctoral degree in 3 years, as well as your master's degree in 18 months. There are strict requirements for being approved for an accelerated degree program, and expect to be studying a lot in order to get done in time. It isn't recommended if you're working a full time and attempting to complete your education; for most, there just isn't enough time. This program helps takes 1-3 years off your total college education.

Adding More Credits

Another thing you can consider doing to decrease the time spent on your degree is adding more credits to your semesters. On average, college students have 12 credits a semester, or 4-5 classes. But you have the option of taking more classes, if you feel like you have the time. Like with the accelerated program, this will cut back on time you have to spend doing other things, so keep that in mind. But if your goal is to complete school faster and get to work sooner, then adding more credits and classes is an option.

Studying Online

Some students choose to take online courses. Online degree programs let you study at your own pace, so you aren't forced to go along with the teacher's schedule. Many people choose this option with the sole purpose of being able to get through the coursework more quickly. You can cut your education time in half in many cases, or depending on how much time you have. But be sure to really focus on your studies, as online degree programs require a lot of motivation and self discipline.

Testing into Higher Classes

If you have not yet started college, consider taking examinations beforehand that assess your current education level. What this does is give you the option to test into higher classes and being able to skip the lower level classes. If you excelled in high school or community college, you have the potential to skip many lower classes altogether.

By following these tips, you can get through college much faster. Remember that by decreasing the time you spend on your college degree, you are also spending more time on your studies, so be prepared for that.

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