Although getting a degree can open doors for your career, it’s also really expensive. Data from ValuePenguin shows the average cost for college is $20,770.1 Unfortunately, that number doesn’t seem to be going down anytime soon. Luckily, students can pay less money by opting to pursue a competency based degree. This is an option for anyone with work experience looking to fit school into their schedule. You can learn more about how this type of degree works by searching online.
There are many schools that offer competency based degrees. An online search will allow you to explore your options and find a program that’s right for you.
Here’s what you should know about competency degrees.
What’s a Competency Based Degree?
There are many differences between traditional and competency based degrees. Firstly, you can work at your own pace with a competency degree.2 Online classes offer flexibility in fitting school into your current lifestyle, which is a great option for those already working full-time.
These programs allow you to apply real world skills within your education. This means you can spend more time learning something new, instead of taking a designated amount of class time studying things you already know. Students also pay per term rather than per credit, giving you the opportunity to pay less money for tuition overall.
Like a traditional degree, competency based degrees will help you develop both practical and critical thinking skills. Some benefits to pursuing this type of education include:
- Flexible scheduling;
- Choices in what you learn;
- Potentially more affordable tuition;
- Network with faculty and other students, and;
- Pass/fail grading system.
If you’re a working progressional or already completed your undergrad, a competency degree might be a good choice for you. Simply submit your assessments or portfolio when you feel like you have mastered the course or when you have the time each term.
Now that you know what’s involved with a competency degree, here are some schools that offer this type of education.
University of Phoenix
Choose to pursue an MBA, BSN, MIS, or MHA degree at the University of Phoenix. This school allows students to apply their existing skills towards their degree, which means you could finish school a lot sooner than you think.
Not only can you complete your degree faster, but you can earn your degree without breaking the bank. Students can pay less than $11,000 for tuition and complete their degree in less than 12 months depending on the program of your choice.3
The University of Phoenix offers four CBE programs. Here’s what each of them are:
- Master of Business Administration: Complete in less than 12 months for under $10,000.
- Master of Information Systems: Complete in less than 12 months for under $11,000.
- Master of Health Administration: Complete in less than 12 months for under $11,000.
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing: Complete in less than 12 months for under $10,000.
These CBE programs give students the opportunity to tailor their experience by moving quickly on topics they already know and focusing on things they want to learn. You can choose to take several 16 week courses at once and fit them in your schedule.
Capella University aims to help adult students reach their career ambitions as soon as possible. They offer career-crafted curriculum taught by industry professionals, giving you practical knowledge that will apply outside of school.4
Each student gets a personalized dashboard that shows their progress and clearly displays which areas they need to focus on more. They can adjust their studies accordingly based on their interests and whether or not they carry key competencies to move forward in the program.
Some of the online programs offered at Capella University are:
- Bachelor’s in Accounting;
- Bachelor’s in Business Administration;
- Bachelor’s in Health Care Management, and;
- MBA in Human Resource Management.
Those with work experience or college credits have a good amount of competency based programs to choose from with Purdue University. With an ExcelTrack degree, students can build on knowledge and skills they already have and apply it to their degree.
The courses are single-credit and aim to teach you a new skill or piece of knowledge. You can take as many classes as you want every term for one flat rate and quickly work to achieve your goals.
Some programs offered by Purdue University include:5
- Bachelor’s in Nursing;
- Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice;
- Bachelors in Cybersecurity;
- Master’s in Nursing, and;
- Master’s in Information Technology.
Learn More About Competency Degrees Online
If you’re a working professional that wants to continue your education, then look into competency based degrees. These programs allow you to fit school into your current schedule and progress at a timeline that works for you.
Not only can you finish your degree faster, but you could also save money since these programs charge tuition per term rather than per credit. Search online now to find a program you’re interested in. Make sure to compare what different school programs have to offer and find out how fast you could graduate.