Accelerated programs are designed to get students into the workforce faster. With an accelerated degree program, you can easily shave off one year or more of your degree. Accelerated undergraduate degree programs allow a focused and determined student to finish a degree faster than the traditional time.
Almost every degree, from associate’s and bachelor’s to master’s, offers an accelerated format. With these, you can venture into business, education, computer science or even consider getting into an accelerated nursing program for a rewarding healthcare career.
As people get older, the thought of enrolling in a full-time degree program can be overwhelming and seem inconvenient, but an accelerated degree program could be the answer to advancing your career.
What You Need to Know About Accelerated Degree Programs
Accelerated degree programs work by offering shorter classes that have more flexibility. Instead of taking a class twice a year, students can enrol when it fits best into their schedule. Courses are commonly created in two sessions, 5 to 10 weeks long, instead of the traditional 16 weeks.
Also, remember that institutions implement the accelerated degree program differently. An accelerated program allows a student to start their next class without waiting, moving on to the next one as soon as a class is finished. The faster you work, the faster you finish.
Reading about this may be intimidating and make you wonder if this is a good idea. You may also wonder if it’s possible to complete all your studies quickly without compromising the quality of your education. Most universities streamline the coursework to cover all the information in an accelerated degree program, so it is possible.
How Long Does It Take?
Your accelerated degree program varies with the school or university you choose. As mentioned above, most 16-week programs in the traditional system have been compressed into a 5 to 10-week program for accelerated degree programs.
Although some degree programs require some hands-on training, such as clinical time for medical and nursing programs, or some teaching experience for education programs. Others may require additional weeks or months for your degree. Unfortunately, sometimes, certain degrees can’t be shortened as they must abide by state licensing requirements.
Advantages and Disadvantages of an Accelerated Degree Program
Here are some advantages and disadvantages of an accelerated degree program:
- You save time. Accelerated programs could work just as well for you, especially if you’re older and can’t afford to sit in a university class for hours during the day. Accelerated programs also mean that younger graduates could enter the workforce sooner, pursuing a career from a very early age.
- Accelerated programs offer a more focused and concentrated curriculum. This offers students an intensive learning experience, enabling them to dive deeply into a subject matter. This also allows for quick mastery of the learning material.
- You could save on tuition fees. An accelerated degree program is cost-effective as it means you complete your studies in a shorter time frame. Overall, you save on accommodation costs, tuition fees and other expenses associated with a longer study period. This also means higher education becomes more affordable by reducing the undergraduate financial burden.
- Accelerated programs provide students with a competitive advantage in the job market. Employers value the commitment, discipline and ability to handle a demanding academic workload provided by an accelerated degree program.
- Networking opportunities are reduced as the time to build relationships is minimal. Most students that tackle accelerated degree programs also can’t participate in extracurricular activities. Accelerated degree programs work in minimal time, and building connections could be challenging.
- The workload could be heavy. In an accelerated degree program, you’re commonly required to take on more credits to complete your coursework sooner. This could appear as a heavier workload for some students, posing academic pressure on one. It also presents potential burnout and stress if not managed properly.
- The depth of the study could be reduced. Although the intensive nature of accelerated programs is advantageous, it can result in a reduced depth of study. The shorter duration limits the time available for in-depth research and critical thinking.
If you’re considering an accelerated degree program, look at your current situation and find the best fit. After reading this, you should know that not all accelerated programs are the same and finding one that works with your current schedule is important.
Most institutions offer online accelerated programs, meaning you can study in the comfort of your home. Reaching out to the nearest institution could also be the best option to get you started.