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Honours Bachelor's vs. Bachelor's Degree

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Should I get an Honours Bachelor's of Arts or simply a Bachelor's of Arts?


Honours Bach. = 4 years

Bachelor's = 3 years


I'm majoring in economics, and I only need one more course for completing a Bach. which I can do in about two months assuming I pass this last course. The alternative would be to stay back for another year and complete another full year of studies. The thing that bothers me about honours is that most of the courses aren't even part of my major to fulfill the breadth of studies, so why should I waste time and money learning about something I don't need to understand?


The other thing is that my cGPA is C+ right now, and if I take another full year, there is a great risk of lowering it even more because that's been a consistent trend as I progress. I need a 'B' and an honours degree if I want to be a teacher or do Masters, which I am considering... at the same time, economics is a pretty competitive field.


What should I do?

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I think you need to decide what your objectives are. You say "if I want to be a teacher or do Masters..." It's getting to the point where you need to make that decision. Your path will become clearer after that.


If you decide to stop after your third year is it relatively easy to go back and do the 4th whenever you want?


At my university, all Bachelor degrees were four years. An Honours was achieved by doing a year long course involving a thesis/dissertation.

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Actually, scrap the teacher/Masters idea, cause it can't be achieved unless I get straight A's for the entire year, and that's definitely not gonna happen unless I wish for it and it miraculously came true.


If I finish my third year and I apply to graduate, then I don't think I can go back for a 4th year whenever I want. Alternatively I could do that if what I do is to pay for the enrollment fee of $450 to keep me in for another year, but I'd be doing that each and every year I don't choose to graduate.


I don't even need to write a thesis/dissertation for the honours. Realistically, I only need 2 more economic courses that really won't do me any good anyhow, the rest is filler.

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You need to contact the M.S. programs and gather as much information as possible regarding minimum GPA, GRE and their unique requirements. The requirements have increased since the economic disaster began (I've seen MA programs with requirements more stringent than PhD prereqs). Private schools are more likely to show leniency. Their programs are expensive and your tuition assists in funding their PhD students. You have to figure out what you'd like to do with an Econ MS. If you're approaching it from the perspective of delaying entering the work force, don't. I have a childhood friend that majored in Econ and found horrific job prospects. He's now slowly working on a more specialized Business (non-MBA) grad degree and his job prospects have greatly improved. There are also a number of post-bacc programs in various fields that would make you a more attractive candidate. That said, you need to understand why your grades have progressively declined. If the extra year will raise your GPA significantly, remain. If not, move on (especially if you're incurring a large amount of debt in the process.

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Actually, scrap the teacher/Masters idea, cause it can't be achieved unless I get straight A's for the entire year, and that's definitely not gonna happen unless I wish for it and it miraculously came true.


This was what I was going to say. Normally you do need quite competitive grades to be accepted to the Honors program. Even if you meet the basic requirements, if there is steep competition you may not get in.


However, in order to be employed as an economist, you do need to have at least an Honors degree. Even that will be difficult to land a job as an economist with, but not impossible. Most economists do have Masters degrees.


When it comes to being accepted to an Honors or Masters program, though, not every class is weighted equally. If you got straight A's through your first two years but C's in your advanced economics courses, you won't be accepted to an Honors or Masters because it shows that you will struggle with the more advanced graduate courses. If you got a bunch of C's in your first couple of years, but get top marks in your advanced economics courses (Micro, Macro and Econometrics), then they will want you. Even if you don't have the B average.


So if you haven't done your advanced micro, macro and econometrics then there is still hope. Hire a tutor (someone who received top marks in those classes) and study like your life depends on it. That's what I did and I received THE top mark in my macro class (I got A+ and the next best mark was B+. The class average was C-.), and top marks in the other two as well. Even though I had lots of crappy marks on my record (mostly from electives), I got funding to do my Masters and I aced my Masters courses because I had a solid understanding of the graduate level material.


I don't know where you live but the Economics Masters in Canada is only one year long. (Many Masters are 3 years or more.) You won't have any trouble finding a job and you'll move up very quickly. If you want to work as an economist, then it's absolutely worth investing in a tutor and putting that extra time and effort into getting the Honors, and possibly the Masters.


Of course, if being an economist isn't exactly your dream job, then just having the economics major is also quite versatile and you'll have lots of other options and career paths open to you.

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I think having a specific career in mind would help, as you need to know what you need to improve your chances of getting a job you want.


If you don't know, I'd suggest doing the honours year. I don't know exactly how your system works, but in my country it's 3 years for Bachelors and 4 for honours too.


I work in IT and did 3 years of Uni. Instead of doing my honours year I applied for a bunch of jobs in other countries. I managed to get a [very lowly paid] internship 7000 miles from my home doing IT for a University. I worked at that for a year and it has been golden on my CV. Every single interviewer I have seen since has questioned me about it and not once have I been asked "why didn't you do your honours year?".


IT is relatively easy to get a job though. You need to know what you need.

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