For many students, a bachelor’s degree from a reputable university is the only post-secondary education they will ever need. But even after completing a bachelor’s degree, many job applicants still have a ways to go before they reach the top tier of the employment ladder. That’s because job expectations for college graduates have been rising steadily over the past few decades. Today, most companies request that job candidates have a bachelors degree or its equivalent. In fact, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 42 percent of all bachelors-degree holders are seeking jobs in 2016 compared to only 25 percent 25 years ago. This increase in demands has created an incredibly competitive landscape for qualified job applicants with bachelors degrees.
What is a DNP program?
A DNP degree is a highly specialized program that typically takes four years to complete. It’s the next step beyond a bachelor’s degree. DNP programs provide a flexible path to management, business, and/or science-related careers. The courses may be taken online, through a school’s extension, or as a traditional on-campus program. The curriculum may include a combination of general education classes, mathematics, science, and specialized electives.
How to become a DNP
You can’t become a DNP just by straight out of high school. You need to acquire a bachelor’s degree. The two most commonly accepted bachelor’s degrees at universities are the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science. Other bachelor’s degrees are also accepted, but less frequently. Admission to a DNP program is highly competitive. Most DNP programs have highly selective application processes.
Different types of DNP programs
There are four different types of DNP programs: accelerated, accelerated with concentration, accelerated with concentration and competency-based. The first three are the same for all DNP programs. The only difference between the three is that an accelerated DNP program has a higher average GPA than other programs.
Salary for a DNP degree
As mentioned above, the average salary for a bachelor’s degree is $53,340. This figure doesn’t include any additional potential earnings that may come from related jobs such as jobs as a Graduate Research Assistant or a teaching assistant. This is a very conservative estimate, as many colleges and universities do not publish statistics on salaries for specific majors. In fact, the salaries of students who major in business administration or computer science are often lower than those reported for other fields because those are relatively rare fields.
How to get a DNP job
Fortunately, the process for getting a DNP job is pretty straightforward. The requirements to get a DNP job may vary from school to school, but most programs will ask you to complete a minimum of 30 hours of community service, including at least 18 hours of service related to your class or program. Additionally, many DNP programs will request that you complete an internship or co-op before you can gain admission to the program. The intern or co-op experience is extremely valuable because it gives you hands-on experience in the real world.
Given the current job market and the high expectations for DNP graduates, finding a suitable school to attend is critical. To make things easier, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 DNP schools in the country. The rankings are determined by average score on the DNP Decompression Test, which is given to all incoming students. This rankings list includes schools that offer the DNP degree as well as schools that offer non-DNP programs. If you’re looking for a highly selective school with a rigorous program, we recommend trying one of the top DNP programs first. After all, you may be able to find a better deal elsewhere on the cost of attendance or enrolling in on-campus programs alone. Looking for a job? Browseemployment listings at Indeed.com Looking for internships? Check out our internships and internships listings If you are interested in any of the schools on this list, or any others, you can sign up for our email list to be notified when we publish new articles. You can also Like our Facebook page or follow us on Google+ to stay up-to-date on the latest news.