A college degree unlocks many doors in America. You will find wider career paths, with better chances of getting hired. Completing a degree program shows prospective employers that you have not only received skilled, accredited post-secondary training, but that you have the discipline and self-direction to complete a challenging course of study. Still, for many people pursuing higher education, it can be difficult deciding what to major in. Here are some helpful ways to decide which degree program is right for you.
Evaluate Your Interests
There’s a lot of truth in the adage “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” While it’s not always possible or obvious, finding a career that fulfills you and stimulates you should be your goal. Whether that means working towards a pediatric nursing degree, or getting an online master of music education degree, you should always start by following your passion.
Consider Career Paths
You may be very interested in sports or theater. Unfortunately, very few people rise to the tops of these professions and reach superstar levels of wealth and fame. That said, if you are realistic and evaluate options objectively, you will find that even the most aspirational professions have many career opportunities built up around them.
For example, if you’re interested in sports, there are career paths in sports management, agency, medicine, training, and more that can all be very fine lines of work. If you’re a theater fan, consider a profession on the business side of Broadway, such as the many people whose job it is to keep a theater running, or talent agents.
There are also options in more traditional professions like law and medicine. Law firms aren’t made up solely of attorneys, but the bulk of their staff aren’t comprised of entry level positions either. Paralegals and legal clerks can make very decent money after completing their degrees. Many people interested in medicine become registered nurses, and work in hospitals and clinics where their highly specialized training can go to good use.
The point is that the perfect match is a career path that excites you but can be sustainable after you leave college. It’s also worth noting that many professions require a bachelor’s degree, but they are not concerned about the applicant’s field of study. This is merely a simple and fair way to narrow down their applicant pool as they choose candidates to interview.
Utilize Online Recruitment
Finding a career that interests you can be difficult sometimes. By researching online and better understanding the job description and expectations of a position can make all the difference. Many companies are moving towards online recruiting through providers like Indeed, Glassdoor, Monster, and LinkedIn. This way, they can reach a larger audience and accelerate the hiring process. Begin utilizing these online resources to find a possible career that fits for your future!
Visit Campuses and Meet with Advisors
Colleges and universities have entire admissions departments where people’s sole job is to recruit and advise new and prospective students. You should never hesitate to reach out to a school that you are looking at and schedule a tour. Sometimes, being on campus and seeing the facilities will let you know if it’s the right fit. If you’re trying to narrow down your choice of programs, many schools will let you sit in or audit a class.
The same principle applies if you are already enrolled in a college, and have not chosen a major, or are considering making a change to your field of study. Already being on campus and “in the system” will make the process easier, as advisors will have immediate access to your transcripts and other records.
Let’s take a final step back and look at high schoolers trying to decide their next move. Most schools host career or college days in which representatives of nearby state and private schools come in with information about their institutions. Many junior and community colleges will do this as well, and often offer college credit for some junior and senior level high school courses. It’s also very common for high schools to offer excused absences for approved college visits. Take advantage of these opportunities and learn all you can!
A college education is one of the finest investments you can make in yourself. It lasts a lifetime and opens you up to realize your dreams and potential. Whatever road you choose, a degree is worth pursuing!