Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How to pick a college degree

Picking a college degree can be one of the most important decisions you make in your life. It can mean the difference between getting a job, getting well paid, and make college worth it. Choose wrongly, and it is difficult to recover. Going back to school is not a thing that college graduates look forward to.

One of the best things you can do is wait. Be patient. Many students do have a degree picked out, but many don't and are pressured. Even those that pick a degree before entering college have second thoughts and go through many changes before settling on exactly the right one. You can generally take the first two years of college, get your general education and graduation requirements done during this time. You normally do not have to declare a major when you first enter college anyway. After the first year, you will have a better feel as to your college life, aptitude, study habits, and overall ability to handle college. During the first year, do some serious thinking about what degree to go for.

It is up to you, and you alone, to pick a degree. Don't let others pick one for you. Only you know what you are capable of and can handle. You know your interests. You know what kind of lifestyle you want. You know where you want to live. Your lifestyle, habits, ability, work ethic, and adaptability all factor into a college degree choice. See college counselors early and often. Read the college catalog as to what classes are required for majors. Most majors require some classes outside the major as adjunct to the degree. Like a foreign language or math class as a requirement for the degree. You may like the major classes, but what about the other requirements? How long will it actually take you to finish? You know your weaknesses as well.

A job is a critical reason for getting a degree. Find out what majors pay the most, and the least. Find out which majors are fairly easy, or fairly hard. What college majors are getting the job offers at the moment? There is no reason to get a degree in any major if you are stuck working as a waitress because there are no jobs in your major available. Look to the future as well. Find companies and industries that are growing and their workforce is needed. Gear your degree to something you like, can handle, and get a job with.

You also may need to think outside the box. Some degrees can cover a lot of bases. Companies that are not similar may want the same kinds of people working in their offices. That psychology degree might work in an ad agency looking for people who can analyze reactions.

Remember the reasons for going to college and why you want a degree. Good luck in your choice and choose wisely.

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