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6 Tips On Choosing A Higher Education Degree That is Right For You

Choosing a major is one of the key steps in college planning

6 Tips On Choosing A Higher Education Degree That is Right For You

Choosing your higher education pathway happens to be one of the toughest decisions for a student. Selecting your career path can be tricky, especially when you feel attracted to multiple career pathways. Some students pick a major too quickly and need to change after expended lots of courses that can’t be applied to another major. Students express a desire to change their major and regret it later. To avoid mistakes and help you make the right decision for you, it is better to consider the key factors that should influence your decision as the program you pursue will play a significant role in defining its impact on your future. In this article, we will discuss six major factors that you should consider while selecting a career path.

1. Go Over Your Priorities

Many students select a degree program solely based on the market demand of its related career or expected salary range. However, there are others who go for a major because they feel that they may already have skills related to that field. Or perhaps they feel intrinsically passionate about the field. Often it is a combination of these three factors. But since these are the three primary contributors (i.e. ability, economic advantage, and interest level) to selecting a career, you have to carefully consider which of these apply in your case. If you lack experience or passion for something, economic motivations alone are not worth it as they are many ways to make a living.

2. Find Out What Interests You Most?

The last section mentioned passion. When you are exposed to a field and learn you enjoy it, you are likely to be much more motivated and can contribute to the field of study in a better manner. However, it is not always easy to figure out what your core interests are and a lot of times students have more than one interest that they feel pulled towards. It takes a bit of introspection and an understanding of your personality to really gain clarity about where your real interests are focused. Try taking a test to gain a greater understanding of your personality. Another way is to make a list of all the things that you really enjoy doing and see how this list overlaps with your strengths and weaknesses. You can also consider talking to a professional career counselor to guide you further about discovering your areas of interest. Another way for discovering your areas of interest is by volunteering or joining co-curricular clubs or working part-time.

3. Follow The Money!

It goes without saying that one of the biggest reasons for pursuing a degree program is its future potential of earning you similar worth. To make a final decision about your career program, factoring in your potential future salary is quite important. For someone who is really passionate about finding high-earning jobs, you can consider a career in STEM fields, which are the natural sciences, math, business, engineering, and technology. Already have a master’s degree? These days there are many online DBA programs as well to position themselves in different business research fields. However, some students are more concerned about the significance or impact that their professions may have on their community. For this, you may also consider non-STEM fields that align with your passion, businesses with social impacts or other fields that combine a steady income with some other aspect of service.

4. What Are Your Key Skills?

At the end of the day, success it also dependent on your core skills. This is not merely about background and training, but where your skill set lies. Are you good under pressure? Do you think you are better than multitasking than others? Are you good writer or communicator? Do you have particular language skills? Selecting a career that utilizes your skills is likely to increase your success and happiness in a career.
To select a career path that is truly right you, you have to figure out what are your core skills (try this lifehack to try and understand what they are for you). Just as you can refer to your SAT and ACT scores for getting an idea of where your academic strengths lie, look to grades and experiences in other classes or the opinions of friends. Perhaps your parents have been dreaming for you to become a successful business person when you really have the potential for being a renowned artist or passionate lawyer. You should not follow an education path just because a loved one thinks it is right for you.

5. Will the Coursework Be Too Much For You?

Before jumping on any career wagon, you have to carefully assess whether you will be able to handle the workload or not. Especially if you are already working and/or have family obligations, you need to carefully consider how much time you have to invest in a program. Some career paths will be much harder than others to handle in regards to the course expectations, exam frequency, your math background and general workload. If you feel unsure about handling the coursework, it may affect your performance later on in the program.

6. Pay Attention to Your Academic Advisor

Generally, most colleges, universities, and major educational institutions offer academic counseling as well as career centers to their students free of charge. Beyond helping to schedule classes, these academic advisors help students see through their career pathways and clearly define future goals for their academic profile. Career centers often fulfill a similar role as well as try to connect you with employers. It is always a great idea to visit your advisor for career guidance whenever you are caught between your interests and unable to make a decision. As a matter of fact, because these advisors have a lot of experience in counseling students about career-related decisions they may be able to share a career path that you may never have thought of before or connect you with new resources. So, never shy away from visiting your advisor or other school offices because they can offer great insights about you and your future career.

At the end of the day, it is a big decision for any student to make and you have to really know your interests and be aware of who you are as a person. Remember, that while selecting an education profile for yourself, one of the things that you cannot ignore is your passion and happiness.


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