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What College Degree Should I Pursue?

Updated on September 1, 2018

Some people argue that a college education is a life-time investment of time and money. Unfortunately, thousands of unemployed college graduates have invested several years and thousands of dollars into a “useless degree” that never helped them find a job that returned such investment. However, no investment is a loss when the person investing has the skills, experience, and knowledge to minimize risks and to handle adversity. Likewise, no college degree is useless as long as the graduate has the marketable skills required to put his knowledge to work. This article aims to explain why a degree becomes “worthless” and how college graduates and students planning to enroll in college can find full-time employment after graduation.

Are College Degrees “Worthless”?

Some individuals drop-out of high school and later become highly successful entrepreneurs while others may experience long periods of unemployment after graduating college with several master’s degrees. Why? College degrees alone are no guarantee of success. Rather, what makes people who graduate from college successful is the same personality and skills that motivated them to enroll in college in the first place. In other words, people who graduate from college have a desire of success and are willing to work hard to earn something. That desire and will power is what later helps them take what they learned in college and apply that knowledge to the job market.

If I do Want to Enroll in College, What Degree Should I Pursue?

Summarizing what we discussed before, you should pursue a degree that will connect with your skills, personality, and interests. You should never get a college degree only because of the growing market for that field or the attractive pay. If you see college education as a monetary investment, then you will be quite disappointed after graduation. Rather, you should see college as one way to connect your skills and interests with education. That education, in combination with your skills and interests, will return the time and money invested in higher education.

Ask Yourself These Questions...

Moreover, to help you find a degree that you will be happy with, you should first ask yourself the following questions:


  1. What is my dream job and how can education help me get that job? Is a college degree required for this type of job?

  2. I am really good at (writing, math, art, communicating, counseling, designing, drawing, music, etc), What degrees require such skill/skills and what career paths are available for those degrees?

  3. How can that degree help me use my skills to succeed in the workforce? (ex. communication skills in combination with an economics degree will help me provide financial counseling to families, etc.)

  4. What are some possible obstacles I may encounter (personal, academic, financial, etc.) and how could overcome those barriers?

After answering these questions, you should have an idea of what your skills and interests are and how a college degree in combination with your skills would make you more competitive in the workforce. If after answering these questions you are still not sure of what degree to pursue, then talk to an academic or employment counselor.

Considering Lesser Expensive Alternatives?

Depending on what your "dream job" actually is, there may be lesser expensive alternatives that will be just as good as a college degree. Several career paths do not require a college degree as lengthy experience may replace education. However, this means that you would have to start at a very low pay rate in the beginning, whereas your pay rate could be much higher if you start with a college degree.

Other career paths only require a technical or vocation school degree, which is relatively inexpensive to get and the job offers for these sort of occupations are much easier to find.

whether you decide to build a career upon lengthy experience, a vocation degree, or a college degree, your best strategy is to consider all possible alternatives available to your budget and location. Afterwards, you may decide what the best option is.

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