Choosing the Best College Major for a Brighter Future
Beyond the many other life choices that a recent high school graduate, or adult learner must make lies the choice of a college major. It is an agonizing process for some to come to any kind of concrete decision. A college student has to choose a college major, the degree program which will compose their core classes and determine the type of career they apply for after graduation from college.
For some students, the choice of which classes to take is like putting on a blindfold and throwing a dart at a course calendar. For others, the decision is much simpler. While there are those who know, deep in their hearts, what they want to be when they "grow up," and choose courses that follow along that angle, there are a similar amount of people who have no earthly idea what type of degree to pursue, and yet more who remain undecided until the absolute last minute.
In all cases, the whole process is made simple by talking with an academic advisor or enrollment counsellor. Every college has individuals whose sole purpose is to get all your proverbial ducks in a row so that you can begin classes. These are the people who call you when you send your email address or phone number with a request for information about a college or degree program.
There are three major factors that go into the choice of college path which will be covered here:
- Career Preference
- Availability of courses
- Cost of schooling
When you were a kid, you probably had a ‘dream job.’ Whether this job was to fight fires, protect and serve as either a cop or in the military, or maybe you wanted to be a doctor or nurse. Our perception of what our dream job is changes as we age, but this should be the focus of your college interests. The goal of college education is to further the education received during elementary, middle and high school, but also to prepare us for a lucrative and successful career.
Surprisingly, it may be easier for some individuals to choose an education path that is engaging and interesting and from there choose a career rather than the other way around. In a recent survey I conducted, three out of four individuals stated they were more satisfied with their choice in career after having obtained a degree, even though only one out of four actually applied their higher education to their career.
Cost of Schooling
The reality of any college degree program you choose is this: Getting a degree is not cheap. When selecting your degree type, consider the total cost of your degree and weigh it against your possible salary within your field of study. The cost of your college credits can sometimes be as low as $40 per credit hour, and sometimes as high as $700 per credit hour. The difference is location – community colleges cost less per class, while a Master’s degree program at a traditional college can be quite expensive.
In the end, only you and your enrollment counselor can properly choose the course of study that is right for you. Ask plenty of questions, gather information from multiple institutions and compare notes. A college education represents an investment you’ve made in your own future and success. Don’t waste your own time and money investing poorly.
Availability of Courses
Depending on your desired focus, your selection of colleges may be broad or limited. The first hurdle you must overcome is finding a college that offers the courses you will need to obtain the degree you want. Information is the key at this stage of planning, so do not be afraid to acquire information from any college that offers the course plan for the degree you want. You are under no obligation to enroll with any college until you have made the final decision where you will attend.
With the rise of technology came a new method of schooling that has it’s merits and flaws. In addition to researching degree programs at standard ‘brick and mortar’ colleges, keep your eyes out for online schools with similar programs. In many cases, finding the degree program and class schedule that is right for you can be as easy as the click of a mouse.