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Choosing a Degree Course

written by: BMeredith•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 6/28/2011

Going to college? Wondering how to choose a degree course? Many enter college trying to answer this very question. Here is a short discussion that will not make the decision for you but will give you some things to think about and places to look while making the decision.

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    How To Choose A Degree

    Graduation from high school means closing one chapter and beginning a new one. We are all often asked growing up; “What do you want to be in life?” If you are like most people, this answer changes along with the advancing years. Well, guess what, even after high school you may change your mind again and again. Statistics show the average adult can, and often does, change careers two to three times in their life. So the big question for the new college student is how to choose a college degree?

    For some the path is clear. They begin preparing for their chosen vocation even while in high school. They take classes of interest and advancing difficulty and begin their preparation early. In some high schools, there is even a push for small learning communities and having students declare a major field of emphasis. Here are some key questions to ask yourself.

    Questions to Ask

    1. What subject or vocation do I find interesting or exciting?

    This seems like a simple question but often while going through this thought process many more questions can arise that you do not have answers for. This moves the learner to a more critical phase which brings up the second question.

    2. What type of degree is required for me to get hired?

    This is answered with a little research. You can go to the various Human Resource sections of any employer and find the job qualifications. Within this area, you will find the required degree and needed experience for employment. If they are State or Federal jobs, go to their individual web sites to find this information. There is one other place to go - directly to the college or university of your choice and look at the specific degrees in your chosen field of study. When all else fails, contacting guidance counselors at your high school or college can give the direction you may be looking for.

    Another method is to network with those already in the field you wish to enter. Often, you can a gain insight into what they might have done differently as they made their way through the educational process. There is a lot to gain here from this type of research and investigation. Finding a mentor is an excellent way to make sure you are on the right track.

    3. What if I don’t know?

    There are many who enter college in this place. You should know, the first two years of most college or university experiences are built around what is called “core subject area”. These are the classes everyone must take regardless of their degree emphasis. Many students do not declare a major or degree until after the first year. This is not only acceptable; it is for the most part normal.

    Conclusion

    Choosing a major or college degree can be seen as an evolving process for those who are undecided. For those who know what they want to do it is a question of research, inquiry and networking with those who are already in the field. In the end ask questions; do web searches, and look at the industry and what the trends are in the field of interest. Choosing a college degree is the next step in the process to attaining goals and realizing dreams. There is no question too small, and with the web at your fingertips, no information you cannot get. Make an informed decision, but realize it can be changed at any time. Best of success!