How to Decide Which Degree to Pursue

Declaring a major and deciding which type of degree to pursue is one of the most important decisions any college student can make, and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. With career tracks in business, healthcare, and technology becoming more and more in-demand, choosing the right path can present some unique challenges.

In other words, you need to do your homework to help you decide not only which major and degree program to pursue but also which college or university is best suited for your chosen path. That’s because pursuing a diploma in accounting, finance, marketing, or project management can help position you for your desired industry and play a role in determining your future earnings. 

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when deciding on a major and degree options:

What Are My Interests and Inherent Strengths?

Bottom line: Playing to your strengths cannot be overstated. To ensure success in your academic career, you’ll want to enroll in a degree program that best aligns with your skills and passions and which will also provide a satisfying career trajectory in the years to come. 

Not to mention, choosing a major and degree type early on will provide you with a roadmap to success, as you’ll be getting started in your desired program and completing the right prerequisites from the get-go. Indeed, what better way to stay on track to complete your coursework and earn a coveted associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in two or four years’ time?

For example, if you have a natural affinity for numbers and enjoy putting your problem-solving skills to work, then pursuing an online accounting degree may best suit you. Plus, online degrees tend to offer more convenience and flexibility to college-aged students and working adults alike.

Will Pursuing a Degree Fit My Lifestyle?

Pursuing a college degree can often feel like a full-time job. In addition to working to earn your degree, you may also be juggling job-related and family obligations, which can make navigating “work-study-life balance” feel out of reach. While it’s more than possible to both work and study full time, doing so can demand a lot of your energy.

Now, more than ever, though, it’s easy to find online degree programs that will allow you to balance your education, career, and personal life. In particular, working and completing your degree program simultaneously allows you to earn a paycheck as you progress in your studies to earn a degree that may provide you with more — and better — career options. Additionally, completing courses in your chosen field while working full time can serve as a bridge between theory and practice, allowing you to see the proverbial forest through the trees.

Will My Desired Career Path Require Additional Education?

For many jobs, an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree is sufficient; in fact, it will not only get your foot in the door but also allow you, over time, to climb the corporate ladder. However, not all jobs are created equal, and some may require you to obtain further education or additional training.

Before deciding on a major and career path to pursue, do your homework to determine what form of higher education you’ll need to get there. For starters, know that while a majority of your coursework can be done online, you more than likely will complete labs, clinicals, student teaching, and/or internships in person. Knowing what portion of your degree program can be completed online versus elsewhere will help you realize, one way or another, whether this path is worth pursuing — from a convenience and financial standpoint, among other variables — and not waste your time.

Looking to become a doctor or lawyer? Then know that college is merely the first step in your matriculation. While majoring in pre-law or pre-medicine may be the right move and make sense at the undergraduate level, know that an additional degree and/or training will be required to practice law or medicine.

For Those Seeking an Online Degree, We Salute You

Thinking about pursuing an online degree? As you can tell, there’s a lot to consider. You can make the most of the flexibility and convenience that online learning offers by being prepared. By researching the options available and knowing all the right information related to the requirements, costs, and acceptance of online education, you’ll be better able to determine if this path is right for you.