Can't decide what type of degree you should get? You are not the first, nor likely to be the last. In fact, right now you are at a crucial point of your life. The choice you make will have repercussions rippling out the rest of your life. It is imperative that you make the right choice. But how are you supposed to make a choice?
This article will not show you the best degree you should get. There are a thousand different schools, with thousands upon thousands of programs for you to choose. And then, there are multiple paths branching out of each degree. We cannot possibly pinpoint the strictly best choice for you ou of them all. What we can do is present you the most important factors by which you would weigh the type of degree you will get – and ultimately, enable you to live a higher quality of life.
Solid Return of Investment
A degree is an investment. Make no mistake, it is not there merely to expand your horizons – although this is certainly a nice bonus. You should consider a degree the same way you would consider any other investment: What are you getting in return? At what cost are you reaping the benefits? The biggest trap students can fall into is to pick a degree because its title or scientific field catches their eye – they end up spending years of their money on something that ends up being largely useless.
You should pick a degree with a purpose. You should critically evaluate your skills, the things you can offer that people would pay to get, and make a list of potential careers you could end up with. You should then pick the degree that offers the most straightforward path to the highest paying career path out of your list. It is important to note that the higher your education, the better your cards become. If you can only get a two-year associate's degree, go for it. But if you can get into higher education, a 4-year bachelor's degree, you should definitely aim towards that.
Make Sure You Like It
Another common misconception is that people should choose a degree on an area of study or field they love or are passionate about. This is, to put it simply, untrue. You have roughly a 99% chance, barring the extremely rare cases of genuine passion, to stop loving your job anyway. How could you possibly ever be in love with something that you repeatedly do for 8 hours a day, for the rest of your life? The odds are against you. Kick the things you love as your hobbies. They are separate entities than what you do to earn your living.
That being said, you should absolutely not pick a degree on a subject you genuinely hate just because it is high paying. If the sight of blood makes you puke, you should obviously not be a surgeon. You should like your job. To give you an analogy, if you have a passion for art, for painting, the correct career choice is getting an architecture degree. You will simultaneously earn great financial rewards, find your job engaging and interesting and stay close to your true passion – which you could very easily keep working on.
One You Can Afford
And we do not mean this strictly financially – thankfully, there are a lot of options for you to receive financial aid so this issue should be able to largely handle itself. Look, modern society grants students an acceptable, or even high-status, identity. You are given four years or even more to explore and learn, and it is considered totally okay to do so. Unfortunately, many students squander this gift. We argue that you should consider your education a full-time job – otherwise, you should probably spend your time elsewise.
There are alternative ways to earn money. There are even alternative ways to learn, nowadays. The internet is the world's richest library, if you know where to look. If you are willing to earn a higher education degree, you must be willing to take it seriously. This means you should be scheduling your time, you should discipline yourself. You should learn how to write and how to read. And you should aim to excel. No day should go to waste, no stone should be left unturned. Leave the fooling around to the fools. You know better, do you not?
Calibrate Your Choice
Based on all the aforementioned factors, you should calibrate your choice appropriately. Assuming you have a high-school diploma or an equivalent degree, you are eligible to get an Associate's Degree (2-years full time) or a Bachelor's Degree (4-years full time). Both will enable you to enter the workforce, although the latter is considered better than the first in grace of its lengthier training and ecuation. Depending on your level of commitment, one might suit you better than the other. You should also note that going for an Associate's degree does not cut you off from getting a Bachelor's at a later point in your life.
There are two more types of degrees, a Master's degree and a Doctoral degree (Ph.D.) program. A Master's degree typically requires that you already have a Bachelor's degree, and most Doctoral's require that you have a Master. Typically, a Master's duration is around 1 to 2 years, whereas a Ph.D. requires two years at the very least – and often times takes up several years, the completion of dissertation and a major research project.
Hopefully this article gave you a wider perspective on what type of degree you should get. This is tough and important choice for you to make. It should be a product of a lot of brainstorming, lengthy research and genuine introspection. Ultimately, no matter what you choose, you should have made your choice with a clear purpose. The few years of your life society allows you to spend as a student are a valuable gift. Do not let it go to waste.