After high school, you have two important decisions to make, not just one. We spend such a great deal of time picking a college that we do not spare a thought to what exactly we will study. Degree programs now incorporate a multitude of specializations or concentrations into them. While this provides students with options, a choice overload is possible, too, if you haven’t narrowed it down already.
The process starts with asking as many questions as possible. In this article, we have listed some common questions you might ask when choosing a degree.
- What Do I Know About My Preferred Degree?
There is a difference between being interested in a degree program and being knowledgeable about it. Some degree programs, and some majors even, sound a great deal better before you enroll and start studying. This happens because you don’t really know what a specific program involves before actually enrolling in some of its courses. Before heading down a particular road, be sure to research relevant job scopes, salaries, and incentives. Never marry a degree, neither a major, before you have seriously dated them.
- What Am I Most Interested In?
The most pressing and the most important question you should ask is what you’re the most interested in studying and pursuing as a full-time profession. For this, you will need to narrow down any options you have. Do you want to be a doctor? A lawyer? Or a teacher? You might even opt for social sciences but later end up asking, “is a degree in social work worth it?” Once you do pick a domain, you will have nothing but sub-domains of that particular program or degree to choose from. For instance, if you decide to go to business school, you will have to choose a major from marketing, finance, human resources, etc. This first question is not only the most important but also the determiner of how you answer the other questions.
- Am I Choosing the Right College?
While several colleges offer the same degree program, not all of them are a good fit for you. Some colleges provide better programs while others an excellent overall experience. Choosing comes down to your monetary capability, needs and preferences, and future plans. There are college and campus tours designed to address as many questions as candidates may have. While a college tour is not really enough to determine spending the next four years of your life there, and by extension, base your life on it, you could refer to discussion forums and talk to alumni.
- What Career Opportunities Does this Degree Offer?
Almost every student today considers jumping the bandwagon. Recently, computer science education has taken the market by storm, with nearly every student striving to become the next Mark Zuckerburg. This is not the case, of course. Before opting for any degree, and later, a major, be sure to research career opportunities. There are many scenarios where the odds can turn against you. For instance, you might face too much competition, or the subject you major in might not have the same number of jobs after you are done with it. Be sure to choose something with a steady stream of jobs.
- Are You Good At What You Are Choosing?
You should never go for something you know you are not good at, no matter how popular, and most certainly not by caving into peer pressure. While domains like molecular biology, copywriting, or field journalist all sound fantastic and different, outside-the-box, they will be of no help if you lack the basic ability required for them. Taking them up is not as big of a challenge as going through the different courses related to the major you will pick. In all cases, you need to sign up for something you know you can handle down the road.
- Should I Consider a Gap Year?
Rushing into a degree program because everyone is can build quite the peer pressure. You do not necessarily have to graduate with the rest of your friends or people in your batch. Gap years are looked down upon. They have all sorts of negative stigma attached to them, like only struggling students take gap years and that gap years are an excuse to let go of education entirely. On the contrary, a gap year can be just what you need if uncertain.
Take the time you need to figure out what you want to do. College is a great determiner of the rest of our lives; how and what we do here are essential. Betting on such an important decision by caving into peer pressure or society’s expectations will not do you any good. Besides, a gap year can help you polish your skills apart from giving college a dedicated thought. A gap year are nothing to be scared of. Don’t push yourself into college when you are not ready.
- Have I Spoken To Seniors and Pass Outs?
The best way to determine what degree program you should opt for is by talking to any seniors you may know already enrolled passed out. No one is better equipped to tell you about the crucibles of a particular degree or program than someone currently going through them – not even older pass-outs.
Choosing a degree is not like selecting clothes or what, say, one must decide to cook for the day. It may seem like a minor decision, but it goes to impact us for the rest of our lives. Our degree, and the college we go to for studying, will determine not just where we get employment but how lucrative this employment will be. From asking yourself whether you are a good fit for the degree program of your choice to thinking gap years, we have told you all there is you must ask yourself. In fact, the more questions you ask, the better it will be for you. We hope you find what it is you’re looking for.