«   |   »

Will Your Degree Choice Lead to a Great Career?

Choosing your college degree program is a serious decision that requires a lot of thought. Not only do you have to think about what you want right now, but also what you want from your career ten years from now. Here are five degree options many High School grads consider. However, when choosing a career you need to look beyond the subject you will be studying and see what career they can lead to. A great resource from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is called their Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH). It lists jobs and what they entail and the average salary you can expect. When you look at the career in the OOH you will find the average salary, don’t get too excited yet this is the average of all the people working at that position. You will be starting at the low end of the scale and working your way up (not at the average salary). Next you want to look at the outlook for the job over the next ten years. Will they be needing more or less of them? If more, then it will be easier to find a job, if about the same then the only open jobs will be if someone retires. If less it will be very difficult to find a job and you should probably choose a different career.

So for instance suppose you enjoy reading so you think you should major in English Literature.

English Language and Literature

Book-lovers, poets, authors, all consider joining an English language and literature degree program. This program requires reading and analyzing large amounts of literature, as well as accessing your creativity and critical thinking skills. College brochures tell you, “With an English degree, you can become a journalist, author, lawyer, publisher, or basically any other career that requires writing.” However you will be competing with those who majored in Law, Journalism, Creative Writing or some other degree program perhaps more specialized to the chosen field. If you search English Literature in the OOH they don’t list a single job called “English Literature”. Instead they list things like Postsecondary teachersWriters and AuthorsEditorsInterpreters and Translators, and Librarians. So when considering a Major be sure to look at the end result (career) you are looking to get and not focus on a subject you like to study.

In the following video Dave Ramsey discusses how to choose between career options:

Business

Do you want to make a name for yourself in the corporate world? If so, getting a business degree might be option for you. You will learn about all the parts of the business including management, finance, marketing, statistics, human resources, and more. There are a variety of fields you can specialize in with a business degree. You could become a Management Analyst. Most management analysts have at least a bachelor’s degree. The Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation may improve job prospects.  Management analysts, aka. management consultants, propose ways to improve an organization’s efficiency. They advise managers on how to make organizations more profitable through reduced costs and increased revenues.

Other related possibilities are: Accountants and AuditorsAdministrative Services ManagersBudget AnalystsCost EstimatorsFinancial Analysts, and Market Research Analysts.

Who knows? One day you may even be able to start your own business.

Biology

If you have dreams of curing diseases or helping sick people to heal, majoring in biology is the way to go. This will function as the foundation for your long career in the medical field. Pretty soon, you will be taking the Altius MCAT Prep, graduating medical school, and making a real difference in the world. Biology majors can also find successful careers as Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists, veterinarians, geneticists, Forensic Science Technicians, or ecologists. As of this writing, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists 449 different professions related to Biology so it would pay you to look at the various fields and their job prospects and what each field entails.

Computer Science

The field of computer science is growing every year and will only continue to get larger. In this type of program, you will learn about everything from programming, robotics, artificial intelligence, gaming technology, and more. If you love technology, majoring in computer science may be the best option for you. The BLS lists a variety of different Computer and Information Technology Occupations from Computer Support Specialists who earn an average of $52,160/yr. to Computer and Information Research Scientists who earn a average of $111,840/yr. Other positions include Computer Systems Analysts ($87,220/yr), Computer Network Architects ($101,210/yr.), and Information Security Analysts ($92,600/yr).

Political Science

Are you interested in politics or do you want to enact social change on a global level? If the answer is yes, you may be considering enrolling in a political science degree program. The kind of careers that you can find with this degree requires excellent critical thinking skills, statistical analysis, and excellent communication, all in a fast-paced and ever-changing work environment. Political scientists study the origin, development, and operation of political systems. They research political ideas and analyze governments, policies, political trends, and related issues. Unfortunately the BLS estimates the growth in the field of Political Science to grow much slower than average so it might be difficult to find a job as a “Political Scientist”.  So once again simply focusing on what you like may be a mistake when it comes to getting a job. However they do list these similar occupations that you might consider.

 

If you are looking forward to a lucrative career, do your research before choosing a degree program. Look at what actual careers they lead to and look at the outlook for growth in that field. By tailoring your education to your chosen field rather than trying to find a job once you’ve completed your studies you will be more likely to find success.

You might also like: