The rising cost of college tuition is making it difficult to choose what degree to pursue at university. In fact, these rising expenses are making young people question whether they should pursue higher education at all. With that being said, it’s not all about the bottom line; there are many good reasons to get a degree, and how you pursue this goal involves being smart about your choice of degree and institution.
Choosing a degree is not a decision that should be taken lightly, as it has the potential to have a significant impact on your future. To help you make an informed decision, here are a few key questions you should ask yourself when pondering your options:
1. Is This a Subject I Enjoy?
You need to be realistic; whatever you choose to study, bear in mind that you’ll be studying the subject in detail for the next few years. Be careful not to choose something you’ll grow tired of in the long term.
2. Do I Have the Grades to Get Into a Good Institution?
Choosing an educational institution is not just about finding a subject matter you enjoy; you need to be sure you have an aptitude for the subject as well. What you study is just as important to employers as where you study, so you need to make sure you have the grades to apply to a well-established, reputable institution that is recognized globally, such as the aiu.edu.kw.
3. Do I Have The Right Personality to Pursue a Career In This Field?
Academic achievements are one thing, but when it comes to the workplace, certain jobs are better suited for people of a particular personality type. For instance, you may have dreams of being a doctor, and you may even excel in the sciences. However, if you lack empathy and a passion for people, you won’t have the best bedside manner. Likewise, you might find yourself enticed by the prospect of a dynamic career in sales, but without the resilience to cold call potential clients and face rejection, it’s unlikely you’ll succeed.
Despite the challenges, there is a career out there for everyone. For instance, if you’re an introvert, then perhaps working in computer science or copywriting may be the dream job for you.
4. Have I interacted With People Who Have Experience In This Line of Work?
One way to figure out if you have the right personality to pursue a career in your chosen field would be to interact with others in the same career path. Doing a work placement or shadowing someone pursuing the line of work you’re interested in will provide a great opportunity for you to see the realities of the job. You’ll be provided with insights into the downsides of that particular profession as well as the perks. Speaking to someone with real-life experience will also provide an opportunity for networking and perhaps finding yourself a mentor.
5. What Are My Job Prospects Once I Graduate?
You’ll need to consider your future beyond university. While studying something you love is great in theory, it is also important to factor in your future job prospects. While some industries are booming and will continue to grow in years to come, there are others that are stagnating or even ceasing to exist. Be sure to choose a subject that’ll get you into a line of work where job opportunities continue to grow or a degree that will give you useful transferable skills that employers value.
6. Will I Need to Pursue a Graduate Degree to Get Into the Field?
In some subjects, earning your bachelor’s degree is nothing more than a stepping stone. To enter into careers in that field, you’ll need a graduate degree. If this is the case, you’ll need to factor in whether you have the will to continue studying, along with how you’ll finance graduate schools.
7. Can I See Myself Working In This Field In the Long-Term?
Even a job you love becomes “work” at some point. Analyze whether you could potentially see yourself working in this field in the long-term. To get a better idea about a certain line of work, it is a good idea to do a summer placement, where you can shadow a professional working in the field to get an insight into their everyday work.
8. Have I Considered the Lifestyle Implications of Pursuing This Degree?
A final consideration worth making when choosing a degree would be to factor in the lifestyle implications, along with any associated career in the future. Consider an engineering degree, for instance; many students are attracted to them because of lucrative job options in the oil industry. However, what many of these students don’t factor in is that to excel in this field and climb the career ladder, petroleum engineers are required to travel to various remote destinations and spend long periods of time away from home. This may be fine while you are young, but if having a family is important to you, your choice of career may prove problematic further down the line. Speaking to those who have already followed a particular career path is useful here, as they’ll be able to provide more information about the hours of work, the benefits and true nature of the industry.
Choosing which degree to pursue at university isn’t an easy decision to make. Once you begin researching the subjects that interest you, chances are you’ll find other fields of interest that you had never heard of as well. Don’t underestimate the importance of this decision you are about to make and invest the time to make your choice wisely. Remember: there aren’t any right or wrong answers when it comes to choosing a degree, and doing the necessary research will hold you in good stead. Bear in mind that many people also end up changing their mind further down the line as a result of various life experiences, or the discovery of new talents and passions.