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How do I Choose the Best College Degree to Pursue?

Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus

Choosing the best college degree to pursue can be accomplished by checking employment trends and understanding your interests and aptitudes. Of course, the exact college degree program you decide on should fit in well with your chosen career path as well as any current responsibilities. Cost should also be a concern. While it's never a good idea to choose a college degree based on the one that's lowest in cost, going above your budget or amassing student loan debt that will take a lifetime to pay back isn't ideal either.

If you will need extra money for school, carefully consider all of your funding options in terms of how it will affect your post-college finances. If you're going to be living with your parents and will have little rent or other bill payments, you may be able to handle larger student debt than if you'll be living elsewhere. Still, it's a good idea to consider how much the college degree you want will cost you. Get the advice of teachers whose opinion you trust and who understand the degree field you want. The main thing to figure out is if the degree you want will likely be worth the cost when measured against your possible entry-level job opportunities, or lack thereof.

Students should pursue a degree that interests them.
Students should pursue a degree that interests them.

If more than one college degree program turns out to be a good match with your budget and career potential, decide between them which interests you more and could be a better fit for your aptitudes. If you're not sure, many college or community job skills centers offer aptitude testing for free and it often just takes a few hours. Typically, you will answer questions in written form or on a computer to be later graded by a career counselor or employment professional.

Balancing personal interests with employment trends will help select a degree program.
Balancing personal interests with employment trends will help select a degree program.

Grading requirements as well as exam dates are other things to consider when choosing a degree program. Versatility may also be a deciding point for some college students. For example, graphic art and web design may be done either in a traditional employer's workplace, freelance or in a self-owned business.

It's unwise to register for a college degree program unless you're sure that you've made the best possible choice. At the same time, there are also deadlines for registering as well as, most likely, competition for courses. If you wait too long to choose your college program, it may be too late to register for needed prerequisite classes which could cause a big delay in your plan for school.

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    • Students should pursue a degree that interests them.
      By: WavebreakmediaMicro
      Students should pursue a degree that interests them.
    • Balancing personal interests with employment trends will help select a degree program.
      By: pixelrobot
      Balancing personal interests with employment trends will help select a degree program.
    • Some community colleges offer a limited number of academic programs and majors.
      By: seandeburca
      Some community colleges offer a limited number of academic programs and majors.