Whether you’ve just graduated high school or are looking to start a degree later in life, it’s good to be prepared for what college brings. And one of the main factors that you have to think about before applying, is what subject you will major in. A choice that’s different for everyone, it’s vital that you’ve thought about all of the key considerations before settling on a decision.

To help guide you with this, here are 6 things that you should pay attention to when deciding which college degree is right for you:

 

  • The Cost 

 

Going to college isn’t cheap and the price of your major will depend on several factors. Firstly, if you’re looking to pursue a degree that’s seen as uncommon, you might have to relocate for it. Tuition that’s out of state is typically higher, especially if it’s only offered by a handful of private colleges or state universities. 

 

Secondly, if you’re planning on entering a field that involves years of tuition beyond the first four years, such as law or medicine, it will be more expensive and more commitment in the long run (you’ll most likely have to take on a Masters or a PhD for certain subjects). While there is financial aid available that helps initially, you will have to consider how much you’ll have to pay back in the future.

 

  • What are You Interested in?

 

Your interests are undeniably an important factor in picking a major. You want to be motivated to complete your coursework and to study, and want to be generally happy with what you’ve chosen. It’s therefore essential that you choose a major that you know you’ll be interested in from the start. 

 

But how do you do this? For some people, they will choose a degree that they are passionate about – such as Media Studies or History. Others will choose a major that will fit into their future plans as they see themselves following a certain career path. 

 

  • Your Abilities 

 

When looking at college degrees, it’s also a good idea to consider what subjects you’re good at. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should major in what you were best in when you were in high school. It simply means that you shouldn’t major in something that you know you’re weaker in – such as a subject that you constantly were receiving lower grades in. 

 

Be confident that you’ll be able to shine in that subject and the rest will follow. You’ll undoubtedly also discover new talents along the way that could surprise you. 

 

  • Income Potential in The Future

 

Before picking your major, you might also want to think about your future income potential. Although this is quite difficult to work out and can vary over time, it’s worth determining if receiving a high salary in the future is important to you. Different degrees command different career paths, and some will inevitably result in lower incomes – such as teaching or social work.

 

It’s also important to keep in mind that your future income potential might depend on the school that you graduate from – those that have graduated from an Ivy League school, for example, might earn more because of the reputation that comes with them.

 

  • What Past Alumni Say About the Degree

 

When you’re in the initial stages of choosing your degree, look to see what past alumni of the college have said about that major. Usually, a university will have testimonials on their website, but if not, then you can seek alumni from sites such as LinkedIn. Ask about their experience and how the major relates to their career. A valuable insight, it may help to shape your decision.

 

They might also help you to determine the best type of degree for you, if you’re looking to take on a PhD or an Ed.D from Bradley University or somewhere similar, for example. 

 

  • Employability in the Future 

 

Following on from the above, you might also want to think about what kind of job prospects you can expect once you graduate. Will it be easy to find a job? Are there many relevant jobs going in your area? Will you have to relocate for work? Think about the skills that you will learn through your degree and how much they will be in demand when you graduate.

 

 

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Over 50 and fabulous living and writing in Appalachia

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