Choosing the Right College: What’s the One Subject You Most Want to Study?
You can be any age in life and still not know the answer to the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Even someone trying to choose the right college degree program may not be able to answer the question, but with some deep soul-searching, you can at least narrow your focus and start off on the right foot.
Ashford University’s “How to Choose the Right College for You” guide breaks down the process, and asks you to start with the subject you most want to study.
Find Your Degree Program
Not all schools offer the same programs, so if your heart is set on attending a particular school, you should make sure it offers the degree you desire. At the same time, you should know whether the career you want to pursue requires a degree. Research careers in the field that interests you, and find out what level of degree can help you break through. For example, if a bachelor’s degree and licensing is all that’s required for you to become a registered nurse, then you can put off earning your master’s until you’re ready.
Research Success Stories
Your ultimate goal may be to become the next Oprah Winfrey or Warren Buffett, but unless you have their phone numbers, you’re going to need to start with a network of contacts within your reach. Write down the names of some people who are already successful in the field you want to enter and trace their footsteps. Where did they go to school? What degree did they earn? If possible, try reaching out to these people and ask if they’d be willing to mentor you. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
Identify Companies Where You Want to Work
Sometimes we don’t know what we want to do, we just know we want to work there. When trying to decide the subject you want to study, you can help yourself by researching companies and brands you admire, and finding a department or job description that fits your passion. You may be able to match a degree program with a job title, and you’re on your way. It can be helpful to keep track of the company, monitor its job openings, and connect with managers via social networks such as LinkedIn. They may be impressed to know that you’re working on your degree with the goal of being part of their team.
Keep in mind, when deciding what you most want to study you should put aside what you think you “should” do. You don’t need to target the “most popular” schools or the degrees that you think will lead to the biggest payday. You’re making a decision about what’s best for you, and your choice should fit your goals and lifestyle.
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Written by Jason R. Latham, Content Manager for Bridgepoint Education.