Should I listen to my parents and pursue medicine in college, even though I’m driven toward graphic design? Should I go straight to ACCA even though I’m not great with numbers? If you’re also heading to college soon, these questions might be on your mind always. 

After all, selecting a degree symbolizes a considerable step in university and shouldn’t be taken softly. Even though it might not be the only determinant in your career, it can influence your life significantly, shaping work experience and earning potential.

But for many students, choosing a degree sounds challenging; there are plenty of degree courses and many reasons to choose them. The idea that you’ll devote a few years to your course makes it a bigger responsibility. But remember that picking the right degree doesn’t have to be difficult.

Here are some essential steps to make it easier for you to choose the right degree.

1. Determine how much you want to earn

As wonderful as it would be for everyone to just do what they love and get paid handsomely for it, the world doesn’t work that way. Not every job and industry pay the same, making it crucial to consider it while choosing a degree.

For instance, salaries for counselors with an LPCC license range from $41000-$135000. In contrast, social workers can earn approximately $30,000-$70,000. Similarly, if you decide to opt for a degree in education, keep in mind that your salary might vary from $35000 to $60,000.

Remember, some fields offer decent pay only in various positions at the top. While some industries have an amazing average salary that can support you significantly just after some years of experience, this doesn’t mean you should choose a course that promises the highest-paying jobs. 

Instead, when assessing your options, know what you should expect to earn from every course.

2. Choose your mode of study

You might think that all courses are full-time. However, that’s not the only way. There are many different modes of study designed to fit your requirements, making it vital to choose a degree that caters to your mode of study. But what are the different modes of study colleges offer? Some of the modes of study include:

Part-time: Many colleges offer part-time courses, which are generally taken over a long period; you can study more relaxedly or work along with your studies. Some part-time degrees contain a mixture of online and offline work with tutor support and regular assignments, helping you manage to study with other responsibilities.

Online: Online degree is a course of learning organized to a course outline and takes place in a virtual space. Online degrees can be informed and concentrated on one skill or as formal as leading to a degree or certification. Online courses allow you to study anytime and anywhere you want.

Distance and blended learning: distance learning means learning remotely, allowing students to learn in their time. Blended learning mixes face-to-face conferences with online learning, providing a great mix of learning from professionals and teaching themselves with available resources.

3. Think of what interests you

Do you strongly believe in doing something for the society and its people? Or do you enjoy working with numbers and can perform numerical calculations in your sleep? Or maybe you spend hours doodling when you should have revised biology or trigonometry. Considering your interests while selecting a course helps you stay motivated throughout your degree. Not just that, your degree can set you up for your professional life, making it vital to choose a subject you enjoy.

Hence, before choosing a degree, list everything you like during your free time, whether it’s something innovative, sporty, or academic. But what if you’re unable to identify your interests? Look for something out of the box. For instance, if you love playing tactical video games, it might signify that you like tactical planning and should consider exploring degrees with such features.

Besides that, remember to talk to your family members and friends, as they might give you invaluable insights into who you are. However, don’t let anyone pressure you into opting for a degree you’re not completely sure about.

4. Seek professional advice

Once you’ve been attracted to a specific degree or field, you need to get more specific advice. But how can you get professional advice? Consider visiting an education advisor or counselor. These professionals can help you know more about different degrees and their offerings.

They can tell you more about what career opportunities there are and whether your skills fit well with the course you’re thinking of pursuing. They can also discuss the pros and cons of that line of study, allowing you to select the right degree.

So, what should you ask your counselor? Some of the essential questions you should ask to include the following:

  • Which degree programs do you suggest?
  • Are there any university fairs at this school?
  • Can you help me get in touch with previous grads attending the college I have selected?

5. Assess your strengths and abilities

Imagine this: since you were a child, you’ve wanted to become a doctor. You strongly think it is in your fate to opt for a degree in the health sector- to treat the sick and cure the wounded. But you’re getting a Ds in chemistry and hardly passing biology. Remember, if you’re weak in science at the SPM level, the possibilities are you might struggle during your course, and there might be chances that you end up changing your major.

Hence, you must analyze your strengths and skills and select a degree where your interests and strengths interconnect. But how can you explore your strengths? To dig deeper into your strengths, consider thinking the following:

  • What types of activities and tasks make you more active?
  • What do your acquaintances and friends continually applaud you for?
  • What subjects were you excellent at in high school?

Final thoughts

Are you confused about how to choose the right degree? Don’t worry; we’re here to help. Remember, before choosing a degree; you must consider your interests, strengths, and passion. Moreover, to choose the right degree, you also need to decide how much you want to earn. Consider talking to experts like counselors and advisors to get insights into various degrees and courses.