Degree Decisions: How to Choose What to Study and Where

Written by  //  2017/05/09  //  College Selection  //  Comments Off on Degree Decisions: How to Choose What to Study and Where

There’s a lot to worry about when you prepare to go to college, and chief among those concerns are usually what you should study and where you should study it. These can be difficult decisions with potentially far-reaching consequences, but fortunately thorough evaluation of your options and yourself, as well as self-awareness, you will be able to make the right choices. This guide will inspire and point you in the right direction.

Think About What You Like

Perhaps the first and most important thing you should consider when trying to decide on a degree or school is what subjects interest you. Your options might surprise you – in addition to traditional degrees, schools offer programs in things as varied as aviation, electrical engineering and the culinary arts. There are even specialized schools like the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College that streamline the process to earning that type of technical degree. It’s okay to take classes in different subjects and experiment to discover what you like best. And when choosing a school, it’s nearly always best to pick the university where you like the culture and feel you will fit in best.

Realistically Gauge Your Abilities

An important thing to remember is to always look critically at yourself and determine if you have the ability to excel in the subject that you choose. Can you put in all the lab hours required for a science degree, or will you really make a good lawyer if you prepare for a law degree? This applies both in choosing majors and schools, because you can get into a good school where you might not be able to keep up academically. It’s okay to choose both a school and a major/career that may not be as ambitious but are good fits for you.

Determine Job Prospects

Credible schools you are considering should post employment rates of their students upon graduation. It’s also important to evaluate your potential degrees and get a realistic idea of how difficult obtaining a job with them might be. Remember, however, that even with degrees many would call "worthless," such as music, there are jobs to be had, it’s just more difficult and you have to be prepared for that.


If a certain college or university is well-known and prestigious, that could be important to you and even help with future job prospects, especially if the school is well-regarded for the programs you are interested in. For example, a medical degree from Johns Hopkins University looks pretty darn good. It’s also generally a good idea to look at the breadth of other degrees each school offers so you have other options in case you change your major down the road.

Consider Location

Maybe you want to be as far away from your home and parents as possible, or maybe the idea of not being able to come home easily is a problem for you. Maybe there’s a region of the country in which you’ve always wanted to live. Either way, where a college is located is an important factor to consider when you’re deciding where to go.

With all of this in mind, you will now be better equipped to make decisions regarding your education that are best for you. Good luck on your college applications!

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