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Choose Your Career Before Choosing Your College Degree
It’s the chicken-and-egg question of going back to college: Which comes first, choosing a career or choosing a college degree?
While there are pros and cons to both, many would agree it makes the most sense to choose a career before choosing a degree.
It’s a classic example of quality versus quantity. By choosing your career first, you’ll automatically narrow your degree choices to a select and relevant few.
So instead of combing through dozens of degree programs and their various details and requirements, pick your degree first and you’ll have just a handful (at most) from which to choose.
Here are five things you can do right now to pick your career—and, ultimately, your college degree:
- Take an online career quiz to explore your options. Most online quizzes lead you to a general career direction, which is a good starting point.
- Investigate job titles as well as the lifestyle that goes with it. For examples, Emergency Department physicians are notoriously famous for working long hours while dermatologists have high-demand practices that typically fit in a Monday-through-Friday workweek.
- Ask an expert for help with coaching you to a career decision. Career coaches and academic advisors have access to a variety of decision-making tools as well as practice advice that could help.
- Try something on for size. It’s virtually impossible to make a perfect pick for life so feel free to test the waters a bit. Volunteer in a similar capacity. Job shadow someone. Conduct an informational interview. Do whatever you need to get a really good idea of what the career you’re considering is really like.
- Find a degree program that makes sense. Do your homework. Don’t just look at the list of classes or find out who the instructor is; instead, really dig into the degree program specifics and find out what career opportunities exist for graduates and which in-demand skills you’ll learn through the curriculum.
Need more? Check out these additional resources:
- How to successfully change career paths
- Best-paying undergraduate college degrees
- How to choose a college degree that matches your passions and interests
Want to discuss career options, or college degrees that fit well with a specific career? Get in touch with us now! We'd love to talk with you.