Having difficulty finding the right degree program? Follow these 4 simple steps

degree programChoosing the wrong degree program prevents you from enjoying your time in a higher education institution. It results in a lack of initiative which limits your learning. Plus, the stress accompanying it adds insult to injury. You are more prone to missing lectures, flunking classes, and failing your exams. 

The cost of a public college is approximately $20,000 per year; the fees of a private college are often double. But a wrong degree is not just an expensive mistake but also prevents you from completing your higher education sooner or starting earning. It is found that about 80% of college students change their major, so near to 60% of college-goers take five or more years to complete their degree. So, choosing a degree program is an extremely important decision. 

Whether fresh out of college or returning to academia after a few years of working, choosing the right degree program is never easy. You have to consider important aspects to judge if a degree will be the right fit or help you achieve the desired goals in your personal and professional life.

Here are some essential steps to choosing the right degree program.

1. Consider the education mode

Choosing the right degree program must start by considering the mode of education that suits your situation. For instance, an online mode is suitable if you are a returning student with a full-time job, a parent with young kids, have other urgent family engagements, or simply cannot attend school daily. 

These online programs are enhancing the convenience of aspiring students. They are more flexible; help you fulfill your responsibilities and study simultaneously. Hence, their attractiveness and recognition are increasing with each passing day. 

Search the degree programs which are offered online. Luckily, many prestigious universities are offering highly prestigious courses such as educational policy masters through online mode. 

In the case of a master’s in educational policy, students are made to study courses that prepare them for leadership roles. They get the required skills and knowledge to bring transformations at local, state, and central levels. 

The course syllabus of these online modes is reinforced by state-of-the-art facilities that enhance students’ learning experience. 

Online degree programs mostly have the same courses and syllabi similar to their on-campus counterparts. Even during online degree programs, students are supervised by highly qualified mentors. Teachers constantly monitor students’ performance through various assessments and home works. So, getting into an online degree is never a losing proposition.  

2. Consider the roles you want to perform

What roles you want to perform decides a lot about your degree. If you want an entry-level position, you will be interested in a bachelor’s degree. Besides a bachelor’s degree, you can also enroll in an associate degree program. It is suitable if you want to start earning in less time, But it will limit your job potential to a great extent. You cannot upgrade your career or attain more influential positions. Ultimately, you will need a bachelor’s degree to give a spurt to your career growth.

In cases when a bachelor’s is more than the qualification required by the job, it gives you an edge over other candidates, helping you secure the job more easily.

Then comes higher level degrees such as master’s and doctorates. If you want to perform advanced leadership-level roles, you must at least have a master’s degree before entering the employment field. During a master’s degree, you will have the superior skills and knowledge needed to perform your roles successfully. 

3. Consider your career interests

Considering your career interests is another crucial aspect that must never be overlooked when choosing a degree program. You have to ponder on details like: 

  • Where do you want to see yourself?
  • What duties do you want to perform?
  • Do you want to work in the field?
  • Do you prefer a nine-to-five office job?
  • Are you a problem solver or an analytical thinker?
  • Do you like interacting with people, or are you an introvert?

Nursing might be suitable if you want to get your hands dirty and not shy from challenging job roles and work schedules. You will work with people from various backgrounds, solving their health issues and helping them live better. 

If you are a problem solver, a career in technology, programming, etc., might suit your nature. If you have good people-related skills, go for customer service. On the contrary, if you are an introvert, sales, and marketing are the last things you must consider. 

It is okay even if you don’t have precise answers to the above questions. No need to decide everything right off the bat; just a general idea of your career interests also works. 

More details unfold when you actually step into the degree program and spend a few semesters. Your career goals and domain become much clearer. Besides, giving yourself room to adjust according to the situation is always a good idea. After all, the world is changing so fast, and your career interests might change too. 

Overall, this exercise aims to eliminate all the degree options that do not interest you. The shorter your pool of choices, the easier it is to make a decision. 

4. Consider the growth potential of various fields

The goal of choosing the right degree program is to have the required expertise and knowledge to get a job in a field with reasonable growth potential. So, what can be better than looking at the growth potential of the areas you shortlisted in the previous step? 

Conduct extensive research about each field and look at their growth trends over the last couple of decades to see how they developed over time. Even within a broader area, some niches show better growth potential than others. For instance, if you are interested in technology, you might find that cybersecurity is becoming a hot area to get employment within technology. Due to everything going online these days, Cybersecurity experts are highly demanded. So, your research must consider these aspects too. 

Let all the information you gather through your research helps you make the right degree decision. You need to find a degree that belongs to a high-growth field because these fields offer career development opportunities, job security, and a competitive salary. 

Conclusion

Choosing the right degree program is an extremely important decision. This decision can significantly impact your career-related choices in the future. It also affects whether you will be able to accomplish your true potential. 

Some steps you must follow when choosing s degree program are mentioned above. These steps will not only bar you from choosing the wrong degree and wasting your money and time. They will also help you get into a program that assists you in showcasing your true potential.