What Degree is Right for Me?

Higher earning potential and a greater opportunity for advancement in a highly competitive job market are just a few of the advantages of having a degree. But with hundreds of colleges offering thousands of degrees, how are you supposed to know what degree is right for you?

4 Steps to Help You Find the Right Degree:

1. Clarify Your Goal

First, clarify your goal and your motivation by asking yourself these simple questions:

  • Why do I want a degree?
  • Am I trying to enhance my current career or start a new one?
  • How can a degree help me better live up to my potential?

Once you’ve honestly answered these questions, you’ll have a better grasp on the general direction you want to go, and why you want to go there.

2. Are You Up for the Challenge?

Once you’ve determined that you are sincerely motivated enough to earn a degree, the next step is to commit yourself to the goal. Pursuing a degree can be a time-consuming and expensive proposition — you wouldn’t want to get halfway there only to decide it was too difficult. Make sure you understand what is expected by answering these questions:

  • Do I have 10-20 hours per week to devote to coursework?
  • Am I disciplined and mature enough to assume this responsibility and see it through to completion?
  • Can I make a commitment of two to four years of study to obtain a degree?

In a typical four-year college, the first two years are usually spent completing general education requirements. Alternatives for people pressed for time include obtaining an associate degree — a two-year degree offered by most community colleges — or taking courses from an online college, many of which are self-paced. Other options for the undecided are to major in General Studies until a clearer vision forms.

If you have any doubts, try taking one course and see how it fits into your schedule and lifestyle.

3. Choosing Your Area of Study

Choice of a major should be based on your interests and aptitudes. If you aren’t passionate about a particular subject, there are numerous personality tests that can assist you in clarifying your core interests, character traits and career possibilities. (Type “free personality test” or “free personality assessment” in a search engine and let the games begin.)

You can get an idea of areas of studies — including General Studies — from this DegreesFinder.com form that matches you with leading accredited degree programs.

4. Choosing Your School

As you prepare to research schools, ask yourself these questions:

  • Should I apply to a local college and commute?
  • Am I willing to relocate or live on campus to attend a specific school?
  • Should I stay where I am and enroll in an online college or university?

To determine which school is right for you, compare these options with your current situation. For those who are already committed to a job, career or family, the online option opens up an entire world of learning that combines convenience and flexibility without sacrificing quality or degree program variety.

If you are interested in learning more about yourself, your interests and your skills, take the next step toward a higher education. Look into the schools, courses and degree programs that will increase your education, earning potential and self-esteem. Good luck!

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