As the world continues to become highly globalized arena, it is imperative that those who wish to secure positions in successful careers further their education and pursue a degree. Attaining an Associate's degree, a Master's degree or a Doctorate degree not only increases one's chances at acquiring recognition and respect within society and in their particular career paths, but also greatly increases one's future earning potential.
It is common knowledge that most employers today prefer to hire employees who have the relevant educational expertise to work in their institutions and business. Additionally, most top level management and high paying jobs are set aside for those who have the relevant educational qualifications.
Thanks to numerous technological advancements, many individuals who wish to improve their employment opportunities by pursuing a degree now have the advantage of going through online track programs as opposed to having to be restricted to on-campus learning programs. However, regardless of the type of education one decides to choose, there are several factors that one needs to consider before pursuing a degree. The following helpful tips should be well thought-out before one settles on, and pursues a degree.
- Consider your interests and passions before settling on a major
It is very important to find out what your personal passions and interests are. More often than not, many individuals will feel pressured to pursue a degree of their parents or friends choice without considering whether the position they will fill in the future will be right for them. The esteem with which one holds the opinions of those close to them may be the greatest threat to one's future individual happiness. The best way to find out one's own passions and interests is to examine the dreams and ambitions they once had, or have always had since they were a child. It is worth noting that those who pursue degrees that are in line with their passions and interests will usually excel simply because learning is not a task, but a pleasure.
- Consider the earning prospective and career options of your interests and passions
One's passions and interests should not be the only bases for choosing a major. One should also consider the earning potential of their particular interests and passions. It is important to be able to carefully channel your interests and passions into career paths that will ensure one's success. Pursuing a degree simply because it interests you may lead you onto a path where your future self will have to bypass some of your basic needs due to an overload of unpaid bills.
It is worth noting, however, that in some instances, one's passions and interests are all that they need or require. There are numerous individuals, especially those with artistic talents, who have not attained degrees yet have gained powerful positions in society and have high earning potential. Sometime's pursuing a degree is not always the answer.
- Perform adequate research on the different schools
Whether you pursue a degree online or through on-campus study, one should perform adequate research on the schools in which they would like to attain their degree. This is due to the fact that there are numerous learning institutions that will offer a sub-standard quality of education. In order to avoid attending such institutions, it is important that one finds out whether the institution of higher learning is accredited, has a good graduate rate as well as a good graduate success rate.
Accreditation is a voluntary, independent review of the educational programs offered by any school. The review is performed by accrediting institutions in order to determine whether the education offered by each institution of higher learning meets certain quality standards. It is always best to avoid schools that have incomplete or doubtful accreditation. By finding out whether a school is accredited, one in turn finds out the quality of education they will receive and therefore ensures that the acquired degree will be worthwhile and valued by future employers. One can check whether a school is accredited on the database of accredited schools that is provided by the Department of Education.
In addition, finding out the rate of graduation success as well as the graduation rate will give one the ability, to a reasonable degree, to predict their future. Institutions of higher learning that have high graduate and graduate success rates imply that the institution's degree program adequately meets all the educational requirements and will be of value when trying to get a job after graduation. A high graduate success rate also implies that attaining a degree from the particular institution is considered to be an asset by employers.
- Consider your financial situation and find out about the financial incentives of different degree programs
It is very important to find out how much your total tuition is going to cost. This is particularly relevant to those who wish to pursue a degree in an uncommon major. Pursuing uncommon majors may require that one relocates to other States or cities, which in turn means that one will have to suffer the additional cost of relocating.
Furthermore, uncommon degree programs are known to cost more than those that are commonly found in other institutions of higher learning. For those who intend to be the source of their own tuition, it is imperative that they find out the financial incentives that are associated with all degree majors. It is worth noting that there are majors, particularly those that will secure jobs within the healthcare industry, which are accompanied by tuition reimbursement programs or attractive financial aid benefits. Those who have financial constraints should consider pursuing degrees in such majors in order to avoid heavy student loans.
- Consider the work load involved with each degree option
Before you pursue a degree it is important to find out the work load that is involved with different degree programs. Some majors have been noted to more time consuming than others. Majors such as medicine or law require additional amounts of time being invested in the learning process. Not only does this delay the average time one will take to obtain relevant employment, but it also translates into a higher amount of tuition needed to complete the degree program.
For those who wish to pursue a degree part time as they work, it is imperative that they choose a major that is less intensive and that compliments their natural working capabilities.