When picking a university degree, many of us make an emotional decision rather than an educated decision. We want to love our jobs and build a worthwhile career because it’s what we will be doing for forty hours a week for the next forty years. However, many students pick degrees with a low rate of employment and find themselves working in an unrelated career after university. Even worse, many students graduate or are near graduating and realize they have no interest in their degree. To help you make an educated decision, here are a few things to consider when picking a university degree.
When picking a university degree, is the job that you will be qualified for upon graduating going to be in high demand? Many graduates find themselves unemployed after graduation for a few reasons. First, technology is replacing a lot of the manpower, thus actual employees are in low demand. Second, there is a low turnover of employees in the field you are interested in. For example, today many employees postpone their retirement and fewer women are going on maternity leave or are taking shorter absences. Third, more and more jobs are being outsourced (sent overseas) because labour is cheaper and laws in other countries are more beneficial to large companies.
Are your dream job and your university degree relevant to one another? If you have already decided what career you want, the best thing you can do for yourself is to look at related job posts. Many job posts specify what type of education and experience you must have to be considered qualified for the job position. Qualifications listed on job postings are the best way to know what type of degrees and prerequisite experiences are required, thus eliminating studying unrelated material or working dead-end jobs.
Is your degree popular amongst many college students? If so, beware! Popularity or high interest in a career field also means a lot of competition in the future. If there are more graduates than jobs available, there is a high chance that you and many of your classmates will be unemployed or working in an unrelated field.
4. The Future
Will your degree or the field you are aiming to work in be relevant in 10 years, 15 years, or 20 years? Remember, the average person works for forty years and it would be terrible if you were laid off halfway through your working life and had to start all over again. Plus, like mentioned earlier, many jobs are being sent overseas or use solely technology now. Do research on your dream job – there are many articles available on which careers will be in high demand in 10 years, as well as which jobs will be extinct.
5. Continuing Your Education
Many of us devote our entire lives to education – some people even have 3+ degrees. However, most of us aren’t education-bound and would ideally only be in university for 3-5 years. However, what many undergraduates don’t realize is that receiving a bachelor’s degree is considered the bare minimum in many fields. In fact, you can’t even get decent pay without upgrading your education. When picking a degree or a field, make sure you know how many years you will have to commit to your education.
Is your degree relevant in other countries or is the education up to standards with most developed countries? Many of us are children of immigrants and we’ve seen our parents, who were considered highly educated in their home country, move to a different country only to work minimum wage/entry level positions.
7. You Vs. Your Parents Vs. Wealth
Is your degree what you want to study or is it what your parents want? Furthermore, is the degree you’re considering only on your list because it will guarantee a high paying job? Although making your parents proud and being financially free are important, make sure your priorities are in check. Don’t choose a degree for the wrong reasons – you’ll only be hurting yourself.
Declaring a degree can be difficult and it’s normal to change it several times. Hopefully, the tips above should help you make a more concise choice. What are other things to consider when picking a degree?