Whether you’re entering your first year of college or have been at school for a year or two, it’s likely that you have asked yourself, at least once or twice, “Am I on the right path?”
Choosing a field of study can be difficult for some and a “no brainer” for others. Getting your degree is a big deal.
Not only is it a financial investment, but you also may not know if it’s really for you until you enter the field. As you select your path of study, consider the following:
The demand for certain jobs fluctuates just like the economy does from time to time and often times the two are connected. While it’s not guaranteed that you will immediately find a job in your field as soon as you graduate, it’s important to do your research. Pay attention to the news and the economy, talk to your advisor, check out high demand jobs, and seek career counseling.
How Well Does it Pay?
Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a “money hungry” person, it’s still important to find a job that will pay well and help you live more than paycheck to paycheck, particularly if you exit college with student loan debt. Keep in mind that some careers may start out small, but offer great benefits and room for growth. You might not become comfortably wealthy right away, but hard work can pay off if you choose the right career path for you.
Don’t Sacrifice Happiness
While it’s important to choose a job that looks secure and has promise of growth, don’t select a field that leaves you feeling less than satisfied. Hate that Economics class? You can handle that, but if the idea of working as an Engineer or Accountant makes your stomach turn, these are not the fields of study you should be exploring. There’s only so much happiness that money can buy (if any). Additionally, don’t forget about your passions. While becoming a writer might not be a realistic aspiration, you can always dabble with writing on the side while working a job that you enjoy enough to go to every day.
Talk to Others in Your Prospective Field
Some majors require field study or an internship prior to graduation, but even then you are almost done with college. Once you have made a decision about what you’d like to study, seek out people who are in your field. While advice from professors and your advisor may be helpful, talking with someone in the real world can help you finalize your decision.
Don’t Forget About Your Safety
Unless you’re going into a field where you know your life may be on the line, such as law enforcement, you may forget about safety in the workforce. The potential for work related accidents are possible in any field, but some of the most hazardous jobs are in the transportation and agriculture sectors. Does this mean you should avoid these careers? No, depending on what interests you, these can be very satisfying and lucrative industries to work in, but you will want to make sure you have considered all the pros and cons of safety before finalizing your decision.