Friday, 12 June 2020

How To Choose The Best College Degree (Step To Pick A Major)

Best College Degree

In this article, I basically went over degrees that you should not go into, and degrees that you should get so you can avoid falling into the trap of becoming a debt slave. After I talk about Top 10 Useless College Degree To Watch For I kept on getting hit up over and over again to write an article on how you can choose the best college major specifically tailored to you. And this is a great question and I know a lot of you are thinking about skipping college or whether or not it is right for you, whether it is worth it to go to college, or maybe it's just a huge waste of time. I am going to be sharing my thoughts on this because this is a huge decision that you have to make in your life at a very young age and there is a lot that goes into choosing the best option for you.

The crazy thing is the average person will change their major three times throughout their college career and only about 27 percent of people who graduate with a college major get jobs that are related to that major. So they spend all this time, all this money, on average they go about $35,000 in debt to get their degree and then what do they have to show for it, absolutely nothing. However, I was able to choose a career at 17 years old and I stuck with it all the way through all the way for six years until I got my doctorate. I landed a great job in my career and I am very happy and fulfilled. I have been through the whole system from undergraduate to graduate school, I have made a lot of good choices and I've also made a lot of mistakes that you can learn from, and I can guarantee you that if you read this article until the end, you will be able to make the right choice for your future and this is going to be one of the most important articles you ever read  

Let's get started

5 Easy Step To Pick A Major
Best College Degree

When it comes to picking a major there are really five easy steps that are very important and you want to do these five steps in this order.


1. Identify Your Interest 

What makes you happy, what brings you lasting joy. It can be extremely hard for us to be honest with ourselves and figure out what makes us happy, not what makes your parents happy, not what makes your girlfriend happy, not what makes other people happy, what makes you happy. And the best way to figure this out if you are confused about it and you should just do this anyway even if you think you know is to make a list at least ten things that make you happy. I am not talking about things that bring you temporary pleasure like drinking alcohol or eating of a candy bar or something like that, that's not what I am talking about, that is not lasting happiness, in fact, it might make you happy at the moment but down the line, it will probably make you unhappy. What I am talking about are activities that bring you lasting joy, so you might do it, and then a week later you are still beaming because it was just such a great experience for you. 

Just think what do I like and then write down anything that pops into your head no matter how silly it sounds, and if you can not think of a single thing, you need to go out and just start trying different things until you find something that really does make you happy because this is very very important. For instance,  if you are passionate about watching PewDiePie videos then write that down, if you are passionate about making gourmet coffee write that down,


2. Identify Your Strengths And Weaknesses 

You want to identify what you are good at, and what you are bad at. Now, the first word that probably pops into your head is talent. And I do want to say something about talent. I think that talent is real, it is a real thing there are some people that are just naturally born, being extremely good at math or whatever, but at the same time, I believe that hard work beats talent 99 out of 100 times. I mean, just think about your work, the person who does the best job at your work is usually not the most talented person, it is the person that works the hardest. The person who does the best in your classes is probably not the smartest person it's the person who works the hardest, and a lot of the time the smartest person in your class is lazy and they just sit in the back because they can. It is very important for you to be honest with yourself about your current skills, you know, some people are way too hard on themselves, other people are way too easy on themselves and they think they are just good at everything, but you want to be objective and fair with this and be as honest as you can with yourself.

It is important to be practical and one example of this is math, for instance, if you are somebody who is bad at math chances are you don't like math, and so, therefore, you probably don't want to go into engineering or physics or mathematics. The best thing you can do in this step, I am telling you, this is so important and you will absolutely love the results if you actually do this, is message your friends and your family tell them that you are taking a leadership class and ask them to identify your "top five strengths' and your 'top five weaknesses'. I know you are embarrassed about asking them that question but it is totally normal and they do this in business classes all the time. If you ask somebody who does not like you, sometimes they will give you the most honest answers. The sooner you do this the better, this is so important and I am telling you, I did this myself and I was extremely surprised by the responses I got and it helped me learn a lot about myself.


3. Setting Future Goals For Yourself

Things you want to think about in this category are going to be a lifestyle, what kind of lifestyle do you want to live when you are older? Do you want to be traveling all the time, you know, do you want to travel for work, maybe you want to have a remote job so you can just be home all the time, or maybe you want to have a remote job so you can travel while you are working, 


How Much Do You Want To Make?

Maybe you are a minimalist and you really don't need that much to live at all, $20,000 a year is fine for you because you just reuse your toilet paper or some weird stuff like that, or maybe you are like an epicurean and you like the finer things in life and so you are probably going to want to have a six-figure income or above.


When Do You Want To Retire

Another thing you want to think about is when do you want to retire?. If you want to retire early you probably want to make a little bit more just because you want to be able to save more and therefore invest more.

The next thing is

  • Where do you want to live?. 
  • Do you want to be your own boss? 
  • Do you want to be a boss at a company? Like someone in upper management.
  • Do you want to be an employee? Who just shows up and just does your job and gets paid for it and you just live a very simple life and you want to focus on family or other things.
  • Do you want to be an entrepreneur? Start your own business.

These are all things you want to think about in this step when you are setting goals. One thing I do want to mention here is making more money is not necessarily going to make you happier, in fact, most of the studies out there say that your happiness does not increase at all after about $70,000 a year or sometimes it goes up to $90,000 depending on where you live. That's something to keep in mind, and you want to aim for something where you have the ability to make at least $70,000 a year because this will maximize your happiness.


4. Research On Majors That Align With Your Goals

You know what you enjoy, you know what you are good at, you know about your goals and where you want to be in the future. The next step is doing some research on majors that align with your goals. I am going to say something that is a little bit controversial and that is that, even if something is your passion, I do not think you should pursue a degree in it unless that degree is going to lead to you getting a job. Because there are so many free resources out there Harvard, Yale University, Stanford University, etc, all these different schools offer tons of different classes you can basically get an entire degree online for completely free and these are the smartest people in the entire world teaching these classes. 

The value of a degree is your ability to get a better job because of it, and if a history degree, for instance, does not allow you to get a good job then you probably should not get a history degree, so if you are passionate about history, for instance, I mean, this is one of my biggest passions I absolutely love it, what I would recommend is you need to get creative and go an alternative route, you probably want to start maybe a YouTube channel or a blog or an Instagram or something along those lines that where you can provide entertaining content to people and YouTube will actually pay you for people to watch your videos.

There are a lot of good sites out there to do research on different careers, my personal favorite is Glassdoor.com, I think they have the most information in the most accurate data. If you are making this top 10 list and you realize that not a single major on this list is something that you are interested in doing, you are just one of those people that have to pursue your passion that's totally fine, I am not saying there's anything wrong with that all I am saying is I would recommend either, not getting a degree at all, or, go to a community college, take super cheap classes while you are trying to figure out which degree is going to be one that is going to satisfy you. Eventually, if you do enough research you will find something that's fun and something that you like.

After you have done these steps, go ahead and start narrowing it down and looking at forums that are about these professions, a good example of this is, if you are looking at a medical profession, studentdoctor.net is amazing, it has a lot of great resources, there are tons of doctors, pharmacists, nurses, etc.. that post on there. Another thing you want to look up is how many jobs are available now, how many jobs are projected to be available in the next 10 years, you want to look up the job satisfaction rating, maybe it is a well-paying job, maybe it is a job that pays really well but everybody is absolutely miserable doing it, and then make sure that all the goals you set for yourself can be accomplished if you go with that career or that major.


5. Contacting People Who Are In These Careers

After this, you probably would have narrowed the list down to about 3 to 5 and at this point, it is very very important that you don't skip this step this is probably the most important step, what you want to do is you want to start contacting people who are in these careers, you need to talk to real people, and there are several ways to do this, you can look them up on LinkedIn, and then very nicely ask them if you can ask them any questions, you can look them up locally and then just call their business and ask them if you can either shadow them or just ask them a few questions if they are not busy, or you can reach out through your network maybe you have a family member or friends that know somebody in the profession, and then you can ask them questions that way. Additionally, sometimes different careers will hold different events like career fairs or maybe there's a talk with somebody who's at the top of whatever respective career they are in, you go to those types of events and then you will be able to talk and network with people who are doing that job.

The big thing is, do not be creepy about it, be respectful of their time and you should be fine, I mean, they will be more than happy to help you, and then just make sure you talk to a few different people in the career because you could get a hold of one person who is just overly negative or overly positive so you want to talk to at least like three people I'd say to get a good idea of what is going on, and what the actual day-to-day life of a person who's doing that career is. I can almost guarantee you that you will start leaning towards one of the careers, you know, you will pick up on the passion and their voice or something like that, and one of them will start making you excited and that is the one that you should go for.




There you go, that is the five steps. As promised, if you are still stuck at this point there are a few things you can do to break the tiebreaker of whatever degrees that you are stuck on and make a definitive decision that you will be able to stick with.

Flip Everything Upside Down 

Stop thinking of things in terms of the degree, and start thinking of things in terms of the career. After all, the real purpose of going to college is to make the rest of your life better and hopefully create a future where you have a job that's extremely fulfilling. So you want to think of the job first, find a job that you like that meets all these criteria, and then reverse-engineer it. look on LinkedIn, see what degrees people who got into that career have, you know, was it a two-year degree, was it a four-year degree, was it a six-year degree, what schools did they go, what majors did they have, these are all things that you can look into very easy to look it up on LinkedIn, and then you can just reverse engineer it and figure out a very good plan in order to get to that career.


Look At Specific Companies

Everybody knows that there are certain companies in every single industry that treat their employees way better than other ones. Some of them pay their employees much better, better benefits, they treat their employees really well and the most obvious example of this has to be Google. Google gives its employees free lunch, free massages, free health care, there are so many different perks to working at Google it is totally ridiculous. You can find different companies like this by just simply looking up companies on Glassdoor.com seeing which ones have the highest ratings, and then you want to see what positions those companies are hiring for, you know, where's the demand at, and then you would reverse-engineer it, look up that position on LinkedIn, figure out what degree people are getting in order to get into that position and you got it.





Conclusion

like I mentioned before if your passion is somewhere where a college degree simply can not get you there, I recommend not getting a college degree at all and figuring out an alternative route to get where you want to be.

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