Thursday, August 18, 2011

How to Choose a College Degree

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It's ironic for someone like me to make such a post. But hey, I've learned a lot from my roller-coaster ride in the so-called career search. Here are just some of the things I've learned:

1. NEVER choose a degree out of trend
Admit it, when you don't have a degree in mind, you tend to just go with the flow. Let me tell you this, it's a BAD move; you might just end up regretting things. 

Way back then, nursing was a trend. It started of with an interview shown in national television. Apparently, the interviewee is a nurse in UK and when asked about her income, Filipinos went berserk (including my family). I initially wanted to become a chemical engineer but because of my family's persistent demand, I gave in to their suggestion of going to nursing school.

2. Ask yourself: what's my passion?
When I was in the midst of career confusion, I have this chance to talk with my high school buddy whom I admired for his artistic skills. I asked him what prompted him to take up Architecture. He told me, "it's passion." This guy graduated Cum Laude from a prestigious school in the city and is now on an on-the-job training. 

Before you choose a degree, ask yourself first the things that you are passionate at. If you can't pinpoint a single item (just like me) or if you're a multi-faceted person, it would help to list down all those things that you love doing and one by one, get through each item. It's an arduous task but trust me, it would help a lot.

3. Study the market
By this, I do not mean jumping or joining the bandwagon of a certain career just because it's the trend (see tip #1). 

Studying the market means you have to envision the economy years from now. Can you find a job with your chosen degree?

In 2005, nursing is a hit. As a result, 70% of high school graduates went to nursing school. Fast forward - 2009 (the year I graduated), our country has an oversupply of nurses. Little demand + oversupply of nurses = unemployment or underemployment of thousands of nurses.

4. Professional growth
Is your chosen college degree will give you a career that gives room for professional growth?

Personal or shall I say professional satisfaction doesn't only come from getting good pay. It also stems from a career that offers a room for professional growth. 

5. Read, read, and read
Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to do this in high school. If you're unsure of your choice, read, read, and read. Good thing, we are now in digital age. There are numerous career sites out there that offer information and helpful career tips. 

As for those who think they are in the wrong career path, ACT NOW. It's never too late. 

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