Select the Right Degree
Your degree choice will affect your future opportunities and ultimate success. This compact guide will help you choose the degree that works for you.
When making this decision, consider your current path, future plans, timeline and flexibility. Here are a few questions you need to answer before you select a degree:
- Do you want to continue in your current field?
- Is your current field growing in terms of future opportunities?
- Do you want a specific degree or a degree that leaves your options open?
- Which degree level do you want — associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s?
Most degrees fall under one of the following areas of study:
- Computer science
- Healthcare or medical
- Criminal justice
- Business administration
- Liberal arts, such as math, science and English
- Psychology/social and human services
These degree areas can be narrowed to very specific areas of concentration. Having predetermined goals can help make choosing your degree a simple process.
Tip: School advisors and admission representatives can help you make the degree choice that matches your skills and interests by giving you a skills and interest assessment. This will help you focus on the options that match your experience, skills and personal interests.
Your Current Path
If you plan to stay in your current field, you need to determine which degree is most in line with what you do. Since your past experience might count toward college credit, this option may also help you get your degree faster.
Information is available through many sources, including school admissions representatives.
Think about the future when choosing a degree. Is your desired field growing? Will there be opportunities in five or ten years? If your field is competitive, then it may make sense to study something else. Even if it takes longer to complete the degree, it may be worth it.
It’s important to select your degree level, but it’s not critical. You don’t need an associate’s degree before going for your bachelor’s. However, it might save you time if you plan ahead and pick the degree sooner rather than later.
Once you have made your degree choice, you will need to find a school that offers that degree and has programs that fit your needs. Use our School Finder to find schools that offer the program you want.