Choosing a College Planning for College

Careers and Choosing a College

Written by CB Experts

Having a career in mind can only help you choose the right college for the right major and degree.

Choosing the right college is difficult. CollegeBasics has already written several articles on just that subject. Among the right fit, feel, location, and cost, another factor to consider when choosing a college is which school will prepare you for your future, for your career! A valuable online resource to help you might be is a free education directory that provides valuable information on schools, tips on career resources, and insight on financial assistance

The factors below will help you think about choosing a career and an appropriate college.

Your Interests

What are your interests? You should sit and think about what you enjoy doing, what you are good at, and what you think you might want to do for years and years. You may be an “A” student in chemistry, but do you enjoy being in a lab for hours and hours or are you really an outdoors person? You might be uncomfortable dealing with people but be interested in counseling. Maybe you should consider majoring in psychology but tilting your career toward research instead of counseling patients. Perhaps you have worked as an assistant in an architectural firm and think architecture would be a great career, but what if your avocation or hobby is selling baseball cards on eBay? Then might you be better off considering a career in business or sales. On the reverse side of this coin, you might love your football experience and think you want a career as a coach or trainer, but because you have unusually good mathematical ability, should you look into a career in accounting or engineering and make sure you have time for life skill sports such as skiing, sailing, golfing or racquetball?


Your Work

Once you considered all your interests, prioritize them to decide what you might like to do for your life’s work. Then think over whether or not such a career will meet your needs and values. There are many sites on the internet that can help you assess your interests and abilities in order to find the right career for you. You might start with AnalyzeMyCareer. At this career site, students will be able to take career aptitude tests, occupational interest inventories, and obtain professional career counseling for a very reasonable fee. CollegeBasics highly recommends all students to start their career search by first looking closely at themselves and matching their interests and aptitudes to a potential career. This is exactly what AnalyzeMyCareer can do for you! Also go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for all kinds of information about jobs.

An interesting site devoted just to women and helping them level the playing field in professional careers is WomenCo, a networking site for career-minded women. Here you can obtain education guides on finding the right school, money tips and scholarship information just for women, and specific career path guidance. Check out WomenCo now!

Having a career in mind can only help you choose the right college for the right major and degree.

Specialized or Generalized Degrees

  • A generalized degree is a solid base for most jobs. A generalized degree is one you can receive from a liberal arts college. Such a degree may have you concentrate on a major such as history or science, but the skills you learn earning such a degree are general, that is, you learn to read, write, problem solve, speak, and, IN GENERAL, communicate clearly and effectively. These skills may be parleyed into many careers or be used as gateway into graduate school.
  • Specialized degrees are from schools that are specific to a field. Two- and four-year schools might train you for specific careers: furniture making, clothing design, computer programming, medical technician work, or film production. Other specialized degrees are graduate degrees that require more than four years of school. Such degrees include medical school, dental school, law school, etc.

You need to think about how far along you are in choosing a career and how many years you wish to spend in time and money in school. Then search for the appropriate college that offers you the type of degree you want.

Matching Careers and Majors

You also want to go to a college that has the degree program or major you need for the career you’ve chosen. First, though, you have to know what is the best major for the career area you’re directing your interests to. If you want to be a physician, what can you major in? There are probably a few choices. For instance, a major in biology may be a good choice, especially if there is no pre-med program—not unusual. You could also major in organic chemistry or biomedical engineering.  Then, again, you might get into the medical field with a medical assisting job for which you would need specialized professional training but not have to worry about a major or medical school.

Once you have in mind what you’re interested in for a future, you have decided what type of degree you want, and you have matched a career with the appropriate major, you are now ready to look for the best college for that major. Then you’ll be well on your way to your first career!


About the author

CB Experts

Content created by retired College Admissions consultants.