Choosing a College Degree – What is Best for You?

Choosing a college degree can be a very difficult decision to make. There are many things to consider but it is important to decide on the right college degree for the type of occupation that you want to pursue. You may find that you do not actually need a college degree but that a certificate or diploma will be sufficient, or your chosen profession may require further study after a college degree such as medicine or law.

Certificates or diplomas require a shorter period of study than a traditional college degree and are usually taken by students wanting to pursue a career in an occupational field. Quite often a certificate or diploma can be taken before embarking on a college degree course.

An associate degree is awarded after completing a two-year college degree course. Some community colleges and other universities offer an associate degree program which allows you to transfer to a four-year college degree course after you have been awarded the appropriate associate degree. There are a number of occupations where a two-year college degree is recommended or required including:

•    Administrative Assistant
•    Automotive Mechanic
•    Cardiovascular Technician
•    Commercial Artist
•    Computer Technician
•    Dental Hygienist
•    Drafter
•    Engineering Technician
•    Funeral Director
•    Graphic Designer
•    Heating, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Technician
•    Hotel or Restaurant Manager
•    Medical Laboratory Technician
•    Medical Record Technician
•    Insurance Agent
•    Registered Nurse
•    Surgical Technologist
•    Surveyor
•    Visual Artist
•    Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator

A traditional four-year college degree is the most frequently required qualification for a number of occupations. Some examples of professions requiring a four-year college degree in an appropriate discipline are:

•    Accountant
•    Computer Systems Analyst
•    Dietitian
•    Editor
•    Engineer
•    FBI Agent
•    Investment Banker
•    Journalist
•    Medical Illustrator
•    Pharmacist
•    Public Relations Specialist
•    Recreational Therapist
•    Research Assistant
•    Social Worker
•    Teacher
•    Writer

There are also a number of occupations that require a student to obtain a college degree that is longer than the conventional four-year college degree programs. These extended professional college degree programs include:

•    Architect
•    Biologist
•    Chiropractor
•    Dentist
•    Diplomat
•    Doctor
•    Economist
•    Geologist
•    Lawyer
•    Librarian
•    Management Consultant
•    Palaeontologist
•    Priest
•    Psychologist
•    Public Policy Analyst

It is important to choose a college degree course that is suitable for the career path you want to follow. If you are unsure of which field of occupation you want to enter then it is advisable to take a certificate or diploma course first. This will enable you to change disciplines without having spent four years on a degree course that ends up not being something that you want to pursue.

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