Summary: The number of college graduates has increased dramatically over the past 40 years. In 1997, for example, 30.2% of men and 28% of women entering the work force had College degrees. The percentages have continued to increase. While college students with degrees aren't exactly a dime a dozen, the stand alone value of their degrees has decreased. Now a degreed worker has more College educated competition than ever before. It is important to have the right college degree. This ...
The number of college graduates has increased dramatically over the past 40 years. In 1997, for example, 30.2% of men and 28% of women entering the work force had College degrees. The percentages have continued to increase. While college students with degrees aren't exactly a dime a dozen, the stand alone value of their degrees has decreased. Now a degreed worker has more College educated competition than ever before.
It is important to have the right college degree. This means understanding what you must study in College before you actually get there. You need to have an idea of what the job market is going to be like four years in the future when you graduate.
If, for instance, you wanted to be a writer, you would need to enter and pass courses on English and journalism. If you wanted to be a doctor, you would need chemistry, biology and health sciences. You can't just pass your classes with a "C." You need to excel in your classes. It is important to remember that you are competing with others in your school and students in other schools for a limited number of medical school openings or other jobs in the future. While it might be tempting to take "Mickey Mouse" courses that are easy to pass, it won't help you in the future when you don't have any foundation to build on. Unless you are looking for an entry level low paying job, you need to get started in high school and decide what courses will help you get into the college of your choosing and, ultimately, the job you want.
You don't have to go it alone. There are career fairs you can attend. You can meet with representatives of business, industry, fire departments. Rescue services, and even the military and ask questions about what you need to do to enter a specific field. Medical organizations also hold their own career fairs to give you an idea of the many medical professions there are and the education level you need to achieve to enter them.
Most schools have guidance counselors on staff who can discuss career options with you. They know about college admission requirements and whether you are on track to meet them. They can also give advice about which scholarships, student loans or work programs are available at the college you want to attend. As well, they can provide advice about getting a two year degree at a community college or attending a four year college. They can also talk to you about which colleges have the best night school programs if case you have to work while attending school. The guidance counselors provide a competent service for free.
There is something called the School of Hard Knocks. Simply put, you learn from life experiences what's good for you and what's not. This is a very rough way to learn how to get the most out of life. Many adults find that, after years on a job, they are dissatisfied with where their lives have led them. They want to make changes. This means going back to school while working and supporting a family. It's long, hard work to take enough courses to get the right degree for a new job. Like you, they face competition from other college graduates. They have to plan what courses will put them in a new profession and give them an edge over the competition.
It's best to make your career decisions when you are young and still have your life ahead of you. You can make minor adjustments to your career path as you go along. If the criteria for a job change, you can change your courses to meet them, without introducing additional stress into your life.