The college degree that you choose should be different for each individual. Some people might want to become a doctor, for instance. So, the best college degree for them is going to be a medical doctorate. For some people it might be a dream job to become a chef. For others it might be a nightmare, but it is very important to figure out what the best college degree for you is before you make a decision.


So, first of all, before we get into how to actually choose your major, let’s talk about why so many people fear and dread choosing a college degree well, first of all, you’re making one of the biggest decisions of your life around 17 or 18 years old. Around 80 percent of people end up changing their college major and it’s estimated that they’ll change it around two to three times during college.

Credit To:Shane Hummus

Yet i was able to choose my college major at 17 and i never changed my mind once and the reason there’s such a difference here is really two things. First of all, they don’t know themselves and then the second thing is a lot of people. Don’t do the research, and so they end up choosing a major for the wrong reasons. Some people choose it because oh their aunt told them it’s a good career or something like that. You know or oh maybe you turned on the tv and you saw that all the popular careers were doctor lawyer or engineer.


So you just go for one of those three just because your family told you to or because society told you to, or maybe you listen to some new age guru that tells you you have to go for your passion. Never do anything that isn’t your passion! All you have to do is just be passionate about something and the universe is gonna conspire and just make you wealthy, healthy, rich and wise. You just have to lay on the couch and be passionate about eating potato chips and playing video games, and the universe is just going to make you rich, or maybe you listen to some Youtube business guru. Who tells you that you need to quit your 9-5 job, because college and nine to five jobs are a scam you need to quit that immediately buy my course get into my mentorship program and i am gonna make you into a millionaire right.


So you hear all these differing opinions out there and the truth, of course lies somewhere in the middle. You know if you go for like a traditional career just because your family told you to, and even though you don’t have any interest in it. You’Re, probably gon na end up miserable at some point. However, if you just go purely for your passion and there’s no job prospects, you’re gon na end up working in a coffee shop as a starbucks barista. And if you just go all out on business and you you know, don’t go to college just because you listen to some business guru realize that the average business is going to take several years before it’s profitable.


So you still need to pay for rent food, etc. During that time now the average student loan debt, when it comes to picking a college degree for new graduates, is going to be around 40 000. But this is just average and the actual debt can be much higher than this, and all you have to do is just watch a few dave ramsey videos on youtube to see this. But with that being said, the data is clear: those who go to college on average make way more money than those who don’t somewhere around seventeen thousand dollars a year more. But the big question here is: is that correlation or causation does college itself make them more money or do more ambitious people tend to go to college, which those people probably would have made money anyways, whether they went to college or not well, considering only around 27 Of people who go to college go into a career that has to do with their major.


It probably has a little bit to do with both. Now, if you calculate the average salary of someone who graduates with an engineering degree, for instance, versus how much debt they usually get into, then you just do a very simple calculation to figure out how many years it would take for them to break even on their Investment you’ll see that for engineers it only takes around two years now. This isn’t necessarily how long it would take them to pay it off, probably a little bit longer than that like around four years. This is just the break even point because, let’s be honest, humans are not robots. Even engineers are not robots and they’re.


Probably gonna spend some money on things like you know, entertainment, etc, but yeah for engineers it’s around two years for business graduates, it’s around 3.2 for art graduates, it’s 8.8 for psychology, it’s 11 years and for communications, it’s around 5 And, like i said before, these numbers are way off just because of the fact that the average person is going to have other needs so, for instance, on average, it takes people around 18 to 20 years to pay off their student loan debt, and that was in The past, when student loan debt wasn’t as bad as it is now, so now it’s probably going to be somewhere around 30 years. Okay, so i just kind of wanted to set the stage for you so to speak here. I just wanted to make sure that you are aware of what you’re getting yourself into and why it’s so important to not just blindly go for your passion.


However, the first step in going about choosing your college degree is to sit down, take out a pen and paper and write down what your interests are now write out a list of things that you love and honestly, you should just do this right now. You know, pause the video and do it so many people try to keep things in their head without writing them down, and that is a huge mistake and i want you to just go all out on this list. Don’T think about it too much just write down things that you are interested in write down things that you’re passionate about seriously if you’re passionate about making cookies baking brownies. If you’re passionate about playing video games watching youtube videos seriously just write it down, write down a list of at least 10 things that you’re passionate about and honestly you can probably find more than that. Alright, so i’ll have kind of my list pop up on the screen now, so you know it’s going to be like video games, uh charity philanthropy, making films, extreme sports, like boxing mma, i’m a big fan of sports.



I also really like history uh math, although not like theoretical, math, more practical type, math now. The next thing i want you to do is make a list of your strengths and your weaknesses try to think about what people have told you that you’re really good at in the past and try to be as brutally honest as possible here. Okay, don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re good at something when you’re really not also don’t be too hard on yourself? Don’T think that, oh i’m really bad at everything. Everybody has strengths and weaknesses.


You just have to find them. You know if you try to get a fish to climb a tree, that’s not going to work, but a fish is really good at swimming. Now. What i found is it’s extremely helpful to ask your family members and your friends what your strengths and weaknesses are, and you can ask them in person. But to be honest, that probably is going to take you a long time and it’s going to be hard for you to document it.


So what i recommend doing is either emailing or texting them, and i will uh kind of put up on the screen right now. An exact email or text that you can send to them and try to send this to at least 30 people. So personally i did this exact exercise. I think the wording was a little bit different, but i sent this to 30 people and basically i got around 23 24 responses and what’s to happen here – and this is going to be surprising – it’s extremely insightful is you are going to notice patterns here, people are Going to tell you the same things over and over again so, like i said, do five strengths and five weaknesses. If you have to pause the video right here and make sure you get this done and come back to the video later on once they’ve, given you responses all right, so five things that i was good at i’ll, have them pop up on the screen: five things That i’m not very good at i’ll also have those pop up now.


One thing i do want to say here – and this especially applies to young people is talent – is pretty overrated. In my opinion, you know there’s lots of people who are more naturally talented at something, and you can simply pass them up very easily just by working harder than them, so just because you’re bad at something doesn’t mean you’re, necessarily actually bad at it. It’S just you didn’t get exposure to it at a young age, and this could have to do with you know your culture, your family, influence, social media, etc. However, with that being said, the best advice here is to double, triple and quadruple down on your strengths. If there is something you’re, naturally, very talented at you need to emphasize that you need to leverage that in your life and if there’s something you are naturally very bad at and you just hate doing, you want to try to minimize that as much as possible.


Now the next step on this list is to figure out what your career and lifestyle goals are, and this isn’t necessarily you know what type of career like. Oh, i want to be a doctor or an engineer or a lawyer we’re not at that step. Yet this is more about lifestyle, so, for instance, you want to ask yourself questions like: when: do you want to retire? Where do you want to retire? How much money do you want to make while you’re working?


Where do you want to live while you’re working? What type of jobs do you like? So, for instance, do you want a remote job where you can kind of like travel the world? Do you want a leadership position? Are you someone who’s very driven and you want to be a leader or a manager?


Or do you want more of a chill job where you kind of just show up to work? You know, do your work, nine to five and then go home and have really good work. Life balance. Do you want to eventually start your own business, become an entrepreneur, or are you okay, with the nine to five lifestyle? Do you want to go into a career, that’s extremely chill, or are you someone who always wants to be constantly busy and challenging yourself?


Now, when it comes to the question of how much money do you want to make, which is extremely important, a lot of people will tell you: oh money doesn’t matter, and that is completely false. Money absolutely does matter. You know i’m somebody who came from a dirt poor background, and i can tell you if you are constantly stressed out about having to pay your rent pay for food uh just buy. You know toiletries. For instance, that is going to stress you out.


It’S going to increase your unhappiness, which is going to make you less happy on the other side of the spectrum. Making millions and billions of dollars is also not going to make you happy, so there is a sweet spot there and, depending on what study you look at, you know where you live. For instance, it’s going to be somewhere around 70 to 100 000 a year and you can use sites like glassdoor pay, scale or bls to figure out how much different careers are paying. But i do recommend that you go for a career where you’re making at least seventy thousand dollars a year, because that’s going to max out your happiness. So, for me, my lifestyle and career goals are that i want to be able to retire before the age of 40 and travel the world right, so there were only certain careers that were going to allow me to be able to do this right.


So after doing some research online, i came up with around 10 careers. I don’t know if these are the exact careers but they’re very close to the ones that i came up with, and the list looked something like this: i’m gon na pop it up on the screen right now, and you should do this as well. You need to come up with a list of at least 10 careers that you want to look into and hey. If you want to look into 100 careers, that’s totally fine and things you really want to pay attention to are, of course, salary, but also you want to look into how much opportunity there is so future job growth is something that bls shows you and that can Be extremely important. Another thing that can be very important is job satisfaction.


This is something you can look up on glassdoor or pay scale. Now one thing i realized right away after doing some basic research on this is, i did not want to become a medical doctor. It was just way too long. You know you’ve got four years of undergrad four years of med school and then the residencies plus the fellowships can take like eight years, sometimes right so sometimes people wouldn’t even become a doctor until they’re like 35, and then they have to pay down. Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of debt and the work life balance and a lot of different doctor’s specialties is not good.


I realized that i wanted to be able to enjoy my 20s, and that was not something i would be able to do. If i tried to become a medical doctor – and i also decided to not do engineering degrees, because, although i do like math it’s something, i’m relatively good at, i didn’t know if i wanted to do it as a career same thing with architect and geology, it was Something i was kind of interested in, but it didn’t really align with my lifestyle. So this left me with about four on the list. It was a physician assistant, physical therapist, pharmacist and then computer scientist, and i realized here that there was something in common with a lot of these degrees, and it was that i was very interested in health related careers right. So i ended up taking computer science off because of the fact that it wasn’t health related.


So at this point i decided i wanted to go into a health related career. Now i started contacting people who worked in these fields and asking them very specific questions about what they thought of the field. I also shadowed and i attended different lectures that people were giving at colleges just to ask them questions now, by the time you narrow down the list to just a few of them. I think at this point, you’re, probably making a pretty good decision. You know you’ve considered all the logical factors you know you’ve, you kind of did this in a systematic way.


So at this point i’m going to kind of flip the script completely and i’m gon na say just go with emotion. Go with your gut right. So when you have the list down to like two or three or so somewhere around there, uh just go with your gut. Something inside of you is telling you you know, this is the career that you should go for, and so in this case i think you should believe that follow your instincts. So, if you’re having any troubles, uh choosing your career, if you’re having some issues with that figuring out what you can do for a living another way to think about this is just to kind of make a venn diagram and on this diagram, you basically want to Make three circles right, so one circle is what you’re good at another circle is what you can get paid to do and then the bottom circle is what you’re passionate about now, if you’re passionate about something and it’s something that makes good money.


However, you’re really bad at it, you want to have that as a hobby or entertainment. Okay, so perfect example here is. I am very passionate about like contact sports like mma and boxing i’m a huge fan of different boxers and mma fighters. I did boxing for a short amount of time. I was very fun to me, but i got to the point where i was kind of sparring, guys that were really good and after practice every day i would have a headache and after reading a lot of the stuff about you know, ctes and concussions and stuff.


I decided you know, my brain is kind of the one thing i have going for me and i probably don’t want to risk it and the truth is like top level boxers out there. This is just a you know: the unfiltered truth. A lot of them have really like hard heads, okay, so they can take punches really well, and the average person just cannot take a punch like a top level. Boxer can and the only guys that get to the top level the pro level and have success. There are people who can really take a punch and even though i was wearing headgear and it was kind of like light sparring and stuff, i was still getting headaches after practice every single day, so it became obvious to me.


I am not one of those people who can, you know, take a hard punch, even though i never got knocked out. I never even got stunned. It just did not seem like a good idea to me right, so i keep that as a hobby entertainment now, if you’re good at something and you can get paid to do it. However, you have zero passion about it. You’Re, probably going to end up in a dead-end job right, you’re, going to be extremely bored with your job.


This can be okay, if you’re somebody who doesn’t really care about your job like a job, is just literally a place for you to make money and you care about other parts of your life. So, for instance, if you’ve got a job like this, where it’s pretty easy and you have good work-life balance, you can make this work, but it’s honestly not ideal. Now. The second part is something that you’re good at and you’re passionate about it, but unfortunately there aren’t any jobs out there for it. What i really recommend you do in this case, is you make it into a side hustle so, for instance, um in my opinion, i was pretty good at making films and i was pretty passionate about it.


I was pretty good at teaching people. However, there aren’t that many jobs out there for people who make films so what i did as a side hustle is. I started making youtube videos and that’s how i grew this channel now. There really isn’t that many jobs out there for me to make films for a living and a lot of things fall under this category. If you are really passionate about art, for instance, there’s probably not going to be very many jobs out there, you have to get creative, you have to get a little entrepreneurial and you have to make your own job.


So this is something like creating a podcast or a youtube channel or a blog or maybe becoming a coach. So let’s say: you’re very good and you’re very passionate about chess, but unfortunately you’re not at the top level right you’re, not like a grand master or or a super grandmaster who can make a living from chess? Well, you could become a chess coach. You could start teaching people online now at this point of the video i’m going to assume that you’ve gone through this whole process. You probably come back to this video a few times by now and you’ve chosen the career that you want to go for now.


It’S very important that you contact people in that career and ask them what steps you need to take in order to get there. You can either contact the people themselves or you can contact hiring managers or recruiters that are responsible for hiring people in those positions, and it’s very important that you do this because all the time, i cannot tell you how many times i’ve seen this people will end Up doing so much stuff, that’s not going to help them to achieve their goal, so, for instance, this is a very common example. People will get like a criminology or a criminal justice degree and they want to become police officers. The truth is 99 of the time you do not need to get that degree in order to become a police officer, and all you would have to have done is just to ask them, and any one of them would have told you that so, for instance, by Doing this i was able to shave over two years off of my pharmacy degree. You don’t have to get an undergraduate degree in order to get into pharmacy school.


You only have to do the prereqs for it, and i never would have known this. If i didn’t ask people, so i just did the prereqs in undergrad and then i went to an accelerated program and i was able to finish my pharmacy degree in about five years and nine months. Instead of the usual eight years and after asking a few people. Just to make sure that you get several different opinions, you are going to figure out what college degree you should get for that career now. One thing i want to say here is this whole process.


I try to make it as systematic as possible, but the truth is, you are probably going to change your mind several times and that’s totally. Okay, i always say it’s best to have a bad plan rather than no plan at all. As long as you have a bad plan, you can go back and figure out why your plan was bad, but if you have no plan at all, there’s nothing for you to examine. There’S nothing for you to look at. So a good friend of mine, for instance, was convinced that she wanted to become a scientist, so she got an internship at a science lab and she realized very quickly that it wasn’t anything like she imagined it, and she also realized that she would have to get A doctoral level degree just to get a job that was maybe somewhat like she imagined, but still not really what she wanted.


So once she figured this out, she completely changed her major and went in a different direction. Another friend of mine wanted to become a doctor quickly realized it wasn’t anything like what she wanted, her lifestyle to be, and instead she actually dropped out of school and became a tutor, so sometimes getting a degree is not. The answer just realize that this is a reiterative process and as long as you have a plan, you write things down, you can always go back and change things later on.


Sources and further readings for jobs and college degrees: of labor statistics) center for educational statistics) payscale(provides information on jobs and degrees)



Read More: Online College vs. Traditional: What’s Best For Me?



  • William C Miles

    I earned my MA in US History from the University of California, Santa Barbara. I also hold a BA in East Asian Studies. My educational journey equipped me with deep knowledge in diverse cultural and historical contexts, particularly those shaping higher education trends. Presently, I work as a freelance writer and consultant specializing in online colleges across the USA. Over the past eight years, I have collaborated with various educational platforms and e-learning organizations. This role involves creating insightful content that helps potential students make informed decisions about their education paths. Throughout my career, I've had the privilege to contribute articles to notable educational websites and online journals. My work is frequently cited for its clarity and helpfulness, aiding students and educators alike. I've taken part in over 50 webinars as a speaker, sharing my expertise on online education dynamics in the United States. My passion goes beyond writing; it's about making a tangible impact through my words and advice. With over 1,000 articles published under my name related to online education, my aim is clear: to provide readers with reliable information that supports their educational pursuits and career objectives. You can find more details about my professional background and contact me on LinkedIn or through my personal website.

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