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One of the most important decisions that you will make in life is what your career is going to be. It used to be that you made this decision when you decided what you wanted to study in college. However, this seemingly old-school trend is not as reliable as it once may have been in deciding your career future.
Do You Need a College Degree?
The truth is, while most jobs will more than likely prefer a Bachelor’s degree, it usually doesn’t matter what field it is in. This information might seem devastating to those who have already completed college or who are already in too deep to make any real changes, but don’t despair, it is still useful. Even more so, it is a blessing if you have found that maybe you dedicated your four years in college to a degree that you are no longer that interested in.
It is understandable that some who choose to go to college inevitably have that moment of inner turmoil. Usually, this comes from the realization that you just spent a ridiculous amount of your parent’s money or absorbed an enormous amount of student loans on a college degree and you have no idea what to do with it. Surprisingly, this is more common than not.
There are many that have known what they want to be since they were old enough to understand what it was. While that might not be the norm amongst the majority, it does work for some. For those fortunate few, college is their best course of action. They can enter with a minimum risk of regret and have a list of jobs waiting on them when they graduate.
These types of individuals are those who are groomed or enticed by the family to join the “family business.” This usually happens with doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc, typically when families own their own practices or firms. There is nothing wrong with this if that is what the individual wants. Others choose these same career paths not out of family loyalty, but due to an overwhelming passion. Maybe they have always had the desire to cure cancer or help those that have been harmed by someone else’s negligence. Individuals who possess these types of obligations or unbridled passions usually stick to one path and excel there.One of the most important decisions that you will make in life is what your career is going to be. It used to be that you made this decision when you decided what you wanted to study in college. Click To Tweet
The point is that for some, college is just the means to an end of a career they have planned for years in advance. For the majority of others who are not sure of their career path, your college major does not have to define your career. College can even be a method of exploration in determining your career.
Getting a college education just to decide what you want to do with your future is not a popular subject. Ideally, you don’t want to spend a large amount of money just to decide what you want to do with your future, however, for some, this is the way that they find their future. College is not just about getting a degree. College also offers you the opportunity to make connections and learn about topics and subjects in the world that you might not have even been aware of before you started.
Careers without a College Degree
There are also millions of individuals out there happy with lucrative careers who never stepped foot in a college classroom. Certain skill sets cannot be taught in a classroom, but are just as essential to a functioning society. These skill sets are often referred to as hard skills when applying to a particular job. They are what is required for an individual to expertly do the job. Hard skills can be acquired through apprenticeships, short-term training classes, online courses, on-the-job training, and certification programs.
Today’s career choices and pathways are widely different than they were 10 to 20 years ago. There are new technological careers and online careers popping up, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. Many colleges are offering courses online that range from continuing education all the way up to full 4-year degrees. So there are new opportunities to learn a new skill set and choose a new career path whether you are a novice right out of high school or a grandmother looking for a new lease on life.
How to Decide Your Career Path
Now that we have discussed all the different pathways that you can take toward a career, how do you begin to decide which career and pathway are best for you? Here are a few steps that will hopefully help point you in the right direction.
- List your interests
- Create a flow chart of interests in possible jobs
- Evaluate and discover your personality type
- Review your previous experiences
- Compare job requirements to education
- Assess your current skills
- Decide which values are important to you
- Determine your salary needs
- Outline your career goals
- Design a 5 and 10-year plan
Once you have explored these 10 steps, you should have a good idea of what area you need to direct your path. Whether it be college, continuing education, or just job hunting, you now have a pathway in which to start. Now, all it takes is a little research into how to utilize that pathway, for you to be on the way to the career that is right for you.