David Duchovny studied English Literature before hitting it big. John Cleese was going to practice law before he ever set out for the Holy Grail. They made academic choices that helped them grow as people, rather than just in a job, and success found them. Here are some tips for what to consider when selecting a degree program.
Career development: Does your school offer internship opportunities and a leg-up in the race for a job? When the halcyon days of college are over you are going to need pay for rent and food. You’ll find that education without some form of experience makes finding that first job a chore. It’s easy to find out from the alumni office who’s doing what with the degree you intend to get and seeing if it’s truly a practical decision to study art history.
Cost: It’s not the cost of the degree itself but how much you are likely to make relative to the loans you take. Visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics to help learn about your future salary. This may narrow down your list of schools. Even if tuition costs seem to make your dream school seem unrealistic never give up hope. Price is just one facet of the decision.
Reputation: Do you have a shot at a school with ivy on the walls or just one with mold? If you can go to a school known for its reputation try to do so. Elite college prices are driven by the market and they only charge a lot because of what they offer. It doesn’t end there since the best schools tend to have a lot of graduatess in influential positions. Most of them would love to hire a fellow alumnus. Work hard earlier so you don’t break your back down the line.
Extracurricular activities: Does school mean an experience and not simply a degree? If you plan on being a student athlete make sure you choose a program with solid coaching and a commitment to its players. Even if you don’t go pro there’s no denying that college sports develop a young person’s character. Don’t take my word for it take the late John Wooden’s.
School size: Are you an introvert who gets easily lost in the shuffle? Are you a social butterfly always on the lookout for new company? The right degree program at a college of the proper size can make you happy, and that is a prerequisite for a good GPA. Be careful of large schools where you’re just another hand raised in the lecture hall. A tiny, private school might cost more but small classes mean professors who care about your education personally.
Specialties and majors: Chances are you have more than one scholarly interest and your plan B could end up as your true calling. Ensure that if your major changes the school has the flexibility to accommodate you. Your author expected to take the management track and get a corner office in five years. There was one little hiccup – I became addicted to history. Unfortunately, the program at my alma mater was completely lacking. I stayed, but would’ve really benefited had I not been so dogmatic about what I wanted to do with my life.