As a high school junior or senior, you will begin to narrow your college options and choose one that suits your needs. While a thriving campus life or even a particular geographic location might appeal to you, a degree (and job path) is the real reason you’re attending college. So, you will also begin to analyze your future career options and match them with degree programs. As you investigate different careers, ask yourself these five questions.
Are you choosing something you enjoy? Often we get hung up on money, or how available work will be, or some other factor. And those things are certainly important! But if you don’t enjoy your field, you probably won’t stick with it for very long. That might lead to a second career (and an expensive career change). Since you’re investing quite a bit of money into your education, you might as well choose something that will become a long-term path.
Does your potential career offer work-family balance? If you’re absolutely certain that you never want to get married or have children, then by all means choose that career that requires year-round travel or 90-hour work weeks. But for most people, some degree of work-family balance is important.
Are you committed to continual learning? Many careers require continuing education, not a singular college degree. Are you okay with continuing to expand your skill set? This point underscores the importance of the first item on this list; if you don’t enjoy your field, you will resent the continuing education required by that field.
Is your degree/career path flexible? If you don’t enjoy your first job in the field, will it be relatively easy to find a different job using the degree in which you’ve invested several years and thousands of dollars? Make sure to choose a field that is diversified enough that you’re not locked into a singular job, but rather, you can apply your skills and experience to a variety of other career situations. You might even consider going freelance or launching your own business at some point.
What does the future look like? A job field might seem lucrative right now, but are technological advances soon to make that field obsolete? On the other hand, is the expansion of tech going to open up thousands of jobs in some other field? Keep in mind that your career needs to last thirty or forty years, and choose something that looks sustainable in the long term.