We use our proprietary methodology to produce these rankings. Learn more →

Do You Need Help Deciding What To Study In College?

Woman is Thinking

If you need help in deciding what to study in college, you are not alone. Many students who are currently enrolled, and many who have already graduated, weren't sure on what major course of study to dedicate their time to and finally earning their degree.

If you're not sure what to study, that's okay. Thankfully, there are colleges and university enrollment advisors and counselors who can help you in your college decisions, which includes choosing a degree program. These people can best explain what the degrees consist of, and people to whom you can ask relevant questions.

These counselors can also help you decide which level of degree to purse. If you're looking to go to colleges for the first time, and you don't know whether to get an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree, they can help in that decision-making process. Many of these counselors are experts in what the college or university offers at different degree levels, and what degree would most likely fit.

For example, did you know that there are associate's degrees available in Game Design, Data Analytics, Criminal Justice, and other subjects? These subjects aren't just for the bachelor's degree level.

Do You Need Help Deciding What To Study In College?

Research has shown that students who are enrolled in subjects that actually interest them, do better in college.

What the best college students do

Students who chose a major that they're not interested in learning, but perhaps were only motivated to choose that major subject because of the high salary potential, didn't score as well in their degree programs.

Doing well in your field and making good grades and maintaining a high GPA can potentially lead to getting academic scholarships as well. So there is also that financial motive.

So if you're genuinely interested in Environmental Science, or Game Design, it is perhaps prudent to choose the degree and subject that most interests you. So what interests you?

When thinking about which degree to choose, it's important to consider what interests you. Research show that students who choose the major subject that they are genuinely interested in learning often do better in school. Dr. Ken Bain's book can be condensed into that conclusion.

What do you want to do for a career?

You may first need to decide what you'd like to do in your career, and then work backwards to see what degree best aligns with those career ambitions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook and other salary and career information sources can help you research what degrees are usually required to work in a given career field.

Do you want to study online or on-campus?

Next decide whether you want to get the degree on-campus or online. This decision can help narrow down or widen your degree possibilities and location options.

You may be interested in a subject that you are interested in and that has high earning potential. For online degrees, we have researched the 20 best online degrees for careers that can assist in your research.

Synchronous or asynchronous programs?

If you decide to pursue an online degree, it would also be a good idea to decide whether you want to study an online program that's synchronous, or asynchronous. In synchronous programs, there are specific times to participate in the lectures and turn in assignments.

In asynchronous programs, the times for viewing lectures and instruction material and submitting papers and assignments is flexible. People who can manage time well and are self-motivated and organized can thrive in online asynchronous programs. Some people prefer the specific scheduling requirements of a synchronous program. It comes down to personal preference and what your individual skillsets are.

Is a bachelor's degree worth it?

Graduates who have a bachelor's degree earn an estimated $2.8 million dollars over the course of their lifetime according to Georgetown University. Whereas high school graduates with no college degree earn an average of $1.5 million over their lifetime. This means that, on average, people who have a bachelor's degree earn $1.3 million more in their lifetime.

This equates to earning $32,500 more per year. Of course, this also depends on the degree. The before mentioned figures and statistics are on average, and on average people get degrees in business and other subjects that have earning potential, as opposed to bachelor's degrees that aren't well-paying or have much growth potential in the marketplace.

More resources: