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Going to college or university is all about building the skills you need for a successful career – the ultimate goal of education. Picking all of the college courses that fit into your career goals, is essential, but what about the other courses that do not fit?
When you first sit down with your counselor either in high school or when you are returning, figuring out what college courses you will take, is usually overwhelming. Not only do you have the core classes you need to take, but you also have the extras that are needed for certain degrees.
When economists looked at the question, they found something quite interesting. There were differences in returns between degrees. That is, people who got STEM education tended to earn more later on than those who went into the arts. But the differences were quite minor when measured throughout a lifetime.
The real difference was between those who went to college and those who only got a high school education. Comparing those groups revealed enormous differences in life chances. Those who don’t go to college seem to do poorly on almost every front – including their health.
So what the heck is going on here?
How can a university or college education make such a big difference?
Partly, it’s the selection effect. People with the best health and ability to form relationships tend to go to college in droves. But it is also a reflection of the current state of the job market. Going into higher education is an entryway into middle or upper-class income. It is a ticket to mid-level jobs in finance, law, accounting, engineering, retail, and manufacturing. It helps students avoid hospitality and other low-paid sectors that don’t provide sufficient income to achieve reasonable lifestyles.
In a sense, therefore, it doesn’t matter a great deal what course you do at university, so long as you get something on your CV. And when you think about it, this makes sense. Most legit programs for college students don’t actually provide directly marketable skills. Instead, they give an academic background for the sorts of general aptitudes people need for productive work. It’s unlikely you’ll use everything you learn on your college statistics course, for instance, but some of it will come in handy when evaluating business reports.
COLLEGE COURSES: THE SELECTIONS THAT KEEP YOU ON TRACK
If you’re still stuck on what you should choose the correct college courses, here are some pointers to help you out:
Avoid Subjects You Really Don’t Like
Our brains need to want to learn for us to take on new information. If you don’t like what you study, you’ll be fighting an uphill struggle all the time. Unless you have a definite career in mind, pick something vaguely enjoyable. If you really don’t like the process of accreditation for the line of work you want to enter, perhaps you should give it a miss entirely.
On the same hand, if you are going into a certain field of study, you need to understand and realize that not every single course is going to be easy, enjoyable, or something you will be able to just slide through. There are some courses that you will, without a doubt, have to grit your teeth and just do the bare minimum because it is necessary for your degree.
Be Independent In Your Decisions
Parents, teachers, and friends can all put pressure on you to take your life in a specific direction. The advice, however, is firmly against this. Mismatching with a course can have long-term ramifications, wreck your confidence, and leave a dent in your finances.
When I first set out to college, I wanted to make my parents happy, so I overloaded my schedule and took additional college courses that had more to do with my parent's ideas than what I wanted. Because of that, I dropped out. Your college career is yours alone. Do not let anyone else influence what course or field of study to go into. Despite being told that you would make a great whatever.
Take College Courses That Reflects You
If you are going to take college courses that are in the medical field, chances are you will not be looking at courses in say the CNC Machinery course of study. They are two different fields, while both could probably benefit each other in some way, you wouldn't take an Auto CAD course for doing reconstructive surgery.
Now, if you have electives you have to fill and you are interested in photography, fill those electives with courses that help you learn more about your camera, taking photos, the correct f stop & iso settings for the optimal photo. Electives are great ways to enhance a subject you want to learn more about, while still earning your degree in the field you desire.
Your choice of subject should reflect your interests, not those of your friends. Seek out areas that genuinely intrigue you and forget about what other people are doing. Remember, any choice you make will have long-term effects on your life.