Years ago, it wasn’t a difficult decision as to which way you were heading when it came to entering the workforce. Most young adults typically followed in their parents’ footsteps and entered into their profession as a teenager.
As time went on, industries were more eager to accept entry-level workers without experience than they are today, so landing a job in a profitable industry and working your way up the ladder became common in the early to mid 20th century.
Today, however, companies operate with numerous differing philosophies, and education in a specific industry is largely considered crucial to acquiring employment in most industries.
Whether you’re looking to continue education in a trade such as plumbing, or if you’re starting up your own business, the education opportunities you have at your disposal are plentiful but can be confusing if you’re unsure of your career path.
Here, we’ll explore a few of the most popular educational paths toward the career you have your eyes set on.
2-Year Degree Plans
Anyone who attends college has to start as a freshman. Keeping this in mind, you typically have to choose a major upon entering college. After this decision is made, you’re then instructed by an advisor in order to form a plan and better facilitate your educational goals.
Two-year programs are in high demand these days because of the short timeframe you’ll spend in the classroom. This, combined with the higher than average earning potential with some careers, is attractive because some of these professions only require a two-year degree.
Additionally, many blue-collar trade jobs can still be acquired without special training, but some are beginning to require some educational background. A few of the following lucrative careers can be acquired through obtaining an Associates degree, license, or in some cases, a certificate:
- Dental Hygienist
- Ultrasound Tech
- AIr Traffic Controller
- Radiation Therapist
- Nuclear Medicine Technologist
- Medical Sonographer
- Web Developer
- Avionics Technician
- Fire Inspectors and Investigators
Note that some of these jobs can be earned through entry level means, such as with the plumbing industry, or through military service education such as with avionics and air traffic control.
Undergraduate Degree Plans
An undergraduate degree is generally earned after completing four years of college. These degrees are usually at the Bachelor’s level and can aid you in landing a number of high-paying careers, depending on the skills you learn.
One thing to note about a four year degree plan, however, is the extremely high cost associated with attending four years of college. Many college students find themselves in high student loan debt upon graduating, and if you earn a degree in a saturated industry, finding a job and paying off your loans can seem to be a daunting task.
When considering a four-year degree, check into industries which have a high percentage of job growth into the future. If this job growth projection is over 10 or 15 percent, chances are you’ll run a better chance of finding employment in your industry.
Graduate Degree Plans
A graduate degree plan is largely for those who are in school for the long haul, or for those who intend to become experts in a specialized field.
A graduate degree is earned by attending graduate school upon completion of a four-year Bachelor’s degree. And, grad school can last for as little as two years and up to six or more additional years after receiving your Bachelor’s degree. In fact, it’s not uncommon for someone to receive a Doctorate after 10 years of schooling in some fields.
The plus side of earning a graduate degree is the higher than average earning potential and the accolades that come along with being considered an expert in a specific field.
Some professions which require a graduate degree are:
- College Professor
- Physician’s Assistant
- Nurse Practitioner
The rate of pay for those who earn a graduate degree often fall near the 6-figure mark in some professions, while others, especially in the health and tech spaces, are often in the higher 6-figure range.
Whether or not you’re adept in a specific field and want to start your own business, or if you’re looking to explore a new career path later on in life, being educated in your field gives you a greater advantage over other applicants who you’re in competition with.
Identifying your career goals and looking at the best and most affordable educational opportunities will ensure that you’ll choose the right educational path for your career choice.