The decision to get a university education is definitely a good one, but it comes with many choices that require some serious decision-making skills. Whether it is deciding on which college to attend or how to pay for it, at some point every student must also decide which degree to get. Some people have a specific degree in mind prior to starting their secondary education, with a very specific path to pursue upon graduation. But for others, shopping around and taking the time to decide which degree is right is the usual route. In this brief guide, some tips, suggestions, and considerations will be offered to take the right steps toward the right degree.

Getting a Degree
Getting a degree from an accredited institution is an absolutely great decision. Degree holders have fared much better in the recession, have had higher salaries than non-degree holders, and are in demand to cover job growth and replace retirees according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The higher one’s degree, the higher the salary. A high school graduate will make $30,400 on average, whereas an associate degree holder will make $38,200, a bachelor’s degree holder will make $52,200, a master’s degree holder will make $62,300, a doctoral degree holder will make $89,400, and a professional degree holder will make $109,600 on average.

Some Tips and Factors to Consider
When deciding on which degree to get, Yahoo! Education provided the following tips. First, it is perfectly common to experience anxiety, so it is important to calm down and relax. Second, assess yourself and your interests. In order to choose a major, find what you like to do and what you want to do. Usually this fits with pre-existing strengths and talents, from which a college degree can be chosen. Third, explore and examine. Make sure to job shadow and do internships in your intended field. This will provide valuable and insightful experience about the major and the job that utilizes that degree. Fourth, try and try again. If one major does not work out, choose another and try it out. Keep pushing forward and experimenting until you find something that definitely suits you. Last, enjoy the ride. Have fun studying and learning about the subject you choose, since if you do not, you might want to reconsider the major.

Popular Degrees and Employment
Of course, it is important to take into consideration that certain degrees lead to more lucrative jobs and futures than others. The most popular degrees are biology, business administration and management, communications, computer science, criminal justice, elementary education, marketing, nursing, psychology, and political science. Now consider the top majors with the highest employment rates: geological and geophysical engineering, military technologies, pharmacology, school student counseling, medical assisting service, metallurgical engineering, treatment therapy professions, agricultural economics, and agriculture production and management. These degrees are not very popular, yet are in high demand.

When choosing which degree to get, do some research on whether the degrees are in demand and are employable. With that, the majors with the highest unemployment rates are social psychology, nuclear engineering, educational administration and supervision, biomedical engineering, linguistics and comparative language, mathematics, United States history, court reporting, counseling psychology, and studio arts.

Ultimately, the right degree is the one you choose that will bring personal growth and job security. Consider factors like expected earnings, expected satisfaction, flexibility, and chances of employment, but also remember to choose something you like and can excel in.

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