Some people automatically assume that they will go to college after they finish high school or that they need to enroll in a program when they want to change their careers. However, it is possible that you can venture into a field without a college degree. Before you start working toward this new goal, finding out if you need a degree or not is imperative.
Define Your Goals
In order to determine if you need a college career or not, you must determine what your ultimate goals are. For example, it is not enough to know what field you want to work in; you have to know specifically what job you want to have. You might say that you want to work at a college; however, that work can happen in a variety of capacities. Defining your specific end goal can help you to conduct the proper research.
Read Job Listings
Once you know what it is that you want to do, you should begin to read job listings for that specific position. Visit reputable online sources for job postings as well as companies themselves. In these postings, you will see what the degree requirements are. When you notice that virtually all of them require you to have a degree, then the time has come to enroll in a traditional or an online degree program.
Know the Degree
In some cases, having just one degree is not enough to get you the job that you want. Positions could require that you have a graduate degree or a doctoral degree, for example. It is also likely that you need a degree in a specific subject in order to qualify for the job. While you are researching job postings, make a list for yourself of the company name and the specific degree requirements.
Speak to Professionals
As you are browsing through job listings, you may find that some of the postings are unclear. You may also see jobs where a degree is preferred but not required. In that case, you want to find out how often people who don’t have degrees actually land jobs in the field. One of the best ways to find out this information is to speak with professionals in the field. They can let you know what you need to do to procure a position if you don’t have the degree.
Once you see that a job requires a certain degree, you may immediately enroll in a program to obtain that degree and think that you are on your way. While you have made progress, keep in mind that the degree might be a minimum requirement. For example, the position may also require you to have a specialization in a certain subset of the degree or a certain number of internship opportunities. You can also gain these important experiences at college, but you want to make sure the school offers these opportunities.
Consider the Name
In many cases, the name of the college or university that you attend does not ultimately affect whether or not you get a job at a particular company. However, that is not always the case. You should research if students at the schools in which you are interested are likely to get jobs in the field that you are pursuing. If the answer is no, then you may need to find a different school that has a better reputation in your chosen area.
Whether or not you decide to pursue a college degree is a choice that you have to make. When your chosen field generally requires degrees, keep in mind that the decision not to procure one could be a major mistake.