Choosing a college degree can be a very difficult decision to make. There are many things to consider but it is important to decide on the right college degree for the type of occupation that you want to pursue. You may find that you do not actually need a college degree but that a certificate or diploma will be sufficient, or your chosen profession may require further study after a college degree such as medicine or law.
Certificates or diplomas require a shorter period of study than a traditional college degree and are usually taken by students wanting to pursue a career in an occupational field. Quite often a certificate or diploma can be taken before embarking on a college degree course.
An associate degree is awarded after completing a two-year college degree course. Some community colleges and other universities offer an associate degree program which allows you to transfer to a four-year college degree course after you have been awarded the appropriate associate degree. There are a number of occupations where a two-year college degree is recommended or required including:
Heating, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Technician
Hotel or Restaurant Manager
Medical Laboratory Technician
Medical Record Technician
Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator
A traditional four-year college degree is the most frequently required qualification for a number of occupations. Some examples of professions requiring a four-year college degree in an appropriate discipline are:
Computer Systems Analyst
Public Relations Specialist
There are also a number of occupations that require a student to obtain a college degree that is longer than the conventional four-year college degree programs. These extended professional college degree programs include:
Public Policy Analyst
It is important to choose a college degree course that is suitable for the career path you want to follow. If you are unsure of which field of occupation you want to enter then it is advisable to take a certificate or diploma course first. This will enable you to change disciplines without having spent four years on a degree course that ends up not being something that you want to pursue.