Higher earning potential and a greater opportunity for advancement in a highly competitive job market are just a few of the advantages of having a degree. Whether that be a college degree, hands-on training from a trade school, a career college, or a vocational school, further education will undoubtedly lead you to a more successful career.

But with hundreds of schools offering thousands of degrees and programs, how are you supposed to know which is right for you?

4 Steps to Help You Find the Right Degree:

  1. Clarify Your Goal

First, clarify your goal and your motivation by asking yourself these simple questions:

Why do I want a degree?

Am I trying to enhance my current career or start a new one?

How can a degree help me better live up to my potential?

What types of careers do different degrees allow for?

What do I really want to do for a living?

Should I consider trade school or vocational school over college?

Once you’ve clearly answered these questions, you’ll have a better grasp on the general direction you want to go, and why you want to go there.

  1. Are You Up for the Challenge?

Once you’ve determined that you are sincerely motivated enough to earn a degree or certification, the next step is to commit yourself to the goal. Pursuing a degree or certification, and finding the right school to earn it from, can be a time-consuming and expensive proposition — you wouldn’t want to get halfway there only to decide it was too difficult…

Or find you’ve made the wrong choice in schools or career paths.

So make sure you understand what is expected by answering these questions:

Do I have 10-20 hours per week to devote to coursework?

Am I disciplined and mature enough to assume this responsibility and see it through to completion?

Can I make a commitment of two to four years of study to obtain a degree?

Should I instead enroll in a career college to expedite the process?

Am I up to living on campus, or is it best for me to study from home?

Am I better off learning a trade?

In a typical four-year college, the first two years are usually spent completing general education requirements. Alternatives for people pressed for time include obtaining an associate degree — a two-year degree offered by most community colleges — or taking courses from an online college, many of which are self-paced and are often cheaper than beginning your college career at a four-year institution.

Faster even may be enrolling in a career-based program where you’ll almost exclusively learn a trade or skill that you can take to the marketplace immediately after you’ve finished your coursework.

Other options for the undecided (four-year college enrollees) are to major in General Studies until a clearer vision forms.

If you have any doubts about your major, try taking one course, or auditing one, and see how it fits into your schedule, your desire, and your lifestyle.

  1. Choosing Your Area of Study

Choice of a major should be based on your interests and aptitudes. If you aren’t passionate about a particular subject, chances are the career fields that await you, post-graduation, may not interest you either.

  1. Choosing Your School or Program

As you prepare to research schools, ask yourself these questions:

  • Should I apply to a local college and commute?
  • Am I willing to relocate or live on campus to attend a specific school?
  • Should I stay where I am and enroll in an online college or university?
  • Can I afford a particular school that interest me?
  • Should I consider a trade school, vocational school or bootcamp instead?

To determine which school or degree program (or career college) is right for you, compare these options with your current situation, and review all the personal particulars of various schools and academies at SchoolMatchPro.com. We’ll help to get you in touch with multiple schools’ enrollment counselors to ensure you’re making the right decision… for you!

For those who are already committed to a job, career or family, an online option opens an entire world of learning that combines convenience and flexibility without sacrificing quality or program variety. You can take online degree or certification courses that can help you advance the career you already have, or to help you obtain a career you never thought you’d qualify for.

School Match Pro can help connect you directly with the traditional college, career college, trade school or skills program that best fits your lifestyle, goals, timeframe and, perhaps most importantly… your budget!

If you are interested in learning more about yourself, your interests and your skills, take the next step toward a higher education; have a look into the schools, courses and degree programs that will increase your education, earning potential and self-esteem at SchoolMatchPro.com