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4 Essential Factors to Consider When Deciding on a Career Path

If you're at the age where you're considering career options, you shouldn't need anyone to hold your hand or guide you through the process at this stage. However, it helps to have a simplified step-by-step checklist that you can refer back to when you're not sure about how you want to proceed. With that said, here's a quick list of the four most important factors to consider when comparing career paths:

1. What Jobs Will You Be Able to Get with Your Degree?

Determining which positions you'll be eligible to apply for once you've obtained your degree will give you an idea of how flexible your career will be. Sites like provide convenient databases you can use to research the various jobs you can apply for with your degree. By choosing a degree type that prepares you for a wider range of desirable job positions, you'll be keeping your options open to prevent being locked into a job you no longer enjoy.

2. What is the Salary Potential?

In addition to the average and mean salary of the occupation in question, it's also good to consider the maximum amount you'll be able to make each year once you reach the pinnacle of the field. Keep in mind that you can still use your limited salary to invest in entrepreneurial endeavors that drastically boost your annual income. On the other hand, if you're ever significantly successful with your own business, there's a good chance that you might not have a desire to continue showing up to the job that you worked so hard to earn your degree for.

3. What is the Unemployment Rate?

A career with a high unemployment rate should be avoided unless you're truly passionate about the purpose of the job/industry. Fortunately, most jobs that are available to degree-carrying professionals have a relatively low unemployment rate, but there are exceptions. Checking this statistic before you make your choice will ensure you're not scratching your head without a job later on.

4. Is it a Topic You're Not Easily Bored By?

Finally, nobody wants to be trapped in a career they don't like, so if you can't even get through a long study session without wishing you were doing something else, you may want to consider another path. Of course, work doesn't necessarily have to be fun to be enjoyable. In fact, some of the most challenging jobs are also the most fulfilling, so it all depends on your personality type and individual goals.

Other Considerations to Keep in Mind

Aside from the above aspects, it's also important to consider how long it will take to make entry into the field, and how difficult it will be to land your first job. You may also want to think about the implications that the job requirements will have in terms of how it will affect your schedule, mood, energy levels, and overall quality of life. Ultimately, the decision will be up to your personal preferences and priorities, so be sure to take your time and consider all options, as you don't want to be regretting your decision after you've invested such a great deal of time and effort.


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