3 Steps to Choose the Right Online Degree Major

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For some, choosing an online degree program can be daunting. With dozens of programs to choose from, deciding on the right fit can be tough – especially considering the financial investment. Remember, your online degree choice should reflect your interests and passions and ultimately lead to a career that is satisfying and rewarding.

For online students, choosing the right degree program can be easier if online education is being used to further a current career path, because you most likely have an idea of the degree you need to continue. However, it’s still important to follow these steps, as you may discover a new degree option or career path that piques your interest and ultimately achieves your goals in a different way.

1. Define both your desired career path and interests: Prospective online students may seek a college degree to boost their current career or even redirect it. No matter the circumstance, an important first step in choosing the right online degree major is to define what your true passions and interests are. Knowing which areas of study are most desirable to you and which job path you want to take or continue on will help narrow down the long list of degree options.

2. Check out online offerings: Once you’ve determined what your interests are, do your research: Most colleges have an online degree catalog or separate landing page. Degrees that lend themselves nicely to the online model require a high level of technical skills and come from demand and growth in certain careers – for example, electrical and software engineering, psychology, nursing and criminal justice, among others.

For example, ASU Online has a detailed and extensive degree catalog where you can find quick descriptions of each online degree, associated costs, current classes available, necessary requirements and quick ways to receive additional information.

Your desired college may also offer an assessment to help determine what your major should be based on interests and hobbies, or to help you explore your career interests and see how careers connect to college majors.

3. Meet with an enrollment adviser: Once you’ve determined one or a few different degree options, meet with an enrollment adviser, who might communicate with you via phone and email. At ASU Online, we hope to begin using a text and chat feature in the coming months for greater access.

Most colleges offer advisers as resources to help prospective online students determine which degree to pursue and the courses they need to complete. For online students, your current career path may affect this decision, and having a knowledgeable guide through the decision-making process is critical. As you juggle an education and career, these counselors can also help you build out your schedule and determine the time commitment you will need to make.

They are also a resource for questions you may have about an online degree path and the types of careers it could lead to, and ways to boost your current job potential.

The takeaway: Choosing an online degree major that is right for you can be a challenging process, but if you take advantage of the resources offered by the university and do your research, the experience will prove rewarding and can even be enjoyable.

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