Are you a college grad or a soon-to-be student? If so, it’s essential to know what degrees can and can’t do for your life, career, and quality of life. Most people already understand the basic facts about how long it generally takes to earn a diploma, what the most common majors are, how to research schools on the internet, etc. But besides those ordinary pieces of data, there are several not-so-well-known but equally useful things every future, current, and former student should know.
The selection of a major field of study can have a huge impact on a person’s employability. In other words, not all degrees are of equal financial value in terms of career prospects. Also, grads can gain a significant measure of financial relief by refinancing their loans a year or so after completing their studies. For future students, it’s wise to search for bargains among the many school choices. Don’t rule out online coursework, which carries as much weight with potential employers as traditional schooling. Keep in mind that GPA (grade point average) is still a relevant part of your collegiate academic record, as is your participation in extracurricular activities. Finally, note that many professional workers keep their jobs while taking telecourses on weekends and evenings. Review the following pertinent facts about college degrees.
Not All Grads Are Equally Employable
Schools don’t like to mention the fact in their brochures and on official websites, but some degrees give students a better chance at gainful employment than others. Companies that recruit on campuses tend to seek out applicants with marketable skills and majors. Typically, choices among hiring managers include fields of study like marketing, engineering, applied sciences, accounting, education, English, and many others. Many corporations base their hiring decision more on a person’s major than on the school they attended. What’s the takeaway? If you want an easy transition from school to work, consider a job-friendly major. If a non-mainstream subject interests you, add it into the mix as an elective or perhaps a minor area of study. But try to choose a major that offers good value in terms of career possibilities.
You Can Refinance College Loans After Graduating
For all sorts of reasons, college grads assume that their school loans are static agreements that come with fixed terms, rates, and payments. That’s not true. Refinancing education loans a year or more after graduation can be a huge game-changer. Those original loan agreements are not set in stone for the smart adults who choose to refinance. The immediate advantage of a refi is that borrowers can significantly lower their monthly payments, which makes personal budgeting a much easier affair. You can see available options online and find out about all the other perks of refinancing, like getting a shot at better terms, lower interest rates, and much more time to repay. While it’s no secret that anyone can refinance student loans, the maneuver is one of the little-known facts about college degrees. More working people are discovering how a refi can provide a massive boost to their personal finances.
You Have to Search for Bargains
The mainstream media has long been fixated on stories about the high cost of college, but the situation is not nearly as dire as the sensationalism you read in headlines. This is particularly true in the digital age when online education is gaining momentum. Remote study programs for both undergraduate and graduate degrees are much less costly than traditional schooling. In addition to online bargains, community colleges and state universities still represent a solid value for students looking to minimize the financial sting of paying for a two-year or four-year degree. Taking the initial years of study at a community college and finishing up at a local branch of a state school is another way to acquire a diploma without shelling out a huge sum or borrowing a significant amount of money.
Online Degrees Are 100% Legit
Times have changed for people seeking degrees. Online-based study was still a rarity just a generation ago. Today, most of the nation’s top institutions offer 100% online degree programs, and the credentials are just as legitimate as traditional, in-person coursework. It’s worth noting that job applicants don’t even list online on their resumes anymore. That’s because hiring agents don’t care whether a candidate attended via computer or in person. They’re more interested in what the person studied, the grade-point average, and work experience.
Summer Job Experience Makes a Difference
For young adults who go straight from high school to collegiate coursework, it can be a challenge to amass relevant work experience for a career goal. But there’s a workaround for the dilemma, and smart students know how to use it. First, if you want to make your summer break productive, make an effort to land summer jobs that offer something other than a minimum wage. Aim for positions that are at least partially related to your major field of academic study. Finance majors might attempt to find summer positions in banks. Additionally, meet with counselors to find paid internships with companies in your area of interest. Contact companies directly to let them know you’re interested in summer work, are attending college, and wish to acquire skills in a specific area. While traditional summer jobs are a good way to gain experience, internships are even better.
Extracurriculars Enhance a Diploma’s Market Value
Students tend to veer toward extremes with extracurricular activities. They either ignore them altogether or get involved in too many organizations. The optimal strategy is to choose one or two clubs, remembering to join one academic oriented organization and one just for fun. Why? Because extra activities serve at least three purposes. One, they give hard-working students a social outlet and a way to relax and enjoy their free time. Two, clubs and teams develop social skills and talents that classroom study doesn’t offer. Three, hiring agents like to see a couple of extracurriculars on applicant resumes. The activities demonstrate that the candidate is well-rounded, gets along with others, and values the chance to learn in several different ways.