Things to Consider When Choosing a Career

March 20, 2012 | posted by College Money Insider.

In the coming weeks, many of you will have to make a decision that will shape the next four years (and beyond) of your life: which college should you attend? The school you pick will also shape another major decision that looms large for college students: which career path should you pursue? It is perfectly fine if you are undecided on your future career goals, as college is an excellent time to take chances and explore any areas of study that you might be interested in. Even if your career aspirations are not your top priority right now, it is still good to know what to consider when choosing a profession. Here are some of the most important factors:

  • Earning potential. While earning potential shouldn’t be your end-all be-all when picking a career, it will certainly factor into the equation. It might even affect which school you decide to attend. For example, if you are considering a profession that tends to pay lower on average, then it might not make sense to attend a very expensive college and accumulate a lot of debt. Only you know what you can live with and live without, so do some research on the earning potentials of various careers and see what fits with your situation. A good resource to consult is the Bureau of Labor Statistics Career Guide to Industries.
  • Years of study. Certain careers, such as medicine or law, require you to complete years of study beyond the undergraduate level. These professions can be very prestigious and rewarding, but the schooling can be a rather large investment of both your time and money. If you decide to pursue one of these professions, then you must understand that it could be a while before you see a return on your investment.
  • Work environment. Some careers sound perfect in theory, until you sit down and think about the day-to-day pressures associated with them. For example, you might be interested in the military, but if you hate to travel, then you might need to reconsider. You might dream of being in the newspaper business, but if you can’t handle working on a strict deadline, then it is probably not such a good idea. Take scope of yourself and do some preliminary thinking about what type of work environment would best suit your personality.
  • Passion. At the end of the day, your passion level for a job will most likely determine how successful you are in doing it. Make sure you spend enough time pursuing your interests now so you have a better chance at finding your true calling in the future!

What are you considering as you think about your future career plans? Let us know in the comments!

Image: Ambro