15 Top College Majors Ranked for Earnings and Unemployment Rates Part 3

Prepare for the College Major That Fits You Best by Taking Advantage of Online College Courses

In the past, there were legitimate reasons to be hesitant about pushing yourself out of your academic comfort zone, considering that you, like most colleges students, would be placing thousands of tuition dollars on the line. The cost of failure, in a traditional college setting, can often be too high to permit risk. In your first year of college, as you take required introductory college courses, you don’t want to be in the position of pouring your tuition dollars down a black hole of a preferred major that just doesn’t work with your perceived strengths. Fortunately, you now have options that allow you the financial latitude to take some academic risk and tease out what your strengths truly are.

Think about the expanding possibilities for your academic future and subsequent career if you are able to push financial risk aside and move beyond your perceived strengths and comfort zone. Think about the lack of financial risk, take a deep breath and consider taking online classes through companies like StraighterLine that offer low cost introductory college courses for as little as $99/month. When you can afford to dream big for your future, what do you dream about?

What Major Is Your Brass Ring, But You’re Too Scared to Reach For?

Really think about it -– what if the financial risk for taking introductory college courses was almost negligible? You could finally take that first lab course without the nagging financial or academic concerns. Even if you have never taken a college-level science course , you can challenge yourself with online classes like biology, chemistry, physics or even physiology, taken at your own pace without the concern that your background will set you apart from others.

Whether your entry point to college is through developmental math, English composition, statistics, psychology, U.S. history, college algebra or nutrition - you can enter the academic stream where you are, and gain the experience and college credits you’ll need to pursue any type of major. With the revolution in online education, you have the luxury to entertain all kinds of academic options without going into debt. After all, the lower the cost of your overall higher education, the greater your return on your college investment.

Taking online college classes can also allow you to earn college credit as you “try-on” majors. Taking an online class, you can truly see if a course of study is as good a fit as you think it will be, but still have enough money left over to explore other introductory courses in additional subject areas if it is not. At StraighterLine, for instance, your $99/month subscription lets you take an unlimited number of courses, and since each additional course only costs a $49 registration fee, you can afford to take a broad approach to course selection. When you have found the course work and major which fits best, you can then begin to specialize and maximize your tuition dollars by earning transferrable college credits in a major you’ve fully vetted.

Taking low cost online college courses allows for a degree of flexibility you just can’t find once you’ve enrolled in a brick and mortar or online college. And once you’ve taken those introductory courses, you can feel confident you have what it takes to pursue your major of choice and successfully graduate.

Know Your Options and Yourself When Choosing a Major

As the Georgetown study shows, when it comes to “employment prospects and compensation, not all college degrees are created equal.”8 Your choice of major can have a profound implication on the trajectory of your career and earnings potential. Is job security the most important criteria for you as you move beyond college? Or is it your lifetime earning potential? Do you plan on earning a graduate degree as well? You need to answer these questions before you pick a major. Once you know what matters most to you, and what implications your chosen major will most likely have on your career, you can then use the advantages offered by online colleges and universities to help you move beyond your academic comfort zone and into a major that will pay you back in the ways you value most.