College Degrees that Lead to Choice: 7 Most Versatile College Degrees
the most challenging aspect of earning your college degree is in choosing the one that will open the most doors to the career—or careers—that you will seek once you graduate. Degree possibilities are endless, but corresponding job opportunities vary and are sometimes dependent on an ability to re-locate, on the pace of change and development in a particular field, and on the economy itself. Mechanical engineers, for example, may be found stocking shelves or pumping gas during an economic downturn. Furthermore, the average American worker changes jobs or careers five to seven times in his/her lifetime, so having a foundation for future careers is important.
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If you are just beginning your educational program, take a long hard look at the following seven Bachelor's degree programs. These are only a few suggestions, and many other variable degrees can certainly be earned. Also, keep in mind that in today's fast paced working world, the two year programs or the narrowly focused online programs may be sufficient and less expensive, but with a salary potential equal to that of a typical four year college degree. For that matter, don't be fooled by six figure salary estimates of certain business or legal careers. Except for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing, which requires an RN to start with, entry level salaries in most fields will be between $20,000 and $50,000 for those with only a Bachelor's degree. Experience and advanced degrees bring higher salaries in nearly any field.
Seven Degree Programs with Career Suggestions
Bachelor of Arts in English
A degree in English (sometimes called Rhetoric and Literary Studies or even "English Communication") was once one of the most popular bachelor's degrees. Many colleges no longer offer a degree in English as 21st century students dislike both reading and writing—except in emails and blogs. Students often try to avoid programs that involve reading, writing, research and speaking. However, a Bachelor's Degree in English gives one a comprehensive foundation for almost any other field of study. Therefore, if you aren't sure what career you want, or if you want the maximum flexibility in changing careers, you can't go wrong with a degree in English.
Possibilities for English Degrees
- Writer / Author (assuming employment rather than freelance)
- Radio or TV anchor (with additional study)
- Art Museum Technician
- Public Relations
- Interpersonal relations specialist
- Admissions counselor
- Secretarial positions
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
The BSBA often leads to the MBA, which is probably the most prized of all business degrees. However, the business administration degree at nearly any level is one of the most versatile of all degrees. This is partly because there are so many different business careers possible that the student can often customize his or her own degree, studying specific fields without ruling out others.
Possible Business Careers
- Imports and International business relations
- Technology support
- Investment Banking
- Market Research
- Product Management
- Real Estate
- Advertising management
- Business Consulting
- (much much more. The possibilities with a business degree are too vast to attempt a comprehensive listing.)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN is usually a pre-requisite)
The field of nursing itself offers many career choices, including social work, community education positions, forensic nursing, geriatric nursing, and many options in addition to those of working in a hospital or doctor's office. The BSN opens the door to many administrative positions within the nursing field and has become much sought after in recent years by nurses wanting to take their expertise to the next level. Additionally, any medical field is virtually recession proof.
- Nurse Practitioner
- Certified Nurse Midwife
- Certified Nurse Anesthetist
- Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Nurse Educator
- Nurse manager
- Nurse Researcher
- Legal Nurse Consultant
- Nurse Intervention Specialist
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science/Technology
Careers in computer related fields are probably second in number only to business careers; in fact, many with the BSBA or MBA ultimately end up specializing in a computer related career simply because all successful businesses depend on up-to-date, efficient computer systems. Furthermore, experienced computer programmers and software developers, and network managers can earn salaries of $70,000 and more without obtaining advanced degrees. Beginners, however will most likely have to accept salaries in the $30,000 to $35,000 range.
Computer Related Careers
- Software development
- Help desk professional
- Web page developer /coordinator
- Computer security specialist
- Network manager
- Robotics and artificial intelligence
- Operating systems
- Computer design and Engineering
- Software applications
- Computer Forensics
- Computer and Video Game Development
- Computer and Office Machine Repairing
- (more; as with the business degrees, the possibilities for computer related careers are almost unlimited.)
Bachelor of Arts in Education
The Bachelor of Arts in Education leads to an education field (teaching in either a public or private environment) more often than to any other career. However, the education degree itself provides the foundation for teaching in any disciplinary field and at any level. Furthermore, the education degree provides other career opportunities. Like careers in medicine, those who pursue an education career will not have to worry about being out of work.
- Teaching (any subject area)
- Adult literacy and remedial programs
- College professor
- Special Education
- Education Administrator
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Corporate Law, Law Enforcement
Degrees in law related fields all have in common the need for studying, understanding and applying the laws of the country. Those who have law degrees usually go beyond the bachelor's degree field and take bar exams to become attorneys, judges, or other legal professionals. Some, however, go into law enforcement and may become police personnel, paralegals, detectives, contract writers or legal researchers. Like other fields, those at the Bachelor's degree level will earn about $30,000. In fact, in small towns and rural areas, police officers, security guards, bailiffs, and corrections officers rarely make more than $50,000 even with several years of experience.
Careers in Law
- Police detective
- Corrections Officer
- Private Detective
- Security Guard
- Corporate Law
- Contract Negotiator
- Criminal Law
- Computer Crime Investigation
- Homeland Security
Bachelor of Arts in Media / Graphics Technology
Twenty-first century consumers are accustomed to eye-popping graphics on everything from web pages to cereal boxes. The most colorfully designed package will sell first even if the plain brown box has a better product. Magazines and books compete with catchy titles and show stopping artwork. The needs are limitless, but the competition is fierce. The most talented designers can cherry pick the projects they want, but the mediocre artist may have difficulty obtaining work.
The two dominating careers for those with expertise in media technology are probably game design and advertising with advertising taking the lead. If you like working with computers, and you have an artistic ability, a degree in media or graphics technology could lead you to almost as many different career choices as a business degree. Take a glance at some of the following just for starters.
Graphic Design Careers
- Art director
- Logo designer
- Flash designer
- Game designer
- Book or Magazine illustrator
- Photo Editor / Photoshop Artist
- Multimedia designer
- Prepress Technician
- Web Designer
- Newspaper advertisement designer
- Sign / billboard design, development
- Package technician
- Interior Design consultant