How to Find the Right Degree for You


Check out these hot options - and see which is right for you.

By Amanda Hearle    

Finding the right degree could be compared to going on a blind date.

Think about it. Questions like, "What are our common interests?" and "Does this partnership have long-term potential?" are also fitting when it comes to figuring out what degree matches your needs and long-term career goals.

And with job satisfaction at an all-time low, according to a 2010 study by The Conference Board, knowing these answers could be the difference between a brief infatuation and a satisfying, long-term educational and career commitment.

How do you go about looking for the right degree? You could start by identifying the degrees that might help to reflect your interests, personality, and strengths.

To help you find your degree match, we've created a list of some hot degrees, with a focus on the personalities that might thrive in each field.

Degree #1 - Master's in Business Administration (MBA)

If you're outgoing, love social networking, and enjoy providing leadership in a team-oriented environment - and already have a bachelor's degree - an MBA could be the right fit for you.

As an MBA student you'll likely take courses that cover the principles of finance, management, and marketing. These courses might also incorporate case studies that look at real-world examples of businesses and their strategies.

Click Here to Find the Right MBA Program.

What's more, an MBA program could foster the skills you need to one day help a business function more productively and successfully, according to the College Board.

Potential career paths: Financial analyst, financial manager, or budget analyst*

Degree #2 - Bachelor's in Accounting

Think an accounting degree is right for you? If you're a person who loves numbers, you could be right.

Meticulous, detail-oriented individuals with a liking for numbers and spreadsheets could enjoy an accounting degree, which helps prep students to analyze and interpret the meaning of numbers.

Click Here to Find the Right Accounting Program.

By taking courses in auditing, accounting, and business law, you could be prepared to process and interpret data to help clients manage and invest their money, according to the College Board.

Potential career paths: Accountant, auditor, or budget analyst*

Degree #3 - Bachelor's in Criminal Justice

If you're searching for an education that can help you make a positive difference in your community, a criminal justice degree might be worth checking out. People with strong interpersonal and problem-solving skills could find a criminal justice degree to be in line with their educational goals.

This bachelor's program generally covers the basics of sociology, psychology, and criminal law in the context of real-world problems that face your community every day.

Click Here to Find the Right Criminal Justice Program.

You might also get the chance to study the law and justice systems, which could teach you how to deal with community issues within the law enforcement organization, the College Board notes.

Potential career paths: Probation officer, correctional treatment specialist, or correctional officer*

Degree #4 - Bachelor's in IT and Information Systems

For the technically minded person who enjoys tinkering with technology, solving puzzles, and constructing complex structures, an IT and information systems degree could present some exciting opportunities.

A focused education in information and database management, network security, and software development is what you could look forward to as an IT and information systems major.

Click Here to Find the Right IT and Information Systems Program.

This degree could also be ideal if you're looking for an education that could help you develop the necessary tools to build specific computer and software systems, according to the Department of Labor.

Potential career paths: Software developer, application systems analyst, or web programmer*

Degree #5 - Associate's in Medical Billing and Coding

Are you looking for a degree that can help hone your skills for a health care career? If so, you might want to consider earning an associate's degree in medical billing and coding.

This degree program will likely involve taking classes in anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology while also cultivating your health care administration skills.

Click Here to Find the Right Medical Billing and Coding Program.

Classes in data analysis, clinical classifications, and coding systems could also teach you how to translate medical notes into coding for health care databases, according to the Department of Labor.

Potential career path: Medical records and health information technician*

Degree #6 - Associate's in Paralegal Studies

Are you interested in pursuing a career in the legal field? If you enjoy researching, learning, and writing, a degree in paralegal studies might be for you.

A paralegal studies degree might include courses in legal research and writing, civil procedure, and ethics. These courses are ideal for anyone interested in pursuing a career in the legal field, as they can help expand your reading, writing, researching, and analytical skills.

Click Here to Find the Right Paralegal Studies Program.

The Department of Labor also notes that this degree could teach you how to read, interpret, and draft legal documents for lawyers.

Potential career paths: Paralegal or legal assistant*

*The potential career paths information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook 2010-11.

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