College is often considered the surest path to a lucrative career. After all, while you can find some promising jobs without a college degree, the majority of the best jobs for the future require you to have at least a bachelor's degree just to get your foot in the door. And this is especially true for those jobs with the biggest paychecks. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a worker with a bachelor's degree typically earns 80% more than someone with just a high school diploma.
Online certificates and associate degrees in education can provide an introduction to the field and preparation for later college-level work. These degrees cover general liberal arts topics, as well as courses in curriculum design, child development, and instructional methods. Stand-alone undergraduate certificates are usually available in early childhood education areas, while certificates that are part of bachelor’s degrees cover a wider range of topics, such as education policy or adult education.
Back to the computer lab for another promising field of study. This broad tech subject can help prepare you for a number of jobs in the hot tech field, from app developer to systems analyst—both of which are among our picks for 30 of the best jobs for the future. Computer systems analysts make a median $87,142 a year and have a projected job growth rate of 11.9%. App developers earn a median income of $100,857 a year and are expected to grow their numbers by 30.4% over the next decade.
Associate degrees and bachelor's degrees that feature an instructional technology option are more likely to be degrees in education or teaching with an instructional technology specialization option. Students will study teaching techniques, curriculum development, evaluation techniques, and classroom management, all while learning about how they can use technology to enhance their teaching skills. Some schools require that students who are applying for master's in instructional technology already have official teaching experience. Doctoral programs may even require curriculum development or teacher leadership experience.
Will my major dictate my profession? If you specialize in something like nursing, accounting or engineering, you're learning a specific vocation and will likely continue with that. Most majors, however, prepare you for a range of job opportunities and professions - giving you the basis for more specialized training once you graduate. For most students, picking a college major is not the same as picking a profession or planning your career. It will be up to you to pursue and apply for opportunities. Job opportunities will come in many forms. It is up to you to articulate how your degree, skills, know-how, experiences and what you learned can bring value to your potential employer, customer or circumstance. The major helps develop the confidence in a specialized subject area - demonstrating you can apply yourself and succeed.
Make sure your computer is protected against malware. If you have Windows 8 or 10, you should already have Windows Defender (but make sure it’s on and up-to-date). For further protection, you can pair that with the free version of Malwarebytes. It also doesn’t hurt to install an ad blocker like Ublock Origin (which is what I use in order to block malicious ads before they even get the chance to load – you can always whitelist the sites you trust if you want to support them.