Find a degree’s worth and its job prospects

In this post, I share an exercise to assess a degree’s worth and job prospects by surveying career potential from alumni, stats from Bureau of Labor Statistics, and more.

Going over this exercise will not only give you a glimpse of your post-graduation future but give you a good idea of where your opportunities lay and potential employers.

It will give you the motivation to get a degree and colleges will be happy you do your research and gladly accept you because you have a plan after graduation. In contrast, most students don’t.

Clarify Your Goals (also, golds)

Muhammad Ali’s famous quote – “If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it – then I can achieve it.” We all agree that education is helpful. The outcome of education can be vague and hard to track sometimes. When we lose sight, we also lose motivation. 

In this exercise, you will go through a series of research on yourself, potential jobs, and earning potentials. Once you identify a few jobs that pay well, look into their educational qualifications. You will get an idea of what kind of degree or certificate you need to get the job you want and the pay that is worth pursuing the education.

Let’s get started with you! Emotion is what drives us to wake up and do exciting things. Imagine you have a job that gives you excitement every day because its work is something you enjoy doing. You can look back at your life experience and find out the activities you enjoy doing and get clues about what jobs might give us the same enjoyment. 

  1. Write down the activities that excite you. Try to think about the events that involve helping others in different ways. For example, I like to listen to people’s stories; I can help people by listening to their problems and discuss solutions.

I am not asking you about your passion. I am asking you to think about how you would like to help one person, a group of people, animals or animals, or anything.  If you can help one stranger, you can find a way to help millions.

Skills are transferable. The skills that you develop in life in the things that you do have value. If you can find a job that employee those skills and because you enjoy doing those activities, you will find a job that you enjoy doing. 

  1. Go to O*NET OnLine and check out more details about those jobs. You want to make sure your expectation matches the reality that the job performs as expected, and it exists.

You cannot believe there are so many different job titles out there! Everyone can find jobs that they like. Take a Career Assessment or just explore thousands of different careers. 

Job titleTasks that you enjoy doingWork activities you like

Your education is going to cost you some money. It’s important to do what you like to do and make sure you can make enough money to pay back your tuition, so you don’t need to worry about not paying back your tuition loan or not making enough money to have a good life.

  1. Visit Job Salaries and look up the salary of the three job titles you found above.
Job Title 1:
Salary Range:
Monthly Earning:
Hourly Rate:
Is it enough for the lifestyle you want to have? If not, how much more?
Job Title 2:
Salary Range:
Monthly Earning:
Hourly Rate:
Is it enough for the lifestyle you want to have? If not, how much more?
Job Title 3:
Salary Range:
Monthly Earning:
Hourly Rate:
Is it enough for the lifestyle you want to have? If not, how much more?

Why settle? Pick the one you like the best, in terms of compatibility and earning. You have 2-4 years to prepare for this job, and education is part of the preparation. Let’s find out the right education that will get you the job. 

  1. Search for the job sites of your favorite companies and see if they have an opening. You are not applying, just planning and preparing. Look up at least 3 of them and copy and paste the link below. I provided some popular tech companies’ career sites – Google Careers: Build for Everyone | Help us build Earth’s most customer-centric company. | Facebook Careers | Jobs at Apple | Netflix Jobs 

Don’t see any job posting of the job title? Try to use different job search websites. 

Job Posting 1:
Job Posting 2:
Job Posting 3:
  1. Identify education, licenses, and/or certificate qualifications.

You are looking for something like “Bachelor’s degree or equivalent post-secondary degree in …” or  “A current, active certification… issued by the State of California …” 

For example,




Related Experience

I encourage you to explore your career choices a little deeper by doing an informational interview. However, you have all the essential information you need before writing your educational goal. 

  1. Describe your educational goal. It should include how did you come to choose this degree or certificate, what qualifications will this education help you achieve, how do you plan to finish the degree and apply to which jobs? Here are some student examples

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