Should You Go Broad Or Specific With Your Degree?

Should You Go Broad Or Specific With Your Degree?

Choosing the right degree can be tough. Many of us choose a degree with career prospects in mind. A broad degree such as English or Maths can sometimes be a safe bet because you can access so many different careers with these degrees. When choosing a specific degree such as architecture, aerospace or dentistry, you’re typically left with a much narrower range of options, however it could show an employer that you’re more passionate about getting into that specific industry.

So what is the best option? It depends on how confident you are about pursuing a specific career. If you’ve got no clue as to which career you want to get into, a broad degree is always the best option. If you’re dead-set on getting into a specific industry, a specific degree may be a better option. This post explains more about how to come to the right decision.

Is a specific degree necessary for your dream career?

Some careers can only be accessed by studying a specific career. If you want to become a dental assistant, you may find that the only way to land a job is to study for a dental assistant diploma such as this one at Rockford Career College. A maths degree or even a biology degree is unlikely to be enough.

Other careers do not require a specific degree to get into. Marketing is a prime example – while some employers may prefer candidates to have a degree, a marketing degree is often not required and you may be just as eligible with a maths degree or English degree providing that you can prove your passion for marketing. 

Can you take a broad degree and specialize later?

In some cases, it’s possible to take a broad degree and personalize it later on by adding more specific modules. An example could include taking an English degree and then taking modules related to journalism later on. If you decide to pursue a career in journalism, you can show employees that you’ve had a passion for journalism since college by giving evidence of these modules. At the same time, if you decide that a journalism career isn’t right for you, you still have an English degree to fall back on – which is likely to have broader applications than a Journalism degree. 

Have you test-driven your dream career?

Before choosing a specific degree, it could be worth checking that any relevant careers are truly right for you. Volunteering is the best way to test-drive a career – you can get a taste of what it’s like to be in your dream work environment. This guide at Save The Student explains a few tips on how to land voluntary work. 

Some people realize after volunteering in nursing or accountancy that this is not the environment for them. This could give you the opportunity to rethink your options – a broader degree could give you more flexibility to try different industries.

Even if you are already studying a specific degree, it could be worth doing some volunteer work in the summer. If the experience goes well, this will give you the confidence to stick with your degree. If the work experience causes you to think twice, you still have the opportunity to transfer to another subject. This is better than completing a course and then having to go back and study a new course.