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A weak labor market has left half of young college graduates either jobless or underemployed so choosing the correct college degree is important. There's strong demand in the science, education, and health fields. Those with nursing, teaching, accounting or computer science degrees have fared well in finding employment.
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• COLLEGE DEGREES: CHOOSING AN OCCUPATION

advanced degreesChoosing a college degree can be a difficult decision to make. There are many things to consider but it's important to decide on the right college degree for the type of occupation that you want to pursue. You may find that you don't actually need a college degree but that a certificate or diploma will be sufficient, or your chosen profession may require further study after an initial degree.

Certificates or diplomas require a shorter period of study than a traditional college degree and are usually taken by students wanting to pursue a career in an occupational field. Often, a certificate or diploma can be taken before embarking on a college degree course.

An Associate Degree is awarded after completing a two-year college course. Many community colleges and private colleges offer an Associate's Degree program which allows you to transfer to a four-year college degree course afterward. There are many occupations where a two-year college degree is recommended or required including:

• Administrative Assistant
• Automotive Mechanic
• Cardiovascular Technician
• Commercial Artist
• Computer Technician
• Dental Hygienist
• Drafter
• Engineering Technician
• Funeral Director
• Graphic Designer
• Heating, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Technician
• Hotel or Restaurant Manager
• Medical Laboratory Technician
• Medical Record Technician
• Insurance Agent
• Registered Nurse
• Surgical Technologist
• Surveyor
• Visual Artist
• Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator

A traditional four-year college degree is the most frequently required qualification for occupations. Some examples of professions requiring a four-year college degree in an appropriate discipline are:

• Accountant
• Computer Systems Analyst
• Dietitian
• Editor
• Engineer
• Investment Banker
• Journalist
• Medical Illustrator
• Pharmacist
• Public Relations Specialist
• Recreational Therapist
• Research Assistant
• Social Worker
• Teacher

There are also a number of occupations that require a student to obtain a college degree that is longer than the conventional four-year college degree programs. These extended professional college degree programs include:

• Architect
• Biologist
• Chiropractor
• Dentist
• Doctor
• Economist
• Geologist
• Lawyer
• Librarian
• Management Consultant
• Psychologist

It's important to choose a college degree course that is suitable for the career path you want to follow. If you're unsure of which field of occupation you want to enter then it's advisable to take a certificate or diploma course first. This will enable you to change disciplines without having spent four years on a degree course that ends up not being something that you want to pursue.

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