Starting college and feeling lost? Here's how to pick the right course

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The transition from school to college is a profound one. Many who are on the threshold of entering college find themselves unsure about which stream to pursue. Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 there are some industries which are relentlessly expanding and hiring. They offer many opportunities for entry level professionals to earn, learn, and excel. Starting a college degree in a domain with high growth potential is always a good strategy. Here is a list of options that can really put your career on a launch pad.

Customer support

An unprecedented number of people work, learn, and consume services at home. The need for virtual support and services is exploding. The University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) offers a Bachelor’s program in Customer Service Management. The program duration is 4 years. Colorado residents would spend $7,692 on tuition and nonresidents can expect to pay $17,988. A qualification in this domain can lead to a successful career in service delivery. Customer Service Managers can expect to earn $40,000-$70,000 annually depending on domain and level of responsibility. Students can also explore specialized service industry courses such as Hospitality Management, Project Management, Facilities Management, and so on.

Pharmacy

44% of all Americans take at least one medication while 17% take three or more. A qualification in pharmacology is a path to long term career success. The University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill is one of many US institutions which offer degrees in Pharmacy. The Doctor of Pharmacy program at UNC certifies students to start professional practice. The program takes 6 years to complete, including 5 years of studies and a year of residency. The fees are $12,164 for the fall session and $3,123 for the summer session for residents of North Carolina. Fees for nonresident students can be higher. Corporations such as Walgreens and CVS recruit tens of thousands of pharmacists each year. Experienced pharmacists in the US earn $87,000-$157,000 annually.

Retail

Regardless of the status of the economy people will always need groceries. The retail industry constantly hires staff and managers. The US Bureau of Labor states that most retail chains prefer to hire managers with at least a bachelor’s degree and preferably some experience. Traditionally a degree in economics, business management, accounting, or marketing would suffice. Many universities now offer specialized courses in retail management. Harvard University offers a degree course in Economics. It takes four years to complete and costs about $72,391. Such a qualification prepares students for leadership positions with the world's most recognizable brands. Store managers with the likes of Walmart and Instacart earn about $80,000 annually. However, with a Harvard qualification you can set your sights far higher.

App development

Many aspects of our lives are becoming increasingly app-based. A survey by App Developer Magazine revealed that people spent 20% more time on apps in the first quarter of 2020 than they did in 2019. All manner of organizations now use apps to handle various aspects of customer engagement and service. A career in app development requires a bachelor’s degree in applied computer science. Institutions such as the University of Wisconsin, Madison offers such courses. Students can complete the program at their own pace at a flat rate of $505 per course for 21 courses. The average completion time is 2 years. Students get a chance to polish skills like algorithms and data structures. Successful graduates can apply to establishments such as Johnson Controls, ManpowerGroup, and Northwestern Mutual. App developers in the US earn in the range of $120,000 annually.

IT

One of the fastest growing industries in 2020 is Information Technology. There is a wide rift between the demand and supply of IT professionals in artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, and other fields. Silicon Valley firms recruit thousands of foreign professionals each year. Many of these migrant workers come to work in the US to improve their earning opportunities. They regularly send money online to support their families back home. There are well over 4 million software professionals in the US, with the demand continuously increasing. A relevant university degree in software and information technology can guarantee long term employability.

It is time for aspiring freshmen to overcome indecision and make a deliberate choice. Pick your flavor from the widest range of university courses. Enroll in a degree which would bring out the best of your aptitudes and interests. Set your career on the path to success.

About the author:

Hemant G is a contributing writer at Sparkwebs LLC, a Digital and Content Marketing Agency. When he’s not writing, he loves to travel, scuba dive, and watch documentaries.