Four questions to ask when choosing a degree
Caribbean Life, J BQ une 28–July 4, 2019 41
Many college-bound students fi nd that there’s
one question commonly asked by family
members, friends and even complete strangers:
What degree are you pursuing? It’s a great conversation
starter and gives students an opportunity
to share their educational goals with others, but for
some who are trying to select from a long list of degree
choices for the fi rst time, this seemingly harmless
question can be daunting.
CMT artist and Arizona State University online
student Ashley Wineland has some tips to share
from her personal experience with selecting a college
degree. Whether you’re looking to create a plan
of action for picking the perfect major or just need
some inspiration, Wineland shares four questions
she asked herself along the way that helped her select
the perfect degree for her professional goals.
Will you pursue an online degree?
“I knew I was going to be online bound as soon as
I hit my senior year of high school,” Wineland said.
“Usually, this is a pretty restrictive path for degree
options as most colleges only have paths dedicated
in things like business or art history. As someone
who had already started building a career in entertainment
as a singer/songwriter, I knew that those
options weren’t going to make the fi nal cut for me.”
What is your passion?
Wineland found that her heart and soul was in
music entertainment, but a degree path with that
primary focus was not available to her. “I had to
think outside the box,” she said. “I asked myself important
questions like, ‘What can you do that is still
creative in nature, but can also aid other parts of
How can your passion lead to a
As Wineland considered how to use the skills she
learned to expand her career path and combine with
her passion for entertainment, she found a creative,
yet business and media focused degree called Film
and Media Studies.
“I remember being so ecstatic when I found Film
and Media Studies in the degree options,” Wineland
said. The degree program has four major areas of
emphasis: a screenwriting portion, which allowed
Wineland to use her creative writing skills, and the
other three areas which focused on the evolution of
media, how it is used today and what impact it has
on our society.
“I knew I was going to be able to use these skills
to improve how I communicated with my fan base,
produce visual content - the future of the entertainment
industry - and form my business plans. It was
an all-encompassing degree that was going to aid me
in different facets of my career that I wasn’t already
actively homing in on.”
Are you open to other possibilities?
With more degree options than ever before, there
will likely be a few ‘new to you’ majors to consider.
Keeping an open mind will help you open up possibilities
and, like Wineland, fi nd a perfect fi t.
“Overall, I have found a love for my degree and
have been able to begin implementing its lessons
into my work life,” Wineland said.
A degree you may never have considered, or even
known was available, can provide an exciting educational
experience - and ASU Online is a great place
to start. When choosing your degree, be open to possibilities
and refl ect on how you can creatively use
the skill sets a degree path has to offer to pursue
your best life.