There is increasing pressure on young people to “nail” their choice of a college major. However, few teenagers have thought enough about the big picture of life to prepare them for this choice.
In the Decision Driven® Life pattern, I have broadened the scope of this decision a bit to “Higher Education – My Major” which I’ve framed as “What forms of higher education will you seek to enable your life vision, vocation, career and service? What level of degree? What major?” I could have treated this as two narrow, but tightly-coupled decisions (My Major and My Terminal Degree), but I think most folks really do this as one decision. “What course of study should I pursue and how far will I pursue it to prepare me for work and life?”
Note also that I treated this as a child decision of the Life Vocation decision, not just below Career. That’s because I’m idealistic enough to think of higher education as more than just a ticket to a high paying job; it can also be preparation for a life of service and meaning.
I’ve include some sample criteria for this decision below, as personalized by our fictional friend, Jim Geny. He most highly values career fit, career flexibility and the “git-R-done” factor, Time/cost to complete. Note how Jim created a virtual scoring scale for each factor by stating a Must limit (his walkaway point) and an Ideal value. This will help him later when he does the Think it Through evaluation step. In particular, Jim wants to be able to work full time at his career after four years because he sees himself as more of a hands-on or on-the-job learner. Making this a firm requirement will enable him to reject an alternative (full-time MBA) when he does his analysis.