For over a century, the types of jobs people had looked fairly similar. Yes, there were new industries coming up all the time, but employment itself stayed the same. You went out and found a job that paid a salary and benefits, and stuck with it for the next four decades or so, hopefully moving up along the way.
However, that has all changed with the times. Nowadays, with a saturated job market, a minimum wage that hasn’t been raised despite a decade and a half of inflation, and new jobs coming and going as quickly as new iPhones, simply finding a job has become a gargantuan task. This is why so many people are choosing to become self-employed rather than working for a boss.
Many young high school leavers who think self-employment is the best route for them are hesitant about going to college. After all, they have no one to impress with a college degree. But college is still necessary to learn and develop some important skills. The difference is that now you need to choose a useful degree rather than an impressive one.
If you want to be self-employed eventually and have the chance to pursue a college degree, these are some of the options you should look out for.
One of the most useful fields to major in as someone who wants to be self-employed is programming. Learning to code sets you up for a number of opportunities through which you can be your own boss.
You can freelance as a programmer to create websites and apps for companies. You can create your own innovative app that fills a need in the market. Even if you open a business that has nothing to do with technology, a website and app are the best marketing tools available to you. Being able to program your own will mean that you know what is possible and won’t have to compromise on your ideas.
Do you need to go to college to develop programming skills? Not exactly. Some college courses might be invaluable, but others become outdated quickly. Search for programming courses online and compare them to what your local college offers.
Optometry is a degree you need to go to college (or through a professional program) in order to get. However, that does not mean you have to stay in the system once you have completed your degree.
On the contrary, you can build your own practice as an optometrist. Optometry is a useful degree because people will need glasses and other eye-care regardless of the progression of technology. And if some current methodologies do go defunct in a couple of decades, you will be in the same position as every other human being alive today – needing to adapt your skills in order to succeed in a changing world.
If you want to build your own business, you can do a business degree. However, that may not be the best route to take. Business is changing quickly, and you would run a modern startup very differently to how you would have built a business even ten years ago.
Economics, on the other hand, relies on basic principles that will remain as long as society does in its current form. Yes, there are new principles necessary to succeed in 2021, but these do not render the old principles defunct. They simply add to and change a system that has been developing for centuries. There are plenty of career paths, from research to marketing to fintech start-ups.
As someone who plans to be self-employed in the future, a college degree can help. The difference is that you are doing it entirely for yourself, and not to look good on a resumé.