It seems to be the go-to choice for a lot of young people nowadays, but at the same time this “new normal” means that there are a lot of myths doing the rounds about a college education.

It would be fair to say that this is a topic that Patrick Dwyer Merrill Lynch knows all about, and his successful career in the finance industry was built on a very strong educational base.

The education spectrum might have changed somewhat over the last few years, but a lot of facts still remain. We will now tap into some of his knowledge to find out what you really shouldn’t believe when it comes to a college education.

Myth #1 – You should always opt for sensible subjects

This is something that used to be preached all of the time, but thankfully it is now advice which is dwindling in popularity. Regardless of whether you were heading to Austin or Miami for your studies, there was always an emphasis on choosing a “sensible” subject. What constituted a sensible subject? We’re not exactly sure. Usually, it focussed around the old favourites like engineering and psychology.

Well, nowadays, let’s scrap such advice. There’s no doubt that some industries require specific degrees but if your desired career doesn’t fall into this category, try and choose something that you will enjoy. The idea behind this is that over a three-year period, when the going gets tough, your motivation is going to fuel better grades. Ultimately, better grades will lead to a better job.

Myth #2 – Vocational subjects always result in jobs

This next myth is almost contradictory to the previous one, but give us time. It would be fair to say that over the last few years there has been a real influx of vocational subjects. Once upon a time they were unheard of; everyone had to head towards the “standard” topics that had been around for decades.

Then, came vocational subjects. They were the subjects that supposedly led to a direct job, but don’t automatically assume this. While you will receive training for an exact discipline, there are a whole host of things that can still stand in your way. Firstly, there will be plenty of other students vying for these roles, while secondly if the jobs market takes a turn for the worst and this industry is affected your chances of employment plummet lower than they would regardless.

Myth #3 – IT is a path to riches

Finally, don’t believe the notion that IT is always going to bring you a job. A few years ago, this might have been the case, but competition is now getting strong. Sure, more and more jobs are being created in the field and you only have to look at the statistics for Miami, on its own, to see how it has exploded in popularity.

However, there are some unfavourable statistics as well. For example, Computer Science is one of those degrees that tends to be met by higher unemployment rates following graduation, so those working in this industry have to work hard for their positions.