Previously I wrote something similar in my Bulgarian blog explaining some stuff to the folks that are going to make their first steps in the real life.
What's BA, MA and isn't it 'Real' Education ?
I think it's easier to write it this way.
BA, MA (Bachelor & Master of Arts) is usualy the reason why you're fighting for in those 3-5 hardcore years in the university (there're some that might get it for 2). But is this the education ?
Most of the people that graduate with certain degree never dreamed of working what they've studied.
There is one simple question that a person should ask himself before going down that road - What do I want to work for the rest of my life ?
Have you tried google-ing how your work-idols got their jobs or ask a acquaintance for a recomedation how to proceed - if not, you should. It might be the best thing to do. Do not listen to people who tell you stuff like:
You want to be a software developer or game developer..
– Go get a degree from the Technical University, study math hard and stuff..
Sure that might be true. You could go there, spend 4 years studying 7 kinds of math, learn 1-2 programming languages on 'familiar' to 'working' level.. or you can spend few hours to contact an actual software or game developer and find out what are the specs and requirements of his work. Also spending couple of days at his work might good thing to do (if possible) - most of the devs are cool guys so it won't be much of a trouble.
The truth is you don't need 4 years and 7 kinds of math, but you sure as hell need more than 1-2 programming languages with higher than regular 'working' level to become a good developer.
Whatsoever some professions do require hard studying even more than 4 years and getting to the right university is the key to success - take for example law, microbiology, history, education and more.
It sounds 2-faced, but the key is to find your own path, not allowing to be pushed around by people's thoughts and beliefs.
What is 'a must' to do is think also for the kind of occupation you'd like to have. There is one factor that will be a key in the next few decades and that is the amazing ammount of freelancers launching their practice at the moment and in the future.
Freelance is becoming and is said to become the biggest work force in the near future. Right now there are over 100,000,000 freelancers in the world and that's the ones you can find online, but there is much more than that.
Degree or Certification
In my field of work I had to recruit a lot of freelancers for numerous projects, the thing I've never looked about in the resume was the degree.
The reason for that is simple. When I was looking for a graphic designer I couldn't care less for his degree - what could a degree in Multimedia & Graphic Design could tell me about the persons qualification ?
He might scored A+ to all the tests, but to be empty human being with zero creativity. What I did care about in that case was an OC content portfolio showing the persons real qualification.
I guess this examples attempt won't be fair unles I include one where a technology degree might had weight (even tho I never cared).
Example 2: I am looking for a freelancer to manage & expand a Phalcon based CMS and I see a resume saying that the guy has successfuly graduated from MIT with a MA in Mathematics with Computer Science - which tells me nothing about how familiar the person is with the Phalcon framework that I care about. The next one got 2 years of experience with Zend, Laravel & Phalcon.. well that's my guy.
Of course those example of the freelance market are not applicable within a normal work enviroment. There are long terms factors there that might make the first candidate more desireable.
Companies are interested to expand your knowledge and model you the way they want you to. That's why a lot of them create their own academies, coureses and certification programs. The question stays - are you going to work for that same company that trained you after you get 2 or 3 years in the same position (or with some raise) or you'd rather go one step further - find a better job, or even better become a entrepreneur. Make your own product. Create your own company. Do your own thing.
That's up to you to decide.
Easy is sometimes hard
I find it amusing how much easier is to place your self on the work market if you are focused over one thing. For example one porgramming language / one framework / one CMS / one application .. one skill. That's great. This is the easiest way possible to be great at something and would probably be enough for a steady job, to support a household, to be something there, in the system of 'somethings'.
There would come a time where you'd like to put a bullet through your head. Because you did this 'something' for months, even years and it's still that 'something', might be changed a bit, but it's pretty much the same.
My advice is to take it step by step. Be the something, never stay the something. Allways expand yourself, not only by reading fantasy books, novels, J.K. Rowling and going to teathers, ballet and wherever people with free time go, but expand your professional view. I can not stand it but to make some IT based example. At this point there so many active ones.