I have worked in enrollment and admissions for colleges and TK-12th. My experience would be to take advantage of AP classes offered, if any, by your high school. Also, look into concurrent or dual enrollment with the local community College. Focus on taking general education classes, or classes that will be needed for your chosen field.
Look into the colleges your interested in, and see what classes they will require. Each university and program usually have their own set of requirements. Make sure to try to get as many classes transferable as well.
In addition, look to get first hand experience in your potential career of interest. Look for volunteer, intern, and in depth research in the field. Look into forecasting and long term for the field as well.
Look into trying to speak with someone in the field. Have questions prepared in advance to respect their time.
Hope this helps, and best of luck!
Do you need to go to college to do what you want to do?
Also, try not to think of college as just something to move quickly through. Take classes that are interesting - learn from the experience. If even if classes aren't directly tied to what your career goals are, having a multi-disciplinary approach makes you a broader thinker. Typically, you will be better at your job if you have more experience from other industries, etc.
It may not feel like it now, but life is long and my advice is to not rush through the stages. If you're going to be in college, enjoy and get the most out of college for what it is. If you want to start working early, then see if you can internship for credit or volunteer or work part-time.
Lauren Grzyboski, CFE, CAMS, MBA
Great question! Depending on if you're in high school or college there are different paths you can take to finish up college early. If you are in high school I recommend taking dual enrollment and/or AP courses. These courses can be used towards college credits at accepting universities. The courses usually go towards general education credits, however every university is different. Further, if you are currently in or about to start college, I recommend taking classes during the winter and summer terms. They are typically taught online and can really help you finish up a semester or even a year early.
See if you can take dual enrollment classes at your local college. Those classes will more than likely be accepted by your university more easily than AP classes. Sometimes schools will not accept an AP class for credit without a high score on the test (4-5.
In college, try to find ways to test out of prerequisite classes if your AP or dual enrollment classes didn't cover you. Make sure to do the research into your majors prerequisite and degree needs to finish. Some majors will not get you to the hours needed to get a BA or a BS and you will need to take a minor. This can catch people off-guard. Know so you can plan for it and build your schedule to maximize your efficiency.
My thoughts on finishing college quicker are the following:
1. Define what you are interested in so that if you are not finished with high school you can take AP courses that will let you place out of college courses and you might be done faster. Also remember, different colleges give different credit for AP scores. Some give you credit, but others only let you place out of beginner classes and you still need to take a full number of credits at the college
2. When planning your college courses, what courses for your major are best suited to take at your college? Are there electives you could take in the summer at your local community college that you could get credit for?
3. Does the college you are interested in offer a short winter term (usually 4 weeks) that you could take a course or two while others take a longer winter holiday.
Best of luck!