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Start Changing the World With A College Degree

The words "I want to change the world" are too often seen as the musings of someone who has their head in the clouds. But the truth is that many individuals make a difference, every day, in the way the world works. Those who are motivated to change the world on a grand scale often start out with the college degree that gets them into their chosen profession, and then work hard to make their mark.

Changing the world starts with one great idea

Mother Teresa said, "I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples." Sometimes casting a stone in the right situation is enough to cause change by the people touched by those ripples.

Someone might have a great idea that could change the world, but have trouble getting the right people to listen. Or they might have trouble communicating the idea to those who can run with it and make change happen. The power of education can aid those who have world-changing ideas by giving them the tools to breathe life into their plans. Gaining those tools can start with the right school and the right degree.

Nobel Peace Prize recipient Nelson Mandela said, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Look for these points when choosing schools that suit the vision of change.

    1. A history of making a difference. Some schools have a proven history of making a difference through their gifted alumni. For instance, eight of the nine current Supreme Court Justices graduated from either Yale or Harvard. The ninth, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, attended Harvard for two years before graduating from Columbia. Schools with that kind of consistent alumni history have earned their place at the "change the world" table.
    2. International studies and language courses. The global marketplace is one of many cultures and languages. A school that offers a wide variety of language courses and studies in cultural differences can offer a nice boost to any student's resume.
    3. Faculty who made their mark. Instructors can bring a great deal of world experience to the classroom. That experience can offer a more well-rounded educational opportunity for students. Look for schools with alumni who have proven themselves with inventions, accolades, political endeavors and the like.
    4. Opportunities for broad horizons. Schools that offer opportunities for students to explore beyond the campus can give students a broader world view. Opportunities to study abroad, take part in internships or participate in work studies that offer real-world experience can be a nice boost.

    Majors for those who make a difference

    Though change is happening everywhere, some industries and professions are at the forefront. Technology is often at the leading edge of change, and has been long before Microsoft, Dell or Apple arrived on the scene. The changes are coming even faster as time marches on.

    The medical world has offered cutting-edge technology, techniques and pharmaceuticals that are helping people live longer, healthier lives. More traditional career paths for change include earning a law degree, moving into the political realm, teaching at-risk students or dedicating a career to research.

    Those who make the biggest changes are often those who make their mark and then move on to other things that help the world at large. Bill Gates, who made a fortune while changing the world through technology, has now become one of the most influential philanthropists in the world. The same is true for investor Warren Buffett, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, and hedge fund guru George Soros.

    Education plus great ideas equal imminent change

    An idea for change that is not well-received can wither on the vine, but an idea that is shared with like-minded people can grow fruit. The atmosphere of learning and opportunity presented by a school even like a college community can be the perfect greenhouse that allows those new ideas to grow. The right school can provide the education and support system necessary to help students make a difference.

    Perhaps Apple said it best in its 1997 "Think Different" campaign: "While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."