In Chapter 8 of the webtext, you’ll read , an article by Ma…

In Chapter 8 of the webtext, you’ll read , an article by Maud Purcell (2016) that offers four steps in the decision making process: In this discussion, we want you to engage in the decision making process as it relates to earning your degree. In your post, focus on step 1 (clearly defining the problem) and step 2 (brainstorm possible choices) of the decision making process. Answer these questions in your discussion post:

Title: An Analytical Examination of the Decision-Making Process in Pursuing a Degree


The decision to pursue a degree is a significant undertaking that requires careful consideration and an understanding of the decision-making process. In this discussion, we will explore Steps 1 and 2: clearly defining the problem and brainstorming possible choices, respectively. By employing these steps, individuals can systematically evaluate their options and make informed decisions regarding their educational journey.

Step 1: Clearly defining the problem

Defining the problem is an essential first step in the decision-making process. In the context of earning a degree, it involves identifying and articulating the specific concerns, aspirations, or challenges that prompt an individual to pursue higher education. Clarity in defining the problem enables individuals to understand their purpose, align their goals, and develop a well-informed decision-making strategy.

When clearly defining the problem of earning a degree, it is crucial to reflect on various aspects, such as personal and professional aspirations, financial implications, and time commitment. These considerations can help individuals gain a deeper understanding of their motivations, the potential barriers they might encounter, and the expectations they have for their educational journey.

Additionally, reflecting on previous educational experiences may aid in defining the problem. Understanding the limitations in the current educational background can provide valuable insights into the areas where further knowledge and skills are required. For example, an individual who wants to transition from a technical field to a managerial role may identify a lack of business acumen as the problem to be addressed through pursuing a degree.

Moreover, it is important to assess the potential benefits and outcomes associated with earning a degree. By analyzing the relevance of a degree to one’s career goals, individuals can shape their problem statement accordingly. For instance, someone aiming for career advancement in a specific industry may establish the problem as the need for specialized knowledge and credentials in that field.

Step 2: Brainstorming possible choices

Once the problem is clearly defined, the decision-making process requires individuals to brainstorm and evaluate the possible choices available to them. This step involves generating a range of alternatives that could potentially address the defined problem and meet the desired outcomes.

During the brainstorming phase, it is crucial to consider both conventional and unconventional choices. Conventional choices may include enrolling in a traditional four-year degree program, while unconventional choices could involve pursuing online education, participating in professional development courses, or engaging in apprenticeships. By diversifying the options, individuals can explore a variety of approaches and ensure a comprehensive evaluation of alternatives.

In addition to considering the different educational paths, individuals should also take into account the specific institutions, programs, courses, and majors available to them. Researching the reputation, accreditation, curriculum, and faculty of various educational institutions can aid in generating a comprehensive list of choices. Furthermore, exploring scholarship opportunities, financial aid options, and funding possibilities can broaden the spectrum of choices by considering the financial feasibility of each alternative.

Engaging in conversations with mentors, career counselors, or individuals who have pursued similar educational pathways can provide valuable insights and expand the range of choices. Hearing about others’ experiences, challenges, and benefits can help individuals consider factors they may have not initially thought of, further enriching their decision-making process.

Moreover, individuals should consider their personal circumstances when brainstorming choices. Factors such as location, family commitments, work schedule, and preferred learning style can significantly influence the suitability of different educational options. By taking these factors into account, individuals can narrow down their choices to those that align with their individual needs and circumstances.


The decision-making process of pursuing a degree involves multiple steps, including clearly defining the problem and brainstorming possible choices. By thoughtfully examining the problem and considering various alternatives, individuals can make well-informed decisions regarding their educational path. Understanding the importance of these steps equips individuals with the necessary analytical tools to navigate through the complexities associated with earning a degree.