First off, everything I post below I've done and learned without any college experience. Purely from my own professional and life fulfilling experience.
I'm not sure of a "best way" to choose a career path, but I do definitely know some :)
The Criteria for Success I think of when I see the option of a "Career Path" is the following:
- What problems are you dealing with in your life right now?
- What are you naturally inspired to learn about?
- What does the world need?
- What personal challenges have you overcome?
- Do you want to work at a Brick & Morter Business (or office) or do you want to work remotely? (meaning from your laptop)
- What do you have access to within your network?
- What are your favorite activities?
Really, the answer is it depends on what you have available to you and what do you have time to create.
If you know yourself, know your strengths, understand how to navigate a working environment to create Job Security or Financial Independence and Freedom, then thats your choice.
Initially (and honestly) it can be about the money. However, it's your life, and most people subscribe to the "You can't have your cake and eat it to" belief, which is for those who burn themselves out and sacrifice the things they care about for only part of their fulfillment, ultimately ending in regret and wasted, unfulfilled time just for "the hustle".
If your goal is money (even if it's only temporarily until you build your own thing, for example, I currently work at an Advertising Agency), do something for the money. At some point (unless you can really live off of parents money), if you're not making money with what you're doing, you're going to struggle with creating a fulfilling life and other people will always have some power over you.
If your goal is to create something that you control (like with me, I have my business platform ZackHub & work as a Freelancer developing Python).
Depending on your age, people can say "You're young, you have time". And chances are you are young, and you do have time... however,
Choosing something that works, is relevant in today's day and age, you love, and is lucrative (like Python Programming for example), is always going to be your best bet.
If you're interested, I teach people how to code in Python with the eventual goal of working for a tech company or becoming a freelancer and can offer training in this area on Wyzant too.
Otherwise, there are 2 amazing books I can recommend to help in depth on your question:
The Education of Millionaires by Michael Ellsburg: https://www.amazon.com/Education-Millionaires-Everything-College-Successful/dp/1591845610
The Millionaire Fast Lane by MJ Demarco: https://www.amazon.com/Millionaire-Fastlane-Crack-Wealth-Lifetime/dp/0984358102
Hope you found this answer valuable :)
Let me know if I can be of any assistance.