Choosing a career is all about passion, your passion for your course, and for your future career. Because the secret to happiness is being able to love whatever it is you do in life.
And what does this all have to do with choosing the right course for you? It all starts here. Find the right course, at the right university or college, and you will be inspired to succeed.
So how do you make the right choice? Check our Top 5 tips on choosing your course for the lowdown on getting where you want to be – faster.
Top tip #1: Why?
The most important consideration when choosing your course is asking yourself why you are looking to study.
Do you want to further your career by extending your skill set? If this is the case you should choose a course in a subject that is a natural progression of your existing skills and qualifications. If the aim is to progress further with your current employer selecting a course that is relevant to your work is recommended. Discussing study options with your peers, colleagues or employer can help to determine what qualification will help with your career.
Are you looking to diversify your knowledge or change career path completely? Studying may be necessary if you are looking to change careers. If this is your motivation for studying it is important that you consider what career you wish to pursue. Studying can be expensive, so be sure to fully research any prospective career.
Think about your existing experience and skill set.
Consider prospective careers and employment opportunities.
Think about what subjects interest you.
Talk to your employer, colleagues or peers about which courses are relevant and may improve your career.
Top tip #2: What are you really interested in?
It’s really important to think about what you are interested in, and what course you want to study. Is it because you can see your exciting, glittering career ahead? Or is it because it’s what your parents want? By questioning yourself now, you can work out the exact path you want your course to take you on.
Top tip #3: Take a reality check
Now that you have found your dream, let’s just stop a minute and make sure it’s realistic. Can you afford transport, tuition and cost of living? Do you need to have certain qualifications first – English language proficiency? Don’t get discouraged – a bridging program may be all you need to cross those hurdles. If this really is your passion, prove it in your scholarship application and you may get some financial help.
This is also the point where you need to realistically think about how long you want to study for. To help you decide here are some example study durations for full-time study:
Postgraduate Certificate – 6 months
Undergraduate Degree – 3 years
MA – 1 year
PhD – 4 years
Top tip #4: Do your homework
You need to narrow down all your options to about five real, practical choices. That takes a lot of research. Read student blogs to see what it’s really like. Glossy prospectuses don’t always tell you the full story, so talk to people you know who have studied in that city or town about what it’s really like.
Top tip #5: What’s important to you?
While you are researching, you’ll come up with all kinds of different criteria to judge a university/college or course by. So, make a shortlist of the top three features you’re looking for. These could be school ranking or prestige, research facilities, practical experience and internships, cost of tuition, student support services, safety, social life, chance to travel… there are so many variables, and what’s right for you may be completely wrong for someone else.
Don’t spend the next five years of your life staring at textbooks you have no interest in whatsoever. Remember, it’s all about your passion – keep the excitement alive, and you will succeed!