Things to Consider When Choosing a University Course
Choosing a university course is a major life decision, and there are many factors to consider. For students who are unsure of what they want to do, or can’t decide, this is a particularly difficult decision.
As the deadline for applications approaches, it’s easy to panic and feel overwhelmed. Our advice is to take a deep breath and follow these suggestions.
Be Honest With Yourself
The first step in choosing a degree is to consider what you want. It’s a big mistake to base your decision on what others want or what your friends are doing. Think carefully about your skills, aptitudes and interests and how you can use them in your future career.
Ask yourself what you want out of your studies. Is a specific career qualification important to you? Would you like work experience to be included in your degree?
If you’re unsure of what you want to do, or don’t have the marks for the course you want, consider a generalist degree. This is a good way to dip your toe in the water, allowing you to transfer to a more specialised degree later. You can also add a postgraduate qualification for career skills.
When choosing your course, keep in mind that many of the jobs of the future have not yet been created, and it’s estimated that young people will go through 5 – 7 career changes during their lives. Marks are not an indicator of the quality of a degree, but simply reflect the demand for that course.
Keep Things In Perspective
While choosing a degree is an important decision, it’s not the end of the world if you pick the wrong one. Plenty of students discover in their first year that their chosen course isn’t what they expected. Most universities will allow you to transfer to another course.
It might seem like a tragedy if you don’t get accepted into your first preference, but this can actually be a good thing. It will force you to think about what you really want. If you’re still set on this course, and don’t want to accept another offer, find out what other options there are for entry.
Do Your Research
Australia has a wide selection of quality universities to choose from, but not all will be right for you. Before applying, do your research to find out what each school has to offer. Consider how learning will be conducted, how much variety there is in subject choices and how long the course runs for.
It’s also vital to have a good understanding how much you’ll be paying back if you defer tuition costs. You need to think carefully about practical issues like travel time and cost of living. How many hours will you need to work to support yourself? Does this allow enough time for study?
If you need help making your choice, talk to your teachers or a career counsellor. Universities offer open days, and a lot of information, including advice about financial assistance, is available on university websites. It’s also a good idea to find out about what social clubs and recreational activities are available too as making time for fun and friends while in university is important for your wellbeing.
Starting university is a huge milestone and an important step to your future. Taking the time to choose the right degree and university for you will make all the difference.