Picking the right university course is probably the second most important step of your tertiary education (the first step being: choosing to have one).
There are many working professionals in jobs that had nothing to do with their university degree. Many realise that their university majors were not useful in getting a job or they did not enjoy their chosen sector as much as they hoped, hence the change in career path. Although better late than never, it is always best to make an informed decision right from the beginning.
To quote the Apple founder Steve Jobs, “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition…everything else is secondary.”
Think of it as the first step into the career of your choice, and here are some things to look out for when choosing the university course for you.
Visit Open Houses at Different Universities
Each university will hold their own open days during enrolment season, and it is imperative to visit to get a better idea of the school culture, the campus, the type of course, and speak to the lecturers on-site regarding the subject, possible career trajectories and what to expect from your first to final year.
Pay Attention to the Course Details
It’s not enough to merely visit open houses with no intention in mind, when you actively ask questions regarding course details, make sure to write them down and remember them. The module name is not enough to explain the details of course-work, reading through the syllabus for each section will give you a comprehensive overview of the subject at hand. This in turn will help you decide if this is the right course to avoid any nasty surprises midway through the school year.
Check if the University Course Offers Work Placement Opportunities
Some courses have a mandatory industry attachment module, whereas some require the student to be more independent to self-source the internship. If the attachment module comes with a multitude of companies on hand that have registered for interns with the university, look into the companies to see if this resembles what you want to do in the future. Pick a company of choice and work towards getting an attachment there.
Make a Spreadsheet
After all that checking, are you still doubtful over what to pick? Make a spreadsheet detailing all the different faculties, modules, course fees and career prospects. Listing out the pros and cons will help you make a more informed decision.
When faced with the common dilemma: passion vs career vs earnings, ask yourself if there is a way to turn your passion into a career. Because, after all, if you are passionate about your job – you’ll never work a day in your life.Read more for advice on what to consider when choosing your course of study.