Are you taking your ‘A’ levels this year? Or looking to enhance your Diploma with a Degree programme? Besides your upcoming exams, choosing a university and course would probably be one item on top of your mind. Have you may have received many inputs from your parents, friends and teachers, which rightfully should clear your doubts, but has instead made you even more confused with conflicting opinions?
Here are some points for consideration
- What is important to you?
Is making your first million by the age of 26 your aim? Is impacting lives your goal? What is your aspiration? Who are some people you admire and why?
Ask questions, lots of it. And take your time to answer them, truthfully. While understanding ourselves might be a lifelong process, we usually have some inkling of our character, likes or dislikes and what excites us by tertiary level.
Decide. Eventually you have to make a decision and apply for your course of study. Once you have a better idea of what you want to achieve, plan out your course of action and how your choice of university and course fits into the big picture.
2. Employment figures
At the end of the day, an education should lead to gainful employment and social contribution. Employment figures and salary ranges for each course is easy to find online, these statistics form an important resource you should use for planning.
Attending open houses would be another good way to obtain a better idea on your employment prospects. Ask about internship opportunities, these are like “work trials” made available to you and a good source for many students to obtain employment before graduation.
Schools are also collaborating with industry partners on job fairs, take some time to attend these events which will give you the platform to speak to actual employers. It’ll give you a more realistic picture on what is expected. While many students attend such events while already in university, it’d give you a leg up to explore this option beforehand.
3. University support in academic and non-academic areas
The expertise of professors and their style of teaching are mostly found through informal channels like friends or online forums. Scholarships availability, campus facilities and clubs which you can pursue other interests are also worth exploring. Can your university support you in terms of your holistic development? While the primary aim of a university is to prepare you in the academic aspects, your youth is also a good time to hone other life skills like leadership and crisis management.
Look beyond. Beyond the shores of your country, are there careers elsewhere that suit you better? Beyond university, keep gaining new skills and adding value to others. Further education has a big impact on your future life and career, make sure your heart and mind are aligned in the decision-making process.