Selecting a course of choice is one of the toughest decisions a student has to make in his or her academic life. And it is not just the course, it is also about from where you want to study and how you would like to go about it.
For a few “sorted” students, choosing a course is simple. What they want to do is something very specific – maybe, study medicine or engineering. For them, it is almost a job they have to take up as soon as they finish school.
But a majority of students tend to choose a course depending upon the grades they score in school – rather than do something that really interests them. To make matters worse – sometimes the pressure is so immense from both family and peers that it becomes impossible to feel confident about the decision.
So how does one choose a course that is perfect for them? It’s simple! Just go through the following points:
1. Note down your interests and skills
Ask yourself a lot of questions such as “What’s your personality like?” “Where do your interests lie?” “What is your Plan of Action for the next 3 years?”, etc. Draw up a list of work-related values and skills. A combination of answers will push you in the right direction and help you in figuring out the course that works best for you.
When you sit down to evaluate yourself, you will learn a lot about yourself and the outcome might surprise you! You could also take the help of a career counselor to help you take various assessment tests.
(Follow this Quora profile to get the best advice on education and career from our very own team member! :))
2. Ask yourself “3 Ws”:
Why that course?
Do yoU want to improve your career by extending your skill set? If the answer is yes, then you should choose a course that adds to your existing skills. Also, consider prospective careers & opportunities and try to gauge if you would really be interested in them.
What are you really interested in?
It is really important to sit down and think about what you want to study. Is it because you can see an exciting career ahead? Or is it something your parents want you to study? Are you sure you aren’t choosing that course because all your peers too have opted for it?
Where would you like to study?
Would you want to study while enjoying the comforts of your home? Or would you rather go out, move to a different city and live in a hostel where there are more opportunities for you to learn lessons the hard way?
3. Do your research
You need to sit down and narrow down all your options that are really worth it and of course, sound practical. Read student blogs or go to online forums to see what others have to say about the courses. Talk to your seniors and even take advice of your professors.
You may find the perfect course, University and city! But please remember to take the final decision only after you have considered the costs such as tuition fee, accommodation and food expenses, travel rates, etc. You have get your finances in place first.
5. Career prospects
Studying overseas can be difficult, especially if you are undertaking the studies over an education loan. So think of it as an investment for your future and that also means your salary. Figure out where other international students have worked after graduation. Is there any active alumni network? Are there enough opportunities to meet industry leaders and entrepreneurs during your course?
6. Check out the curriculum
You might have picked up a field of engineering, but what if it requires you to study bio-medical or genetic engineering as well – something you aren’t comfortable with? So if you want to work on robots rather than human body parts, look minutely into the course content and subjects.
7. You can always change your mind
NEVER think that if you have made a decision, you cannot undo it. Talk to the student counselors and see if there are options out there for you. Don’t spend next 4-5 years staring at the textbooks you have no interest in at all.
You need to remember just one thing: “Keep that passion alive!”