Making the decision to continue on with your education is a big choice; a choice that could affect your future in a big way. So, how do you make sure you pick the perfect course for you?
It doesn’t even end there, though, You also need to decide on the perfect university! This post should help you to make the right decision for your future. Just remember; whatever you decide now, doesn’t need to be the be all and end all.
You can easily change direction in the future if you need to.
Consider Your Abilities and Interests
Rather than considering the state of the current employment market conditions to help you make your choice, consider your interests and abilities. Chances are, the market will have changed massively by the time you’ve graduated anyway. You’ll enjoy your studies more too, as well as be better at whatever it is you qualify as. The idea is that you won’t mind getting up with a raging hangover to go to your course!
Visit Everywhere You Consider Studying
Make a shortlist of the universities you’d consider going to study. Now make time to go and visit them. All of them! Going to visit them and getting an idea of how they feel to you is so important. You should never just turn up to a campus to study sight unseen. You might absolutely hate it. Some just won’t feel right to you, for reasons you can’t explain.
Others will really appeal to you, and the only way you can know this for sure is if you go to visit. Even if they are quite far away, hopping on a train and buying a ticket will be much easier and cheaper than dropping out of your course! While there, make sure you chat with lecturers and students to get a feel for the people and what they think of their course/campus.
Make Note of Course Details
The course details are what’s really important; NOT the title of the course or even the degree you end up with. You need to know what path you’re going to take to get to your chosen degree. A web or graphic design course, for instance, could vary entirely depending on where you do it. You’ll end up with the same credentials, but there are different experiences to be had. Pay attention!
Consider a Joint Subject
Many people like to do a join subject at uni, as they get the benefits of both worlds. This can be difficult and take more work, but it’s definitely worth it if you can handle it.
Explore the Area Surrounding Campus
Although exploring campus and getting a real feel for it is essential, it’s not the be all and end all. You need to explore the surrounding area too. You’ve paid for your travel…you may as well make the most of it! See what shops there are, what kind of people live in the area, and even the kind of places you could be going out with your new friends.
University life has a big reputation, and even though you should never select a uni based on it; it can be a huge perk!
Go With Your Gut
It might sound silly to you now, as your head swims with possibilities and ideas. But trust us; you will get a gut feeling about the right place to go. Go with your gut. It’s nearly always right. If it isn’t right, you probably didn’t listen to it hard enough.
Let’s say you’re torn between two campuses, and no matter what you do you just don’t know what your gut is telling you to do. Flip a coin. At the very least, you’ll find out where you really want to go if you end up being disappointed/thrilled with the result!
Create a Spreadsheet
Assuming you know how to make a spreadsheet, make one to help you make your decision. If you don’t, I’d probably consider scrapping the higher education idea. Just kidding! Just make a chart on paper instead.
Compare uni pros and cons, campus pros and cons, cost pros and cons, and course pros and cons. Make sure you’ve laid all of the information out for yourself so you can see it at a glance. Seeing it all in one place should make it very easy for you to decide on the most suitable course for you.
Ask Questions on Forums
Forums are a hugely helpful place to be when you’re looking for answers. Find forums that students from the universities and courses you’re considering use, and ask them questions on there. Most will be happy to give you honest, helpful answers.
The best way to get some insight on something is to speak to somebody who has had real experience with it.
Don’t Follow Your Friends
While it can be tempting to follow your friends, you need to do what’s right for you. You’ll still be able to visit them, and you’ll make new friends along the way.
Lots of higher education places will have internships available for students. Research these and see what could be available to you once you’ve made your decision. If an internship will be essential for you to complete your course, you want to make sure you’re able to get the best.
Not only does an intern give you valuable insight into your chosen career, it looks great on your resume. Hands on experience is the best kind of experience! The key is to try not to let this decision stress you out too much. Just make the decision that feels right to you. As mentioned before, you can change direction later on if you need to.
One day, you’ll end up where you’re supposed to be, and everything will just fall into place (most of the time). See everything you do now as not only a step towards your future career, but a step towards where you’re supposed to be.
Do you have any information on courses, universities, or how to choose them? Leave a comment to let our readers know!
Enjoy your new adventure!