Most of you have reached the end of your exams. A massive congratulations to you all! What a year it’s been, and you’re finally beginning your well-deserved break after so many years of schooling.
That being said, there’s the question of what’s next. There has already been talk of it earlier in the year and you may be feeling sure of your next step or completely lost.
This is the topic of course preferences. If you’re keen on undertaking a university or college course but have no idea what to choose, what’s suited for you, job prospects and other questions, we’ll run you through it!
1. Identify your long term career goals.
This may sound confusing and vague, but it’s more straightforward than it sounds. Simply, ask yourself:
“What do I want out of a long-term job?”
Is it to do something you love or are passionate about? Something to pay the bills? A career that challenges you intellectually? Or has good job prospects? Locate what it is you’re seeking as your first step to choosing your ideal course.
2. Picture your ideal future timeline.
We’re not talking about deciding where to live, when to buy a house, “settle down” or anything specific. This can just be asking yourself some of the following questions.
“Do I want to get a job immediately or take my time?”
This may help you narrow down the types of degrees you may be interested in. For those who are keen to get right into it, career specific courses like teaching, nursing and engineering are more suited. However, if you are unsure and want to explore your interests at university/college, general degrees like arts and science are perfect for researching your options and potential career paths.
“Does the length of my degree matter to me?”
Some degrees take longer to finish than others. Some are degrees that branch into other ones. Some are quick and straightforward. Depending on if the duration of your degree matters to you is something else you can factor into your decision.
3. Choose what YOU want to do.
It doesn’t matter what your reason is for choosing a course. It could be personal interest, financial reasons or other factors. But it’s important to make sure what you decide to choose is your decision, not what your family, friends or others want.
Parental pressure especially is tricky to tackle when it comes to your future career. Whilst it can feel like the people around you have power and influence over your future, ultimately this is your life. What will let you achieve long-term happiness is following your own path, not a path that someone else has set out for you.
And if you don’t know what you want your path to look like, branch out and find what interests you!
These are some tips to get you started when it comes to deciding your future course. Whilst this decision carries importance, remember it's not the be-all end-all. Life is never a linear journey and so many people switch courses, drop out, or change their life trajectory. Remember to go at your own pace and do what feels right for you.
By Catherine Le