Selecting a university course is a crucial decision in every student’s life. Are you at the crossroads where you have to choose a university course and decide where you want to go in the future? Then, this guide will help you explore your passion and interests and how to select a university course.
Fresh out of high school, students have many options at their disposal. Especially, if they have a good academic score and the ability to secure useful admission tests like SAT. The abundance of choices in terms of the number of courses is enormous. In the UK alone, there are 30,000 undergrad courses and tons of graduate courses.
Checklist To Complete Before Selecting A University Course
Two personal factors play an essential role in selecting a university course. First, if you are passionate about the course, the second is more strategic, related to the course’s prospect. So, let’s explore the checklist you will need to complete without further ado before selecting a university course.
Find Your Why
The first checkbox in your course selection checklist is to have a genuine interest in the course. Why do you want to go for this university course? Ask yourself! Why do you want to take the course? Or, why are you attracted to this course?
- Also, think about why this course is suitable for you.
- Will it help you achieve your goals?
- Consider why you are focusing on the specific university.
- Ask yourself whether you want to choose the local university or go to a foreign university.
These questions are essential and require keen consideration before shortlisting potential courses.
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Choosing A Subject Area
Once you have found you are why it’s essential to choose the specific subject area. As an example, consider the field of engineering. Engineering has several subfields that are available as separate courses at both undergraduate and graduate-level courses.
While choosing graduate or undergraduate courses, think about which subjects or research topic ideas excite you more. Also, which you like to study in that particular university. Your academic history also matters a lot while choosing the subjects or a narrower field of study.
While progressing with your university application, it is always better for a single study area related to your subjects. That will help you to write a great personal statement. It will also enable the application reviewing committee to identify your passion and area of interest. Showing interest in several areas will only confuse the reviewer of your application.
Analyze Your Strengths
Hopefully, you have an overview of what to do before choosing a graduate course. But now it’s time for a reality check. Many students do not carry out necessary self-assessment before going for a course. So, even if they manage to get admission, they will suffer throughout the course.
Analyzing your key strengths as a student and checking if they align with your chosen university course. For example, choosing to engineer just because it fascinates you is a bad idea if you do not like mathematics. Similarly, choosing an artistic course with little creativity is also not the right choice.
So, it better to be fair with yourself and assess your critical strengths before locking on to the course. Because, your prospect will depend on the decision. It is also important to note here that many courses require students to complete extensive research in their dissertation module, including lab-based primary research. Therefore, you must review the entire program of the course you are interested in. So, carefully analyze it before making your final decision.
Check Career Prospects
The traditional trend is shifting. Now many global giants that offer great career opportunities do not require formal education or a degree. Companies like Google and Microsoft have removed the condition of a graduate certificate from their job application requirements. But, they instead focus on the person’s skill set.
So if you want to build a career in coding or software development, it’s better to polish your skills. However, the demand for formal education is still on the rise. If you are choosing an undergraduate course, then it is essential to assess the market value of the degree that you will earn in the university.
Also, keep the following factors in recommendations before going to a certain degree.
- Many high paying jobs do not require a formal degree.
- Some fields require a specific degree. For example, a chemical plant might need a degree in chemical or instrumentation engineering.
- Hospital jobs will require degrees in medicine, nursing, and physiotherapy jobs.
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Check Graduate Opportunities
If you have made up your decision and you have to get a job after degree completion. Then, it is essential to know the employability of specific courses. Some courses have great employability, while others have high paying jobs. Universities post their graduate employability data on their websites.
But keep in mind if you choose a university course due to its employability, you might end up not enjoying the course.
Research Prospect of the Course
If you want to add value to the world and be passionate about the research work, it’s better to be prepared. Also, you must choose an undergrad or graduate course that offers excellent research options. Once you have selected a subject, university, and country you want to study in, it’s time to narrow down the courses with the best research opportunities.
Take some time and create a list of courses being on the offer and choose a course wisely. Research opportunities make a person master in studying and add value to the world by creating something new.
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Course and Universities Requirement
One can put this section at the top of the checklist, but we have intentionally list it for the last. So, you can have a clear picture of your goals before worrying about the details of admission.
Many universities have strict standards for the acceptance of admission applications. These requirements include:
- Personal Statement
- Letter of motivation
- Aptitude test
- Language Proficiency (English proficiency for most international courses)
- Fitness to practice test
- Criminal record
These conditions differ from course to course and university to university. For selecting a university and competitive courses, a student will have to invest a lot of effort. Also, they need to prepare him/herself for the tough competition. Nothing worthy comes easy in life. So, prepare the best you can to step into your dream career.
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Check University and Department Ranking
Finally, checking the university ranking is essential if you have secured admission in a particular course. There are two kinds of rankings.
- Departmental/ Course Ranking
- University Ranking
University and department rankings are readily available on the internet and can be found by a simple Google search. Times Higher education ranking and QS rankings are globally acknowledged companies who rank universities and departments.
Do not limit your options to a single course when you select a university course. You can always change your mind and make a great choice if you consider your options carefully. Creating a list of available courses in your area of interest will help you weigh your option and make the best choice for your future. By completing this checklist, you will get a clear view of what you want to achieve and the best course to help you achieve your goals.
Featured Image by Trang Le