There are several factors to be kept in mind when choosing a course. The choice, of course, will ultimately determine your career path. As you Sow you Reap is the famous adage. Given the importance of your future, never decide your course in a hurry or due to external pressure. It will lay the foundation for your further studies. With the broad range of subjects available, it may be unclear to a student to decide the course choice. The below-mentioned pointers can help in determining the appropriate course.
- What Made You Choose the Course:It is essential to keep in mind the factors that made you choose the particular course in the first place. For example, it is best to select journalism or English literature if you like writing. One of the tested methods suggested by career counsellors is to do an introspection and recap what event or subject gave a great amount of appreciation in the past or have consistently scored high marks in school. Your parents can be good guides to help you identify since they know you better. Take time to think, seek inputs from well-wishers but choose wisely.\
- Filter and Research: One may have more than one area of liking. Research and keep a list of courses you are interested in. Write down the career opportunities for each of them. It could be a corporate job, freelancing, teaching, etc. Map your strengths with each career option and check compatibility. Also, one must do due diligence on the estimates of current remuneration levels for each career option. Finally, take note of the job opportunities provided in your course.
- Resourcing: Estimate the program costs, including hostel, paying guests, rent, food, transportation, etc. Budget for outstation costs; if there are any exchange programs or home town travel. Suppose there is a need to take an education loan. In that case, one must thoroughly calculate the total loan, including interest and the payback period, considering the possible salaries post the professional course.
- How Much You Know About the Course:Some courses might sound exciting, but you don’t know what it contains or their details. This could be because you have not studied it before. Thus realising that is tough later. Or doing the subject well in school but not anticipating that the difficulty level increases once in college. So one must thoroughly go through the subject details and get clarity from seniors and well-wishers or professionals working in the area who have gone through the course and understand it well and can now reflect well with hindsight and help you go about it.
- Improve Your Strengths and Skills:Play to your strengths and innate talent. If one is good at natural Science, then dive deep to find where the liking is in Physics or chemistry, biology, or if you have a genuine preference for numbers, maybe mathematics is the way to go. On the other hand, one may be good at social sciences. There are many different opportunities like Psychology, human resources, management, arts, sports, etc. Analyse and focus on your skills and take up a suitable subject based on your talent. You will surely thrive in it. Having self-confidence and developing skills will result in appropriate higher education and a satisfying career.
- Check With People Who Have Done This Course: Before taking up a course, it is better to have conversations with people who have done it before. You will get invaluable insights regarding the course; how many hours do you require to put in? Also, go further and talk to professors and lecturers to get a better and clearer perspective about the course. Finally, go through pamphlets and brochures to get additional important information.
- Earning and Career opportunities from the course: It is essential to match one’s interest with the market needs. For example, Bookkeeping & accountancy as a profession is getting replaced with automated software, and hence the need for accountants will be less. Whereas prospects for Robotics and Digitalisation is likely to be better. Therefore studying computer science languages involving Machine language, Artificial Intelligence, virtual reality etc., should be the preferred courses on the growth stage of market demand. Similarly, there are growing opportunities in data analytics, data visualisation, web designing, Computer-aided design (CAD) & Manufacturing (CAM) and such skills. Moreover, with the increasing usage of computers in schools and colleges, it is natural to graduate in such aligned courses that remunerate higher and offer better career prospects.
- Courses Offered By Colleges: Research needs to be done regarding what kind of courses the university gives. Whether there is any that interests you, where are these universities located? Whether the student would incur additional costs. Whether an uncommon course is chosen by you, whether that particular college is a strong focus in that course and is taught well, and what career opportunities are there.
- College offering other courses:Check whether your college offers other alternative courses. If you don’t find interest in your current course, other alternatives should be. However, you might be left in the lurch in between, so checking whether your college has other courses of your liking at the beginning is of importance.
- Cost of Doing the Course: All the expenses involved in the course should be accounted for example, course free, fee for books, cost of relocation (if any). If the course requires higher studies, even that cost needs to be accounted for. However, due to the availability of loans, the high price should not be a hurdle.
- Reflect: At the end of the day, you are going to study at the university. So think carefully, make the decision and choose well. For this, you must be practical and assess and reflect.
All the above points are just a guide to help you choose better and make a wise decision. The ultimate choosing power lies within you. Ask yourself a series of questions such as why you want to study? What kind of career do you want? What mode of career do you prefer? Then narrow down your options and apply.