ASK YOURSELF WHY
When you are choosing your course, ask yourself why you want to study. If you want to extend your skill set then you should choose a course in a subject that is a natural progression to your existing skills and qualifications. However, if you want to progress further with your current employer then you should select a course that is relevant to your work. In case you want to diversify your knowledge and/or change your career path completely then you need to think long and hard about which career you wish to pursue. Studying is expensive, so you need to research about the prospective career before rushing into anything.
WHAT INTERESTS YOU?
It is important to think about what you are interested in. Are you interested in a particular course because it will eventually lead to an exciting career or because it’s what your parents want you to choose? These questions may seem trivial but they will help you figure out the route you should take.
WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO STUDY?
There are quite a few things that you need to bear in mind. If you want to specialize in a particular subject, you need to know which countries offer good scholarships for the same. You can look for countries that offer plenty of internship and graduate work opportunities in the industry you will be taking a course on. You can also look for a city that has access to specific resources that will help you learn better and provide better employment opportunities.
When you are thinking of a country or city you want to move to, in order to pursue your studies, ask yourself whether you will enjoy living there for a few years. If you like the place or enjoy living there, you will be happy in life and that will help you study better.
THE REALITY CHECK
Whatever you choose, it has to be logical and feasible. Figure out whether you can afford the flights, tuition, and cost of living? You should also figure out whether you qualify to study at the college you have chosen. If your grades are low then don’t be discouraged, study harder, prepare better and rise up to the challenge. As for financial hurdles, you can always apply for scholarships. But you need to think ahead because sitting for tests, applying for scholarships, all of this will take time.
Also, narrow down your options to five choices. Read student blogs to see what the college or university is really like. Sometimes, the prospectuses don’t tell you the full story.
LIST THE PRIORITIES
When you are researching, you will find many options and it may get difficult to narrow it down so decide on the top three features you are looking for. These could be school ranking or prestige, research facilities, practical experience and internships, cost of tuition, student support services, safety, social life and more. Then you should start ranking the options, this will help you shorten the list faster and more effectively.
MATCH YOUR STUDY PATTERN
Some people prefer final exams, while others like regular assignments to keep them busy throughout the year. Some like theory, others like practical hands-on application. Some like to work in groups, others like to work individually. Choose a course that suits your study style, which will make it easier for you to succeed. But, if you want to challenge yourself, choose a course that is outside your comfort zone!
Studying can be expensive, so think of it as an investment which means that you should also think about your career and salary. Find out where students at the university you want to go to have worked after graduation, and if there’s an active alumni network, or the opportunity to meet industry leaders during your course.
GO INTO DETAIL
Every subject has different options; know which particular topic interests you the most. Engineering students can study anything from bio-medical engineering to civil engineering. Figure out what exactly you want to do, before you sign up.
NEVER TOO LATE
It is an important decision but don’t beat yourself up if you make the wrong choice. Talk to your peers and teachers, and check whether there are better options for you at the same college. Don’t waste time learning about something that you have no interest in whatsoever. It’s all about passion – keep the excitement alive, and you will succeed!