If you’re thinking that your educational experience hasn’t really prepared you for the choices that you need to make now, you’re definitely not the first one to think so. Whether you’re looking to go back to school or this is your first time on the college rodeo, it’s important to think long and hard about where you major. Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself about the courses and colleges you’re looking at.
Do you know your potential career paths?
This isn’t cold reality knocking too early. This is an important consideration to factor into the choice of what course you take. Do you have an idea of the careers that come after and the kind of work environments and workloads in those careers? If not, there are tons of guides online that can give you an idea of the options ahead. And yes, there are options. Rarely does one set of skills lead to only one career. To focus on one seemingly narrow example, the highest paying behavioral science jobs from withmydegree.org shows a rather broad diversity of paths you can take. You could go on to work in education, in therapy, in research, anthropology and more. Looking at your potential career paths doesn’t have to limit your choice. It can inform you of the broad range of routes available from your choices.
What qualities will it foster?
When you get into the working world, you soon learn that you need soft skills to complement those hard skills. A good way to figure out whether your course is going to offer this is by looking at the curriculum plan. Does it offer the ability to work in a team and to foster leadership? Does it give you plenty of opportunity to learn about the value of independent research and self-learning? The subject isn’t all that matters, but how you learn it is important, too.
Is it putting you in contact with the real world?
There’s a disturbing trend that’s common in many colleges as voanews.com shows. More and more, young adults coming out of college believe they don’t have the real-world skills that will allow them to find a place in the actual job marketplace. If you’re looking into various colleges and options, then make sure you ask about any opportunities and job placements to work with relevant organizations in the actual job market you would like to work in. The educational environment sometimes just isn’t enough. You need to be able to find something in your field afterwards.
Is there passion there?
It’s the question I have not asked yet because it’s the one that requires the most self-reflection. Focusing on prestige or on money might seem like a good idea to set yourself up for life. But if you get into a career that you have no passion for, eventually, your motivation is going hit a dead-end. You need to find not only the course that’s right for your bank balance but the course that’s right for you. If you can’t muster the enthusiasm to research your subject and do some pre-emptive learning, then you might have trouble when it comes to studying it for years on end. Or working in the field long term. We all have different skills, gifts and abilities. Look for what motivates you and where you excel most.
Hopefully, the questions above haven’t intimidated you about furthering your education experience too much. It’s a great way to learn some independence and broaden your horizons. But it’s made into the trip of a lifetime by ensuring the course of action that you pick is the one that works for you.
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