Not Sure What To Study At Varsity Helpful Tips For Choosing The Right Course

Your schooling years have come to an end and you can breathe a sigh of relief – but don’t relax too much because what lies ahead is the often daunting task of choosing which degree or diploma to study at university. The decision you make could well shape your future, and with so many options available, it's crucial to give your choices careful consideration. Read on for some practical tips on how to choose your university majors.

Acknowledge the challenge

Let's face it – deciding what to study after school is no walk in the park. It's completely normal to feel a bit overwhelmed by the almost endless choices before you. The key is to accept the challenge and approach it with a proactive mindset. Remember, making an informed decision about what to study will set you on the right path for a fulfilling future in a rewarding career.

Understand your interests and strengths

  • Explore your passions. Your interests and passions should be central in guiding your decision-making process. Take time to look inside yourself and reflect on what truly excites you. Consider the subjects you enjoyed in high school or any hobbies that bring you joy. These can point you in the direction of what you potentially could study.
  • Assess your strengths. Understanding your strengths is just as important. What are you naturally good at? You should take your academic strengths into account, but don't forget about your personal qualities. Are you an excellent communicator? Are you known as a problem-solver? Do you naturally take on leadership roles? Identifying these strengths can help narrow down your choices.
  • Get help. Don’t worry if your personal strengths don’t immediately spring to mind. There are a number of tools and methods that can help you figure out your interests and strengths. Personality tests and career assessments can help you discover careers that match your traits. Another helpful step is talking to professionals in different fields. Their real-world experiences can give you a clearer picture of what different careers are really like.
  • Reflect on your personal values. These can play a crucial role when choosing a field of study. What matters to you on a deeper level? Whether it's a commitment to social justice, the environment or innovation, aligning your studies with your values can bring a sense of purpose to your education.

Evaluating career prospects around different degrees

It's important to recognise the link between your chosen studies and your future career prospects. Here are some tips on how to research potential career paths:

  • Explore the job market. Investigate what the job market might look like in the future. Consider industries that are growing and evolving. Look into the demands of various industries and how they align with your interests and skills.
  • Spend time networking. Networking is a powerful tool. Attend a careers expo, join online professional groups, or look for opportunities to get an internship or work experience. Taking this route can give you a first-hand look at different careers and help you make smarter decisions about your future study choices.

Assess your academic and personal abilities

  • Match your skills. Reflect on your academic abilities and match them with the right academic discipline. If you are naturally good with numbers, a degree in finance or engineering could be a smart choice. Ensuring there is a match between your abilities and your choices can enrich your academic experience and possibly increase future career prospects.
  • Know the difference between challenge and overload. Choose a course that's challenging but not overwhelming. A challenge is great for personal growth, but a course of study that is excessively demanding can lead to burnout. Be realistic about what you can handle, and make sure you find the right balance for your well-being.
  • Find time for extracurricular activities. While you are at varsity, get involved in clubs, groups, or volunteer for things you're interested in. It not only looks good on your CV but also gives you hands-on practical experience that may play a role in your future career choices.

Understand the financial impact of what you choose to study

Different fields of study can range significantly when it comes to cost. Some degrees take more years to complete than others. Think about how much your studies might cost in total – include tuition, materials, books and possible extra expenses. Be aware of the financial commitment involved and plan accordingly.

  • Consider financial aid. Look at the options available to you. Scholarships, grants, and student loans are ways to make your education more affordable. Research these opportunities and then apply for them to take some of the financial burden off your back.
  • Calculate the return on your investment. Do a bit of research and explore the earning potential of the profession you are interested in, and the number of job opportunities available. Then weigh this against the cost of your studies. This will help you make a more informed decision about your chosen field of study and its financial implications in the long run.

Are there any social considerations?

The expectations of family and society can affect what you choose to study. However, while it can’t hurt to listen to the opinions of others, remember that your time at university is a chance to learn about yourself and grow. Make sure your choice matches your values and goals, and also aligns well with your potential career path. Your happiness and success depends on it.

Take a holistic approach when you make decisions about your academic journey. Attend university open days and get a feel for the campus. Speak to current students to get some insight into their experiences – these first-hand experiences can give you a real sense of your future, both academically and socially.

Even though other aspects, and other opinions, certainly matter, the most important choice is ultimately yours. Take the opportunity to shape your education in a way that feels true to who you are.

About The IIE’s Varsity College

The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) of which Varsity College is a brand, is South Africa’s largest registered and accredited private provider of higher education. At Varsity College we understand that no two students are the same or learn the same. That’s why we make sure a student’s education is shaped around them; how they like to learn, what they are passionate about, what makes them tick, and what makes them thrive. Our Education by Design approach allows students to grow into their best, and creates a space where they can live, learn and play – their way.