What happens after school? When choosing a university and looking for the perfect course of study, many are having a hard time – even employees looking for an extra-occupational course of study. Given the mass of study programs and programs, this is no wonder. Almost everything can be studied today, which means that there are almost no limits when it comes to choosing a university place, but the oversupply does not make it any easier.
To help you with study orientation and choice of study, we have put together the following article with numerous tips to help you find your dream study easier.
Study Choice Help: Advice – Opinions – Experiences
Those who start their search for the right degree course are flooded with helpful advice, opinions, and experiences. As so often, the dose makes the poison: Too many ideas and tips – and you can not look through.
In order not to be confused by choice of study, you should always ask yourself three questions :
- Who gives the advice?
- What and when did one study?
- How appropriate is this assessment for me?
Ultimately, it is always about questioning the relevance and quality of the source. What use do you have of the experiences of people who, for example, still studied at the time of the diploma and do not know the Bachelor? And how transferable are the experiences of a humanities study to a subject such as business administration or engineering?
Sure, the advice is usually well meant. Ultimately, you (and not the others) have to live with the consequences of your choice of study. So please do not get mad. The following tips can give you a proper orientation.
Finding the perfect degree program
Some students and high school graduates already know years in advance, for which study program they enroll after graduation. Probably you belong to the others (especially if you continue reading).
Welcome to the club! And let me tell you: you belong to the majority. So no reason to worry. It’s the same for others, too.
The choice of courses is also great. Not a few are plagued by the fear of making a wrong decision. For example:
- You choose a course of study that hopelessly overwhelms you.
- Or you realize after a few semesters that you do not have the subject at all.
- Or you choose the subject only because you believe you will have better job opportunities later on.
Granted, all this can happen. But it is also no end of the world. Everything can be done. Breaks in the CV are no shame. In fact, today’s career paths are very diverse, they have rough edges and go wrong and roundabout. So please relax.
At the same time, of course, it is still important to prepare thoroughly for his choice of studies and to proceed systematically.
How does it work? In three exemplary steps
1. Analyze your interests and strengths
To find out which course suits you, you should know what you like to do and why you spend a lot of time. These questions can give you some information:
- What do you do in your free time? Hobbies are a first good indication: If, for example, you are an avid competitive athlete, studying sports or studying sports management might be the right thing for you.
- Which subjects were you particularly good at school? And above all: why? If you were good at math and easy to think logically, you might like degree programs such as mechanical engineering or computer science.
- Is there a topic that you could talk about for hours? For example, if you are interested in World War II events, or if you are enthusiastically visiting museums and reading historical books, this indicates that you are apt to study history.
- Where do you volunteer? Do you, for example, help out at the local blackboard or do you accompany excursion guides as a youth leader? Are you a member of a party or association for environmental protection? From this, possible courses of study can be derived.
- What do parents and friends recommend? Okay, the parents’ assessment is usually not very popular. But you know them very well. But you can also interview friends? Maybe they have older siblings who have already studied and can, therefore, serve with some insider information? Both are good sources of inspiration. Also, you have the opportunity to match your self-image with their foreign image.
2. Clarify the framework
Once you have narrowed down your interests and strengths, you already have a rough idea of what you want to do and what you might like. Now it is time to find out how the ideas fit reality. The following questions can help:
- Would you like to live or move out at home? Often this is a matter of finance. Can you afford to move out, because you already have a typical student job? Otherwise, check out whether you are entitled to student loans.
- Would you be ready to move to another city? Not a few young people are drawn to the world and from their hometown in the countryside to a vibrant city. That sounds like an adventure. But be aware: city life is expensive – and your friends would probably see you less often.
- Would you like to move abroad? There are many opportunities to study abroad right from the start, for example in the EU countries.
- Do you better learn theoretical content using the practical example? The question is aimed primarily at whether you are more in the choice of a university or university of applied sciences orientation. Most degree programs at a university are theory-based and tend to prepare for an academic career or doctorate. Universities of Applied Sciences are more geared to the economy.
- Do you trust a combination of work and study? A dual degree course offers the opportunity to combine theory and practice directly. But it also means a double burden.
3. Research the study subject offers
Now that you know more about suitable study forms, you should use a wide range of information to find an appropriate and suitable study subject:
- Ask friends and acquaintances who are already studying. Inquire about their experiences. Ask if they are satisfied with their choice of study and if they would do something retrospectively. This will give you a first impression.
- Use the Internet for research. Online, you’ll find a wide selection of tests and tools to help you choose a course. All colleges and universities today provide detailed information about their services on their website. It is also worthwhile with a course of study that interests you in looking at the course catalog. Then you will see how the field of study is structured, which modules are offered and what to expect.
- Let us advise you. Take advantage of the study guidance provided by the universities. It costs nothing and can give you in the short list good tips. Likewise, you can inform yourself there about formal requirements and possibly even speak with lecturers.
- Convince yourself on site. Use so-called university information days to get a picture of the local college. You can look around the campus, talk to high-school students, and attend lectures. Often, this impression, later on, is the decisive factor for a university.
What to do if you choose the wrong study courses?
It’s exactly what’s not supposed to happen: you’ve made a study choice, start your studies, and then find that it’s not exactly what you wanted it to be. The content does not really interest you, the lectures are boring and too theoretical, or it just does not fit for another reason.
And now? All the preparation for the choice of place was seemingly in vain because, in the end, you decided wrong. That sounds very dramatic and is a shock at first – but it is not an end of the world. If you have completely missed out on your choice, you will notice this very quickly and can react. You probably lose only one semester, at most one year.
How exactly it will continue depends on the individual situation. It is conceivable that you use the time to make a new study choice. You have gained experience and already know what you definitely do not want. This knowledge can help to make a better decision and be on the right track with the second-degree program.
You may also switch to a related degree program because it’s smaller things that bother you. Or you’re thinking about changing your university because it’s less the subject than the place or university that bothers you.
Whatever you decide on: Do not worry too much if the choice of university place does not turn out to be the winning number one in the lottery. Even with much preparation and analysis remains a residual risk. Better look ahead and plan what’s next, instead of worrying about why you made a wrong choice.