How to choose the right course?
10 tips that will guide you when choosing the right course for you
Have you ever had a feeling that you might be getting older but not wiser? In order to help you, we put together 10 tips and steps to make the right choice when choosing your next course.
Choosing the right course is one of the most important decisions you will make when studying abroad. It represents where you will be focusing your time, energy and also resources. The clock is ticking, time is passing by and those tips can help you choose a course that will truly add value to your future.
If you are in Australia on a student visa, your course is very important as it represents at least 15% of your time, and we are not even considering the cost involved. Let’s say for example that every week, approximately 1 day (24 hours) of your time will be spent studying (between classes, tutorials, research, assessments). It adds up to an average of 50 days per year! Yes, that’s right. The year has 365 days and 50 days of those are dedicated to your studies. So, you want to make sure you got it right.
So, here are our tips:
1 – Know your Why
We have to start with Why. Think of the reasons why you want to study. Do you want to study something you are really passionate about? Or are you looking for a course that will reward you financially in the future? Or a qualification that will provide a migration pathway? Having the purpose crystal clear in your mind will help you choose and focus on the right course. If you`re driven by more than one key factor you can rank your priorities such as priority A, B and C:
- Financial fulfilment
2 – Focus on what interests you
It is important to ask yourself what really motivates you. What topics are your curious about? Are your interests in line with what you want to study?
- If your interests are on the same field of your current studies and work, check out tip 3.
- If your interests are in a different area, check out tip 4.
3 – Focus on your own career and skill set
If you have interests similar to what you have already been studying and working, it is advisable to choose a course in a subject that is a natural progression of your existing skills or that will help broaden your qualifications in the market. For example, if you are a Marketing Professional it might make sense to focus on Social Media Marketing or another sub area that will be a differential for you. Discussing study options with your colleagues or employer can help to determine what qualification will help with your career.
4 – Analyse a career change
Are you looking to diversify your knowledge or change your career path completely? If this is your main motivation for studying it is important that you consider the reasons behind your decision. What are you not getting from your current career that you would like to get? What career options are likely to fulfil those aspects?
- Making a list of possible career changes and pathways can help you get some clarity around the potential options you have ahead to really add value to your future pathway.
5 – Understand the industry you want to work in
Analyse the industry you want to work in terms of requirements, licenses, working hours and growth in the economy, it can be here in Australia, back home or another part of the World. That can help you identify if you are a good fit for it or if there are better options in other industries before making a move.
6 – Evaluate your career prospect
Based on your career background, experience and the plan that you are building for yourself, how satisfied are you with? More than analysing your prospects in the short term, this is an important reflection for the long run so that you don`t waste time and resources studying something that won’t contribute to your career.
7 – Check the course subjects
Sometimes what we think we will study in a course might not be the reality. It can be helpful to do a bit of research and talk to someone from the institution, another student that is already taking the course or your student counsellor to understand what are the core subjects of the course. This will make sure your expectations will be aligned to the course delivery and outcomes.
8 – Try a shorter course or class
Depending on your area of study, it might be possible to take a short course or even attend one class of the course in order to help you with your decision. A few providers are flexible with that and we can help you organise a visit or a trial class with the provider of your preference.
9 – Research potential scholarships
A lot of scholarships are available in Australia, especially if you want to study a Higher Education course. The scholarship Destination Australia, for example, can cover up to 50% of tuition fees for international students that want to study on regional campus. If you are looking for a Vocational and Training Education (VET) there are also many providers offering deals and discounts, especially on COVID times.
10 – Follow your heart
So now, you might be overwhelmed with a lot of information about the courses, time frames, documentation, course investment and it can be a bit confusing to identify what will be the best option for you. And if even after doing your researches and speaking to a qualified counsellor, family and/or work peers, you are still unsure on which course to take. It is time to focus on you and what you truly want, because sometime what others think is right for you it might not be aligned with what you want. Always listen to your heart, he knows what is best.
In summary, below we have prepared a few questions for you that might give you a bit of guidance:
- What do you love? Think about what interests you.
- What are you good at? Think about your existing experience and skill set.
- What does the World needs? Consider prospective careers and employment opportunities.
- What can you get paid for? Talk to your employer, colleagues or peers about which courses are relevant and may improve your career.
If you want to discuss your specific situation and the pathways available in Australia get in touch with us.
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