International Engineering Ambassadors
Insight into the life & course of international students.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

The Course Choosing Conundrum

By Haider Janjua

One of the most important decisions that you make after your high school is to select what you want to study for your bachelors. This decision affects your whole life so it should be a well thought out and wise decision.

Having gone through the process myself, I have thought what advice would have been beneficial for me as far as choosing the course is concerned. So I have written the following points that should be taken into consideration.

In my opinion, the decision should be made during the summer after high school first year examinations. It would leave enough time for you to then concentrate on how to achieve the required grades for the chosen subject area.

The first thing that you have to ask yourself is, whether you are passionate about a particular course/ field or not? If you are passionate about something, already know a great deal about the subject area, you don’t have to go any further. Just work on getting the required grades and go for it.

But if you don’t have a particular preference then you have to follow a process to choose the right field of study. Most of the students already know the general area that they want to choose and have chosen their A Level/High School subjects accordingly. The most important thing that should be done is to research every possible degree course that you can apply according to your subjects. It would be a good idea to make notes for that. Write the degree course on top followed by a brief description. Add all of the modules that you will have to study and a brief description about them. In the end and it is an important parameter, you should include the details about the job prospects.

Research is important as you might find something that you never knew before but is quite interesting. Before coming to the university, I didn’t know that there were engineering courses such as Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, Materials Engineering and Bio Engineering.

The next thing to do is to think about your strengths. Which subjects do you find the easiest? Even decide between subjects like maths and physics. Now choose the courses from your research which have the related modules to the subjects that you like. For example, if you find maths and chemistry quite easy the related courses that you can choose are maths, chemistry, chemical engineering, civil engineering and material engineering. If you like biology and yet you like maths bioengineering could be chosen.

For the next phase, in order to further narrow down your options, think of what would you like to do? Never choose a particular area just because your parents might want you to do that or you think that it would have better job prospects or it is termed as a worthy subject. Never choose something just because you feel like choosing that, always do research about the subject and choose accordingly.

By this time you would have narrowed your options down to two or three areas. If you know someone who is studying /has studied the particular courses, ask their opinion. It is because the person already studying the particular course has more knowledge about the area than you can have even after doing extensive research. Also think about the job prospects at this stage. Is it easier to get a job or not? Think about your home country and whether the course has good scope in your country.

In the end, use your gut feeling to choose from the final two/three choices and may the odds be always in your favour!

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