Although some people know they want to be a doctor, or a musician, or an engineer from a young age, not everybody knows what to study at university. And not everybody knows what job they want to do afterwards, either. We've already covered choosing a career, but this week we're going to look at choosing a degree.
Choose what you like
Essentially, you should choose something you think you’re going to enjoy studying for the next three or four years. Because if you don’t enjoy studying a subject, chances are you’re not going to enjoy doing that every day as a job either. Find something that will keep you interested and on your toes. You want to study something that you'll still love after years of studying.
If you're unsure about what you enjoy studying, there may be an interest outside of school and college that you're passionate about. If you're a fan of sport, and want to work within that industry there are hundreds of universities out there that have a sports degrees that could suit you. From sport management to sport science and football (and even a golfing degree), there are loads of areas of study in something you enjoy.
Check out the opportunities
Your degree will go towards helping you to get a job in the future. When deciding have a look at the opportunities available whilst you study. Lots of degrees offer a work placement year, where you can go and study in your chosen industry, giving you that hands-on experience and something extra for your CV. A lot of universities have links in industry, which can also get your foot in the door.
One really good thing about university is that you learn a lot of transferable skills during your studies. These can be applied to a range of different jobs. So, when you’re looking at which degree you want to study, check out the skills you’ll learn - these could help you get a job in a variety of fields.
Find the right fit
It's not just the degree you need to decide. It's also where you want to study. you may need to consider this when choosing your degree if you want to study somewhere in particular but they don't offer a degree in the field you want to go into, maybe have a look at some other options.
And don't forget open days. If you read last week’s post about open days, you’ll know that these are a great opportunity to find out about courses in any areas you’re interested in. You'll be able to meet the staff, current students and see the facilities and the campus. When you go on an open day, you'll definitely get a feel for whether or not the course is right for you.
This video is a few years old, but the advice given still applies to anyone trying to decide what course to do at uni right now. It’s definitely worth a watch.
WhatUni also pretty much sums everything up in this article. Have a read. There’s some really great advice here, so we’re not going to rehash it.
If you’re still not 100% sure, we’ve included some links to careers quizzes in the box to the top right. The UCAS Buzz quiz is pretty good – give it a try!
Tasks for this week
- Think about the things you like doing, the areas you're interested in, and the lifestyle you want to lead. For further advice, see choosing a career in week 2.
- Explore your options, think about what you love to do.
- Have a go at the quizzes - you never know, they might throw out something you hadn't even thought of!