What are my options? Determining your career path
|June 18, 2012||Posted by Tudor Davies under lifestyle|
If the time has come for you to pick your course options for university then unless you’ve known what you want to be since you were five you are going to be stressed. Feeling such a way is perfectly normal – after all, who knows what they want to do for the rest of their lives by age 18? I know I certainly didn’t.
But there are a few things you can do to assess your options and help you to feel more comfortable about making your decision. So if you are planning to go to university then here are a few resources to read and pieces of advice to follow.
Keep things in perspective
People may tell you that this is the most important decision of your life but that doesn’t mean you should become obsessed and get stressed out about it. Unless you want to be a solicitor or a doctor then you can be a lot more flexible about your course options. Some subjects such as accountancy restrict your options or at the very least are the first step on a very clear and obvious career path, whereas with other subjects such as psychology you can learn skills that can be applied to and are sought after in a range of different industries, from teaching and counselling to online marketing and TV advertising. This means that you have actually got a bit of freedom, so relax.
Play to your strengths
If you are creative then try to take a subject that will allow you to explore that creativity, as opposed to a subject that will be restrictive. You might not know what you want to do as a career but you should know whether you prefer sports to science, or maths to English. So if you are having difficulty choosing a subject to study then just create a short list of the subjects you enjoy, without thinking too much about what career opportunities each course opens up to.
Don’t get pigeon-holed
Although you should play to your strengths that does not mean you should study a subject that you hate. You may be amazing at mathematical equations but if that’s not what you enjoy then you definitely don’t want to do maths. Just because you are good at something that does not necessarily mean you have to take that subject. In such a circumstance you may have parents or teachers advising you to take a subject because you are good at it but you should also keep in mind what you are passionate about, regardless of whether you are good at it or not.
Don’t follow friends
When the time comes to go to university (especially when you’re not sure what course to take) it can be incredibly tempting to follow a friend and take the same course as them. Making such a decision can backfire in a terrible way, as when you go to university you may come to resent the friend or if you then realise the subject is not for you may fall out with said friend. Choosing a course has to be your decision: for better or for worse you have to make your own choices.
Making your decision
There are a lot of guides out there all about specific subjects and the best universities to attend to study each. Prospects.ac.uk has a good guide to university courses, as does Direct.gov.uk. Similarly, here are three other guides you may find useful:
So if you are going to university this year and are feeling stressed then just take a deep breath and look through some of the suggestions above. I hope you find what you are looking for.