How to Choose What to Study When You’re in High School

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Choosing what to study at university when we are teenagers is a really hard decision to make. However, here are some tips that will help you make the right one. 

“What should I study?”, “How can I be sure this is the right course for me?”, “What if I end up regretting my decision?”. These are some of the most recurrent questions among students. It can be really hard to make a decision that may affect the course of your life. 

When we’re 15 or 16 and have to start considering what to study, we’re not even ready to make this kind of decision. From the right university and the location, to the career path you will have with each degree you consider, there are so many aspects to consider that it can be an overwhelming process.

Are you undecided about what is the right path for you? There are some steps you can take to ease your decision making process and make sure you choose the one that will be beneficial for you. 

#1. Know yourself

Looking for what degree to pursue is kind of like a process of self-recognition. You need to find out: 

  • What do I like?
  • What are my interests?
  • What are my hobbies?
  • What am I good at?
  • What do I want my future to look like?
  • What are my expectations?

Discovering what you like and what you are good at will help you choose a degree that suits you. Find a way to take your passions and turn them into your career path. 

#2. Identify your Options

Once you know what you are into, you can move forward to choosing a specialization. 

Considering business, humanities, engineering or any other broad subject? You need to consider that there are many areas within these fields and you should choose a more specific area.

#3. Where would you like to study?

The next thing you need to do is consider which institution you’d like to attend. Choosing the right university is not an easy task either. You need to check rankings and, based on academic excellence, student satisfaction, employment rate after graduation, among other aspects, choose the one that best suits your needs and wants. 

#4. Narrow down your options

If you have a long and varied list of degrees to consider, now you need to start narrowing them down. You need to consider the focus you would like your degree to have. Would you like it to be oriented towards industry experience or theory and research? Is there a course lower on your list that could provide a valuable back-up pathway into your desired profession? Is there any degree you can delete from your list?

Choosing a degree taking into account your career aspirations is the best way to approach your decision making process. Are you choosing this degree only because the field pays well? Are you passionate about this type of work? These are crucial aspects you should bear in mind. 

#5. Now, make your final decision

Now that you have already studied all your options deeply and considered each one’s outcome, it is time you make the decision. If you are still undecided, you should remember that support is always available. You can read through the helpful articles on this website, visit a career adviser or get in touch with support and administrative staff at institutions of interest. 

Making this decision requires deep thought and these steps may not work for everyone. They are just a kind of guide for those who are undecided and may need a little help. 

Of course, you can make up your mind and nothing will happen. You need to believe in your decision and make it happen, but if you realize the career path you chose is not the one you expected or you change your mind, you can always go back to the first step.

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