How to decide what university course is right for you | Parkes Champion-Post

How to decide what university course is right for you | Parkes Champion-Post

Many of us get stuck in decision paralysis, especially when considering the financial investment of committing to college. Photo Shutterstock

Choosing a college degree that’s right for you can be overwhelmingly difficult with all the choices modern students are given. While a select few have a vocation for something specific from childhood, many of us are left with only a vague idea of ​​what sectors we are interested in.

Apart from deciding which course students want to study, they are also bombarded with degree-type options. Are they looking for the bachelor’s degree? Do they intend to go on to a master’s degree in the future? Would a diploma or certificate be a better entry point?

It’s inevitable that many of us are stuck in decision paralysis, especially when we consider the financial investment of committing to college.

All this confusion leads many to the question, how do I decide which university course is right for me?


Before getting into specifics, it’s easy to assume that choosing what type of degree you want is as simple as arts, science, or business, but any time spent scrolling through college brochures can make the number of choices seem overwhelming.

But these brochures can actually be incredibly useful. If you take some time to overcome the intimidatingly large lists you find, it is very helpful to reduce them to degrees that interest you. You may even discover that there are more specific courses for what you want to pursue than you knew.

Generally, the sectors will be divided into Arts, Sciences, Health, Education, Engineering, Law, Criminology and Information Technology. But within these categories there are overlaps and different institutions will divide them slightly differently.

For those still unsure, blanket degrees such as a Bachelor of Arts or Science can be a fantastic option, most of the time there will be leeway when it comes to choosing your major and minors, sometimes even choosing to change it later if something catches your eye.

If you’re sure what sector you’re interested in, there’s some merit in just jumping in and taking the classes that appeal to you. After all, the point of education is to teach us what we don’t already know.


Time is becoming a major consideration that people are interested in pursuing. Of course, course length has always been a consideration, with bachelor’s degrees usually taking around 4 years to achieve, Masters around 2 years on top and doctorates again 5-7 years.

Of course, the longer courses reward you with more knowledge, but also in many cases make you all the more desirable in the job market. Just as a bachelor’s degree will stand out in a pile of applicants without degrees, a master’s degree will stand out in a pack of bachelor’s degrees.

Masters and PhDs also tend to be much more tailored to students, which is why courses vary in length. Most expect students studying these degrees to work while studying so accommodations are made.

But modern life demands a lot of our time, work is fast paced and especially for mature students who may have children to look after, or more established work commitments, consideration should be given to how flexible you need your course to be.

Many universities now offer online alternatives, if that learning style suits you and you’re worried about not having time for classes, this could be the solution you’re looking for. However, this can limit your options in terms of not only which universities you can attend, but also which courses are available to you.


While it may seem obvious to many that a longer commute is worth it for a better education, location and transportation are a big part of deciding which university you choose.

It is important to think about the practicality of your choice, many students will drop out before they graduate and think about the nitty-gritty of ‘how will I get there?’ can help prevent this.

It may seem easy to write off the commute while applying, but irritation can build up. It’s worth considering as it’s a trip you may need to make on a daily basis. Plus, for students with disabilities, the accessibility of the campus, and not just the commute, must be considered.

An example of business

One notable example is Business. Business can sometimes be an overlooked degree, with famous examples of successful businessmen without degrees dampening interest as it seems less of a requirement than in other sectors.

But business can be complex and having a solid foundation is empirical in many situations. While many want to pursue success without going through college, a degree can make you seem like a safer bet to employers, and it helps you work quickly with multiple departments. It’s hard to be professional when you don’t know what’s going on and a degree can help you get into the business world.

For students who do pursue a degree in Business, the question is “should I get an MBA?” start to scratch the back of the head.

Business degrees are often seen as a way to differentiate yourself from the many applicants without degrees, but not everyone believes that a master’s degree in the sector can be as useful as in other sectors in terms of employment, especially with so many what without a degree it can be an even stronger tool.

So what do I choose?

Ultimately everyone is looking for something that suits them, but compromises are necessary and it’s a matter of which aspects are non-negotiable for you.

If you have a specific degree in mind, it’s as simple as weighing up which university offering that course best suits your day-to-day life, and figuring out exactly what level of degree you need to get into that dream job slide.

For those who are a little more lost, follow your interests; what kind of sector can you see yourself working in? Which universities offer the most diverse options for you? Which university will suit your time and life circumstances well?

And for those deciding on further degrees or upgrading skills, your university will have a department to talk you through your options, who can give you ideas, even if you’re thinking about changing institutions.

University is a big decision, but breaking down the core aspects can make the whole process much less stressful and ensure you get the degree that’s right for you.

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