Planning Your Career Education
How to Choose the Best Course for You
Choosing a course can be one of the most important decisions you'll ever make.
The best course is not necessarily the most appealing, the most recognized, the least costly, or leads to the highest paid job!
The best course will be the one that changes your level of knowledge, awareness, skill and overall capacity to live and work more effectively and ultimately with more contentment.
There are three main questions you need to answer
- What Discipline do I want to study?
- What Level do I want to study?
- What College do I prefer to study at?
- Which Course will I apply for?
... and they are best answered in order, for each one affects the next.
Consider these Facts
Maybe you already know these, but are you really considering them?
- Not all courses are designed to get you a job, but don’t expect the colleges or universities to necessarily tell you that.
- Many people enrol in courses and never complete them (completion rates in many diplomas or degrees are often low, so odds are that unless you are very certain and committed, you might not complete what you start).
- People often drift unintentionally into disciplines or industries, and decide later that they don’t really want to be in that industry.
- Peoples interests change: what suits today, might not by the time you complete a long course.
- Self Awareness changes: consider what your personality is really suited to.
- Awareness of possibilities changes : maybe you haven’t discovered what really interests you.
- The value of a course changes (as industries change) : The number of jobs available, what they pay, and the nature of work in any industry can be very different in 5 years to what it is today.
- Most people change careers several times throughout life.
- People do abandon higher paid jobs that don’t excite them, to take on lower paid jobs that do excite them. Money is sometimes more important at one stage of your life and less important 5 years later (or earlier).
- A very high proportion of jobs are in “self employment”. You might not have thought about working for yourself; but sooner or later, this will be something that most of us do.
- Some personalities find self employment too stressful, or simply not compatible with their personality.
- Surveys of employees frequently rate job satisfaction as being more important than remuneration.
- Job security is less of a factor today than in the past. Because the world is changing so fast, employers are less inclined to commit or guarantee work (because their needs are unforeseen), and employees are more likely to move jobs every few years (because opportunities are changing).
- Courses that develop broad based skills are of greater long term benefit than ones that develop skills which may become redundant or less in demand.
- Accreditation of courses may be of little importance to employers who are at the forefront of development and innovation (Note: Almost all of the worlds most wealthy people have never completed a university degree!)
- Accreditation and Recognition is of more importance for jobs with conservative employers (eg. Government) or regulated professions (eg. Law and medicine).
Career Education is important, but it should be planned and you should never do a course simply because you got offered a place or it is a good college.
Generalist Courses Lead to Greater Long Term Career Success
Research has shown that people who do a "general" qualification are usually more successful in their long term careers. (eg. A general business diploma may be better than a business diploma that focuses on finance, planning, personnel management or some other sub discipline).
If you know yourself and where you are going in life, you can be more specific about the type of studies you pursue. If you are still working out exactly where you want to be in the future, you would be better off taking a short course first, and keeping the type of course you do broad based.
Specialist courses are valuable, but less often as a first qualification, unless you are already working in that field and have a specific need.
For more advice, use our free course counselling service.
If you are interested in learning more about education, consider the following courses.
Click on any of these for more details
Our principal and staff have written dozens of reference books as supplementary texts to complement studies in our school
These books are mostly available as ebook, through our online bookstore. They include the following titles. You can click on any of these titles to go to the bookstore and see more details, on that title (including a free download of some of the pages).
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