By Hooi Hilynn & Lim Jia Wen (BAC Apprentices)
Standing at a crossroad and wondering which degree to pursue? Conflicted with a myriad of choices? All this occurs to be a dilemma to SPM school leavers. Choosing a degree can be painful and tricky, especially if you are uncertain of what career to pursue in the future. You need to make sure you have made a right decision as it would play a significant role in the next 3 to 4 years of your life, or even your lifetime.
If you are struggling to make a decision, here are 6 factors that you should take into account before committing to a particular degree.
What are your biggest priorities?
Some students premise their priorities on potential salary and job demand. Some, on the other hand, would choose a degree that piques their interest and passion. Students should strike a balance between doing something that brings them joy, and is financially sustainable.
However, many students start off by not having concrete plans for their future. Thus, courses such as Law and Business Studies are often picked as first choices, as they are useful, and they build skillsets, that are generally relevant in workplaces. Research skills and interpersonal skills can be built from choosing these degrees. And you may venture into different areas that you eventually find passion for after you have graduated.
What are your interests?
When one focuses on his/her interest, he/she tends to outperform. Unfortunately, it is always tough for students to ascertain their interests.
In light of this, taking a personality test may help you to a certain extent. For instance, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test) can lend you a helping hand in deciding a possible career that closely resonates with your personality and interests.
Alternatively, list down areas that you are indeed passionate about. It is always essential to have a clear picture of what forms part of you. As such, you will be able to stride forward with less hindrance.
What is your forte?
Do you prefer writing essays or calculating equations? Did you excel in History or Science? All of these are indication of your fortes. Some people are naturally more creative, being interested in history and writing essays are some examples of that. This indicates that they may prefer courses that are more flexible, narrowing it down to Art stream courses. If they are visually creative, design courses are more suitable for these students whereas if they like providing creative solutions, advertising or marketing courses are more preferable.
By using the above guide, you can determine your strengths. You can choose your degree based on your natural talent, a degree that will suit you the most.
What is the structure of your degree?
Some degrees entail heavy coursework. Others are mainly exam-based. You have to figure out if you are an assignment or exam person. Comprehending the structure of your degree thoroughly can give you an explicit guide to navigate throughout the whole degree, and most importantly, it will have undue weight on the final classification of your degree. Always liaise with your academic advisor and seek advice from them.
Listen to your academic advisor
Academic advisors are professionally trained to guide you in choosing your courses. Based on how you have performed in school and analysing your personality, they can offer you advice as to what suits you best. You can then choose the course that interest you the most, according to a list of recommendations by your academic advisor.
Make a shortlist and research
You can shortlist the courses that intrigue you the most and research on them. By looking into the modules that each course has to offer, you can determine which suits you best. You can also research on the job opportunities after graduating from these courses.
We understand that it can be a Herculean task to pick which degree is best among all the choices available. Hopefully, by implementing these simple guides, you will find an answer.