What REALLY matters when choosing a degree
Many of us have our degree choice mapped out years before applying to universities. Is this a good idea? I for one had my mind set on a degree, until I went to college and my favourite subject changed! In this blog, I will be talking about what mattered to me when choosing a course, and the factors I think should matter to everyone, as well as factors that should not be part of the process.
WHAT SHOULD MATTER
1. How much you enjoy it!
I am a firm believer that how enjoyable your subject is should be the FIRST factor that comes into mind when choosing a degree. This is because doing a degree is extremely different to GCSES and A Levels, in which you had a range of subjects, meaning the ones you didn’t like that much were made bearable by the ones you liked. Studying a single subject means that all of your academically allocated time will be focused on this one subject and nothing else. Imagine having to study a subject, having to write all those assignments, learn all that content for exams, when you aren’t even enjoying it! Your degree choice is a fundamental aspect of university life, and if you end up dreading every lecture then it will also have a negative impact on your overall happiness.
2. Whether it sparks your interest
Do you find yourself talking about a certain subject in your spare time, whether it is intentional or just ‘slips out’? If so, a certain subject has evidently engaged you to the extent that you don’t need to be in the classroom to talk about it! What essentially confirmed my degree choice was when I found myself reading about it in my spare time, not because I was told to, but because I found myself wanting to know more. If you aren’t very interested in the subject, then think twice before confirming it as your degree choice.
3. Your future considerations
Your degree is a key to unlocking your future! This may seem daunting, but it’s positive, I promise! This does not mean that you must only focus on your degree subject for the rest of your working life, but if you can see yourself going into a career involving this subject, then I’d definitely consider it a sign! Or, rather, if working in a field related to this subject makes you shudder, then some rethinking may be needed.
WHAT SHOULDN’T MATTER
1. What others think
Degrees are often ranked (and I’m not talking about league tables), by people who look down on other subjects aside from what they are studying. For example, the opinion that someone taking a particular subject is more intelligent than someone taking a different course. Opinions such as this really hold no significance, nor do they determine the significance of your potential degree! Any degree holds a multitude of opportunities! Your future is yours to decide – which leads me onto my next point.
2. What others want you to do
The level of pressure we feel when choosing a degree can rise even more when surrounded by close people in our lives who keep advising which degree would be best for us. It can be hard to not listen to those around us, especially if they are giving advice because they care.Saying that, it is your decision to make. After all, you are going to be the one studying it for 3, 4, (maybe more!) years, nobody else.
3. Your potential earnings/chance of a job
There are also many opinions that certain subjects earn more, have more jobs available, etc, etc. While this may carry some truth, in that some degrees are more directly applicable, or offer a range of work placements— any degree holds career opportunities!
Taking everything into account, my final piece of advice would be to choose what you love, and worry about the other parts later. For example, you do not need your career mapped out right now. All that matters when choosing a degree is that you love it and want to learn more!