By Jo Lynn (BAC Apprentice)
Choosing The Right University Major
Do you recall when your elementary school teacher asked you to list your dream occupation? The most common answers were probably doctors, teachers and lawyers. But as you attain the age of majority, your inner voice whispers “I don’t want to be a doctor, neither a teacher nor a lawyer.” 3 questions keep playing in your mind:
- What other career choices are there?
- What degree should you hold?
- Which college should you go to?
The BIG question boils down to what should you major in? This article aims to give you a few tips on what you, as an SPM Graduate, could consider when choosing a university major.
Ability is something which you are able to do a.k.a skills. For example, each time you are up on stage debating on a certain topic you leave the audience gasping and exclaiming “WOW!”, because your dream is to be a politician. Or if you were “that geek” who everyone would resort to for help with their computer issues, you may want to be a computer programmer or a computer technician. Thus, aligning your abilities with the possible careers out there will help in narrowing down your pick for the right university major.
However, don’t be discouraged by the fact that you are not cut out for something beyond your abilities because you have a long way to go and much more to learn.
Figuring out where your interests lie will enable you to eliminate all other available majors. Ask yourself “what do you like?” If you like writing, you may want to major in English. However, considering that a degree would take about 3-4 years before you graduate you could also likely develop interest in other areas of study such as law enforcement. Fret not! It is perfectly fine to change to a different major down the line because university is the time of experimentation and self-discovery. Alternatively, you could pursue law while continuing your English degree although this would constitute a heavier workload but weighing your options and time management is key!
Interest and passion are inextricably intertwined with one another but an in-depth analysis of the two would reveal their difference. Interest is more volatile whereas passion refers to a lifelong desire. Picking a major which aligns with your passion would minimize chances of developing second-thoughts later on.
- Employment Prospect
“A degree that does wonders! Who doesn’t want that?” Holding a degree that opens the door to various job markets guarantees career advancement, stable source of income and employment security. Holding the right degree will prepare you to excel in your first job. Along the line, you will definitely crave new challenges and responsibilities hence you may transition to a new career. While you may have acquired new skills, your educational foundation is equally significant as it determines if you have that core knowledge in that particular field depending on the type of job that you are applying for. For example, a law graduate need not necessarily see himself advocating in court, he may very well secure the role of a fraud investigator in a bank. The bottom line is to pick a degree that offers broader scope of employment.
Choosing Your University
Once you’ve chosen your intended major, you can start short-listing universities to apply to. At this stage, you must do a thorough research on the universities. Keep in mind that there are a wide array of universities out there offering similar programs but it is advisable to pick one accredited university. After all, you wouldn’t want to spend 4 years completing a degree only to find that your degree does not land you the job of your dream. It is advisable to book an appointment with your prospective university to consult with the program coordinator.
In a nutshell, the starting point in choosing the right university major would be to figure out your abilities, interest and passion and stretch your mind into the future by considering future employment prospects. Talk to your peers, parents and career advisors. Do not fret over the process. If you want to land the job of your dreams, you’re going to have to do a fair bit of groundwork to get there.
Edited by: Vignesh, Scarlett, Chris, Tara, Ivan, Simran (BAC Apprentices)