Choosing a suitable course of study in university

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Source; UPtuks twitter

As clich├ęd as it may sound, choosing a course of study that is suitable for you is part of the keys to success at university. As was discussed in the article about dropout rates in university, one of the key causes or contributors to the high dropout rate in South African Universities is the lack of proper decision making on high school learners behalf with regard to choosing a suitable course of study in university. In most families parents regard their children as not mature enough to make such decisions about their future yet which is why some parents end up choosing courses for their children.
In most cases parents usually want what’s best for their children’s future and convince them to take courses which they believe will provide the best future for their children. As we students know sometimes parents are right and usually give us advice that will be beneficial to us, since they have had so much experience with life. Although this is the case, parents just like any other third party may not always be the best person to seek advice from about your future and preferences. Nobody knows you better than yourself, this is not to say that you should not take advice from your parents or anybody, they may merely serve as consultants in your decision making process. When it comes to your future a lot of research has to be done first.

The biggest fear that parents have when it comes to their children making decisions about their future studies is that high school learners usually choose courses of studies which are usually regarded as having no ‘promising’ future, these are usually courses which the learners find will give them the time they never had to spend in high school or courses which will not be too ‘hard’ for them, not to mention any courses in particular. There is usually no promising market for some of these courses and graduates from these courses usually find it hard to find employment after graduation. Some of these courses may be chosen based on one of the learners’ hobbies which by doing it, the student will feel that no valuable time has been wasted. At times parents need to be aware that students usually do better when they are doing what they enjoy the most. Because this gives these students the freedom of creativity which drives them into succeeding in whatever they are doing. This drive is usually what make people financially successful.

Since parents usually think they are better at making decisions for their children, they usually make their kids take courses which are usually hard and time consuming since these type of courses are in demand in industry. This is usually more common with top achieving students. Most of these students have no passion for these courses which leads to them not performing as well as they should be. The problem with forcing learners to do courses which they have no interest in is that they end up not putting as much effort into these courses as they would be if they were studying something that they enjoy. In most cases this leads to students getting mediocre marks which may lead to them failing courses and sometimes these students may end up dropping out from the course.

The only way current high school learners can avoid to the problem of choosing the wrong course of study is for them to do their own research about the course they wish to do and also do research about the courses that their parents and others recommend them to do, this will allow the learners to have a broader view and make a more informed choice about their choices of study. Research does not necessarily have to be done on the internet alone, most South African Schools allow their learners to do job shadowing while they are still in school to help them start deciding what sort of career path they would one day like to follow. It would be wise for these learners to use this time to shadow as many people involved in work that interests them as much as they possibly can. For those learners who live close enough to universities they can attend university open days to see what is expected from them when they arrive at university from high school. But the best way to do it would be to ask a current student studying the course to inform the learner more about the course of study which they are most interested in.

That will be all for this week from South African Varsity student, more information about choosing a suitable course of study may be found on departmental site of each of the South African Universities.

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