Choosing a major and a university to study is one of the turning points in every person's life. No matter if you want to be a tech innovator or a political journalist, choosing the right university that would suit your goals and interests is crucial for a future career. Below, we've listed some of the most important tips on how to choose the right university and major.
University rankings can be seen at QS World University Rankings, and are quite helpful if you aim for prestigious international universities. Of course, you should also keep in mind that the more prestigious the university is, the higher your admittance competition will be.
Also, do not forget that the site's ranking criteria may be a bit different from your personal preferences. University program rankings used on this site access teaching methods, research capability, internalization, and graduate employability. As a student, you may prioritize other criteria. Still, this tool will prove helpful while searching for the top universities in a specific area or worldwide.
Aside from ranking based on internal site criteria, QS also offers university ratings. The system is not that different from a Google review or a hotel ranking as it accesses each university on a one-out-of-five-scale. Additionally, the system provides assessments for each university based on eight more criteria. These criteria include the same four points used to assess the ranking (teaching methods, research capability, internalization, and employability). The additional four parameters are innovation, specialist subject, community engagement, and infrastructure. While not exactly part of the accredited university program, these parameters contribute to a higher learning quality.
All in all, this information can prove helpful when you choose a university. But, once again, you should consider your personal parameters of choice. After all, those are but general overviews that are a bonus to most, not all, applicants.
Graduate and Expert Commentary
Useful as QS site may be, you won't find all relevant information about each university in one place — it calls for a bit more effort than that. Use Google to find top education experts — some of them are ready to offer insight and review universities in your area.
Alternatively, you may try following these experts on social media — they often post helpful and informative updates. The sooner you do it, the better because monitoring education-related social media accounts can help you get a lot of valuable information that will ultimately affect your university choice. But, of course, you will not get this info in a night.
As you research shortlisted universities, pay attention to any available information that could hint at the university's long-term potential. Consider if universities in this area have any chances of increasing their ranking or, on the contrary, if those rankings can go down. Try to find out if the universities you consider for application get increased funding or start cutting their budgets. This will be vital in the long run, so do not take any shortcuts with the research.
Visit University Fairs & Community Events
Once you have shortlisted several universities, keep an eye on any fairs and events they are hosting. Surely, it will be way easier if the universities are in your area, but even if they are not, the trip is well worth it. First, you get a chance to see the campus and some of your future professors. Second, you will have a better feel of the internal atmosphere that may affect your application decision. And finally, you will have an opportunity to make some connections with the teaching stuff, which will improve your university admissions chances.
Consider International Programs
Education is very important for one's future life and career. Sometimes, the university that suits you most may be located abroad. Of course, studying in another country will be more challenging and will take some courage. Still, you should not discard the university and future career of your dreams just for the sake of convenience. Studying international guides and programs can help find the best establishment for your career choice, and if you are passionate about your major, cultural adaption is well worth it. Besides, some international courses presuppose online university programs, so you may not have to relocate after all.
Bonus: How to Make Sure You've Chosen the Right Major?
While some applicants are pretty certain about their major choice and would only like to know how to choose a university, others lack the same confidence. If you're having second thoughts about your choice of subject, consider the following questions.
- Did you enjoy this subject at school? If you did, that is always a nice start. The chances are, you will keep your interest in this field even as you study the subject in-depth.
- Were you good at it? Perhaps, an even important question is whether you were good at the subject of your choice. Obviously, no one will think of pursuing subjects one can barely understand. However, medium grades are not always enough to go through university programs. So, pick topics you already excel at.
- Do you feel passionate about this niche? Sooner or later, you will start a career aligned with the subject of your choice. And like all jobs, they do eventually turn into routine and obligation. The only way to keep your interest in this career is to be truly passionate about something you want to study.
- Does the major choice fall in line with your long-term goals? You must have some idea which careers you think of pursuing. Will this major help on your way?
Since choosing your major and the university to master it is such a vital step in every young person's life, we suggest you approach this choice with all seriousness. The professional world is constantly evolving, and the only way to ensure you can evolve with it is by choosing great universities and great subjects you are truly passionate about. Finally, never discard additional university distance learning programs, especially if they fall in line with your interests.
Emily Moore is an English & programming teacher with a passion for space and blogging. She believes that current exploration should be focused on preserving our planet’s resources. With satellites circling the orbit, it is easier to get relevant data on any environmental changes. This, in turn, should help people quickly address any challenges.