Choosing a College & Course
DECIDING ON YOUR EDUCATION
Seven Critical Things you need to keep in mind to make a better choice!
1st Qualifications are not always important: but education is. There are lots of unemployed university graduates and lots of university drop outs who have been extremely successful. Research in Australia by NCVER in 2014, showed that only 13% of graduates get work as a result of graduating from their course.
2nd Best education teaches lateral and creative thinking The modern world is changing faster than ever. Good education should provide us with the skills for today and the skills to adapt in the future. Experiential learning is widely recognized internationally as being much more useful for long term career prospects than Competency Based Training!
3rd Education may not be up to date. Many universities and colleges are delivering courses that are designed for needs identified a few years before the course was developed. Others are affected by political and financial constraints, that cause them to be teaching what is politically appropriate, rather than what is in the best interest of the student. In today’s rapidly changing world, many courses are producing graduates to meet needs that no longer exist.
4th Service varies greatly from one college to the next. Ask:
- Can you access tutors fast and whenever you need them
- What other support services are available to help with studies
5th Qualifications can vary a lot.
Eg. Some certificates may only be 20 or 30 hrs; while others can be 600 or 700 hrs. Some diplomas may be 3 months while others can be 3 years. Graduates from a good certificate may in fact be more successful than graduates from a poor degree.
6th Being Different gives you an edge. Popular courses produce lots of people with the same set of skills who all have to compete with each other. Courses from quality boutique colleges, offering variety and something different produce people who have a different slant, and a stronger capacity to compete.
7th The world is increasingly driven by money and productivity. People who can produce succeed. A qualification helps get a job application noticed; but after that it is all about how you perform in the interview, AND in the job. Courses that focus on getting the qualification only help you get an interview. Courses that focus on making you productive help you actually get the job and build career success.
Finding Your Career Path
Decisions you make today will affect the opportunities you create for yourself tomorrow.
There are an infinite number of choices which a person can make about their career path; and an infinite number of paths you can set yourself on.
- Some paths may take you to a desirable place; while others might not.
- Some paths are easier to get onto than others.
- The thing that many people do not appreciate is that most paths have many different entry points. It is often easier to jump from an undesirable path to a more desirable path than to get onto a desirable path when you are on no pathway at all.
The first and most important step in finding a satisfying career path is to get started in the workplace. Get a job, any job, as soon as you can. It doesn’t matter too much what your first job is. It might be delivering pizzas or newspapers, mowing lawns, washing cars or working in a fast food restaurant. It doesn’t even need to be paid. It can be a volunteer job.
If you are studying at secondary school or university, still try to do some part time work at the same time. An education is always important, but the majority of people who study something will end up working in something different to what they studied. Even doing volunteer work or starting a small business while you are a student can have a major effect upon your prospects after you complete your studies.
Experience and learning acquired through part time employment are often just as impressive to a future employer as the qualification you are studying. Either one without the other may put you in a less advantageous position in the future.
Once you have a job keep looking for opportunities to improve your situation, whether in the existing job, or by moving on to something different. You will learn skills in every job you do, even if they are not skills you recognise at the time. As you progress through your career you will build on your skillset and develop new skills. Even if you change career you will often still be able to draw on skills you have developed in a different career, just in a different context. For example, if you start working in hospitality you will develop skills in customer service which can be applied to a job as a medical receptionist; if you start working as a journalist you may develop critical thinking skills that can be applied to a career in nursing; if you work as a teacher you may develop an understanding of children that can be applied to work as an occupational therapist.
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