Adults choose what they will study.
Children often have the choices made for them.
When you get to choose for yourself; your studies are more likely to start with a higher level of motivation; and being motivated is a really important factor in being successful.
People also learn better when they study things they are interested in or see relevance in. If there is a lack of interest or perceived relevance; the student should either have their attitude changed before moving forward on a course; or else change to a different course. There is little point in studying a course that you will not be successful in no matter how many other reasons you might have for doing that course. So you decide to study a course in psychology, but find it boring. You will do not do so well in your studies as if you found it interesting. So if you then decided to take a course in landscaping, you may find you thoroughly enjoy it and therefore make more effort in your learning.
When making the decision to start a course or to learn something new, it is essential that you consider –
- Do I need to do this course? (e.g. Is it a requirement of work)
- Do I have the time to study the course?
- When will I study it?
- Am I interested in the topic?
- Is it something I really want to learn?
- Does it build on the background material and interests I already have?
- Will it take me in the career direction I want?
Sometimes you need to do a course to obtain a licence, satisfy a parent or employer; or for some other reason. If study is inevitable, and at the same time poorly motivated; success can sometimes be elusive. Perhaps "finding motivation" needs to be the first step when approaching any course of study.
The Big Questions:
You will need to decide the following:
- What College you will study at
- What discipline you will study
- What academic level you will study at
- What learning style you will study
- How long you will study for
Consider all these things, and what you feel might be ideal for you. You will then have a better concept of what the "ideal" course is. The availability of courses will probably affect your choices though -you may know what you want; but it is rare that you will find the perfect fit no matter how hard you look.
The College - Public institutions are often government subsidized. Their systems can sometimes be beaureacratic; and funding may be subject to government funding cuts. In some respect, you can assume the college is a stable institution; but in a climate of tight government funding, the possibility of courses being cut always exists. Long established private institutions that are based upon fee for service tend to be the most stable institutions. Some new private institutions are very solid; but there are always others that start up and within a few years may fail.
The Discipline -many people start with a decision of what they want to study. It can be a mistake to choose a course because it covers more of what you want to learn, and less of what you are interested in. Good courses teach you in a holistic way; and to design a course that is holistic, you must understand the subject. If you already understand the subject well enough to know what you should learn (in detail); you probably don't need to learn it. There needs to be an element of faith in choosing a curriculum -look at who designed it; and if they are an expert; have faith they have designed what you will need.
Academic Level - You tend to keep wanting to move up to the next academic level. If you have studied a certificate; you will want to move up to a diploma (for example). Moving upwards is the way to become more of a "specialist". Studying more things at the same level is the other option -and one that broadens your employability. In today's world, it can often be better to broaden than deepen your expertise!
Learning Style - Different people have different personalities; and learn in different ways. Some may thrive in a classroom; and others don't. 75% of people learn by processing information; 35% learn by gathering information. Research has shown that the Problem Based Learning style leads to greater career success for most people -but this may not be the case for everyone. Distance education may be the only option for some people; but it cxan also be the best option for others. It all depends who you are.
Time - Consider when & where are you able to study. Do you have time to commit regularly or will your commitment be irregular. Do you plan to study for years, or just months?
HOW TO LEARN MORE
Read a book, do a course, join an organisation; talk to people, observe the world.
Contact us -Talk to an Academic Officer
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