Which Program Do I Choose?
Tips to help you shop for the program of your dreams
As you wrap up your final year before starting university, this may be one of the most pressing and exciting questions to preoccupy you.
No matter which stage you’re at in your studies, it’s perfectly ok to be unsure about which program is right for you. That’s why we’ve come up with tips to help you “shop” for the right university program.
Here’s how you can get started:
1) Reflect on what most interests you and where your strengths lie:
Ask yourself the following questions and see if you detect a pattern:
• What are my favorite hobbies and activities?
• What motivates me?
• What is currently my favorite or strongest subject in school?
2) Be broad.
Do you feel like you have it all figured out and have a precise, clear-cut path carved out for yourself? Although it’s great that you’ve made up your mind, you’re encouraged to keep your options open.
There are a few ways you can broaden your options, once you begin your undergraduate studies: a) take a few elective courses in subjects outside of your major or b) take up a minor (usually 6 courses throughout your undergrad) in a different program.
3) Evaluate your career goals.
Whether you feel overwhelmed with too many options or underwhelmed by the choices you’ve come across, it’s a good idea to start with your destination.
Which career, profession or even tasks do you envision for yourself? Once you’ve established this, find out which degree path(s) you would need to pursue to reach your objectives. If you’re unsure about career paths, then check out your university’s career planning office
4) Explore and do your research.
Browse through a university’s list of programs and degree options. Find out which majors lead to certain job paths.
5) It’s ok to change your mind!
Your quest to find the ideal program doesn’t have to end by the time you begin university. Plenty of undergrads switch majors in the midst of their degrees after discovering a program that is better suited for them.
Here are some of the major myths:
Pick a major, pick a career
The truth is, your major doesn’t determine your career. Many people don’t end up sticking to a single career path or pursue jobs traditionally associated with their majors.
Choosing one major excludes all others
You can double-major in two different subjects, and you have the option to take elective classes in subjects other than your major.
My major = my life
Just like a major doesn’t determine your career, it doesn’t determine your life. Majors teach you a set of skills that can be valuable in multiple areas of your life.
Certain majors yield more successful career options than others
This depends entirely on your definition of success. What does being successful mean to you? Making a lot of money? Having a stable, secure 9-5 job? Living creatively? Being your own boss?
Whatever your answer may be, keep in mind that the role of any major is to teach you skills that will enable you to be successful. What your major amounts to is largely up to you!