Are you deciding what to study and don’t know how? In this article, you have all the keys to deciding how to choose the right career to study. In these times where urgency is pressing, it is important to follow a proven and effective plan.
“Choose which career I want to study now? How? I don’t even know what I want for dinner tonight.” This is the reaction of many students when someone asks them what they want to do with their future. Although for some it is an easy question to answer, but for others it tends to be more of a hit or miss target with a long list of possible careers or degrees to choose from.
Making any decision, no matter how difficult, is made easier if we have a plan of attack. You’re in luck because this article contains your plan. We are going to divide this decision into three more manageable parts, and you will see how choosing is no longer an impossible mission.
Choosing the right Career
The process of choosing the right career is divided into three phases:
3 Phases to Choose the Right Career
- Know yourself
You want to choose studies and eventually a professional career that you will like. So, the first thing is to be clear about what things you value in a job, what kind of activities do you like, in what work environment would you feel most comfortable. Anyway, regardless of the career you choose, what kind of activities do you like to do?, where, under what conditions, and with whom?
- Know your options
Once you know the career and job profile that most fill you with satisfaction, you can start looking for careers that fit that profile. In this phase of the process, it is about looking for as many options as possible. Don’t limit yourself! You will surely discover many options that you did not even know existed.
- Evaluate the offer and decide
With your list of possible careers in hand, you can start evaluating them one by one. You should keep the 2 that interests you the most, and then investigate where it is best to study them. At this point, making the final decision will be much easier.
Now that you have mastered the theory, let’s put it into practice! Keep reading to know the keys that will allow you to know yourself better, evaluate your options, and decide.
PHASE 1: Know yourself
Knowing yourself will help you know which careers or professions are best for you. This would sound like a cliché, but the truth is your character, your tastes and your interests are aspects that you ought to analyze when choosing a career.
Some things to keep in mind are:
- Are you an open or introverted person?
- Do you like to think or do?
- Do you prefer to work with a team or alone?
- Do you like to be around people
- Do you prefer to spend hours in front of a computer?
Knowing your personal characteristics will allow you to confront them with the alternatives of studies and professions that you can choose.
Analyze yourself from the perspective of a brand.
• What are your strengths?
• Your ability with numbers
• your ability to express yourself
• Don’t just think about your technical knowledge.
• Just as important are your personal qualities.
Try to see what aspect you could improve on and which aspects could be an insurmountable barrier for a certain career. For example, if you get dizzy just thinking about blood, Medicine would not be a good option for you, why not?
Think in which subjects you are better Perhaps history is your strong suit or you are very good at painting, or chemistry is one of your favorite subjects. Knowing what subjects you are best in will give you a clue about the careers that will be easier for you or in which you could excel.
Your subjects bone
We all have some subject where we limp, choke or just aren’t that good. Think about the reason: its difficulty or the little enthusiasm it arouses in you? Knowing your weaknesses will help you refine your options. If math is bad for you, you could rule out science or technical majors.
Your interests and hobbies
Think about what attracts you the most, what subjects you enjoy the most or what you like to do in your free time. Sometimes behind a hobby there is a possible professional career. Analyze your hobbies, they can be a source of inspiration.
What is more important to you:
- Helping others
- Having a prestigious job
- Earning a lot of money
- Having a lot of free time
- Doing something you like
When choosing a career you must analyze what your expectations are.
Think of the times when you felt completely dedicated to what you were doing. We all have activities to which we dedicate ourselves with more energy or more dedication. when the whole world seems to disappear and we are totally focused on what we are doing, spending hours and more hours is not a problem. Try to identify if there is a common denominator when that happens to you.
Think about what your ideal job would be like
Some cannot bear work in an office, others cannot bear stress, some prefer a job where they do not have to travel. Think about what kind of work you would like to do.
Make a list of each of the previous points and rate from 1 to 10 your qualities, your tastes, even the different subjects that you have now in your studies. If, for example, you think that one of your best qualities is communication skills, put a 9 on this quality. If you think mathematics is not your strong suit, you could put a 4. Once you have a list where you rate different aspects of your qualities, tastes and interests, you can later search for careers or professions where the aspects where you have been are important or convenient. given more notes.
Lean on an evaluation test
There are tests that assess your interests and your personality and suggest careers that might be a good fit for you. If you feel a little lost about where to direct your future, and you have trouble analyzing your interests and tastes, they can be a very useful resource. Talk to your counselor or do some research online to take one of these tests.
PHASE 2: Know your options
Nowadays there is such a varied offer of studies that the difficulty of choosing is also greater: a wide range of training cycles, university degrees, foreign degrees. But it also means that you have a greater chance of finding studies that fit you perfectly. For that you have to know the offer:
Prepare to investigate.
Ask yourself questions like:
- Would I like these studies?
- Do I see myself studying this career?
- What job opportunities do you prepare me for?
Look beyond specific degrees. Nobody can want to study or be what they do not know. Did you know that Medicine, followed by Nursing and Teaching in Early Childhood Education was the careers most in demand by students last year? These three degrees are very familiar to all of us.
The same does not happen with the degree of Biotechnology or Maritime Navigation, right?
This is possibly one of the main reasons why it sometimes seems that we all want to study the same thing. Make sure you have a global vision of the offer before choosing. You would be surprised by people who say they would have studied otherwise if they had had more information and people who drop or change studies, more than 20%! Surprising, right?
Talk to the counselor at your school or institute.
Your counselor is there to inform you and guide you on all the options you have. It is a valuable resource that you should take advantage of. If you would like to know more about a career or you would just like to talk to someone about what concerns you in your future, go ahead and knock on their door.
Take advantage of the experience of your family and friends.
Use your network of closest contacts to get first-hand information. Talk to your parents, friends, and other family members to get in touch with people who are dedicated to the careers or professions that appeal to you the most. It seems complicated, but the reality is that through your acquaintances you can meet many more people than you imagine. According to the theory of the six degrees of separation, anyone in the world can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than four intermediaries. Amazing! Truth? So ask.
Look for specialized information.
A magazine like AND NOW WHAT suddenly gives you a lot of information about different careers or professions that perhaps you had never considered before. There are many other resources that can give you information. Take advantage of them!
Approach the centers or universities that teach the studies that interest you the most.
Talk to the students who study what you want to study to find out what the degree is like. Breathe the atmosphere and take the opportunity to ask a person in charge of the institution all the doubts that may arise: about the subjects, the facilities, the practices and with all the information you collect, think about which center will best help you achieve your goals.
Although at first it seems that it does not matter to study a career in one place or another because it is the same, it does not matter. A very high percentage of students drop out after the first year, on many occasions because the center where they study does not meet their expectations. Although it can always be rectified, think that spending a little time investigating if the institution where you are going to study fits you, it is a good investment.
Collect the information about each career that attracts you in a systematic way
what it consists of, duration, difficulty, professional opportunities, centers where you can study it. Do not be left with doubts! Later when you are trying to decide, these notes will be very useful.
Compare the careers that appeal to you the most. You can find information on the Internet, at your institute or at your neighborhood library.
Research options you didn’t even know about
Open your mind and also investigate about careers or studies that you did not know and think about what you like or dislike about them. Take note in a notebook of all the thoughts that arise in an organized way and then reread them.
Browse on the Internet
The truth is that the Internet is an incredible resource to find all kinds of information about careers, jobs that interest you, and college degrees that can prepare you for them. As simple as going to your favorite search engine, writing the name of the career that interests you and seeing the results.
Visit the Educational Fairs
Educational fairs are held throughout the country where you have the opportunity to visit a wide range of centers and universities in the same day. It is a good opportunity to ask for information about the professional careers for which they are preparing their studies. Perhaps you discover a career that interests you and that you have never considered before.
Don’t be swayed by general opinions. Sometimes, without realizing it, we let ourselves be influenced by what a friend does, what our parents think or experiences other people have had. Although it is good to listen to others, think that if one has done well or badly in a career it is only a particular case. Avoid generalizations.
Beware of fashions
Although it seems strange, sometimes for something as simple as a television series it happens that a certain career becomes fashionable and everyone wants to do it. Analyze well if it is a career that you really want to do.
PHASE 3: Evaluate the career offer and decide
Imagine that you have already identified your tastes and goals, and that you have also researched a good number of professional careers that fit with them. Hopefully, you’ve been left with two or three careers that interest you. Now you just have to find the degrees and the centers that will best prepare you. These are some of the most important points that you should assess:
You see that to choose a career you only need to start thinking about what you want to do professionally, and get an idea of the careers that you may like the most. It is very possible that along your professional path some of your tastes and goals will evolve. But if you have prepared a good map through the exercises that we recommend in this article, you will know how to get where you want.
The duration of the studies
Perhaps you are clear that you want to study something short and that allows you to quickly enter the job market or you are one of those who want a long career.
The difficulty of the race
While some students do not mind pursuing a career that requires a lot of effort, others seek an easy degree to obtain. Think about how much effort you are willing to put in.
The focus of the studies
There are studies that have a very practical approach, while in others theory predominates. Think about what type of studies best suit your interests.
The importance of languages
Today, languages are very important for any job. We live in a globalized world and if we do not master them they can be a barrier that will have to be overcome. Avoid being an obstacle by looking for studies that will train you in this field as one more subject.
Each career offers multiple job opportunities that sometimes we don’t even know about. It is important to have an idea of all the possible jobs that can be performed before choosing.
The flexibility of training
One point to take into account is the diversity of exits that a certain race can have. The more you open your range of possibilities, the better for you. Remember that if you cannot find the most common job, you will be prepared to do other types of work.
Sometimes we can consider a certain career whose cost is above our economic possibilities. In that case, we must analyze whether our family can make that disbursement, or if we can get a scholarship or a loan from a bank.
Today, internships are one of the main entry points to the job market. Try to choose studies that will ensure your practical training.
The ease of finding a job
Although the market is very changing and no one can guarantee you a job, it is true that certain studies, due to their flexibility or high preparation, offer more possibilities of labor insertion. Keep that in mind. It is a factor that will determine the effort you will have to make to get a job.
The study plan
At first it seems that a career does not matter where you study, but the reality is that it changes a lot depending on the academic program of each institution. One of the most important factors when choosing a center is the quality of the academic program you are considering.
We suggest you not be guided solely by the reputation of the center.
It is important to research the specific degree program you want to study. Not all programs at the same university will have the same quality, nor the same reputation in the world of work.
Talk to students who are studying it, and also to people in the sector where you want to work. You will have a vision of how the institution that offers what you want to study is valued.
Ask yourself what studies will help me achieve what I want?
Depending on the job you want to get, it will be better for you to have one or another training. For example, if you want to work solving computer problems for Internet users, perhaps you do not need to study Computer Engineering, but rather a training cycle in this branch. On the other hand, if you want to develop the implementation of a business management system, the career will be your best option. With all this, what I want to say is that you must first think about what you want and then analyze if the different studies that you are learning will help you achieve it.
The philosophy, the teaching staff, the resources and the organization of the educational institution in which you would like to train, is also important. Once you are clear about what type of studies interest you, this is a factor that you must take into account.
Size and geographic location
Once you have identified one or more study plans that satisfy you for their content, the final choice may depend on factors such as whether you prefer a large or small university or its geographic location. This last factor is decisive for many students. For example, if in the future you would like to live near the beach, it is also interesting to choose an educational institution that is near the sea. You will make friends and professional contacts during your studies that will make it easier for you to find work there once you finish them.
Choose the path
There are many ways to get to a job that interests you, but not all are equally fast or enjoyable. When you’ve thoroughly researched your options, it will be much easier to find a route that you like.