Choosing the right course for you is the single most important event that lies before you once you have chosen the career path you desire.
For some, choosing the right course is easy: they have always wanted to be a doctor or a vet. Others tend to choose their third-level options on the basis of the number of points they expect to achieve in the Leaving Certificate, rather than on their particular aptitudes and interests. The result is that a considerable number of students discover that they have started on courses that may be unsuitable to them. For most, however, there is simply a huge variety of courses that to many of which involve subjects that are not taught in school. So how should you go about choosing the right course?
1: Evaluate your Interests and Skills.
This requires the individual to develop an explicit degree of cognizance. This entails asking yourself: What reasonably person am I? This method of self-assessment consists of mistreatment many instruments so as to uncover your interests, temperament sort, work connected values and skills. it’s observing these items together which will assist you make out what courses are smart matches for you, and you may learn one thing which will surprise you. The bigger the overlap between associate degree individual’s interests, aptitudes and private characteristics and people needed by the realm of study, the bigger the degree of satisfaction once engaged therein space of study. Your steering Counsellor can give you with access to type of self- assessment inventories. This method can assist you decide that course most closely fits you. If you discover the correct course at the correct school you may be impressed to succeed.
2: Look into the courses you think suit you the most
Make a list of courses to explore and then research each course. The internet, college website, friends are your best sources of information and support. Find someone you know that is already doing the course you have chosen for insight into how the course is developing. Attend any open days at the college or university to get a feel on how the atmosphere is. Some 30% of third level students drop out or change course, so something is going wrong with students initial decisions. A lot of heartache can be avoided if you take the time to look at the college to find out out the area’s you will be studying on your course and to find out the content of the individual parts of each of the subjects. In this way you will know exactly what lies ahead of you. Finding out later you have made the wrong choice can be both costly and set you back a year or more. If you decide to change course and repeat 1st year in college you will pay the full cost for that repeat year – a total of around 5,000 euros.
Consider options outside the CAO, such as the further education sector. Many students who do not secure the points they want for a course through the CAO, do very well in a Post-Leaving Certificate course in the discipline they want to study and then go on to secure a place in their preferred CAO course the following year.
- Identify the courses in which you are most interested and some alternatives on which to fall back if you do not get the points for your first choice.
- Give serious thought to how you will prepare to enter your chosen course: for example do you have the right subjects? There are certain subjects that are essential for entry to particular courses and colleges and it is important that you are aware of these. Check online at www.qualifax.ie
- Make sure you meet the minimum entry requirements, for example do you require higher level Maths or Irish for your course?
- Check out the duration of the course and additional costs such as accommodation, books, travel etc.
- Other factors which may need to be taken into consideration include family responsibilities, financial difficulties and disabilities that may interfere with pursuing your goals.
- Finally don’t forget to get advice from your guidance counsellor.
Step 3: Cater a course to suit your personality and skill set.
During this phase of the career planning process you will decide which course is the best fit for you based on what you now know about yourself and the courses you have researched. This will entail looking at the jigsaw pieces of your life to date and putting them together. Considering your interests, hobbies, skills, aptitudes and achievements, both academic and personal, and identifying certain personality traits combined with appropriate course exploration will hold the key to successful course choice.
Step 4: Sign up
Read the rules and regulations surrounding the Disability Access Route to Education and the Higher Education Access Route schemes, details of which are outlined in the General Information section of the CAO handbook.
You need to apply for any course listed as “restricted” in the handbook by February 1st. All other courses can be added or removed from your application list up to the final change of mind deadline in July 1st.
If you are thinking of going to a PLC college, you must apply directly to the college preferably in January as some courses are very popular. Places are offered on a first-come first-served basis in most cases.
If you are considering studying in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, you must submit an application to ucas.com by January 15th, unless you are applying for medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and veterinary science, and for all courses at Oxford and Cambridge for which the application is October 15.
Choosing the right course is a big decision and it is important to get it right as it can impact your future success. If you can manage to get it right it will help you to take the next step in your career journey into the right postgraduate course in a few years.