Choosing the Right Course
Choosing the Right Course
With so many courses to choose from, and so many promising careers to pursue, choosing the right course can be stressful and overwhelming.
Choosing the right course requires asking the right questions. Whether you are studying a course just for the sake of learning something new or looking to begin your career path with a professional qualification, you have to choose the right study programme to avoid disappointment and wasting your time. Let’s take a look at some essential questions you have to consider before making your decision.
Why do you want to study this course?
Ask yourself why you want to study the course. If you are studying a course to pursue a specific career, think about the skills you will gain and the qualification you will get. Will this qualification and skills be enough to get you into the industry or job you are interested in?
If you are unsure, do research. Speak to the college that offers the course, or contact an organisation in the industry you would like to work in. They will give you a better idea of the requirements for the job, and whether the course you are interested in will be sufficient.
What are your skills and strengths?
Like Marc Anthony once said, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life”. The same goes for you. You wouldn’t study an accounting course if you are good at designing and interested in a career in graphic design, would you?
When considering a course, think about what you are good at, and what you are interested in. The course and career you choose should complement your present skills and strengths.
This way, you can do well in your studies and enjoy your future job. Far too many people have a job they dislike because they never studied the right course, or don’t have the proper qualification to apply for a job in the field they really want to work in.
Do it right the first time around. Choose the right course and don’t waste any time.
If you aren’t sure what your strengths and weaknesses are, ask your teachers, friends and family, they can help you pinpoint what you are good at.
Will the course you are interested in lead anywhere?
Don’t waste your time and money on a course that won’t get you closer to your goals. Think about the career you would like to pursue, or what you are trying to achieve with your studies. Will the qualification be enough to get you where you want to go? Will you get the job or promotion you want? Will you be able to start the business you have been dreaming about? These are all questions you have to ask when looking at courses to study.
Are the skills you will gain needed to fill gaps in the job market?
Another thing you have to consider when choosing a course and/or a career to pursue is whether the skills you will gain are wanted. Consider careers that are on South Africa’s scarce skills list.
According to the Department of Higher Education (DHET), professions on the scarce skills list are in the science, technology, engineering and maths fields. Skills in these areas will not only fill the gaps in the job market, but they are also most in demand. This means promising job opportunities.
The overall top 10 scarce skills in South Africa
1. Electrical engineer
2. Civil engineer
3. Mechanical engineer
4. Quantity surveyor
5. Programme or project manager
6. Finance manager
7. Physical and engineering science technician
8. Industrial and production engineer
10. Chemical engineer
Five tips for choosing the right course
- Review courses from different colleges. The more options you have, the better the chances of finding the right one.
- Get in contact with companies in the industry you would like to work in. Ask them what their requirements are. Make sure the course you are considering will equip you with the right skills.
- Choose something you love, or are good at. Choose a course or subject you won’t mind studying often or every day.
- Consider a career you will love.
- Study a course you are really interested in. Consider your skills and strengths.