5 tips to choose the uni degree that’s right for you

Not sure what you want to do in the future? You’re not alone! 43% of high school students don’t know what they want to study in the future (2017 survey by Year 13). But fear not! Here are our top 5 tips to help you on your way to find a fulfilling degree that will lead to a job that you’ll love.

1. Look at subjects you enjoyed

We all go through school loving some subjects and loathing others, so why not use your experience with high school chemistry, geography or history to guide you in your future study? Start by looking at the careers that naturally align with your favourite subjects. Lovers of numbers generally gravitate towards careers in accounting, economics, physics or robotics. If English literature was more your thing, a job as a journalist, editor, publicist or advertising specialist may be more up your ally. Those fascinated by science often end up as nurses, doctors, geologists and environmentalists. Ultimately, if there is an area of study you enjoyed, there will be a corresponding degree and future career to satisfy your desire to learn more.

2. Find your passion

We would all love to spend our lives pursuing our passions so naturally, looking to what it is that drives us most is a good starting point when choosing a course. Will your passion for living a healthy lifestyle lead you to a degree in health? Perhaps your anger at seeing the injustices of the world will drive your study of social justice or law. Or maybe your love of helping people will lead you to pull on some nursing scrubs. But what if you don’t know what you’re passionate about? Sometimes, our passions start out as mere childhood fascinations and intrigues. Ask yourself, what is it that I am curious about? Who do I admire? What interests me? When you figure that out, ask people with the same interests as you what courses they studied.

3. Look to the future: what are your goals?

This question is often met with the groan of a student who is really just hoping to make it through the next assignment, the next exam, even just the next hour. Try not to see goal-setting as a tedious classroom exercise and more as a way of determining which course you need to study to get to where you want to be in the future. If your goal is to be the editor of a magazine, what course will you need to study? Notre Dame’s program advisors can help you choose the degree that will help you achieve those future goals.

4. Know your strengths

It’s true that we are often our own worst critics and are generally not very good at recognising the skills, talents and abilities we have to share. That’s where friends, family, teachers and work colleagues come in to offer an objective eye and an encouraging word. Of course, school grades, awards and other quantitative results are fairly reliable indicators of our abilities but there are some gifts that just can’t be measured in data. Only the people around you can tell of your winning way with children, your expert organisation skills or your ability to think on your feet. So before you convince yourself that you are really not good at anything, ask someone else and they will be sure to remind you of how capable you really are.

5. Consider a general degree

If you are a bit of an all-rounder, enrolling in a general arts, communications, business, or science degree provides you with the opportunity to cater for all your different areas of interest. Alternatively, enrolling in a double degree allows you to explore multiple loves while at the same time increasing your career prospects. You can always decide to branch off and specialise in an area you have grown to particularly enjoy later on. In any case, general degrees are a great starting point for those who really doesn’t know what they want to do.