How do you know if you are studying the right or wrong degree?
«The right» for whom? «The wrong» for what?
Is it okay to be uncertain about what you chose to study?
Is it okay to drop a course and try a completely different degree?
The survey by the London School of Business and Finance concluded that nearly half of all workers in the UK (47%) would like to change careers.
This trend is particularly strong in Millennials – about 66% of whom want to try another career.
Thus, you can see that you are not alone in these doubts:
Even well-established professionals, who have spent all their life doing one job, can realise one day they’re wasting their time doing something that doesn’t make them happy.
And they make a change.
If so, what can bother you to experiment with your studies at the very beginning of your career path, when there are no responsibilities to limit you?
«I dropped out of my Biological Sciences degree at UWE in Bristol, being in the Third year.
Several years ago, I would have said that you must be an idiot or a crazy to drop your studies when you’ve got not that much time left till graduation.
Actually, it’s quite a lot.
Especially, when measured in nerve cells, time, and energy wasted.
I chose these studies under my parents’ pressure as they’ve always wanted me to follow my grandpa’s example. I didn’t mind it, actually, as I wasn’t sure what my true passion was and I was quite good at biology and chemistry at school.
So, instead of trying to listen to my heart, I just chose a well-trodden path and, truth be told, I did like it for a while.
However, the deeper I dived into the universe of genetics, physiology, and biochemistry, the more I realised it was absolutely uninteresting for me.
Now, I work as a layout artist for a pretty successful company and feel so happy with my choice.
Is there anything I regret?
The fact I wasted 3 years of my life studying the stuff I didn’t like instead of developing my true talents.»
The story above demonstrates one of the most frequent reasons people choose the wrong studies.
Here is the list of the most common mistakes school graduates make when choosing a course or a degree:
- Opting for a «glamorous» field of work without bearing the cons of the career in mind (ANY dream job has both advantages and disadvantages)
- Looking for a job, which is highly-paid (the job market is not stable, moreover, you can earn a good salary in any area in case you love what you do)
- Choosing competitive courses instead of the ones they’re really passionate about (high entry scores are not a guarantee of the course difficulty)
- Letting their teachers, parents or friends influence the career choice (this decision affects only your life – so, it’s essential to make it for yourself)
The Benefits of Finding the Right Course
Why is it important to be sure you’ve made the right choice of your studies?
Here are some of the most significant benefits of finding the right course at the very beginning:
- You don’t waste your precious time doing something that won’t benefit you in the future
- You don’t blow money learning something you’re not passionate about or something you don’t consider your prospective job.
- You are satisfied with your studies and it eventually turns into job satisfaction, which is one of the most important factors of a successful career.
How to Understand If You’re Going in the Wrong Direction?
Your first job is not meant to be your only job.
Your university course doesn’t necessarily have to be your career.
Nowadays, professional success depends on multiple opportunities we face during our lifetime. The challenge is to identify these opportunities and not to stick to the only career path your studies offer.
If you want to know if your studies were the right choice, ask yourself the right questions:
- Do you enjoy your classes?
Or find them boring and complex?
If the subject material isn’t interesting, if the only reason you visit them is that somebody said you should, if you’re attending the lectures only physically… you’re probably not in the right place.
- Are you satisfied with the prospectives?
Even if you follow your passion but not satisfied with the prospective career options, you might be doing the wrong course.
Try to look for another area where your knowledge and passion can be implemented – where your dedication and hard work will be rewarded.
- Is it applicable in the modern world?
According to the updated job market data, will you be able to get a job having received your degree?
Are the employees in the industry you’re interested in need your diploma? Or do they just need your skills and experience?
Will your profession exist in the future?
- Do you understand the lessons taught?
Another sign you should reconsider your studies is if every lesson is very complicated for you.
If you start noticing that you put too much effort and spend too much time trying to understand the material and keep failing your exams anyway, maybe this area is not your cup of tea.
- Do you have good grades?
Grades are not the perfect measure of success, but…
Bad grades are a red flag if you’re constantly failing most of your classes.
Yes, sometimes it can be just a coincidence, a consequence of stress or illness, but if it happens almost always, you should definitely think if the course is right for you.
- Where do you want to be in 5 years?
Do you see yourself in this field?
Will your current studies contribute to your goal?
- What are your actual aptitudes?
Do your actual aptitudes, attitude, and experience correspond to the studies you’ve chosen?
If you find it difficult to identify them, don’t neglect professional help. A psychologist will determine a list of professions fitting your profile after you’ve been tested.
Extra Tips for studying successfully
To make the right decision:
- Consider taking a year off
If you feel confused about your studies, a year off can be helpful to think it through and make the right choice.
Which would you prefer: to waste a lot of money and time on a course you hate or take some time and start doing something that really makes you happy?
- Ask for another opinion
Speak to someone trustworthy, who has a similar experience, or who might be able to help you in this situation. They can look at your situation from another perspective, which is also very valuable.
If you have read this post to the end, you might have realised you’re in the right course, or not. Just make sure you ask yourself the right questions and don’t lie to yourself when answering them.
We wish you good luck in choosing the right degree for you and hope this article helps!