So, you have decided that you want to go to university? This is a route that many people go down today when attempting to carve the perfect career for themselves. After all, there is nothing like having a degree qualification on your CV to impress potential future employers. However, making the decision to go to university and getting good grades is only a small part of the process. You then need to select from the thousands and thousands of universities that are available. How do you narrow down your process effectively? What should you consider?
Read on for a helpful step-by-step guide.
There is only one place to begin, and this is with the academic programs that the universities provide. After all, it is likely that you will have decided on the subject you want to study, and so you can narrow down your search based on this. If you haven’t, you really need to start thinking about what you want to do in terms of your career. Do some research online and take the many different quizzes to help you get a good understanding of the sort of avenue you should go down. Remember, choosing a course and a career are two different things entirely. So, when thinking about the sort of degree you are going to go for, you really need to consider what you can do with it afterward. What sort of doors will your degree open? What jobs will be available to you?
When it comes to considering the different academic courses the university provides, it is not only about making sure the university in question teaches the subject, but you need to ensure they are good at doing so and that their course is held in high regard. For example, there could be a university with an exceptional reputation, yet their law course is somewhat limited. No matter how good the university is on the whole, it would be advisable to look somewhere else if you want to study law. Carefully assess the academic program offered by each university you consider. What does the curriculum look like? What will you learn each year? Are there any unique opportunities i.e. to study abroad for a year? You may also want to research the lecturers and tutors, what are their credentials? In addition to this, try to find out about the success rates from the course. What percentage of students have gone on to find jobs? This information is easier to find for some universities when compared with others. However, you can always email the university for information on this. After all, if you don’t ask, you don’t get!
country, never mind region! The world is your oyster if you are this open-minded about the location of your university.
Nonetheless, there are still a lot of factors you must consider. For example, you need to decide whether you want to go to a university in a large city or a small rural area. You also need to look into student accommodation in the area. How easy is it to find and what are the prices? Moreover, you should take a look at the public transport in the area, as well as your route home. How long will it take? How easy will it be? And, how much will it cost? Public transport is important because you will need to determine how you are going to get to university every day if your accommodation is not on campus, as well as how much it is going to cost you to get there. If you are moving to an entirely new city it is imperative to do your research beforehand to ensure it is somewhere you think you will settle in well.
It is also important to consider size when trying to find a university that suits you. You can find universities with as little as 1,000 students to those with way over 40,000. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to determining whether you should go for a small or large university. It is all about deciphering what is going to be right for you specifically. Some people love the chance to go to a huge university – more people, more opportunities and more going on. However, for some, this can be intimidating and so they prefer to go to a small university, as it will be a lot easier for them to settle in. If you are undecided, go for something in the middle!
Student diversity matters to some individuals and for others, it doesn’t. Some students would prefer to go to a university whereby they are with students with a similar background to them, as it makes them feel more comfortable. However, others love the opportunity to mix with people from different ethnic and cultural groups, as they find the experience more interesting and exciting. Of course, it is entirely up to you. Most universities will provide statistics regarding the diversity of students at their institution in their guides or on their website.
Aside from the points that have already been mentioned, it is also advisable to conduct a significant amount of research in order to determine whether the university has a good reputation or not. This is something that should not be too difficult to do. All you need to do is take to the Internet and conduct a comprehensive search. You are likely to find forums about the university in question. Read the comments and see what people had to say about their experience there. Did they enjoy it? Would they recommend it? What did they like and what didn’t they like?
Aside from this, you should also see how the university is viewed by others – i.e. employers. Is it held in high regard? A good way to determine whether this is the case is to read university standings and such like. You will often find that universities are ranked based on a number of different things and then the results are posted online and in newspapers. This will give you a good idea regarding the quality you can expect from the university in question and how beneficial it will be to have such an institute’s name on your CV when you graduate.
Whilst your education is imperative, it is also crucial to make sure you enjoy campus life, after all, you are going to be spending several years there. What goes on at the university in question? Do they have sororities and fraternities? Are there any groups you can join? Are there lots of activities and such like to participate in? Do they host social events whereby you can get to know other students?
imagine. Once you have a few last universities in mind, your final consideration can be cost. You can sit and work out how much it will roughly cost you, taking into account all the factors that have just been mentioned.
If you take into account all of the points that have been touched upon in this post, you should be able to effectively find a university that suits you. It is also worth noting that there are websites designed to help you search through universities based on all of the factors that have been mentioned. These are great tools that you should definitely consider using to help you on your way.
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