Everyone dreams of a great career with a dream job. A college education enhances your career prospects.A key question in the minds of every student and their parents is ‘Which college to join?’This is a very important decision in the lives of every student. The college they join helps shape their career and future. Deciding which college to join requires a lot of thought. You need to look at various factors before deciding, we’ve made it easy for you to decide by preparing a quick guide that outlines what you should be looking for.
- Decide what you will study
Before deciding the college to join, you need to decide what you will study. There are a variety of courses and specializations available. You need to decide which of these courses you want to pursue. While deciding this, you will need to think about your future career. If you have decided to be a doctor, then you need to join a college that offers a degree in medicine. If you want to pursue a career in law, then you need to join a law college.
If you want a broader career option, you can choose to study liberal arts, science, or business studies at the undergraduate level. This will allow you to complete a basic degree, after which you can further specialize in the area of your interest. For instance, you could complete a degree in business studies or commerce. On completing the degree, you can specialize in Finance by doing MBA in Finance.
There are plenty of career options available. You need to consider which career option suits you best. There are career counselors who can help you by conducting various tests that can tell you which career option suits you. Once you decide on a career option, you will know which course to pursue and then you can decide on the college.
- Start planning early
It is very important to plan early. Waiting until college admissions are closing will be a big mistake. You need to start planning to search a college when you are in the final year of your school. That’s when you need to decide the career option to pursue and look for colleges that offer the courses of your choice. Starting early gives you more time to explore different options. If you start searching for a college late, then you will be in a hurry and you may make a wrong decision, which could be costly.
- Take the advice of others
Take the advice of others to decide which college to join. Your teachers at school are better equipped to advise you on career and college options. You canconsult your family members, including your parents, elder siblings, and other relatives who have firsthand knowledge about colleges.
Take everyone’s advice, but let the final decision be yours. Do not be influenced completely by what others say. Listen to their advice and find out why they recommend a particular college. Understand opinions of different people before you make your decision. As mentioned earlier, you can meet a career counselor and seek professional advice on career options and colleges.
- Collect information yourself
You can collect information about colleges yourself. Thanks to the internet, information is available at your fingertips. There are various rankings of colleges done by independent agencies. Study the rankings and find out which are the best colleges that offer the courses of your choice. Visit the website of the college and understand more about the college. Download their brochures or prospectus online to learn more.
Apart from rankings done by agencies, you need to know the view of the student community about the college. Look for online reviews of colleges by past students. Don’t assume all reviews are true, some of them may be biased. Going through many reviews will help you understand more about the college. Apart from online reviews, try to get in touch with past students and take feedback from them. All this valuable information can be used to decide the college to join.
A very important criterion is the accreditation or approval that the college has. You may prefer to join an accredited college or join a recognized University for your studies. In either case, verify that the accreditation and recognition is widely accepted, so you will not face a problem when you want to pursue higher studies or look for a job.
- Attend fairs/exhibitions
There are education fairs and exhibitions conducted by colleges or other organizations. Most colleges send their representatives to these fairs. They can help you by providing more information about the college, courses offered, and eligibility criteria to join. The college representative can provide you important information on fees and scholarships offered. Visiting these events helps you get firsthand information about colleges and meet the admission staff.
- Visit the college
Once you have made a shortlist of a few colleges, it’s time to visit the college. You would have read many things about the college. There’s nothing like checking it out yourself. Most colleges welcome potential students. Visit the college, explore the campus, and check out all the facilities. Consider the convenience of the location. You may want to study in a college nearby your home or near the big cities. Depending on your choice, decide if the location of the college is convenient.
Find out about student accommodation facilities and the cost of living. Meet the professors at the college and admission staff to get all your doubts clarified. Make a checklist or list of questions before you visit a college, so you don’t miss out on anything. Once you visit different colleges, you can then decide.
You can decide the college to join,keeping in mind the reputation of the college, location, accreditation, and most importantly, fees and scholarships offered.