How to choose between the desired course and the institution?

Over 15 lakh students complete their board exams and prepare for admission to colleges in India every year. The course and the college determine the student’s career path. Grade sheets, percentages, and cutoffs are crucial factors, but choosing the right course / college can lead to growth and learning for the rest of their lives. Making this choice often leaves students and their parents in a dilemma.

For students, the critical aspect is choosing a course that best suits their interests, skills, and general life goals. Sometimes peer pressure and published rankings influence this decision and students get stuck in classes they don’t like and end up feeling trapped. In order to choose the best colleges, students tend to compromise and take a course that they are not interested in and for which they do not have the skills. Unfortunately, most colleges in India do not allow students to change their course of study. Some exceptions allow changes after the first year.

Interest matters

If a student is passionate about a subject, he or she is naturally inclined to participate in extracurricular activities around the chosen field, in addition to attending regular courses and practical work. They deepen their knowledge to deepen their knowledge of this field. When a student is interviewed for a job, employers assess not only their knowledge, but also their interest and passion for the chosen field. Savvy recruiters can quickly identify a lack of it.

Career selection is a complicated process and involves several small decisions that must be made on the fly. The most reasonable approach is for students to analyze and determine their interests and strengths. They can decide their career based on their willingness to pursue a field for the rest of their life and still be so excited to work and learn new things decades later. Once the flow has been identified, here’s how to proceed:

Select the course first, shortlist the colleges offering those based on interest, financial viability, and scholarship availability.

Also consult the placement files, pre-placement preparations and facilities / equipment.

List the first choice and the fallback options. Finally, remember that the most successful people aren’t necessarily from the best colleges.

While formal education is a stepping stone to start a professional career, the learning process does not end with graduation. Instead, it is an ongoing process and helps to evolve over time. Therefore, what is important is to prioritize a field / field of study rather than college.

The author is Associate Dean and Director, RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University

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