Solving the Mystery of the ‘Best Pathway’ After School

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By Education Today

Posted on July 10, 2023


4 min read

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University, courses, major, minor, combination, these words can be scary for a teenager fresh out of school and gearing up for one of the biggest phases of their educational journey. How do you find what works best for you, what really suits your ambition and skills, can you try out something which you didn’t pursue in school and do not have a foundation in? Questions are aplenty and solutions are not too readily available. Read on to analyse and understand the various tools available for you as a student, or you as a parent to choose the best available, post-high school.

There are different aspects through which you can assess what course, stream, or field suits you and is the right fit. This is based on individual personality, skills one possesses or aims to gain, and their main interest.

Let’s break them down.

Let’s start by answering the 5 Ws and 1 H.

  • What are your core interests?

Combine your childhood dreams, your current passion, and your future life goal and you will have a fair idea of what you may want to pursue. While it is easier said than done, there are some easy ways to strategize this. One of the acclaimed methods suggests students look up to personalities they admire and then enquire about how their study path looked like, and if deemed fit, emulate it.

  • Why do you want to dive into a specific course? Do you have a plan on how it may help you with how you wish to lead your professional life, and otherwise?

Is it a passion for knowledge or the will to succeed that drives you? It may sound like a tough question for a fresh out of high school student, but if you can answer this, many of your university challenges will ease down. If you have a profession of choice, understand the requirements to shine in the said field and then work backwards on the skills needed for the job and the courses and universities that offer you that opportunity. Choose if you enjoy the practical or the theory. Always consider life goals beyond the professional arena too, the knowledge you seek should be a long-time reward.

  • Where do you wish to study? Would you like to move out of your hometown, city, or even country and explore wider interests?

Though a number of universities went virtual because of the pandemic, thanks to everything going back offline, the location of the school makes a huge difference in your educational journey. From the culture and community, the pedigree of faculty members to the history of the institution weighs in heavily when you make a choice of study. Not just these, the ease of obtaining financial aid and scholarship is high in certain countries and Universities, do your research to gain that information.

  • When do you want to do this? Would you like to hop onto a university bandwagon right after school or do you wish a gap year to travel, work or even study a shorter course?

If you have the means and time, a gap year for travel, volunteering, doing an extra course both virtual or in person, working or interning with organisations in your choice of field, attending multiple open days of shortlisted universities, or even finding schools which will allow you the flexibility of a work-study programme, the choices are aplenty.

  • Who can help you analyse these questions? Are there specific groups or organisations that can help you strategically take a decision?

There are multiple career tests and psychometric quizzes which can help you address all these questions better. Some of them are simple yes-no-maybe tests and others are more investigative, deep diving into subjective responses with a case-to-case evaluation. There are also many free course matching tools available online by reputed educational institutions that can also help.

  • How can you gauge your own self and find the right education path?

Use evaluation tools, talk to professionals in your field of choice, spend time with your peers hashing out ideas and if needed opt for career counselling.

Remember it’s crucial to choose the right course for you to truly enjoy the life that University offers you, an invaluable experience that you will cherish your entire life and will put to use as a bridge to the life you envision for yourself.