So you’ve decided you want to continue (or further) your education with post-secondary learning - congratulations!
Now what? Well, before you can begin your exciting academic journey, the first step is to pick a program. With all the available options out there today, the decision can quickly become overwhelming.
Here are some tips to help you choose the right college program for you:
There’s no doubt about it, choosing the program that you may spend a number of years studying is an important decision! If you’re not completely sure on your end goal, the path may be harder to choose. There are often many factors to consider while you’re deciding which program is going to be right for you.
Ask yourself these questions to start:
Once you answer these questions, you’ll likely have a better idea of what direction you’re headed in.
If you still haven’t settled on a career path, or are overwhelmed by the options, there are people waiting to help! Visit a local career center or meet with a guidance counsellor at a career college to learn about jobs that would fit your natural abilities.
Prior to attending your meeting, try to narrow your professional goals to a specific line of work. Take this quiz from the Government of Canada, and maybe a few others from trusted sources. Career quizzes are designed to help you get a better idea of the type of jobs that you should be seeking work in based on skills, personality, and work values.
There’s also the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Personality Test, a survey that can help you determine suitable career paths by looking at your preferences when it comes to social interaction, information processing, decision-making and perception.
Now that you have a better idea of what direction you’re headed, it’s time to start looking at different programs and schools.
Resist the urge to choose a school simply because it’s got a fancy name or reputation. You shouldn’t ever feel like you need to attend a certain school simply because it’ll look great on your resume. Shop around, and consider lower-cost alternatives like community colleges or shorter certificate programs if the education will still align you with your future career path. If you’re learning a trade or you require more hands-on experience in order to learn, a career college could be the perfect option for you.
Some things to consider when determining the best school for you:
Choosing the right college program is a big decision! Arriving at a final decision can be incredibly overwhelming, confusing, or unclear at times. It’s not uncommon to talk it over with family, friends, or trusted colleagues (or mentors). The insight and extra perspectives can often be helpful.
At the end of the day, only you know what’s best for you. Don’t allow yourself to get swept up in anyone else’s idea of what your life should look like. When it comes to your lifelong career, don’t be afraid to follow your heart!
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