Deciding on a degree to study is usually a challenging, daunting and very confusing task for most students. The stress on Leaving Certificate students is compounded by intense pressure to choose the ‘right’ course before they even step onto a university campus.
For a few, choosing a course is quite simple, they have always wanted to be astrophysicist because they love how it is enunciated, or they have guardians, parents, and mentors who have risen to the top in their careers and they just want to emulate them by towing similar paths, including their field of study. However, others are overwhelmed by the thousands of degrees on offer to students in higher institutions of learning and make wrong misinformed choices, ill-prepared for the demands and requirements for the degree. This in addition to the fact that most applicants choose two or three somewhat unrelated courses to enhance their opportunities of being accepted by the academic institutions show how bewildering degree selection process is for many prospective applicants.
When it comes to choosing the right degree or course, as a rule of thumb, it is advisable that students settle on one that they are suited to or passionate about. Academic degrees demand long, arduous and onerous working hours which requires unflinching passion, desire and dedication to successfully circumnavigate. Misguided students often find subjects pertaining to their majors too difficult to tackle and end up depressed, failing and eventually drop out of school.
Furthermore, having excellent grades in your secondary/high school certificates/diploma and degree qualifying examinations does not necessarily mean that a candidate will be suited for a discipline. A candidate may fulfill the requirements for a degree but might have some personality traits or phobia that would not let them excel in a field. A quick example is that of a student who wants to study medicine but is hemophobic
It is also important to choose a course that would serve as a Launchpad to your preferred career path. If a student is interested in eventually pitching tents in space and aviation industry, a degree in computer science, engineering or physics are some of the pathways to making that dream a reality. Also, a degree in English literature might lead you to a job in publishing, teaching, advertising, public relations or law, among other fields.
Duration of study is also a key factor to consider and these days’ students hope to spend the least possible time within the four walls of an institution of learning. Some professional degrees require a candidate to spend over 5 to 7 years studying which may include but is not limited to; a year internship and a previous first degree to be eligible for the Bachelor degree award. Other factors to consider include institution’s ranking for the preferred degree, graduate employability, and projected future earnings.
There are different kinds of degree with each having specific requirements, and certifies holders with varying level of competence, skills, and specialization. The Bachelor’s degree which is the most popular undergraduate degree and it is structured to give a student an in-depth understanding of the subjects needed to tackle challenges and thrive in a discipline. A Bachelor’s degree also qualifies the student for a postgraduate study. The Bachelor’s degree is awarded to deserving students in different denominations relative to the discipline and examples are Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Education (BEd), Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) and Bachelor of Laws (LLB). The Bachelor’s degree is completed typically in three to four years for Full-Time studies. However, in some countries, Bachelor degrees for certain courses may be completed after 5 to 6 years of undergraduate studies.
Another path towards of undergraduate studies is The Higher National Diploma, it is completed typically in two years after the National Diploma or Ordinary National Diploma. It is an equivalent of a Bachelor’s Degree.
Postgraduate Degrees include the Postgraduate Diploma, Master’s Degree, and the Doctorate Degree. The postgraduate diploma programme is designed to meet the needs of graduates who intend to acquire advanced knowledge and skills in disciplines different from the ones they completed their Bachelor Degree or Higher National Diploma. The postgraduate diploma is usually made up of 120 credits and qualifies candidates for master degrees in certain disciplines. A Master’s Degree programme is a 12 to 24 month (Full - Time) or 24 to 48 months (Part-Time) 180 credits postgraduate programme that provides students with advanced knowledge, skills, and competencies in humanities. It usually requires a dissertation for completion. The Doctorate Degree (Ph.D.) is the highest academic degree awarded by universities in most countries. Ph.D.s are awarded for programs across the whole breadth of academic fields (excluding medicine and theology). It is usually researched based and requires a thesis for completion. The average duration of completion is 48 months.
Having decided on the degree, the challenge that arises becomes where to study and listed are some salient information that could help point you in the best direction.
· Budget – It is important to consider that tuition would be paid annually for a minimum of 4 years and it is important that you choose a course and school that you would be able to afford the tuition and living expenses for the length of the programme.
· Institutions ranking – Websites like Webometrics and QS World University Rankings could be used to assess the impact factor of a university and the quality of their degrees. This is also advantageous as future employers may look at these institution-assessing-websites to determine the schools from which they would prefer to pool their prospective employees.
· Be Inquisitive – Whichever degree you decide on, it is advisable you do your own research about the degree and awarding institution. Simple information like the modules, learning method (On-Campus Learning, Virtual Learning or Distance Learning), admission requirements, and student’s experiences could be obtained via different online and offline avenues.
Well apart from INTERESTS, SKILLS, VALUES, PERSONALITY, Study Local an online education website is your tool guide for your passion. The online directory seeks to help aspiring students who wish acquire knowledge from different categories (Postgraduate courses, professional courses etc.).
Study Local is beyond a search engine for institutions and courses, it’s about taking your passion and turning it into a reality. This service seeks to solve the problem of providing prospective students the ease of gaining knowledge at their own time and pace.
It all starts here at Study local Nigeria. Find the right course, the right university or college, and you will be inspired to succeed.