Graduation is the time where you take the first step towards your career. Now that your school days are over and you are wondering about what course to take up for your graduation, here is a 4-step guide to help you make the right choice.
Step 1: Figure out where your interest, passion and aptitude lies
This is the first and the most important. Once you have figured this one out, half your job is done. And the sooner you do it, the better. In fact, Class 9th and 10th are the best time to figure out your interest, passion and aptitude. By this time, you should have a decent idea of the various subjects and know what interests you and what do not. Figuring where your interest lies by Class 10th also helps in deciding the Stream of study for Plus Two, which makes it further easy to zero in on to the right course in graduation.
However, there may be some amongst us who would not know where their interest, passion and aptitude lies by Class 10th. They would have chosen their stream in Plus Two because their friends were taking up that stream or because their parents insisted or because it was the default stream owing to the marks they obtained in Class 10th. Whatever the reason may be, before you choose your graduation course, ensure that you know your interest areas well.
Step 2: Know how you can connect your interest to a suitable career
“Passion is the difference between having a job and having a career.”
Gone are the days when engineering and medicals were the only lucrative career options. Today, one’s passion in sports or writing or even traveling, can be translated into stable careers. One just have to connect the dots.
Let’s say a student is interested in fashion. She likes reading about new trends in fashion and lifestyle and her friends come to her for fashion advice. You may think she has a career in Fashion Designing but do you know there are multiple other options she can explore apart from Fashion designing? Some options are: Fashion Blogging, Fashion & Lifestyle Journalism, Fashion Business Management, Textile Engineering, Fashion Technology, Accessory Design and so on.
The crucial point is, if you are passionate about something, there is a career for you.
Step 3: Research on courses leading to your chosen career
There are plenty of options when it comes to courses these days, both in India and abroad. Going by the example above, let’s say the student wants to pursue a career in Fashion Journalism. There are two options for her- pursue a course in Fashion Journalism OR pursue a course in Journalism and then do an internship with a Fashion magazine. Fashion colleges in India like NIFT, Vogue, IIFD, etc. offer courses in Fashion Communication/Journalism. Mass media colleges like IIMC, MICA, ACJ, etc. offer courses in Journalism.
For other career options too, there are multiple courses to choose from. Research. Ask around. And seek professional career guidance help, if need be. But do not go for the low hanging fruits. Remember, the more effort you put in to figure out the right course, the less effort you would need in figuring out your career.
Step 4: Course or College? Give importance to the Course
More than often students are faced with this question. With growing competition and students becoming more aspirational, this question is here to stay. While experts may differ, I would recommend going for the course and not the college.
Yes, the college brand name matters on your CV but will you like to be stuck with studying something that you do not even enjoy? On the contrary, if you like your subjects, you will automatically put in that extra effort to do well, thus compensating for the brand name an A+ list college would have added to your CV.
The secret to a happy life is to love what you do. If you can couple this with doing what you love, there can be no stopping you. You grad days is the time when you need to become a lot more independent, professional and actively seek out new opportunities. It will also be the best 3 or 4 years (depending on the duration of your course) of your life. So go ahead and have fun! These days of your life will never come back.
Today, there are professional organizations who have developed a very comprehensive and scientific methodology to help students from high school to discover their Interest, Passion and Strengths and map it with various Career choices and chart out the relevant education path in detail. One of those organizations is Lodestar Career Guidance.