3 things to consider when choosing your degree course
The directive “Follow your heart!” is incredibly liberating – particularly appealing at the moment when you need to make major life decisions. Choosing a university course based on your passion first and developing the skills gradually seems to be the right way to go.
However, for students planning to study abroad, it’s unwise to choose a course using this approach alone.
Follow your heart, but don’t forget to take your brain with you. You shall have much more to lose if you don’t consider the following factors when choosing your course.
1. Stay away from Mickey Mouse degrees:
Mickey Mouse Degree is a term for university degree courses regarded as useless or irrelevant in the labour market. For example, degrees in “golf management” and “David Beckham Studies” are not only too specific, but very likely, are considered to be useless by many employers. We are encouraging you to question the relevance of the degree and do some research before committing to it.
2. Check the qualification requirements in the country you want to work:
Wherever you plan to stay after graduation, you should be sure that your degree meets the requirements for the career you want.
Let’s say you wish to practice as a lawyer in Hong Kong after graduation. Assuming your degree is automatically recognised in your home country, you decide to pursue a law degree in the UK and invest £70,560, only three years later to find out that you must earn additional qualifications to obtain a practicing licence!
Each country has its own requirements to enter certain professions so make sure you check what your profession needs and your degree will be recognised by employers. Don't be surprised if there are additional entry requirements you need to satisfy to enter your chosen profession.
If you are going to invest so much in your degree, the last thing you want is to find out is that your degree is a dud!
3. Is it worth the Integrated Masters hype?
You are given a choice: earn your bachelor’s degree in three years or your master’s in four. The choice seems obvious – employers love qualifications, so why not staying for one more year to get that extra degree? Although this appears great on your cv, it may not be beneficial for international students.
Let’s say you sign up for an integrated master’s degree programme, but halfway through the course, you find yourself do not like the institution as much as you once did. Or maybe you think the teaching quality is lacking. Or worse, you lose passion for the subject and decide to switch your major.
That’s a lot of money and time to splurge on a course you’re not fully committed to.
So, before applying for an integrated master’s degree programme, ask yourself these questions:
1. Am I committed to this university course?
2. Am I sure this is the career I want?
3. Will I need a Master’s degree to differentiate myself from other job seekers in this sector?
An integrated Master’s degree is probably not for you if you are not sure of your answer to any of the questions. The wiser action is to get through the Bachelor’s degree first, then decide if you want to continue your academic journey or start your career.