How to Choose Higher Education

Take note of this series of important keys to know how to choose higher education or how to help your children find their professional path.
How to Choose Higher Education

Last update: 07 September, 2021

Without a doubt, when you were a child, you were often asked what you wanted to be when you grew up. Back then, it was common to opt for professions such as doctor, nurse, teacher, or even policeman. To achieve this goal, you had to choose higher education, but in the early stages of development, we thought little about the educational path we’d have to follow.

However, time passes and, when children reach the ages of around 16 or 18, the fateful moment arrives when the answer to what you want to be when you grow up can no longer be a fantasy. Because now, the career you choose will define your future.

Understandably, it can be a stressful responsibility to have to make such an important choice at such a young age. Fortunately, more and more people understand that choosing higher education at this age is no longer definitive, a fact that reduces the pressure on students.

Even so, there are methods and keys that can be used to choose a career or higher education that suits the tastes, needs, significant life experience, and expectations of each person.

A teenager studying at his desk.

Choosing higher education: The key moment

Once the key moment arrives, a young person has to choose a university career, vocational training, etc. It can be a stressful process that can lead to frustration if they don’t feel supported in their decision-making. Therefore, it’s important for young people to have constant support at this stage of their lives.

What should young people know before choosing what they want to study? Let’s look at some questions that children should answer honestly when making decisions whose consequences will be with them forever.

  • Is this really the profession I want to pursue for the rest of my life?
  • Will this profession meet my career expectations?
  • Am I aware of what these studies cover and the possible future job opportunities?
  • Do I have the necessary requirements to enter this career?
  • Am I willing to study in a city far from my family?
  • Am I able to pay the expenses of these studies?
  • Are there enough job opportunities once I have my degree?
  • Is this career too long for what I want and need?

Personal analysis for choosing higher education

Next, it’s a good idea to carry out a personal analysis to help you make the right decision when choosing higher education. Let’s see what you should meditate on in this case.

Personal strengths and weaknesses

It’s worth doing a little personal analysis to find out what are the strengths and weaknesses that the child in question has. If your child is good at languages, for example, English could be a good choice, but maybe chemistry isn’t the best fit, right?

Affinity and tastes

It’s also important to be very clear about personal tastes and affinities. It’s very unsatisfying to study something you don’t enjoy. If you can’t stand mathematics, it’ll obviously be better not to follow training paths that will constantly expose you to this subject.

Future career paths for choosing higher education

What will the future hold? Nobody knows, but it’s something to keep in mind. The job opportunities available once the degree is obtained will also be important in deciding what to study. Of course your child should enjoy the learning process  as well as working in the profession… but what about the job opportunities?

Duration

Is your child a patient person? Keep in mind that many majors can be completed in four years. However, others, such as Medicine, could last a decade, as, once the person finishes their undergrad studies, prepare for and take the MCAT, go to medical school, complete your hospital residency, and much more.

Difficulty

Although every course of study allows you to obtain a degree, not all of them are equally easy. Studying for Telecommunications or Mathematics, for example, is far different from going into Journalism or Marketing. Remember that pure sciences and engineering are usually more demanding and difficult.

It’s important not to be guided by trends when making a decision. The fact that thousands of students are choosing the same career path doesn’t mean that it’s a field that your child will like or that will motivate them.

A teenager sitting in a classroom thinking.

Get to know each course of study

It’s important that your child knows what each course of study is about. That’s to say, what subjects they’ll take, what they’ll learn, what career opportunities they’ll have… They should be well informed about all the careers they’re interested in before they make their choice.

Talk to guidance counselors about choosing higher education

A counselor can help you find your child’s true vocation. They’ll help them choose according to their talents, needs, and possibilities. They’ll solve all your doubts and act as a guide.

Research the school

Analyze the educational center where the studies they’re interested in are taught. The university or institute will also be key institutions in your future education.

A vocational test to choose higher education

Finally, your child can take a vocational test. This type of test helps you to find out which studies will suit your child best and what their true talents are. This way, they’ll know which educational path to choose.

If you have doubts about how you can help your child to choose higher education, take advantage of all these tips and look for the route that really excites them.

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  • Shapiro, D.A., Leider, R.J. (2001). El trabajo ideal, descubre tu verdadera vocación. Paidós Ibérica: Barcelona.