4 Tips To Help You Choose Your College Program (and Future Career Path)

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:

1. Consider your options

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:

  • Do you have a dream or passion that you wish you could turn into a day job?
  • What sort of lifestyle do you picture? 9-5 or freelance? In a corporate office or somewhere less traditional?
  • Which school subjects did you excel in?
  • Is there a program that will allow you to strengthen your current skills and interests? Or further your current career path, if you’re stagnant in your current position?

3. Shop Around

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:

  • How long is the program and what is the outcome? Will you graduate with a certificate, diploma, or degree? Does it align with what’s needed for your career?
  • Are the classes in the program relevant to your career goals?
  • Consider work experience (work term, co-op, or internship) as an added bonus prior to completing your selected program.
  • Is the program’s price within my budget? Does the school offer scholarships or tuition assistance? What’s the potential long-term return on investment of this program?
  • Take a school tour and be sure to talk with a student representative! This will give you a better understanding of the atmosphere and if it’s the right fit for you.