5 key factors to consider when choosing the course that is right for you

Standing at a fork in the road and not sure which way to turn? “We’ve all been there,” says Natalie Rabson of Boston City Campus & Business College. “Wondering about the best course to choose for our career”.
As a leading South African academic institution with over 30-years of experience in guiding young adults in making the best career choices, Boston shares the top 5 factors to consider when choosing your ideal qualification.
1. Choosing the education institution
Your choice of institution plays a significant role in opening up opportunities for your future career. Find out more about your prospective choice by taking a look at the institution’s prospectus, outlining the qualifications, facilities, and accreditation, to name a few. “All textbooks at Boston are included in the fees,” says Rabson. “This makes a huge impact in your overall academic costs and is a huge benefit to our learners”.
Quality is key. As the world becomes a smaller place, we need qualifications that are recognised both locally and internationally. Boston has in fact achieved these recognitions, through the CHE (Council on Higher Education) of South Africa as well as the BAC (British Accreditation Council).
2. Your interests and valuesplay an important part in guiding you in your choice of career.
Look at someone whose career you admire.. Explore your options. Narrow your field of interest. Boston offers a career compass assessment so that you can find the course or industry which matches your personality, values and goals.
Pay attention to your values and needs as a person – this will also impact on your choice of career, bringing you closer to your purpose and enhancing the experience of your journey in the workplace.
3. Knowing your skill strengths and weaknesses will help guide you in choosing the course that is right for you.
Start by asking yourself two questions:
(i) What do I like to do?
(ii) What am I good at?
Your natural interests can be used to guide you towards choosing the course that is right for you and in which you are likely to excel. Assess what skills youneed to follow your career choice, then find the course that fills that gap.
Stanford Psychologist, Carol Dweck, renowned for her work on the mindset psychological trait ( emphasizes that by adopting a growth mindset we can use application, practice and effort to increase our competency levels as opposed to the fixed mindset of thinking that we are either born with a particular ability, or else we don’t have it. You can always improve your skills and use your course of choice to do just that.
4. Experience your career in the professional environment
Research: use the internet, newspapers and speak to key people who are involved in your particular field of interest.
Job shadow someone in your particular field of interest for a couple of days, gaining insights into their daily experiences. Make a list of companies in your industry and contact a few of them to find out if you can make the necessary arrangements to visit their place of work. An Internship allows you a limited time to actually work in the environment of your chosen field. Giving you the opportunity to see if it is something you enjoy and fits in with you values and interests. Make yourself a valuable contributor to their overall working environment.
Interview Experts in your field: this can provide insights into the pros and cons of the job.
Networking on LinkedIn: This can give you a wider spread and access to different people. Always be polite and carefully introduce yourself to the thought leader or influencer.
5. Earning capacity
While money shouldn’t be sacrificed for your love and interest in a subject, it is an important reality. When considering your course, look at both how it corresponds to your core values while preparing you for the job market after you have qualified. And investigate the demand for the job you want.
Wrapping it up, Rabson advises to always keep the big picture before you – targeting where you want to be in the next 5 – 10 years to guide you in your decision making. Start by speaking to a Boston career counselor soon!

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