Choosing Senior School Subjects for your Career Path
Choosing subjects for your HSC, VCE or IB can seem daunting, it might also make you feel like choosing subjects automatically opens some career options whilst closing off others. The choices you make now will shape the next few years of your life, but will not close any door to you completely, so don’t let worry cloud your thinking.
If you’re lucky enough to know what career path you’d like to follow then you have a starting point for choosing your subjects. If not, try and give yourself a mix of subjects that complement each other and fit with your interests and strengths.
You might be interested to know that major overseas studies in recent years show that the closer the match between students’ interests and personalities and their selected study courses and subjects, the more likely they are to succeed.
The research shows that with a good match, students are likely to:
- get higher grades, and
- be more persistent to complete the selected courses.
Seems to make sense doesn’t it, but surprisingly these results are not well known.
Taking this into account some of the key things to consider in choosing your HSC subjects are:
What do you like?
What subjects you enjoy at school should be the first place you start when thinking about what mix is going to suit you best for your HSC. If you love business studies, modern history or biology then make sure you prioritise them. It’s important to remember to do what you like, not what your friends like, what your parents are interested in, or the class taught by your favourite teacher.
What are you good at?
Usually, what you’re good at and what you enjoy, go hand in hand. You might be one of the lucky people who excel at everything but most of us are stronger in one area. If you take subjects you’re good at alongside those you enjoy you’re already on track for better grades and a more enjoyable time at school.
What do you hope to do after school?
If you have some idea of what you’d like to do after school you may have already thought about your subjects. If you’re not sure yet what area you’d like to work in, start exploring the options. Talk to parents, teachers, or your school careers adviser and think about the first two points, what do you like and what are you good at. If you need some help to kick start your thinking, you might want to try the CareerHQ Compass. www.careerhq.com.au
What subjects do you need?
Do some research on the career paths that interest you and, check what qualifications or training you need. Then make sure you’ve included any subjects that are mandatory to access these courses. Alternatively, if physics for example, is necessary for the course but is your worst subject, maybe look again at your career options. There may be a related area which doesn’t require physics.
What’s does the school offer?
Most schools offer VET (Vocational Education Training) subjects as well as standard subjects. These can be used to get a head start in a career which requires an apprenticeship, to complement traditional subjects or to expand your understanding and knowledge of an area you’re interested in. As added benefit, they may also help you gain part time employment whilst completing study or training after senior school.
The choices you make now for your HSC will not define your life, but doing a little research and choosing wisely now may make your studies, and the journey to career happiness a more enjoyable and shorter one.