What to study - Which course is right for you? - Career HQ
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What to study – Which course is right for you?

With so many options around, it’s hard to know which course is the right one for you. Whether you’re looking at Uni, TAFE or a private college, there’s options to suit everyone. Finding something you enjoy is very important but there’s more to it than that. Here’s a few things to consider whilst looking at all the possibilities.

Which course is right for you

Does the course have an obvious employment outcome?

If you’re doing a certificate in dental assisting or a degree in primary education, then you probably have a good idea of what career path you’d like to follow. However, If you’re doing a certificate in business or a degree in geography, it could be because you have a passion for the topic but no clear job in mind for when you finish. Both routes can lead to career success, but thinking beyond your study options to your end goal may help you with complicated course choices now. To help you frame your thinking you can use a tool which assists to develop study and career options that suit you. The CareerHQ Compass is one instrument that can help you.

Have you looked at the graduate employment rates for your study area?

Both MySkills (for vocational) and Graduate Careers Australia (for Uni) offer some guidance as to the employment rates for study areas. Per 2015 graduate statistics, only 55% of psychology graduates were in full time employment 6 months after finishing University, whereas 90% of those studying surveying had full time jobs. Real passion for your subject should come across to potential employers in interviews and on your CV, and employment rates shouldn’t deter you from following your dream role. However, in a tough job market it’s an issue to consider.

What does the future of your chosen career look like?

It’s impossible to know for certain the future of any occupation, however, there are some clear trends around.

Is the job you choose something that can be easily automated? Everywhere from pharmacies to fast food outlets are using automated systems to replace people where possible now.
– Is it something that people can do for themselves on the internet? People now check themselves in for flights, having booked their own holiday online. Previously a travel agent would have booked the holiday and an airline customer service officer would’ve checked you in. These roles will still exist, but competition will be tougher for the fewer positions available.

To get an idea of what the future looks like for the careers you’re interested in studying for, look at

which course is right for me

Should I only be looking at initial qualifications?

If you want to be a surgeon you already know that you’ve got a long road ahead of you, with years of study beyond that initial qualification. Your initial qualification, whether it’s Diploma of Electrical Engineering or a Bachelor of Science, is something that can be built upon to reach your career goals. It’s a growing trend now that many Universities have courses which are more general, offering a broader range of study topics. This often leads to postgraduate study in a specific field. If you choose a course which requires further study, consider the greater expense and number of years needed to complete your qualification.

There are a vast number of courses available nowadays. When it comes to choosing the right course for you, make sure you balance the immediate benefits of your interests with the longer term considerations of employment. Do this, and you’ve given yourself the best chance at career happiness.