Going to university has lots of benefits. It can help you become more independent, develop social skills, expand your knowledge and develop advanced reasoning skills. But it’s also important that attending university helps you build the career that you want. This means that it’s vital for you to research careers before making decisions about whether to go to university and which courses to apply for.
Career paths are often far from simple. University or college courses that you might think would help reach a desired career could actually turn out not to be the best choice. Plus, there might be other paths that you have not thought of. Here’s how to research careers so you end up on a course that will help you achieve your goals.
1. Think About What You Enjoy
Think about what you enjoy doing. With careers research it’s easy to jump straight to specific careers that you’ve heard of and look into them. While this isn’t the worst approach, it does mean that you could miss out on finding out about lots of suitable careers that you simply haven’t heard of.
So, start by identifying the subjects or work that you enjoy doing and think about why. Do you enjoy English Literature because you like analysing writing? Or do you enjoy a customer service job because you like helping people? Once you’ve identified the key things that you enjoy and want to do more of, you can start to research careers that involve them.
2. Make the Most of Your Connections
One of the best ways to learn about a career is to talk to people who do them. The chances are that there are several adults you know who do jobs that you might enjoy.
Get in touch and have a chat to learn about the reality of pursuing a specific career. Finding out about someone’s average working day, the things they enjoy doing and the things they don’t, and the career path they took to get there are all things that will help you identify the ideal career and the steps you need to take to achieve it.
3. Do Targeted Online Research
It might sound obvious, but the internet is a great resource for careers research. It’s easy to get bogged down in lots of information though, so try to do some targeted research. Make sure you start off with the list of key things that you enjoy and careers that you are considering to give your research some direction.
Noting down the things you find out in a way that’s easy to skim read makes different careers easy to compare, so you can use it to make an informed decision.
4. Visit Careers Fairs and Open Days
Careers fairs are a great place to learn more about specific careers from professionals with extensive amounts of knowledge and experience. University and college open days can also provide you with lots of information about the jobs that graduates go into after they’ve completed certain courses.
Trekking off to events all around the country can seem a pain, but it’ll only be for a limited time period and you can benefit significantly. There are also local events that you can find with a bit of research.
5. Try MyUniChoices
MyUniChoices is a brilliant tool to use for careers research. It’s a specialised online questionnaire that can help you make the right decision about Higher Education. It features 150 questions that help the user think about their interests, skills and abilities, and provides them with a range of university courses that will suit them. You can use the results to select a university course or simply find out more about your interests and the kinds of careers that suit you.
So, try these 5 things to support you and help you research careers. Finding out what you’re good at and the kind of roles you’ll enjoy is sure to help you get on the right career path.
See more related content that can help you in your university and course search
Sign up for our email list and stay up to date with the latest info on Careers, Higher Education and what’s happening for students right now!