Identify your abilities, interests & passions
You should begin the process of selection by making an honest assessment of your abilities. Are you good at math or coding or writing? Are you creative or good with people? Ideally you should eliminate those careers which you think you could struggle in, although don’t be dissuaded from trying something new! You are going to learn new things at university and undoubtedly you will improve your skills and abilities in subjects you are particularly strong in.
Take a look at your interests and passions to see if there are any courses and careers that are in line with what you love to do. Getting paid for doing something you like is the best career you could have. A quote from Confucius states, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. This holds very true and could mean the difference between a job you do for a salary or a job you do because you enjoy it.
Basing your career decision on going after what excites you and inspires you is one of the best ways you can go about choosing and usually results in less second-guessing once you make a decision.
Consider the future
Although basing decisions on current interests is a good way to go, who knows if you will still hold the same hobbies or interests 10, 20 or even 30 years from now? Ask yourself, ‘Will I enjoy this career in 10 years?’. If the answer is yes, then go for it! If the answer is that you are unsure, keep your selection broad and do not narrow down to a particular field. For example, if your passion is software development, but you are not sure you want a fully-fledged career built on it, choose a general course regarding coding so that you have multiple avenues to explore in the future such as AI, gaming, website building, etc.
Another factor you should strongly consider is the employability you will have once you graduate. Try and find a career that will be around for a long time to come and one, which if possible, will continue to evolve. Choose a job which will sustain you for your entire working career and that will pay you enough to cover daily and monthly expenses, your leisure time, while saving something as well. Do some research about how much you will be earning in different careers.
Choose the right University
Choosing the right school is just as important as choosing the major itself. Before settling on a particular university, find out about its environment, structure, prestige and the courses on offer. If a university strikes you above all the others, determine if it has the right courses for you and ensure that the accreditation you will achieve is recognised locally and internationally.
When choosing a university you should also dig deeper and find out what you will be expected to possess as a prerequisite. Take a look at the course outline as well. This should give you an idea of what study units you will be taking and if the course or university caters for your needs both personally and professionally.
Meet with advisors
Universities are always available to talk to prospective students about their courses and environment. Take advantage of open houses and interview sessions to get to know the university culture and to ask for help if you need it. Advisors will be more than willing to speak to you personally and go through the courses with you to help you make a more informed and correct decision.
The admissions staff at the American University of Malta is available to speak to you on a daily basis. Get in contact, ask and they will answer. There is no wrong question you can ask and the staff is ready to help you however they can.
- Identify requirements for changing your major - are they rigid or flexible?
- Read about your future job - what is a typical day like? What are the challenges you will face?
- Do research about how technology can impact and change your career in a few years' time
- Speak to family members and friends - ask their opinions but make the decision yourself!