How to choose a degree or course
Do ALL doctors and dentists ALWAYS earn a higher-than-average income ? The facts may surprise you !
In the graph, an average GP makes $100,000 , a salary typical of a 29 yo software programmer with 6 years experience ( after a 3-4 year IT degree or merely TAFE diploma ).
Does a teacher make more than an Accounting grad ?Do Maths graduates earn more than a Vet ? Yes ! Yes !
See all this yourself in this list of graduate ( starting ) salaries here.
Critical questions that are useful in helping students arrive at better informed conclusions when considering a course or degree to study are discussed here. It’s probably good idea not to decide on a university or degree subject on a whim without carefully checking out what you’re getting into. Making a poor choice due to insufficient pre-emptive investigation or lack of a good selection criteria will cost you tears, time, money and financial and lost work opportunities. Consequence of picking a degree related to jobs which are not in demand.
- Should I go for a TAFE diploma or University Degree ?
- How to choose between 2 degrees that interest me ?
- What other degrees are available which I may not have heard of ?
- Which degree makes the most money, leads to high salaries?
- Which degree is best for getting a good job preferably that is recession proof ?
- Which degree is easiest to get into or easy to pass ?
- Which University offers the best course for the subject I have chosen ?
- Which degree suits me given my interest, academic strengths at school ?
ie. How to choose a university ?
- Which university course is right for me given the country I live in ?
- What university is the best in Australia or does this even matter at all ?
- Which institution offers distance learning education programs?
- Which university should I go to given where I live in Australia ?
Suggested criteria for selecting a degree or subject area:
- Is this degree relevant or necessary for my chosen career path ?
- Will this degree lead me to a job that is highly paid ?
- Do you like the subject matter of this degree? Is it interesting to you?
- Will this degree lead me to a job that is in high demand ?
- Will this degree lead me to sustainable jobs, offering stable employment ?
- What is the course duration ? Is it a 3 , 4 5 or 6 year degree program ?
- What is the male: female student ratio in this faculty ?
- Do you know much about this subject matter ?
- ( Campus life has always been and continues to present best opportunities for young people to network for dating and eventual marriage and procreation )
- What HSC level subjects do I need for admission to a particular degree I am applying for ? Do I meet these course perquisites ? Eg, If I want to study Electrical Engineering , what HSC subjects must I pass at Secondary school besides getting the required ATAR score ?
- Is an undergraduate level qualification enough for the Australian workplace?
- Is an Australian Master or doctorate PhD necessary for employment in this field?
Eg Research roles, Academia, Policy making etc
- How far is the university campus away from my house or accommodation?
- What is the cost of this degree program compared to other undergraduate degree courses in Australia ?
- Does this degree qualification lead to jobs that clashes with my personality type ?
( Eg. you selected Accountancy but you are an outdoorsy type , perhaps Environmental science may be better?)
Work environment and financial factors to think about:
- Done indoor, outdoor, underground, in water in air?
- Hands clean or dirty at the end of the day?Have you thought about what life in Australia is like working in this area upon graduation? ( ie. working conditions )Located in a city or remote area like a mining town ?
- Predominantly dealing with people, computers or machinery / equipment?
- Involve numbers, writing, speaking or creative ideas?
- Highly stressful or relaxed?
- Requires / allows casual, formal or uniformed dress code?
- Puts you in contact with happy or troubled people on a daily basis?
- Regular hours or shift work or on 24/7 call duty?
- What is the Male to female staff ratio at this Uni ?
- Have you done your homework in checking out the job prospects after graduation?
- How much will this job pay as a fresh graduate in Australia or your home country?
- How much will this job pay after 5 years of work in Australia or another country?
- How viable is this job in 5 or 10 years time giving the changing economy, especially in Australia ?
- Is this job in demand in Australia ? ( or whichever country you return to )
- Is probable this job type may be outsourced to countries where labor is cheap? (Eg. China or India )
- How do these salary figures compare with other jobs, other degrees in the Australian economy?
- Have you spoken to SEVERAL people currently employed in this job and got their unbiased opinion?