Don’t wait, do it now;
It will be Christmas before you know it.
The university college application deadlines follow quickly after that.
And then you’re into exam mode…
Open Day season is now running so;
- Start with what you think interests you most, and review how it relates to your strengths/talents and what you’d like to be good at and/or skills you’d like to acquire – if you’re not sure what you’d prefer ask your family, friends, take interest/aptitude tests, talk to your Guidance Counsellor
- Decide if you prefer an applied/career focused or a theoretical/academic course – broad open ended or definite
- Find out where you can do it
- Check out their Open Day website for scheduled talks & tours – Plan your day to ensure you get the most from it
- Organise your own visit if your school isn’t doing one – it’s up to you
- Review the online course info and jot down anything you’re unsure about – you will want these to be answered at the open day
- Share your insights with your family & friends to clarify your feelings about your choices
To help you do this there are many course & career websites – save yourself time and be very specific when using unibrowse, qualifax, eunicas, & careersportal, onetonline, etc
Do yourself a favour, get stuck into the task now. Get informed & set yourself a definite goal. It’s time to get ready.
You’ll feel better, more determined and in control of your own destiny
There’s immense pleasure to be had from acquiring skills, in learning how to do anything well.
Life is enhanced & fulfilling by learning the discipline of a skill, even though it often takes a lot of time & effort.
To be happy,
is to be able to develop your skills, talents & intelligences
in a endeavor, career or course based on the learning that interests you most.
Identify your preferences & strengths to make smarter choices.
You may have a good idea what you’re going for but have you thought everything through, the why? Remember to consider the following:
What’s influencing you choice, how do you like to learn? Are you more;
- Idealistic or Realistic
- Academic or Vocational
- Theoretical or Applied
- For the Joy of Learning or for learning focused on the Job/Career
- If you’d mostly prefer those on the left it might indicate a broad open ended course or would you be best suited to those on the right with a definite more practical or professional qualification
Don’t forget to consider other things like;
- Does the course include an internship or period of work experience and, what will you get from it
- What specific degree outcomes are available
- Will you have to do further studies or a postgrad course to make yourself employable
- If so what are the most likely pg options and what grade of degree is required
- On completion what specific career paths are open to you
Tease out these issues, talk them over and you’ll make a better choice.
The key to choosing is having the right information about yourself, about what the course involves and where it will take you in the future.
Don’t underestimate the importance of doing this prep work, it could inform the best decision you’ll ever make.
Knowing yourself; Simply put have you identified what you like to learn; which activities or particular subjects you are good at? Will you be challenged enough with your choice – does it make the most of your personal strengths, skills, talents and aptitudes? Is it really going to help you get to where you want to be in life?
Course information, don’t assume you know it all; Yes hopefully by now you know what you’d prefer to learn and what type of qualification you’re going for. Now make sure that you’re clear on what’s involved. Read the course content thoroughly. Go online for detailed information to be sure you know what you’re letting yourself in for. Be informed on more than just subject names, check out the modules you will be studying, how they will be assessed and if there is a work based placement or opportunity to study abroad – does this match what you want from a course?
Life after the Degree? It may sound obvious but a surprising number of students report that they made the wrong course or university/college decision. They took a course they didn’t like or didn’t really know where it’d take them – what career or postgrad options would be open to them. Check out the career outcomes listed for a course by doing a career specific search. If your degree leads to a very definite career, an example being Dentistry, inform yourself about the ‘life as a Dentist’ – is it what you really want, is it right for you?
Now tell others. To be confident you’re heading in the right direction you need to discuss your plans with the important people in your life. Stating your target to others can help you motivate yourself so you can happily go make it happen.
Decided you want to become a Physiotherapist?
What alternate routes are available to those who are committed to their goal but don’t get an offer for the course?
- One option is to take a course taught through English at a European university – checkout EUNICAS here and note how many are at lower fees!
- Not on the cards? Here are some alternatives and these back-up plans can be a dream-saver – you need some insurance options. Identify the closest courses which are of similar study to Physio and serve as a good foundation. Then check/ask if they’re acceptable to the university of your choice as broadly scientific enough for entry to Physio at a later stage – either advanced entry to 1st or 2nd year in an Undergraduate degree or accelerated intensive Professional Masters (pre-registration) conversion course.
So your list might look something like this (in order of relevance);
- Physio (your TOP choice, at as many Uni’s as possible)
- Athletic Therapy & Training, Sports Rehabilitation & Athletic Training, Physiology & Health Science
- Health & Performance Science, Sports Strengthening & Conditioning
- Sports Science, Sports & Exercise/Health Sciences, Sports Science & Physiology or even Health & Disease
- A broad Science degree with Biology in 1st year and stated Degree Specialism in either Physiology or Anatomy plus other useful secondary subjects like Biochemistry/Chemistry/Physics
Your insurance options do not all need to be at the same level – you can choose to take them at a lower lever with the ultimate aim of moving up the academic ladder to your goal. You could take one at Certificate or Diploma level, or perhaps avail of the Further Education to Higher Education routes – if you choose the latter make sure that your FE/FET course is accepted (& relevant) for the HE course of your choice, eg a Physiology/Anatomy based course.
This list is a guide only – there could well be other routes which you should investigate.
Register with professional organisations, graduate careers services and use job matching online systems to target your career search – 70% jobs not advertised. Employers are turning to these sites in order to avoid the poor percentages of applicants meeting their selection criteria; On traditional job sites just c 0.5% meet criteria , but on the Graduate Careers site such as www.gradireland.com c 24% meet the employers criteria.
Increase you chances of securing that job by finding and sign up with these services to receive relevant alerts.
Employers are targeting their selection methods, so you need to target your career search in order to reach them.