The biggest decision around university study is choosing a degree. Your choice determines which career paths are available when you graduate.
Our subject pages discuss careers associated with a given degree. Here is a guide on professional versus general degrees.
General degrees include arts, business, computing and science. After completing a general degree, you enter a competitive job market and your fortunes depend heavily on talent and effort. Doing a general degree can be enjoyable. But you risk graduating with a low-value degree, especially if you avoid technical subjects.
Professional degrees qualify you for jobs which are unavailable to others. These include nursing, engineering, classroom teaching and legal practice. Most have good job prospects and security (law is an exception). The study commitment is bigger though. You are specialising and some of the courses are 4+ years.
Guide to Choosing a University
Which university you enroll with is a big decision. For an undergraduate degree, you'll be studying there for 3+ years. The university's name will be on your resume for your whole career.
Here is a dot point guide on some of the things to consider when choosing a uni.
Prestige. Graduating from a prestigious university can add some value to your qualification. But the effect really just applies to the top universities. And it will dissipate as you build a professional track record.
Good teaching. Teaching quality is measured in course satisfaction surveys of students and recent graduates. The stats are useful. Also bear in mind that you'll by taught by many different lecturers and tutors. There's always a mix of good and bad.
Graduate salaries. Salary stats need to be read carefully. Every group starting a course has a different age and ability profile.
Subject choice. It is a good sign if a program offers many electives and alternative study streams. As much as anything, it shows the uni is trying.
Guide to Grades and Success
Do you want a guide on how to succeed at university? Well, here's how you do it.
First, you need to define your goals. For most people, uni is about 3 things: learning and graduating, meeting people and making friends, and fun and adventure.
With such priorities, the path to success is in managing your marks / grades. Here's how to interpret the exam result for any given subject.
High Distinction (85-100%). Congratulations. You aced it. But are you studying too hard or just super-intelligent?
Distinction (75-84%). Doing great. Right in the sweet spot. High marks but you can't be accused of being a swat.
Credit (65-74%). Not cool. You passed easily enough but you can't do honours with a credit average. Try a bit harder.
Pass (50-64%). Lucky. Almost failed. No more long gaming sessions, social media, or other time-wasting for you. Let's get serious.
Fail (<50%). You just blew your tuition fees for nothing. Waste of time and money. You need to study much harder. Make a vow to spend every weekday in the library.