How To Choose The Right Course In Australia For Your Studies?
Choosing the right university course can be a daunting task, especially if you are new to the Australian education system.
While studying in Australia can be an exciting experience, it’s also important to consider what career opportunities might be available to you upon completion of your degree as well as the cost of studying before you apply for any course.
There are more than 25,000 courses on offer for international students to study in Australia.
So the question is how do you decide which one is right for you? There are plenty of things to consider when choosing your course.
In this guide, we are covering tips on how to choose the right course in Australia for your studies.
1. Recognise Your Motivation For Studying
The first important thing you should do while selecting your degree is to consider why you wish to study in Australia.
Do you wish to broaden your skill set in order to progress professionally? If so, choose a course that will help you hone your abilities and credentials. Additionally, it is advised to choose a course that relates to your profession if you wish to advance in your current work field.
You may choose which course is best for your job by talking about study possibilities with your colleagues, relatives, or employer. Speaking to an experienced educational agent or councillor can also help.
On the contrary side, you must investigate and consider what job you would like to pursue if you want to completely shift your career path or broaden your expertise.
Other goals could be living, experiencing and settling into Australia’s multicultural society. If that is something you wish to achieve then you should look at the Skilled Occupation List and other related migration lists issued by the Department of Home Affairs. (Please speak to a registered migration agent for more details about skilled migration programs or learn it yourself via the Department of Home Affairs).
Whatever your motivations are, you need to be clear on them from the start as it can help you to choose the right course in Australia.
It is wisely said that starting with an end goal in mind can help you plan your journey better.
We suggest you create a mood board for the next 5 to 10 years of your career. Where do you see yourself? What do you want to achieve in the short run and in the long run?
2. Know The Industry
Before you choose the course, know about the industry you want your career in.
An industry that will provide good career prospects when you complete your education.
Focus on picking an industry-specific education that will enable you to give a career path to your target destination after you understand the industry.
For example, you might enrol in a course like Nursing, which is in high demand due to the country’s growing and ageing population.
In addition, you may enroll in other high demand courses, including those in accounting, agriculture, medicine, computer science, information technology, psychology, among many others.
3. Course Rankings
You should not only look at university rankings when choosing the course but rather you should also look at the specific course rankings as well.
QS University rankings also rank universities by their subjects. A university ranked higher in these rankings will mean a quality education as well.
For example, Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS) does not rank in the Overall Top 100 universities but is ranked as the Top university to study hospitality courses in Australia.
So, don’t only check the university rankings, check the course rankings as well for your choosing the right course.
4. Research About The Course Details
It’s not okay to just research the university rankings and graduate outcomes, but it’s also important to understand the course details as well.
One of the important details you need to research about is the course structure.How is the course delivered? What is involved in the course? How is the course delivered? What’s the mix of theory and practical elements involved in the course? Are there any work placements or internships provided in the course?
Consider the duration of the course as well. For example some postgraduate courses are only 1 to 1.5 years only, while others are 2 years. Those 6 months can be a huge difference especially if you are considering applying for a post-study work visa or skilled migration programs as there is a 2 academic years study requirement by the Department of Home Affairs for such visas.
Apart from that, you need to look into the course content. Check the specific subjects or units taught in the course. Do you like the subjects taught in the course you are planning to do? You can research about this on the institute’s website. If it is not given on their website, then you can email them asking about the course content.
5. Undertake A Dual Degree
There are many universities in Australia that offer Dual degrees to international students.
Dual degree means that you will get 2 degrees instead of 1 and you can complete them in less time which means saving money and time.
So you can complete a dual degree by combining an undergraduate and postgraduate degree or in either of undergraduate and postgraduate courses themselves.
For example, you can undertake a Bachelor of Business and Master of International Business as dual degrees.
Many Australian universities offer a two-part degree if you want to pursue a career in a regulated field like architecture, medicine, dentistry, law or teaching.
6. Pick A Generalist Degree
If you are unsure about choosing a specific field of study, then the solution for you could be choosing a generalist degree.
A generalist degree allows you to study a range of areas and does not focus on one single subject or field.
For instance, you can choose to study a Bachelor’s degree in Business, where you can choose between accounting, marketing, international business, tourism management as a major from the second year of your studies.
This is a great way to start learning if you are unsure and pick up your specialisation from the second year onwards.
7. Consider Studying Vocational Courses Before University
If you are unsure, choosing a vocational course might be a smart choice before doing a degree program at the university.
Usually, vocational courses are much cheaper and shorter in timeframes than degree programs. It can give you an idea about the industry before you sign up for an expensive and long degree program.
For example, instead of doing a 3-year Bachelor degree in Marketing, you can do a 6-month Certificate IV in Marketing.
The good thing with many vocational courses in Australia is that there is a pathway for students to move to a degree program after completing the vocational courses.
And these pathways can give you credit in your further studies, which means you can sometimes get an exemption of up to 1 year in your degree program.
You will still get a degree, but it will cost you less as you could get credit for your vocational course.
Two certifications at less price. Double win!
8. Don’t Limit Your Options
This is an interesting one as many students limit their course options based on the university they want to study in.
Sometimes, your preferred university might not have your preferred course on offer. In that case, you don’t need to limit yourself to that university only.
You can actually look for your preferred course first and then narrow down the universities based on that course you want to study.
9. Check The Entry Requirements For The Course
Checking the entry requirements for the course can also help you narrow down the choices for the course selection.
Some common entry requirements for studying in Australia include meeting academic requirements, English requirements, financial capacity, etc. But there could be some additional entry requirements for specific courses.
For example, some MBA courses require international students to undertake entry exams like GMAT etc. and demonstrate previous work experience as entry requirements.
So be honest with yourself as some courses are hard to get in or too difficult to complete.
10. Course Fee
It is important to find out what the course fee is before you decide to study any course. Some courses, especially medicine and law courses, can be expensive to study in Australia.
So knowing the course fee in advance will help you plan your budget better. There is also a case about whether to study a Bachelor degree or Master degree in Australia.
In terms of budget, usually a Master’s degree seems to be a better choice as the course is usually shorter and costs way less than a Bachelor’s degree. But that does not mean you should choose to study a Master’s course only.
We have explained more about Bachelor’s degree vs Master’s degree in Australia in the video below.
11. Study What You Love (And Not What You Don’t)
This is one of the most common factors and one of the most important ones as you need to choose a course based on your liking and interest.
You should not be choosing a course just to fulfill someone’s else’s expectations.
It goes without saying that if you have an interest in a specific area of study, then choosing a course in that field will mean you will be more engaged and motivated to do that course.
Sometimes looking at the things from another angle can help too, so think of what subjects or areas don’t interest you. Doing so can also narrow down your choices.
So, this is all about how you can choose the right course in Australia. If you want to find relevant courses for your career, then you can do so on our search engine as well.