The year 2021 is fast approaching, and many secondary school graduates (pre-degree students) will be making a lifetime decision that will affect their whole career path; filling their Jamb forms for the course they will study at the University. These 6 career questions for students should be answered without bias, before they fill a JAMB form, or while choosing a course to study from both 2021 and beyond.
At this phase, they are currently faced with the challenge of choosing between pleasing their guardian and the society or actually following their heart to study the courses they like.
Remember there is an old conception surrounding the traditional school system in Nigeria. That only those who study professional courses make it in their career. But this year 2020 is an eye-opener for everyone. The whole economy was hit badly, and trends in the country have been shifting drastically from having a certificate to actually having something to offer the society.
This explains why entrepreneurs, innovators, and people with the ability to think and create are gaining more relevance than people with just certificates and nothing more to prove that they are professionals in their field.
And it is expected that this shifting trends of professional relevance in the world market will continue to be expressed even more in 2021 and beyond.
Also, Read; IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF TERTIARY EDUCATION IN NIGERIA
The 6 Career questions for students before Choosing a Course to Study
#1. Is Your Passion For the Course Genuine?
This is the most important of all the 6 career questions for students before choosing a course to study.
It is a common trend among African Parents to persuade their children into studying courses that they think is best for them. Some parents even go to the extent of refusing to sponsor them if they don’t bow to their wishes. This is notwithstanding the fact that their children lack passion for the course.
This explains why some students find it very difficult to do well when they finally gain admission to study the course. On the other hand, many young students may take up a course just to impress their colleagues at school.
An example is applying to study Medicine and Surgery, when you are more comfortable with courses like Computer science, Law, or Engineering.
There is no hard truth in this; you can never enjoy what you don’t have passion for. So whether you are trying to impress your mates, or you are being coerced by your guardians, the truth is that there will be payback time. And the price is your own satisfaction and happiness.
What if You are Being Coerced By Your Guardian?
This is usually the case for most African homes. And it is advisable that a pre-degree student from such a home talks to a counselor, or someone your whole household respects most. This could be a religious figure or someone of good societal repute.
One good way to know if your passion for a course is genuine or not is to imagine yourself as a professional in the field, doing the duty related to it. If you don’t like the image you see, it will be great to reconsider.
Some People May Finally Develop Passion For the Courses they Never Liked
In some scenarios, some persons may end up developing a passion for the course they never intended to study. So it is still good if you meet a counselor or someone who is older (but not biased) for advice.
So the Question here is: “Why Do I Want Want to Study This Course?”
The answer to this question will guide you to provide answers to the rest of the questions below.
#2. What are the Requirements For the Course?
It is good to know the background of the course you intend to study in the higher institution before venturing into it. You should also ask yourself if you studied the basics in high school and secondary schools.
Though there are stories of some people who studied art-related courses in secondary school but still took up science courses in the university and are good at it. These are one in a thousand cases, you shouldn’t want to let yourself pass through that stress.
Also, try to ask questions to find out the academic workload of these courses, and see if it is what you can handle.
#3. Which Subjects Come Most Naturally to You?
There are dozens of subjects offered in secondary schools and high schools, each targeted to build a student’s foundation on a particular field of study. Among these subjects, there are those ones you are just good at with little effort.
Categorizing subjects into Sciences and Arts is not enough. This is because, within the science and art courses, you will find that they are further categorized into Social sciences, Health Sciences, Natural sciences, Pure Sciences, etc (For Science courses), and Fine Arts, Applied Arts, Humanities, etc. (For Arts). And within these categories, you can easily map out those individual subjects which fall into them and give yourself a mental score based on your performance in secondary school.
The subjects which come most naturally to you are usually the ones you perform best without having to study too hard for the exam.
With this strategy, you will have a greater chance of fitting into any course you finally choose in the university.
#4. What is the Cost of Studying the Course?
Another question pre-degree students should find answers to is the cost of studying their dream course. And whether it could be afforded by their sponsors? And what are the plans for survival in school?
In the past, studying in Nigerian colleges of Education was free of charge. Both the welfare and tuition of students are catered for, and the university tuition was highly subsidized. But since the past two decades, tuition fees for university students have been progressively increasing exponentially.
So it is wise to get an overview of what it will cost you to pass through the university and make plans for the sponsorship.
Don’t forget that there are many scholarship opportunities for Nigerian University students. Always apply once you find an opportunity.
#5. Where Do I want to Be Five Years From Now?
This is one of the most important career questions for students Do you see yourself in school still studying? Or as a graduate probably serving his/her country or already working, or looking for a job?
You should bear it in mind that most courses require just 4 years to complete, other professional courses like Pharmacy, Medicine, Law, Engineering, Dentistry, etc, require more than 5 years to complete in Nigeria.
So you should have in mind what you really want, as it will go a long way to influence your career choice.
#6. Which University is the Best in the Country for this Course?
There are many good universities in Nigeria, each has a reputation for being the best in various courses of study. For instance; the University of Nigeria, UNILORIN, UNILAG, and UNIBEN are famous for being the first choice for students who want to study any course related to the health sciences. Some like FUTO, Uniport, and ESUT, are well know for tech-related courses like Engineering, and so on.
There are many valuable online resources to guide you in this, just make sure you are open to learning, and you won’t make mistakes.
Finally, the above 6 career questions for students should be answered with the help of your guardian before Filling your JAMB form and choosing a course to study both for 2021 and beyond. The answers will guide your journey into making excellent career choices they will not have to regret in the future.
Success in your exams!