Choosing the program: How do I know what to study?

Choosing the program: How do I know what to study?

If you weren’t keen on a subject or two at school, then you are likely looking forward to choosing your own degree. To only doing what you really want! But how do you know what to study? What is a good fit for you, your interests, and your skills?

Finding the right degree course is certainly not easy, and is a challenge school graduates have faced since time immemorial. In order to make the best decision for yourself, you should consider a few things first. Here we will give you an insight into what they are and how exactly they can help you find out what to study.

Is there such a thing as the “right subject”?

For most people, the right subject means something in which they find constant inspiration and motivation. A good starting point to successfully complete a degree! One thing above all, however, is important to make it work: Be realistic.

Those who hope to feel fulfilled in their chosen subject at all times and to seamlessly transition into their preferred field of work straight graduating will be disappointed in the first semester at the latest. Every degree requires work, whether it speaks directly to your interests or not. If that wasn’t the case, then you would not be challenged and would not develop professionally or personally. So is there such a thing as the “right subject”? The clever answer: There is more than one!

What this means is that it all comes down to your perspective. That in turn depends largely on your priorities: If it is very important to you, to earn a lot of money in order to enable a luxurious lifestyle, then certain professions are worth considering. If you are interested in freedom and self-expression, then others. While no one can guarantee how your career will later develop before you start your degree, this is a valuable approach: Think carefully which general goals you are pursuing and then collate them with your interests and abilities.

It’s important that you don’t judge your goals! It is absolutely OK to dream of earning tons of money, but it’s also alright to renounce the financial aspects completely. It is, however, wise not to assume an average salary in the first case. Look instead at the job prospects at your chosen location; after all without job, there’s no money at all. Think like an entrepreneur: Where exactly are my talent and skills needed? In which field can I create solutions?

Finding the right subject

In order to make a decision after all these considerations, only one further step is necessary: Simply relieve the pressure! Be aware that you are looking for a degree course and not a partner for life. While resumes used to be narrow and linear, for example if someone studied engineering then they would certainly later work in engineering, things have changed in this regard.

View the choice of what to study as the first opportunity to build your toolbox. You will pass through many stations on your professional journey. On your way, you will continue to learn new things and develop in further academic studies, jobs, and other training. Which subject you choose at this point will shape your perspective on the field, but it will not determine your entire career plan. In other words, you have plenty of time to explore and find your thing little by little.

After choosing what to study: How do I find my school?

Even after finding the appropriate subject, planning for your degree is nowhere near finished. Whether you will feel comfortable during your studies and can enjoy it most of the time depends on another aspect that high school graduates often overlook. The approach to teaching varies enormously depending on the type of university and its culture. Not all conditions are equally suited to everyone.

While regular universities usually teach theoretical knowledge, universities of applied sciences specialize on practical learning. “Which teaching and working method suits you cannot be inferred from your time at school or hobbies,” explains Lars Holtvoeth, the Campus Head of BiTS Berlin. There’s only one solution: Trying it out and experiencing it firsthand. Many universities offer open campus days or even a trial study period. So you can find out for yourself which theory-practice ratio, which support, and which class workload suit you best.

Ready to start looking? If you don’t have a concrete direction in mind yet,  this site may be able to help. To find out what subjects could interest you, you can take a  test here (German only).

You’d rather experience it firsthand? Visit us on an open campus day at BTK or BiTS in Berlin, Hamburg or Iserlohn. We look forward to meeting you!

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