Choosing a College
This article about choosing a college is extremely helpful and insightful. It gives several advice and tips using which you can determine the best college for yourself.
The issue of a career itself has generated breakneck competition. Under such circumstances it is crucial for a student to gain focus and perspective early in life.
Here, the stage which plays a decisive role in making or breaking your future is graduation. This article will help in giving elementary knowledge to young students just out of school to zero down an institute that will better your prospects for a bright future.
Choosing a college implies you know your goal or are at least familiar with how you want your life to look like say five-six years down the line. Hence the first step would be to know your core, i.e. what course will suit your talent and skills.
Things you can do are-
- Professional Course– This is the most sought after plan after high school. Medical, Engineering, architecture, design are some of the well known courses that attract thousands every year.But what is important to know is that most of the highly reputed colleges have a well structured entrance system which will test your technical problem solving ability rather that your capacity to score well in exams.Thus, a designing school will test your creativity in a time limit. Engineering and medical entrances however are complicated because of their academic difficulty.
Knowing this scenario before hand and preparing for it will definitely give you an edge ensure admission in a college of your choice.
- Higher Academic Education– These are courses such as Bachelors in Arts, Science or Commerce. After high school such courses increase your specialization in the subject of your choice. The things to know are your options.In India one can opt for any higher education if he/she had taken up science, i.e. a science student can go for course in commerce or Humanities (Arts); a commerce student can opt for the same or Humanities while the latter cannot jump to any other stream. Students keep this in mind while choosing a stream after class X.
- Vocational Course– These are diploma courses and are feasible if one is looking for a technical job within a short span of time. These courses include vocations like Travel & Tourism, Advertising, Office administration, Cooking, etc.They are different from professional courses as they do not take as much time to complete. A vocational course is usually a diploma course of one year duration and will enable one to get easy and fast jobs though not financially or professionally rewarding especially in the Indian context.
- Plan B- As a student still in school devote time to researching career options and creating a list of choices for career planning is no longer a piece of cake.Anything from change of interest to failure to score enough can happen to your most desirable career choice so keep backup handy. Trust me, chances of you switching are very likely.
- Get Help : This is no longer a taboo and students are made well aware of the availability of career counselors from a very early age these days. Going to one might actually help you in self discovery.
Once you have the results of your research in the form of a list you are ready to board the college-hunting wagon. A good college or university is your first small step to have a successful career.
In course of your search for a good course it is likely that you must have come across colleges offering such courses. Gone are the days when the one town had a single university where all the students of the area gathered. Education today is neither so constructed nor simple.
The sky is the limit when it comes to choosing a college today. As encouraging as that might sound, it’s equally confusing. The following checklist will help in narrowing down the innumerable institutions that have mushroomed and made themselves known thanks to globalization and the internet:
- Infrastructure: With modern day education becoming more technical than theoretical laboratories, workshops, classroom paraphernalia are important requisites to a solid graduation.Ensure that the institute has all of these upgraded to the latest developments in technology and more importantly has the capacity to support the number of students it claims it can take.
- Faculty: Probably one of the most important criteria for short listing a college is the academic capabilities of its teaching staff. See the academic achievements of the professors, the frequency of eminent guest lectures, etc. Also check if the institute is an autonomous body or affiliated to a larger umbrella university.
- Placements: The entire purpose of a higher education is the security of a job. Hence a good institute today not only makes you capable of acquiring jobs but provides you with the opportunity of getting one in-campus itself.Generally it is easier to get placed via professional courses but reputed universities have a fully functional placement cell that helps students find the most rewarding employments.
- Admission procedure: The level of difficulty in the process of admissions is telling of the authenticity and value of the degree that it is going to provide.Easy admission procedures indicate that the college is in want of students. Thus instead of getting attracted by glorified achievements one must remember that a good college’s reputation is by word of mouth. Looking at accreditations like those of UGC, AICTCE is also important.
- Location: Geography might be a feature to take into account for climate sensitive students though it is clearly a non-entity except near industries or offices where students can be given internships for first-hand knowledge.
- Extra-curricular activities: The College of your choice must have active societies for stress-busting and also passion building outside academia. NCC, NSS, Dance, Drama, Music, Debate are among the more popular extra curriculum choices.
- Reputation: All the above mentioned factors contribute to building a public image of the college/university. This will reflect in educational journals.Many reputed educational bodies and media companies carry out surveys that list colleges in order of their rank by taking their merits and demerits into account. Following such surveys will lead to a clearer picture and a well informed decision.