How to help Your child choose the right University course

One of the most important aspects of parenting is ensuring that your child develops a strong sense of independence at an early age. Much of this comes from giving them free rein to make the decisions they feel are best for them. However, a certain degree of intervention is sometimes necessary.

If your child is undecided about what they want to study after high school, it’s up to you to guide them down the right path to choose a University course. Of course, no parent can rely solely on personal experience to make their judgement. Times have changed, and higher education today is a different landscape.

To help you make a more informed decision, here are some pointers on choosing the right university course for your child.

Attend Open Days

Attending open days at prospective universities is a great way to obtain a better idea of what to expect. It can also help you get the answers you want regarding a specific course. You can use open days to enquire about career opportunities, module options and entry requirements among other aspects.

Tutors can also help dispel any concerns or answer any questions that you or your child may have. Be sure to take notes regarding the specifics of certain courses. These can come in handy later down the line when your child needs assistance or advice.

Do Some Research

In order to guide your child towards the best possible course, you first need to know what you’re talking about. There are many aspects to this. Aside from their own desires and interests, it’s important to be realistic about whether the course in question can lead to a lucrative and stable career upon graduation.

Look into the job market and determine whether there are any upcoming trends that might change the industry. Just as important is to research the university itself. This includes costs, availability of scholarships and bursaries, facilities, reputation, location, presence of a student union and so forth.

There are some websites that offer all of this information, as well as guides, advice, courses and open days. For instance, this overview of the University of Roehampton London on universitycompare.com provides the necessary details on the institution in question, thus helping you determine whether it’s the right choice.

The website also makes it easy to request more information about the university or a specific course. This will serve as a valuable resource when performing your research.

Ask Them

Perhaps most important is to question your child and ask them whether they truly want to study. If not, then you need to explore alternative options. If they have a genuine desire to attend university, then it’s time to question whether they are going to enjoy the course they’ve settled on.

Will they perform well academically? Are they going to enjoy the job that comes afterwards? Chances are that your child will be a bit overwhelmed by the decision. Be sure to let them know that switching courses at a later date is always an option. Of course, it would be better (and more affordable) to avoid this route.

Make a List

A practical way to make the decision easier is to create lists detailing the benefits and drawbacks of the courses they are struggling to choose between. This can help you sift through the worst options and find the best ones, then compare the strengths of each.

Consider the Location

Another useful solution is to thoroughly consider where your child wants to go during and after their studies. Do they want to stay at home and study online? Perhaps they prefer the idea of travelling elsewhere and exploring the opportunities that come with being in a foreign land.

With the latter, be sure to look into the internship and graduate work opportunities available in their location of choice. Consider whether the city has sufficient access to resources, as well as the cost of living and how it compares to the expected salary. Your child should be happy and comfortable with the idea of moving elsewhere if it’s in question.

Take a Reality Check

Towards the end of the process, it’s important to pause for a minute and take a reality check. Is the course your child has chosen financially viable? It’s not only the tuition but also additional costs that need to be considered such as flights, allowance and accommodation. Perhaps you can obtain assistance if your child has performed well in school.

Remember the length of time required to obtain certain degrees. While a postgraduate certificate can take as few as six months, an undergraduate degree will take three years. A master of arts can take as little as one year, while a PhD takes an average of four years to obtain.

Following the above steps should make it much easier to give your child the assistance they need. This way, they can choose the best course and take a major step towards building a successful future.

About Monica Costa

Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums

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