Life in the university or college is a whole new world for students seeking for an opportunity to further their studies. It grants you the chance to decide what road you want to follow, leading to job employment. The entire process starts with the right choice of course of study or undergraduate degree program that can suit your personality and long-term dreams. If you are in secondary school or high school, it is not too early to evaluate the available option, you could end up taking.
The process of choosing and getting into a course of study or an undergraduate degree program includes an application, recommendations and entrance exam letters and results such as from Matriculation Bodies like JAMB. Before enrolling for a course or degree program to study in the university, it is advisable to prepare beforehand. Prepare for the process of application, examinations and interview (for schools like Covenant University in Nigeria) as the case maybe about 6 months prior to the application deadline. This grants you the ideal opportunity to research on different schools and bachelors’ degree programs before enrolling for one of the programs.
Here are some steps and things to consider before choosing a course of study or undergraduate degree program:
1. Consider your interest
It is important to have a high interest for the undergraduate degree program or course you are considering to study. To survive the degree program is serious business which requires an utmost commitment. Most of the programs and courses take at least four years, which means you must be prepared to commit time and money for your education. By visiting the college or university website you will be able to see all the courses offered and the minimum entry requirement. To help get rid of the confusion you can visit any career guidance office (though very few in Nigeria) to help you sort out the confusion or better still do an intense study on your flairs, likes and dislikes as well as personality traits to find out where you best fit into in the labour market.
Interest is paramount when it comes to choosing a Bachelor’s degree program course to study. You need to be clear about the reasons why you would want to enroll for a particular program and apply for a particular course. This will grant you the opportunity to take up a course that helps you get the desired career. When you have an interest in taking up a particular course, such as a Bachelor of Nursing, or Bachelor of Arts, the challenges posed by the course will not be much of a problem. You will be ready to handle each challenge until you have completed the course and graduated.
2. Determine your choice of career
If you are interested in a particular job such as nursing, then you will opt for Bachelor of Nursing and the same applies for any other career you want to pursue after you graduate from the university or college. By reading the student reviews which you can get from different university or college official websites, you will have an idea of which courses are worth your time. You can also check what past graduates or alumni networks of different universities have to say about the courses they took. The internet is place you can a lot of these kinds of information especially through social media networks and forums. You will know whether an art degree course or a science degree course is best for you. As you read the student reviews you will also discover whether or not they recommend certain universities or colleges.
3. Do your research
A good research is highly recommended when you are looking for possible schools (universities and colleges) as well as degree programs. Go through the universities’ or colleges’ official websites to see what courses are available. In addition, perform a background check to determine their accreditation and reputation.
Furthermore, a thorough background check and study will help you find out whether employers like the degrees offered by the university or college you are considering. Also, read through the student reviews and alumni networks on these school websites to have a feel of what they think about the university or college and the courses offered by the tertiary institution. You should consider the coursework and visit the university or college you plan to attend in person if you have the resources, before you make an application to enroll yourself.
It is advisable to check out and carry out research on several universities or colleges and shortlist the ones you would like to attend. Verify the colleges in their entirety, including the quality of degree program courses and department you would like to belong to. If you can spare some time and resources to attend open forums and seminars organized within these schools, you will be better placed to know the capacity of the college you hope to attend.
5. Verify the certification
One of the most important things to assess with the programs or courses you want to pursue is whether it will get you a certificate, diploma or a bachelor’s degree. Remember your decision will hold a significant role in the resume or Curriculum Vitae when you start applying for jobs in the future. Therefore, once you satisfy the examining board, you can opt to seek for employment even as you make arrangement to pursue a master’s degree and doctorate (PhD) degree at a later date.
6. Get recommendations
Recommendations are often required to accompany the application letter to the university (especially in most private universities like Covenant University in Nigeria). Such recommendations can be obtained from mentors, secondary school teachers, a secondary school or high school guidance counselor, employers you may have worked for or are acquainted with in some way and other persons who know you at a professional level. In case you have previously volunteered at a company or organization that is not different from the industry of which you want an undergraduate degree, you can get a recommendation from them. School administrators from previous institutions such as previously attended secondary schools and polytechnics offer a great choice.
7. Have a good pitch
The examiners, interviewers and enrollment advisers as the case may be (because not all universities in Nigeria have interviewers and enrollment advisers especially universities that use JAMB and Post-UTME as the major admission criteria) will seek to find out the reasons why you want to enroll yourself in a particular field of study. They will also want to know why you are the right person to fit in their university or college through their various criteria such as merit and catchment in Nigerian institutions. This they will find out through examinations (such as JAMB and Post-UTME), tests and interviews. You must be able to have a good pitch and perform well so that you may impress them. This will give them a good reason to approve your application into their university. That explains why you need to set aside some months of planning and preparations before-hand.