Education is a very important part of securing your place in the world.  It follows that choosing where you’re going to get your education is just as important. It will determine who you meet, which skills you develop, and sometimes, it can even determine the kind of opportunities that are made available to you in the future. 

The first thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t stress too much about this decision. In fact, you can have a great experience with many of the universities in the country. It’s really just a matter of maximizing learning and the opportunities you’d have in the future.  Here are some factors to consider:

Your Course

The decision to enrol in a particular university needs to be based on the course you intend to take. Not all universities offer the same suite of courses, and not all these universities offer these courses at the same quality.  You may also want to consider the course modules that a university offers to see if the course includes a field of specialization you want to practice.

University Rankings

Once you’ve made a shortlist of universities, you can then consider university rankings to help you narrow your search. The internet is replete with resources that rank universities according to the metrics you set. Some resources, such as hbcu, even rank schools according to factors such as race. University rankings are not absolute, but they will help you establish a basic metric upon which to base your priority universities.

Career Services

Not all students know what career path they want to pursue. Some of them may be investing heavily in a career that may not make full use of their skills and talents. Career services not only help direct students toward a career where they can put their skills to optimal use, but these services also help students develop their skills and connections in preparation for a career. The availability of career services will also have a direct impact on the next factor. 

Graduate Employment Rates

Naturally, you’re going to want to secure a job as soon as you get your degree. Numbers don’t lie. A good metric to check is how  much of the total number of graduates are able to secure jobs after getting their degree from a university. While this cannot account for individual abilities, it should provide you with a general idea of the quality of education that a university provides.

Campus Environment

You have to choose between a larger institution or a smaller institution. The tradeoff here is that larger institutions tend to have better resources and networks which will aid you after you graduate. On the other hand, small institutions provide a more individualized approach for students which means a higher level of academic quality.  You have to determine whether you need better resources and connections or an individualized program. 

Industry Connections

Many universities are keen on advertising their industry connections on their course curriculum. These connections can provide students with an opportunity to secure job placement with a company you want to work for, or at the very least, you get a similar opportunity. If this information isn’t readily available on the course curriculum, you may also contact the course leader to find out what’s on offer.

Learning Options

The COVID-19 pandemic has made clear that classroom-only learning is not an infallible education medium. Online and remote learning are important mediums to consider because not only function as a contingency for crises, but they also create a degree of flexibility in your schedules. These may even enable students from far away states to enroll without having to move across the state.

Extracurricular Activities

Another important factor to consider is whether a university holds extracurricular activities for its students. This is important because these activities will help you hone your talents and they will help you pursue passions beyond the classroom. Extracurricular activities also help you establish networks with like-minded students and faculty, people whom you may end up working with in the near future. 

Even when you’re unable to get into your university of choice, the final thought that we should all take from this is that the university we study in is not the final determinant of success. This should be treated more as a chance to maximize your opportunities rather than a make-or-break decision.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of BK Reader.

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