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How to choose the right course
Mahesh Ramani

Mahesh Ramani is a senior content editor for the Hotcourses India- an IDP company.


12 Feb 2021 63.7K Book icon 6 mins Share

How to choose the right course

How would you choose the right course from the thousands of available options? Our course matcher tool and tips will help. Also, learn which are some of the best courses to go for.

12 Feb 2021 63.7K Book icon 6 mins Share
How to choose the right course

Most youngsters who are at the threshold of higher education are not sure which course to opt for or how to choose the right course to study abroad. It can be a bit easy for some, who were focused on their ambitions right from the beginning. I had a schoolmate who always wanted to be a doctor, worked towards her goal with unflinching focus and ended up in medical school. Some others might have elders to guide them and help them make the choices. For those who are struggling to find the right direction or just looking out for more options – you have come to the right place. Engineering, Medicine, Life Sciences, Humanities, Performing Arts - the options are many. Let us help you figure out which is the right course to study abroad.

3 tips to help you choose the right course to study abroad

Before we explore the options available, let’s first understand what factors are to be considered while making a choice. It is not as simple as choosing the subject in which you scored the maximum marks for your 12th-grade exam.

1.Listen to your Heart

We do understand peer pressure. Try your best not to succumb to it. Panic will not help you think clearly and make informed choices. Do not follow your friends blindly or simply leave it to your parents or guardians to make the decision for you. Remember that college life will be an important part of your life and the course you choose will matter the most. Pause and think about what you would like to learn and list out your reasons. Listen to your heart. Once you make up your mind, sit with your parents and convince them why you would rather study Music or Animation instead of labouring away with Mathematics and Physics, studying a full-time Engineering course.

2.Do your research

Students of this generation are lucky that they have access to high-speed internet and have information readily available at their fingertips. Do your research. Start with listing all the subjects you like. Research about the course options available under each subject. Look for courses which interests you and which you would like to learn more about. In the next step, you can narrow down the list considering your academic qualifications, test scores and other requirements. Our course matcher tool will help you do exactly that – helping you choose the right course to study abroad. Our unique search tool will allow us to match your grades, budget, preferred study destination and course and English language skills to produce a tailored set of results.


Do your research to find the right course to study abroad

Keep the following in mind as you narrow down the list:

Multiple Institutions

Never narrow down the list so much that you are left with only a couple of courses and institutions. It is always a safer and wiser option to apply to at least three different institutions to avoid last-minute disappointments. There are possibilities of applications getting rejected or you might be offered an alternative course instead of the one you originally chose. Remember ‘there is safety in numbers’. Apply to multiple institutions. If you meet the eligibility requirements stipulated by the institution, you have a good chance of getting the course of your choice. If you are accepted by more than one institution, you now have the option to choose the one that you like the most.

Entry Requirements

Each course has a specific set of entry requirements. This includes expertise and knowledge in the subject that you plan to study and your English language skills. Visit institution websites to verify the latest entry requirements and ensure that you meet all of those.

Application Deadlines

Most institutions now offer students the chance to complete and submit their admission application forms online. This is convenient and the task gets done quickly. Some institutions require students to print out the completed application form and send it to the institution through courier with the required documents. Ensure that you send the application form well before the deadline. It is best to avoid last-minute hassle and the stress that comes with it. If you still think you might delay sending the application, do check out some last-minute tips on university applications.

Take a look at the impressive list of institutions and choose the right course for you to study abroad. Our tool will take care of matching you with the courses listed and find a course and institution that matches your requirements and your budget.

Are you still overwhelmed by the choices on offer? Please get in touch with our academic advisors who will guide you for free.

3.Career Options

Eventually, the course that you study should help you secure a relevant job. Try your best to find a course that suits your tastes and skills and also assures you a job on graduation. Explore the career options of opting for a particular course. It will give you a clear idea of what you are working towards.

In the meantime, cultivating your hobbies, learning a new language and working on soft skills will add value to your resume and also prove beneficial in the long run.

Be optimistic about choosing the right course to study abroad.

Be optimistic. The times are definitely changing. there was a time when an engineering degree was sure to secure students a well-paying job. Today, with cut-throat competition and the growth of the IT and BPO industry, some degrees have become just degrees for namesake. A mechanical engineer may lead a project management team as efficiently as an MBA-graduate. An IT engineer and an English Literature graduate may both end up doing technical writing. Therefore, don’t limit yourself to just regular study-options. Dream big, think, analyse and finally choose the course that will make you happy even after 3 years of studying it.

Now that you have gone through the various points that are crucial in selecting the right course, let’s see which are some of the different course options you have in countries abroad, after completing 12th-grade in India.

Courses to study abroad after 12th Science

An advantage of choosing science stream for your 11th and 12th-grades is that you can shift to a different stream, be it arts or commerce related. After your 12th-grade, you can go for life science courses, engineering courses or computer science courses based on the subjects you learnt. For a medical or B Tech degree, a student should have completed +2 science with Physics, Chemistry and Maths.

For your undergraduate course, you can opt for a degree in the core subjects such as Physics, Chemistry, Microbiology, and Mathematics. Alternatively, you can go for unique, new-age courses abroad, after completing 12th Science. Here are some examples:

  • Physics with Astrophysics
  • Chemistry with Forensic investigation
  • Financial Mathematics
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Food Science and Culinary Innovation
  • Ecology and Conservation Biology
  • Computer Science with Game Design
  • Computer Science with Industrial Placement
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • Cyber Security
  • Mechatronics and Robotics
  • Data Analytics etc.

Now you know that there are a plethora of options. You just need to know where your interest lies and meet the requirements for the course.

If you opted for a specialised course for your undergraduate degree, your options to study postgraduate courses abroad will be mostly limited.

Courses to study abroad after 12th arts/humanities

Until the recent past, arts courses were looked down upon in the Indian households. But the scenario is changing for the good. This stream offers some interesting course options and careers. Based on the subjects you study for your higher secondary classes, you can do your undergraduate course in history, language and literature, psychology, philosophy, economics, political science, law, music etc. There is umpteen number of BA courses that you can try.  Here are some of the specialised courses that you can study overseas, after completing 12th arts/humanities.

  • Creative and Professional Writing
  • Creative arts
  • Music – Classical Voice
  • Music Composition
  • Fine Arts
  • Performing Arts
  • Visual Arts
  • Applied and Contemporary Theatre
  • International Development
  • Politics and International Relations
  • Leisure and Tourism Management
  • International Hospitality and Tourism Management etc.

The topics itself sound quite interesting, don't they? If you choose these focused courses, give it your all so that you become the subject matter experts in those fields. Let’s explore the options for commerce students, next.

Courses to study abroad after 12th commerce

Commerce field is always popular and the go-to course for to-be entrepreneurs. You will gain knowledge about business, accounts and finances. The most common courses that commerce students opt for their undergraduate course is B. Com. Commerce students with a knack for numbers might be interested in becoming Chartered Accountants. Business Management courses are also quite popular. Here are some of the less popular, yet unique courses offered by universities abroad, for commerce students:

  • Hospitality Business Management
  • Business Economics
  • Business Analytics with Financial Technology
  • Business Entrepreneurship
  • International Business Management
  • Sports Management
  • International Business and Strategy
  • Event Management etc.

We have simply tried to give you a sneak-peak of the world of opportunities and options that are awaiting you. Take some time to explore the course matcher tool and find the best course for you. If at any point you need help or advice, do not hesitate to reach out to our experts. All the best!

Editor's note: This article was originally published in January 2015. We have included up-to-date information and made it comprehensive.

Need help choosing a course?

Sumit Raghav Sumit Raghav,
IDP Expert
We can help you. Request a call from us and get FREE advice to study abroad.