Choosing a University Program

After getting OUAC Pins not too long ago, students are beginning to apply to university. There is a wide variety of different emotions surrounding their program choice. Some students are stressed, and some are not: “I don’t know what I want to do, and I feel like I should be stressed, but I’m not stressed.” Some are completely neutral: “No comment. I have no feelings right now about university.” Some students have already submitted their application, and some students haven’t given it a second thought. Nevertheless, there are many fears about the future to come. In a survey, 27% of WCI students responded that they don’t know what program they want to go into, and when asked what they were most afraid of going into university, 40% said it was not knowing their career goal.

Many students at WCI are finding themselves uncertain about what they want to pursue in the future and are beginning to have fears about how they’re going to get a job. Anna S. says, “I don’t know what I want to go into university for and I don’t know what I want my job to be. All of the things that I enjoy, like art and music, I’m worried that if I follow them I’ll be unemployed.” You should go to university for the right reasons. It’s extremely important that you will be able to find a job as well as learn about things you’re passionate about. Delia C. says, “Ideally what I want to get out of university is a job, and I would hope that I’m passionate about what I want to pursue.” 

If you’re one of those people who are stressed and don’t know what program to apply to, here are some tips from various different sources, which may reassure you in your decisions to apply to university and which program to choose, or might do the reverse and stress you out even more. Cam D., a music student at Laurier shares his tips in response to students worried about not being able to find a job with their program, he says, “Finding a job? You don’t have to worry about that until 4 years later. I’m not even worrying about it now. I’m kidding. Just choose something you enjoy.” It’s important to think about what you want to do, but if you’re not sure right now, don’t worry too much, since there’s a lot of time. He says, “I am quite happy with my program. Apart from the concern of maybe having an STD, I’m pretty happy.” 

Laura Gordon, a recruitment specialist at the University of Waterloo says that there are many reasons for why students are typically choosing their programs, “Many of them are considering what careers they’d like to pursue, and working backwards from there to figure out which programs are best suited to those careers. Others simply choose a subject they love, and go into university knowing that the skills they acquire there will set them up for success in a variety of fields.” For students who are worried about unemployment when pursuing their passions, Gordon says, “A survey by the Association of American Colleges and Universities indicates that 93% of employers say a person’s capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than their undergraduate major.” 

No matter what your degree is, as long as you’re enjoying what you’re doing, your degree won’t go to waste. Even if you don’t find a job in that field, the knowledge you gain, the skills you develop, and the connections you make will be valuable regardless of the program you choose.