Adult Education how to Decide on the right course

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” – Benjamin Franklin

Education is an important aspect of our life. It helps shape who we are and creates a path for us to explore in the future. Given the importance and impact of learning, we need to take some time to decide what is it that we exactly want to learn.

The following four points can be a great decision making tool for those who are figuring out what is the ‘right’ course for them.

(1)    Interest – First and foremost, find out what you are interested in. Are you interested in how the human body works? Or how about the evolution of civilizations? To find the right course for yourself, match your interests and topics of curiosity with list of available courses. Curiosity enables a mind to explore uncharted territories. Hence if you prioritize your interests during course selection, then the chances are that you will better learn the concepts, satisfy your thirst of knowledge and ultimately do well in the course’s examinations.

(2)    Career relevance – The education choices we make should also be relevant to our career choices. Once you know what field you want to get into, learn about the education requirements for your dream job through online job descriptions or industry professionals. By ensuring that your courses portfolio will help you succeed in your career, you will be reaping more benefits from your education. In case you are still not sure about your perfect career, there are several career online resources, counsellors and organizations to help you understand your skill set and apt job fit.

(3)    Peer assessment – If you have a couple of courses short-listed and need more help in making the right decision, then go ahead and ask your peers for their opinions on the courses. Sometimes hearing other student’s past experiences with particular courses can provide in-depth and exclusive information. Be open-minded when connecting with peers, but also remember that people’s opinions may be biased due to personal characteristics. If someone gives a positive or negative review about a course, gently try to find out the reasons behind it to understand whether it could apply in your case. For example: A person may find a course on econometrics boring and too technical. But if you are an aspiring economist, the technical aspects of econometrics might be intriguing to you.

(4)    Type of learning – Some courses are research-based, while some involve data computation. Certain courses may require students to go through several readings. Whereas, certain courses may emphasise in-class discussion for learning and course grading. There are numerous types of learning methods involved in different courses. When making a course selection decision, find out the learning methods that will be utilised in a course and check whether it suits your preferred learning style. Doing so will help you better utilise your natural strengths and enhance your learning process.

At times conflicting factors, such as career versus interest, may arise for possible course choices. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution for those circumstances as every person has a unique set of goals and values. The appropriate thing to do in that case would be to ponder over and prioritize the aforementioned points to discover what course will work best for you.