Choosing the right University/Course combination which fits well with your skills and interests, has the right brand value and eventually leads to a great job are the most important factors before you start writing your college-application.
Often people just apply basis the rankings of universities in a particular subject. That, in our experience, is an inefficient way of choosing a program and often leads to vastly suboptimal results.
University and program selection should be preceded by the creation of a bucket-list. A bucket list is essentially a collection of university-program combinations which gives you a ‘reflection-anchor’ to figure out which programs are a good fit for you. The bucket-list looks like the attached picture (see figure). It encapsulates a comprehensive listing of programs that you want to apply irrespective of your opinion whether you can or cannot get into those. Adjacent to each program listing, do write down a 1 line reason as to why you want to get in there.
As this database gets built, it shall give you deep insights into what universities would be a good fit. Once you have this database, you may want to reflect on the following questions –
- Which programs fit my interest area?
- Which programs offer great ROI on my investment?
- Which programs shall (potentially) lead to great jobs?
- Which programs leverages skill sets which uses my expertise/capability?
- Is this a great university/ program to study in (ranking)?
- Can I Get in ?what course should i do at university
As you check on each of these parameters against items of your bucket-list, you shall have a narrower list of programs that you may wish to apply to. That list will be far more robust that the one arrived at basis ‘rankings of university’ and gives a true listing of universities that you should apply to.
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