Career Development

Which college to do? 14 tips to help you figure it out

Close your eyes and imagine yourself 20 years from now. Did you manage to visualize yourself with a helmet, leading the construction of a building or inside a forum judging an action? It is not simple to choose which college to attend.

You can opt for a cool startup office or develop video games. Ever thought of being on a space station? If none of that appeals to you, it’s a sign that you might need help answering the question: what college?

Do not worry! There are many students in the same situation!

Deciding which professional career to pursue may not be an easy task, but we’re here to help you find the right direction! We separate 14 valuable tips that will guide your choice according to your personality and skills. Check out!

1. Know yourself

It seems philosophical, even a bit redundant. After all, imagine if you don’t know yourself. Often, in the rush of life, we don’t take the time to become aware of who we are.

Suddenly what was easy became difficult? So grab a paper and make a mind map! Put your name in the center of the sheet. From there pull 6 arrows to the following topics:

    • my principles: make a list of 5 points, from most to least important, that you consider fundamental and that guide your actions. Doesn’t give up sincerity, does it hurt to whom it hurts? Is charity paramount? The faith? Get it all down on paper.
    • my qualities: are you smart? Organized? Perfectionist? Write down all your positive traits.
    • things I like to do: if your strength is drawing or if you’re very good on the guitar, try to list all your skills here! Also remember what you love to do (going to the movies, camping, being outdoors, for example).
    • my flaws: nobody is perfect and it’s important to recognize that! Then do a candid enumeration of your faults.
    • things I can’t stand: anything goes here! From characteristics (laziness, dissimulation, perfectionism), passing through skills (dealing with people, experiencing pressure situations, spending a lot of time indoors), to fields of knowledge (mathematics, literature, chemistry). Circle what you think is worse in red.
    • If you went horribly wrong when making that mind map and you’ve barely completed your favorite subjects and the things you can’t stand, don’t panic. There are other methods to help you get to know yourself better, such as tests and vocational guidance!

2. Try to take tests and vocational guidance

If you don’t have a very clear notion of your qualities and abilities, it might be interesting to seek support from a vocational guidance counselor. This work, which can be done in groups or individually, will show which areas of knowledge match your personality the most.

Even if you are very clear about who you are, it is interesting to seek this support to confirm or even discover characteristics that have not yet been noticed. The first step is vocational guidance, something very valuable to think about which college to do.

Many models can be  found on the Internet  and are composed of a series of questions related to your reaction or position according to certain situations. At the end, a set of professions related to your profile is presented.

3. Discover the courses

Let’s say that in your mind map, among your principles is environmental awareness, and in the things you like to do part, you marked that you love being outdoors and camping.

Among his favorite subjects are biological and exact sciences. It seems that the Biology course is the logical path. He is sure? Ever heard of  Forest Engineering ?

Knowing the higher education courses available is very important to do the college that most calls your attention. Both on newsstands and on the internet, there are guides with valuable information that can be the starting point for your search.

4. Talk to professionals

Did you manage to reach a top 5 of courses that have your face? Then start looking for people who work in the areas you pre-selected. They will give you an overview of how the job market is going, which can even help you direct your choice.

If none of your circle of friends graduated from the colleges on your list, do an internet search! There are forums and groups on Facebook and  LinkedIn  for different professions. Participate in them and have good support to evaluate which college to do more safely.

5. Visit institutions to find out which college to do

Have you ever stopped to think if the course(s) you want to take exists in your region? If the answer is no, will you (or your family) be able to afford to live in another city? It is a reality that somewhat limits the dream, but it needs to be thought about.

Start by checking out which colleges and universities are in your area and visit those institutions. Check the differentials of each one, the location, facilities, laboratories, etc.

From there, you can already see some differences between  public and private colleges , break some preconceived ideas and better understand the routine of the courses. This will help you choose  the college that can make a difference  in your curriculum in the future.

6. Didn’t work? Try again!

Let’s assume you’ve already chosen the course, passed the ENEM (or other entrance exams) and entered the college you chose to call yours. Only something isn’t adding up, you feel like you entered the  ice bucket challenge  and it all went wrong! But it’s not the end of the world if you made the wrong choice of course.

If your expectation was not compatible with reality, the most important thing is not to insist on the mistake! Have the courage to start the selection process again and try another course.

7. Analyze the curriculum

Knowing the curriculum is an excellent option for you to be well informed about the subjects offered during the course. With a little more curiosity, check the mandatory and optional subjects. And, of course, compare how universities structure the graduation that sparked your interest.

This measurement will be a hand in the wheel for you to choose well which college to do. As you identify with the content of the subjects, the greater the chances of qualifying for the job market.

Analyzing the curriculum, you will also realize that the educational institution has a nice proposal that will contribute to your personal and professional growth.

It is also recommended to observe the time and place of classes. If this doesn’t disturb your routine, it will be another point in favor. After all, it’s not easy to reconcile so many commitments, is it?

8. Look for faculty information

You liked the university’s infrastructure and curriculum. But is there nothing else left to analyze? If the answer is yes, you are on the right path.

It is very important to pay attention to the qualification of teachers. One of the reasons is that they have a great influence on the quality of teaching. That is, they will be a differential for your learning and  your career .

How can you check if the teachers are prepared to give really nice classes? It’s simple! Just pay attention to a few items, such as:

    • professional experience as a teacher and in other activities;
    • completion of postgraduate courses (specialization, master’s, doctorate, etc.);
    • awards won during career;
    • publication of academic articles.

In addition to these references, you can also search the internet for texts published by the teacher. This will help you to better understand the subjects that can be addressed in the classroom. Another tip is to check if the teacher has already given lectures. YouTube is a great search source for finding videos.

Finally, talk to students and former students of the educational institution who will point out the positive and negative characteristics of the professional. All of this must be taken into account when deciding  which college to attend .

9. Pay attention to the MEC note

The more data you have, the greater the chances of making the right choice. Therefore, it is worth checking the grade that the Ministry of Education (MEC) assigns annually to colleges. The result is an indicator of the quality of the course. If you don’t pay attention to this detail, you run the serious risk of regretting it in the future.

The MEC assessment also serves as a reference for companies to select employees. This is one more reason for you to pay attention to the results obtained, in recent years, by higher education institutions.

The note from the Ministry of Education covers the Preliminary Course Concept (CPC) and the General Course Index (IGC). The first takes into account several items, such as:

    • number of master and doctor professors;
  • level of conservation of the facilities;
  • resources used in the classroom to improve learning.

The score varies from 1 to 5. Graduates who receive up to a score of 2 are visited by MEC technicians for a new assessment, which can increase or reduce the score. With regard to the IGC, the focus is on making an assessment of the entire university.

In this case, the weighted average of the results, in the last three years, of the CPC and the National Student Performance Examination (ENADE) is calculated. At the IGC, scores also range from 1 to 5. If the educational institution is far below the average, it runs the risk of being closed.

10. Learn more about ENADE

ENADE has an important role in establishing the CPC and the IGC, you know? Since 2004, it has been applied annually by the National Institute of Educational Studies and Research Anisio Teixeira (Inep). The calculation of the grade for each faculty takes into account 3 aspects:

    • performance of students who completed up to 25% of graduation;
  • performance of students who attended more than 75% of higher education;
  • responses to the questionnaire sent to university students and course coordinators.

11. Consider market trends

In defining which college to do, the ideal is always to reconcile the will with market opportunities. Thus, an important part of the journey to choose a good institution is to look at the  professions that are on the rise  in the near future, that is, those that offer recognition and good remuneration.

The practice can be carried out by reading specialized publications and websites, consulting people who already work in the area of ​​interest and visiting job vacancy websites, among other ways. Dive in and do a lot of research on trends.

With this, you will also give adequate direction to your career from an early age. Often, the student has to choose between opportunities arising during college, extension courses and electives. Therefore, knowing the post-college scenario will facilitate decision-making.

12. See the agreements offered

Acquiring theoretical knowledge is important for understanding career trends. But you know that’s not enough to guarantee success. The ideal is to look for experience in internships. This mission is much easier when the college has agreements that allow students to develop professional skills.

Not by chance, it is necessary to pay attention to the reputation of the educational institution in the market. The main companies and government bodies will only offer partnerships if they identify the opportunity to attract talent to their staff. And, even if the offer of vacancies is open to the public, the quality of the course weighs in favor of the candidate.

In this search for talent, the trainee programs stand out. In them, organizations identify young people with the potential to insert them into a people development process. Thus, in the end, the participant becomes someone able to perform a function within the company, generally with possibilities of ascending to senior management.

Finally, higher education institutions also seek partnerships with language schools. The objective is for the student to master one or more foreign languages ​​and be better prepared for the job market. Without a doubt, you cannot miss the chance to enrich your curriculum by investing in a language course at a lower price.

13. Check the search and work fields

In parallel with studying in the classroom, good colleges offer a series of complementary actions so that the student not only absorbs the material, but manages to combine theory and practice. After all, today, no one will arouse the interest of a company if they only talk about it.

A first point of attention is the area of ​​academic research. Generally, colleges carry out an important work of knowledge production and integrate students in the process. So much so that Enade also considers this aspect during the assessment, not limiting itself to performance in the test.

There are also important initiatives for the inclusion of students in the market that need to be observed. Junior companies ,  for example, are development programs during graduation, in which the institution maintains a real non-profit organization. In it, the student exercises a position as in the professional environment and receives guidance from experienced professionals.

Finally, social work also weighs in when deciding which college to attend. Normally, the practice centers, where students complete the mandatory internship hours, serve the community. Therefore, in a market that increasingly preaches respect for diversity and social responsibility, experience can contribute a lot to your career.

14. Consider the possibility of academic mobility abroad

Some higher education institutions stand out for offering an exchange abroad. That is, you can acquire more professional knowledge, learn more about a foreign language and accelerate the process of maturing.

By living in another country, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a different culture and more chances to understand how important it is to respect the rules of good coexistence. This aspect is a very relevant factor for companies that want to have competent employees in technical and emotional terms.

Remember that companies are interested in the value a person can add in terms of results and competence. The exchange not only guarantees an evolution of technical skills, such as mastery of the foreign language, development of attitudes and behaviors, maturity, discipline and adaptability.

The exact impact on the resume will depend on the field of expertise. However, in general, as the market is very competitive, having differentials in relation to other candidates and seeking them out early is essential for a successful career.

With these 14 tips, it’s much simpler to put your thoughts in order, as well as cross information and draw conclusions about the possibilities that are in front of you to make a rational decision.


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