Six tips to choose the right course after high school

Selecting a course can come with a unique kind of pressure. Here are some words of wisdom from Bachelor of Business students who were recently in your shoes.

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The experience of going through Year 12 can be isolating. For every quirky acronym (think VTAC, SACs, SEAS and ATAR), there are ten times more questions from distant family members on what you’ll study at uni. Although chatting to a parent or teacher can help you think about the bigger picture, it can sometimes feel like your friends are the only people who truly understand the details of what you’re going through.  

But what about some words of wisdom from the people who were recently in your shoes? 

We asked seven Bachelor of Business students to share their top tips on deciding what’s next after Year 12 – whether it’s your first week or you’re about to lock in your uni preferences. 

RMIT student, Ivy

#1: Don’t stress if you don’t get the ATAR you were expecting

The leadup to ATAR release day can feel like a mountain of pressure. It can be hard to see your final year of high school summed up in a seemingly restrictive number, especially if it wasn’t the score you were hoping for. 

Liam was in a similar position when he received his VCE results. 

“Growing up, I was passionate about numbers because they’re always logical and follow a pattern, which appeals to me. But in high school, I didn’t have teachers that nurtured my ability and I actually failed Year 12 Maths,” he said.  

Though it may feel like your score locks you out of certain courses, in reality your ATAR opens a world of opportunities at RMIT – no matter what the number is. 

Liam’s results meant he couldn’t get into his bachelor degree straight away, but he found a pathway at RMIT that allowed him to complete a Diploma of Accounting before transferring into the Bachelor of Business he was originally aiming for. 

“There are many pathways you can follow to get to where you want to go. Don’t stress about how you’re doing right now, because you’ll find another way to reach your goal.”  

#2: Search for courses that enable you to gain work experience

If you’re having trouble narrowing down your shortlist of courses, take a look at the ways in which you can gain work experience before you graduate. In RMIT’s Bachelor of Business, the ways you’ll connect with employers are vast and varied: from in-class projects and simulated work environments to internships with companies like the Australian Red Cross and Amazon Web Services. 

"The work experience component to many of the courses at RMIT is just so valuable,” said Paris. 

“It’s one thing to study and learn theory in a classroom at university, but it’s such a great experience when you’re out working for a real-life company and think, ‘Hey, I’m actually using that skill I learnt in that class in first year!’ I feel so much more confident in my marketing skills and abilities already.” 

#3: Stay true to your goals for the future

When choosing your future course and uni, Michael said it’s important to make sure your study options align with your reasons for pursuing tertiary study. Some reasons to pursue tertiary study include wanting to develop your knowledge of a particular field, gain global work experience or meet a network of likeminded people.  

For Michael, the goal of building strong foundations for a career in marketing ultimately helped him make his study choice.  

“I wanted to attend a university that would set me up for my career by providing me with opportunities to gain experience in my field,” he said.  

“I chose the applied marketing degree at RMIT [now the Bachelor of Business Professional Practice] for the location, the wealth of industry connections, practical learning and the year of industry experience, which is a part of the fourth year.” 

#4: Keep your options open if you aren’t sure what to study

While some Year 12s might have a strong idea of where they’d like to be in five or ten years, sometimes it’s puzzling to think about what your future will look like. If you’re not sure what to study, RMIT’s Bachelor of Business may be perfect for you because it’s designed to grow with and around your interests. 

“Business attracted me because it seemed like a versatile study choice that I could use in a number of different industries,” said Tatu.  

The versatility of the degree was a big selling point for Rhiannon too, and she believes her business acumen will set her apart from other uni graduates.  

“What attracted me to the Bachelor of Business was the potential to acquire a broad range of skills in business. Through the large number of majors and minors offered, we get to understand, appreciate and learn about different aspects of the industry,” she said. 

#5: Trust your instincts

If wading through course options and constantly talking about the future are starting to feel like running on an endless treadmill, it might be time to cut the noise and check in with your gut feelings.  

Sweta believes in keeping it simple and chasing the opportunities that instinctually feel the most right to you.  

“Always believe in yourself and listen to your heart. There’s nothing worse in life than having regrets,” she said.  

“I realised I wanted to study marketing because it looked like so much fun and exactly what I was interested in. I chose RMIT because it allowed me to fulfil my dreams of working while studying.” 

#6: Most importantly, get ready to make what’s next count

“The highlight of my learning experience at RMIT was undoubtedly the connections I made with other students undertaking similar courses to mine,” said Ivy. 

Her experience proves that tertiary study isn’t just about the chance to gain technical knowledge. It’s also about having fun and embracing the chance to make new friends, grow as a person and create some of your best memories. 

Ivy’s biggest piece of advice is: "Make the most of your time by joining as many clubs as you can (there are so many!), asking lots of questions, really leaning on your tutors, lecturers and course coordinators, and being open to every opportunity.  

“You might be a little out of your comfort zone at first, but just trust the process. You're going to love it.” 

 

Story: Pallavi Daniel

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.