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Choosing the Right Major: A Guide for International Students in UK

Viral Vora

Viral Vora

Jan 16, 2024

7 mins read

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Pursuing masters in the UK as an Indian student is really exciting! It's a great chance to grow personally, explore academics, and build your career. One of the most crucial decisions you'll make during this journey is selecting a major or course of study that aligns with your passions, skills, and future aspirations. Choosing the right major is not just about academics; it's about laying the foundation for a fulfilling and successful career.

Understand Your Interests and Passions

Choosing a major study in UK for Indian students as well as international students can be a daunting task, but it's an important one that will shape your future career and academic pursuits. To make a well-informed decision, it's crucial to take some time for self-reflection and identify your strengths, hobbies, and areas of genuine interest.

What are you naturally good at? What subjects or activities come easily to you? Identifying your strengths can help you narrow down your options and focus on fields where you can excel. What do you enjoy doing in your free time? What activities do you find stimulating and engaging? Your hobbies can provide clues about your passions and potential career paths.

What topics or subjects have always piqued your curiosity? What areas of knowledge do you find most fascinating? Your areas of interest can guide you towards majors that align with your intellectual inclinations.

Your academic history can be a valuable resource in choosing a major. Look back at your past courses and identify those that you found most engaging and rewarding. What subjects have consistently stimulated your interest and sparked your curiosity? These positive experiences can indicate areas where you have a natural aptitude and potential for success.

Research and Explore Career Opportunities

Before embarking on your career journey, it's crucial to conduct thorough research on various career paths that align with your interests, skills, and aspirations. Explore a wide range of professions, from traditional fields like engineering and medicine to emerging sectors like data science and artificial intelligence. Delve into the specific roles and responsibilities associated with each career path, understanding the day-to-day tasks and challenges you might encounter.

Once you've identified potential career paths, delve into the qualifications required for each. Determine the necessary educational background, including relevant degrees, certifications, and professional training programs. Research the skills employers seek in candidates for these positions, noting both technical and soft skills. Assess your own skillset and identify any areas that may require further development.
Gain insights into current job market trends and the demand for specific fields in the UK. Utilize online resources, to analyze employment data and projections for various industries and occupations. For which there are several courses for international students as well as for Indian students. Understand the growth potential and future outlook for your chosen career path to ensure long-term viability.

Attend University Open Days and Information Sessions

Visiting universities in person provides an immersive experience that allows you to get a feel for the campus environment and academic atmosphere. Stroll through the grounds, observe student interactions, and envision yourself studying and living in this setting. Engage with current students and staff to gain firsthand insights into the university culture and student life. Information sessions provide a valuable opportunity to learn about different majors and courses offered by the university. Attend sessions aligned with your interests to gain detailed information about curriculum, faculty expertise, and career prospects. Interact with professors and admissions representatives to clarify any questions and gather insights into the academic rigor and expectations.

By attending university open days and information sessions, you can gather essential information to make informed decisions about your higher education journey. These firsthand experiences will help you assess which universities and academic programs align with your aspirations and goals, ensuring a successful and fulfilling academic experience.

Seek Guidance from Academic Advisors and Careers Services

Academic advisors play a crucial role in guiding students through their academic journey. They possess in-depth knowledge of university programs, course requirements, and graduation pathways. Schedule appointments with your academic advisor to discuss your interests, strengths, and career aspirations. Seek their guidance in exploring suitable majors and ensuring that your course selections align with your long-term goals.

Careers Services: Planning Your Future Career

University careers services provide comprehensive support to students as they navigate their career paths. These services offer valuable resources, including:

Career Counselling:

Engage with experienced career counsellors to explore potential career options and develop personalised career plans.

Career Assessments:

Utilise career assessments to identify your interests, skills, and personality traits, gaining valuable insights into suitable career paths.

Resume and Cover Letter Writing Workshops:

Participate in workshops to enhance your resume and cover letter writing skills, effectively showcasing your qualifications to potential employers.

Job Search Guidance:

Receive expert advice on job search strategies, including online job boards, networking opportunities, and interview preparation.

Consider Practicality and Future Prospects

Before committing to a particular major, it's essential to evaluate its practicality and feasibility in the context of your career aspirations and financial circumstances. Consider factors such as:

1. Cost of Education:

Research tuition fees, living expenses, and potential financial aid options to ensure the financial viability of pursuing a particular major.

2. Job Market Demand:

Analyse job market trends and employment projections for your chosen field. Assess the availability of job opportunities, the competitiveness of the job market, and the potential for future growth.

3. Career Outlook:

Research employability rates and salary prospects for graduates in your chosen field. Understand the typical career trajectory, advancement opportunities, and earning potential.

While pursuing your passions is undoubtedly important, it's crucial to balance your interests with a realistic assessment of the practicality and feasibility of your chosen major. Consider the potential for job satisfaction and financial security in your chosen field. Seek guidance from academic advisors and careers services to ensure that your academic and professional aspirations align with your financial and personal goals.

Reach Out to Alumni and Professionals in Your Desired Field

Connecting with alumni and professionals in your desired field can provide invaluable insights into the industry, available opportunities, and the skills required for success. These individuals can share their experiences, offer guidance, and provide a firsthand perspective on the realities of working in your chosen field.

  • Utilise online professional networking platforms like LinkedIn to identify and connect with alumni and professionals in your desired field. Search for alumni from your university or previous schools, as well as professionals who work for companies or organisations you're interested in.
  • Request informational interviews with alumni and professionals to gain deeper insights into their career paths and the industry. Prepare well for these interviews, asking thoughtful questions about their experiences, their advice for aspiring professionals, and the skills and qualifications they deem most important.
  • Participate in networking events hosted by your university, alumni associations, or professional organisations related to your desired field. These events provide opportunities to connect with a broader range of professionals, expand your network, and gather valuable insights into the industry.

Take Advantage of Internship and Work Placement Opportunities:

Internships and work placements offer invaluable opportunities to gain practical experience in your chosen field, apply classroom knowledge to real-world scenarios, and develop essential workplace skills. These experiences provide a glimpse into the day-to-day operations of organisations, allowing you to assess whether the field aligns with your interests, goals, and career aspirations.

Participating in internships and work placements enhances your employability by showcasing your initiative, problem-solving abilities, and adaptability to new environments. Employers highly value candidates with hands-on experience, as it demonstrates their ability to apply theoretical knowledge to practical situations. 

Internships and work placements provide opportunities to connect with professionals in your field, expanding your professional network and building valuable relationships. These connections can open doors to future employment opportunities, mentorship, and ongoing support as you progress in your career.

Choosing a major is a significant decision that shapes not only your academic journey but also your future career trajectory. As an international student, this decision holds even greater weight, as you navigate a new academic landscape and cultural context. Don't hesitate to seek guidance from academic advisors, careers counsellors, and professionals in your desired field. Their expertise and insights can help you make informed decisions that align with your unique goals and circumstances. Engage with fellow students, alumni, and mentors to gain firsthand perspectives on different academic and professional paths.

By carefully considering your interests, career prospects, and guidance from trusted sources, you can embark on a fulfilling academic and professional journey.

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Viral Vora
Viral Vora

Viral Vora is the co-founder of MastersBuddy, a platform that is building the world’s best study abroad experience. He is a graduate of IE Business School and KJSCE Vidyavihar. Viral is passionate about helping students achieve their academic, professional, and personal goals.

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