What do you want to be when you grow up?
| Lourdes Fernández - 01 Apr 2023

Throughout our lives, we have heard the typical phrase “What do you want to be when you grow up?  Choosing a university degree is one of the most complicated decisions to make because it will mark our future life. Sometimes there is a clear vocation but it can happen that we do not get the degree we want because we do not get the necessary grade or, simply, we are not sure what to study.
 There is always the question of what kind of degree I should choose or if I should choose according to what I like. We must also consider whether I have to give priority to economic expectations or if I have to look for a profession that guarantees a job without taking into account what I like ... and these are questions that are not easy to answer.
 Even so, it is a process that we all go through, but when it comes to choosing a career, we have to ask ourselves the following questions: What future will I have with that career? What opportunities will I get with the decision I have made?
 For this whole process, there are guidance practitioners whose role is crucial. These experts provide students with resources, tools, and opportunities to reflect on their future, expectations, and aspirations. They also help them to learn about the academic offer and to explore the labor market.
 From here, we start from the premise that each person is unique and unrepeatable, so, before any university degree selection, it is advisable:
1. To analyze ourselves to know who we are and what we want to be in the future.  When we analyze ourselves, we think about the types of activities we like or the work environment where we would like to work. What is the aim of this question? To define our profile and match it with the right job.
2.  Once we are clear about this, we have to start looking for university careers, for which it is necessary not to set limits!!! This will help us to get to know alternatives that were unknown until now, which can help us to become the professionals we dreamed of.
3.  It is also important that, once we have drawn up this list of careers, we begin to evaluate them one by one.
4.  Finally, we will keep the ones we are most interested in, and, from there, we will ask and consult to reach a final decision. At this point, it is important to count on the opinion of people who work in the field we would like to work in. We can ask them questions such as the pros and cons of the job or if they would choose that career again.
 We must read well, as universities usually have all the information on their websites: curricula, career opportunities, and itineraries. We also need to be well informed since the same degree can have different subjects depending on the city. In addition, you will also have to find out how much the total costs are, considering that not everyone has the same financial possibilities, although there are many scholarships.
 We must be flexible with ourselves, as making this type of decision will take time and we may not like the decision we make, but remember that it is NEVER TOO LATE to start again if we are not happy with the path we have chosen.
 It may happen that with these criteria we are not clear about our choice, so we can look at two other factors that will help us to clarify our decision:
Vocation: studying what we have always liked. There are vocational orientation tests and other tools that help us to make decisions. Using vocational orientation tests, students carry out questionnaires on their professional interests and how these relate to the different degrees on offer. On the other hand, in each country, there are usually institutional rankings of universities and their performance. Once we know the results of the universities that have good scores, we can look at their curricula, review the syllabuses and subjects of the degrees we want to study, and compare them with other universities.
Labor demand: the degree can also be chosen according to labor demand, as not all degrees have the same professional opportunities.
 Finally, Career choice is a personal process that involves thinking about the future. Knowing what careers are on offer, your personality, your interests, and your reality, you can choose your vocational path with more confidence, so don’t be afraid because these are going to be the best years of your life, good luck with your choice!

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