Deciding what degree is for you can be completely overwhelming.
In fact, with so many choices out there it’s understandable that many young Australians get what’s called analysis paralysis.
Analysis paralysis is a colloquial term for a whole new level of overthinking where you’re so wrapped up in researching and thinking through all your options that you end up not making a decision at all.
Or worse – making a snap decision that’s not in your best interests, which is particularly risky when 83% of year 12s finishing this year want to study at university according to our latest Year13 YouthSense research.
“Trapped in an endless loop of “what if this, what if that” scenarios, you eventually become so overwhelmed you end up failing to make any decision at all,” wrote Crystal Raypol for Healthline.
And with one-third (35%) of Gen Zs telling us they don’t know what career they want to pursue, chances are your child might be struggling with analysis paralysis.
So to help you help them we’ve outlined some things to encourage your child to consider when choosing their university degree.
- Help your child identify what’s important to them when it comes to a career
According to our After the ATAR III report when it comes to making a decision about their future career the vast majority (84%) of young Australians want to know that the career will match their passions.
Yup, passion ranks 19% higher than knowing how much money they could make.
So when it comes to considering a career try to guide them back to what they’re passionate about which will help them choose the university degree they need to get there.
- Help them narrow down their options
Asana, an online productivity, organisation and work management tool says that narrowing down options early can be helpful in managing analysis paralysis – especially when it comes down to choosing a post-school pathway such as a university degree.
“If you have an overwhelming amount of options, get rid of some right away,” advises Asana’s Sarah Laoyan.
“Figure out what you want your expected outcome of this decision to be and then eliminate any options that don’t fit the qualifications of that outcome.”
- Help your child figure out how much flexibility they need
While many students prefer in-person study, your child might want the flexibility of studying online (or a hybrid version of both!).
If that’s the case check out Open Universities Australia (OUA), which is a non-profit platform that compares thousands of online courses from 28 leading Australian universities to help find the university degree that offers just the right amount of flexibility.
The additional benefit of Open Universities Australia is their ‘open door policy’, which offers a means for students who didn’t get the ATAR they needed to get on the path to a uni qualification by starting with single subjects.
The best part? The single subjects available with Open Universities Australia don’t have any entry requirements so your child can enrol instantly.
- Help your child figure out whether they’re more interested in theoretical or practical study
While learning the theory that’s fundamental to practising your chosen profession is important, hands-on experience can be equally beneficial. And it’s becoming more valued by prospective employers.
This means that inbuilt internships (and other practical experiences) can help your child stand out in the crowd. Macquarie University degrees incorporate Professional and Community Engagement Programs (PACE), which help engage students in real-world learning activities with organisations not just in Australia and around the globe, providing invaluable practical experience that employers value.
- Help your child understand the right study-life balance
Sure, studying can be fun especially if you’ve found the right degree that aligns with your passions. However, it can also be stressful (especially when assignment deadlines and exams loom) which makes finding the right study-life balance super important.
As a parent, you can encourage your child to take into consideration degrees at universities that provide cool lunch spots, contemporary study spaces, sporting activities/teams, exciting social events, cultural clubs and any other extracurricular activities that they find interesting.
- Figure out not just what, but where your child wants to study
We know. The thought of your child studying in a different city (or even country!) might cause your heart to ache a little (or a lot).
But if your child has itchy feet this might be the perfect time for them to leave the nest and explore the world on their own terms.