How Do You Know What To Study At University?

To know what to study at university,  choose a good career and be happy during your years of studies, you will have to make a well thought out decision. “I don’t know what to study” is a phrase that parents and friends will have heard hundreds of times. With so many university degrees to choose from, it is normal that you are somewhat confused.

There are public and private universities, careers of letters and sciences, you can choose careers of longer or shorter duration. On the other hand, this is something important, because you will spend some of the best years of your life in that career.


The most important thing is that you do not rush. If you have a time limit and you are not clear about it, it is better to wait, even if you have to do it for several months. Bear in mind that what you study in college will influence your whole life; it is one of the most important investments of time and effort.

In any case, the three most important aspects to choose what to study are: 1-If you like what you are going to study. If you don’t like it, you can discard it because you may not be happy studying and you may drop out. 2-If you have a job opportunity. This point is important, because studying for a degree is a high investment in time and money. It is not worth studying something without a job opportunity. 3-The economic cost of studying the degree. You can choose to study almost any career if you have enough financial resources.

Steps to know and decide what to study at university

face-to-face studies

1-Create a list of options

To get a clearer idea, I advise you to make a list of the 3-6 options you have to study.

Narrowing the list down to a few options will make the decision making process less tiring and much more effective.

I suppose you will have some options that you like a lot more than others and you hesitate between them. If not, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are you good at?
  • What do you like to read about?
  • What subjects are you curious about?
  • Is there something you have always wanted to study?
  • Do you have favorite shows in any subject?
  • What would you like to work on?

Some tips for choosing options:

  • Your passion should be option 1 (I’ll deal with this later)
  • Don’t choose the easy
  • Do not be guided by your friends or family
  • Do not be in a hurry, take time to inform yourself

2-Find out about the study plan

If you want to make the best choice, you will have to spend time educating yourself about the careers you are considering.

Do not make the mistake of getting into a race without having informed yourself. The curriculum of a career is the planning of subjects that are studied each semester and each year.

Knowing that curriculum is essential because it will give you a better idea of ​​whether you are going to like a career.

You may think that a career is going to be one way, although the reality when you start studying may be another.

Perhaps there are too many subjects that you dislike and too few that you really like. Knowing the curriculum will give you the exact idea of:

  • To which you will have to dedicate time, effort
  • What you are going to have to study
  • What you are going to learn
  • What you are going to put into practice in professional practices

3-Find out about the future job

There are many stereotypes or prejudices about some professionals that are not true and that can make you make a bad choice.

And they are not just stereotypes or prejudices, but fantasies that we make ourselves about the ideal job.

Professions have their good points and others that are not so good.


  • Human Resources employees do not only do interviews, dynamics or training. They spend a lot of time in front of the computer
  • Being a vet is not just visiting animals, it is also doing operations, treating sick animals and doing other unpleasant actions
  • Psychologists help people, although they also have very unpleasant moments
  • Doctors not only osculate or prescribe, they also have to do many unpleasant things for many people
  • Lawyers do not always defend pleasant cases or those that do great good to those represented
  • There are professionals such as teachers who have 2 months of vacation, although they have to prepare exams, classes and syllabi in their free time

In short, in the previous cases, if you don’t have a real interest in the profession, you will end up burned. And I’m not exaggerating. According to a recent survey:

  • 63% of workers are not motivated to go to their jobs
  • 24% said they felt truly unhappy in their jobs and not very productive
  • Only 11% of those surveyed acknowledged that they liked their work
  • In Latin America, 21% said they were happy to do their job, while in Western Europe only 14%

Therefore, act wisely and find out well about what your work will be like. You won’t be 100% correct, but you may have a better idea:

One way is to ask professionals who have the career that interests you

4-Take into account the professions with the most output

If you want to have a high probability of finding a job, consider how the current situation of your options is.

Statistics with this information come out practically every year. You just have to put in your favorite search engine: “professions with more job opportunities”.

The issue of choosing a career that you like – that you are passionate about – I will deal with later, although I think it is a bad option to choose a career with little job prospects.

More considering that a race usually costs more than 5,000 euros (5,600 dollars).

And not just the money, but the effort and time invested. Of course, keep in mind that in 5 years many advances can occur and for that I guide you to point 5 … 

5-Think about what the future will be like

It is very important to know what the future job will be like.

As in the Industrial Revolution, factories and machines replaced many men, current and future technology will do much work than exists today.

Something very curious is that children who are now in preschool will work in jobs that do not yet exist. Research whether a technology or crisis is likely to destroy the jobs of your future job.

Many jobs will be replaced by robots: I would not choose to specialize in something that requires doing something repetitive.

For example, taxi drivers may be replaced by self-driving cars like the one Google already has and which will hit the market in 2020. 

6-Should you follow your passion?

I have read some authors say that following your passion is the best option. And I can assure you that they have done very well.

Others comment that you don’t have to follow your passion, because you can lose your job. These authors have also done well, although they have not had such inspirational careers.

The pros of following your passion are:

  • You will learn faster
  • It won’t take so much effort to study and persevere
  • You can become a great professional
  • You will have more motivation

The cons of following your passion are:

  • It may be that in the field in which your passion is there is a lot of competition. For example, your passion may be to be a painter, although there may be hundreds of thousands of painters
  • You may have no outlet or you have no way to make money with your passion

Still, there are people who continue to advise you to follow your passion and find a way to make a living with it.

The pros of choosing something practical that has a job prospect are:

  • You will find work sooner
  • If you choose well, you will be better off financially (at least in the short term)
  • If you choose well you will not have so much competition

The cons are:

  • You won’t have as much motivation
  • It will take more effort to study in the exams
  • You can also become a great professional, although you will not enjoy your profession as much

As you can see, it is a difficult decision, although I think you can make a decision this way:

  1. Choose your passion if you think you can make a living out of it
  2. Choose your passion if your other options do not motivate you at all
  3. Skip to the second option on your list if you can’t make a living off your passion
  4. Go to the third option on your list if you cannot earn a living with either option 1 or 2

Also keep in mind that your passion can be followed apart from what you study at university.

7-Make the final decision

Taking into account the above points and if you have taken the time to research, you will have a better idea of ​​what to study.

You will have ruled out some options or it will be clear to you that one is better for you, because it is your passion or because it has a better future job.

What doubts do you have when choosing your career? I am interested in your opinion. Thank you!


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