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How to choose the right subject or course

Choosing subjects and courses is a big decision which can affect your future career.

You may be choosing subjects in school or looking at college and university courses. You may be thinking about learning to get you to the next step in your career or to develop your skills.

Choosing the right subjects and courses can help you get into a career or keep your options open if you are not sure.

Important questions to ask:

Which subjects do I enjoy? Which subjects am I good at?
  • You are more likely to get better grades in the subjects you enjoy
  • What marks do you usually get? What grades do you and your teachers think you will get?
How do I like to learn?

We all learn differently. Did you know there are 3 learning styles:

  • Visual (learn best by seeing things)
  • Auditory (learn best by hearing things)
  • Kinaesthetic (learn best by doing things)

You may learn in a combination of ways. Find out how you like to learn.

Knowing how you learn can help you choose the right subject or course.

Do you prefer listening, talking and writing? Then maybe a Higher Education course would suit you.

Or, are you more ‘hands-on’ and prefer to learn by doing? Then a vocational course or Apprenticeship could be for you.

Which subject for which career?

Fact: The subject or course you choose can affect your career options.

So, it’s important to know what subject, course, qualification level and grades you need for certain jobs.

Do I need specialist training and qualifications? Some careers require you to have a specialist qualification and certain subjects and grades to get onto those courses for example Nursing and Dentistry.

Do I need certain subjects and grades? Many careers and higher level courses require you to have specific subjects and grades.

Do I need English/Welsh, Maths and Science? These are the subjects most needed for careers, courses and by employers. More and more jobs, apprenticeships and courses ask for these subjects at C or even B grade. For example, to complete your Teacher training in Wales, you need Maths and English GCSE B Grade.

Find the courses or subjects that lead to your future career:

Subject Links - Find out about subjects and the careers they can lead to.

Job Information Leaflets - look at the subjects and qualifications you need to get for certain jobs.

Courses In Wales and Common Area Prospectus (CAP) - Search for courses and entry requirements.

UCAS - check the entry requirements for Higher Education courses you might be interested in.

What subjects will jobs in the future need?

The world of work is always changing, with new jobs being created all the time. Find out what’s happening in Wales and what jobs will be in demand in Job Trends.

The first 6 steps to take

Check it out

Find out as much as you can about the subject or course. You may be on the course for a year or more so you need to enjoy it:

  • Attend open days or research the school, college or university website
  • Ask tutors and teachers
  • Ask other students

Explore our Subject Links to find out about subjects and the careers they can lead to.

Entry requirements

Check what subjects, qualifications or grades you need.

Job Information Leaflets - look at the subjects and qualifications you need to get for certain jobs.

Think about career ideas
  • Research different jobs in Job Information
  • Try our Job Matching Quiz to get career ideas and explore where subjects can take you
  • Explore Job Trends to find out about the different industries in Wales and what jobs will be in demand

Learning is not always free once you leave school.  You may be able to get support. Check out Funding your studies.

List the pros and cons

Sometimes the easiest way to come to a decision is to write a list of the pros and cons for each of your options. Think about the:

  • Positives about each option
  • Negatives about each option
  • What each option could lead to

Go through your list and think about how important each point is to you. By the end you’ll have a better idea of what’s important to you and which option is best.

It's good to talk

Talk to family, friends, tutors and teachers about your choices. Talking it through can help you decide. Contact us.

What's your next step?

Find a course