universityThough some students may approach finding a university in a haphazard way, most are serious about finding the best fit for them. Students often have to choose between many colleges that would benefit them in different ways, but the end goal of most education is to find a job and start a successful career. For those students who are striving to find a school that not only fits their personality, but aligns with their career goals, we’ve assembled a few tips for how to start researching colleges.


Check the rankings of both the university and the program

One of the first things to consider when searching for a school that will enable a brilliant career, is by looking at how highly each college is ranked, both as a whole, and in your subject area. All too often, students look for prestigious names and never stop to think about whether their specific program is nationally ranked, as well. However, you don’t want to let a specific program be the only deciding factor in choosing a school, either – if you change your mind about what career path you want to follow, having options within your chosen university would be much less trouble than changing schools.


Investigate the college’s alumni and connections

Another thing to think about when assessing potential colleges is their links with local businesses. Many colleges offer or require internships over the course of your time there, but really investigate what a typical internship looks like. You can request to speak to a recent alum of the university and ask them questions about how they set up their internships, what guidance the school offered, and if they have any recommendations for how you can be successful in a professional environment. Remember, many internships turn into jobs which can spark your career, so investing time in finding out what businesses are associated with your chosen college could be a huge leg-up for you in the future. Plus, if you get into the habit of making contacts and networking with alums at the beginning of your college run, it can only help you as that time draws to an end.


Consider studying abroad

International study is a great way to differentiate yourself from fellow students, and later, job-seekers. Even better would be to get an internship while you are abroad, which will benefit your resume. Having worked in the UAE, China, Australia, Europe or the UK shows potential employers your flexibility, which could open up global opportunities for you in the future. Additionally, the friends you make during your international travel can turn into useful contacts later in your career.


Research the faculty

When looking for a school to fuel your career, it’s obvious that there are a number of aspects to take into account. Besides the tips mentioned above, be sure to look at the professors at your school, the clubs offered for students looking to network or learn new skills before graduating, and what sort of job placement rate each college has for recent graduates. You can also speak to someone within your chosen field or in your dream job and ask them what path they took to achieve career success and what their daily schedules look like. Many schools have career offices that are happy to pair students up with working professionals in their field and begin a mentor/mentee relationship which could be invaluable.

Though choosing a college can be a daunting decision, there are plenty of ways to narrow down the decision painlessly, and come to a choice the suits your needs.