Share this page
| More

Monday 23 February 2015

How to choose your Bachelor degree: a guide for future undergrads

Choosing an undergraduate programme can be a daunting prospect. In this post, we want to discuss some of the important factors that should be taken into consideration when choosing yours.

1) Choose a respected and reputable institution: even if it looks like the course of your dreams, make sure that it is delivered by a respectable institution! One should not undermine the weight that employers attribute to degrees coming from top-ranked schools and universities. Make sure that the school or university delivering your future degree is ranked highly in established league tables, and is renowned in your chosen area of study. Be careful, as even the most prestigious universities have strong and weak areas of specialisation, so make sure that the school or university you have in mind in reputed in the field in which you want to study.

2) You're joining an alumni network, not just a school or university! For young high-school graduates, a three-year degree can sound like an eternity. But the school or university you will join for your undergraduate degree will stay with you for life! When looking at different universities, also look at the extent of its alumni network. What are members doing 10, 20, even 30 years after they graduated? Are they in top managerial positions, leading multinational companies? Not all alumni networks are the same. If you join a small or medium-sized institution, the alumni network tends to be more efficient as the sense of community and belonging is often stronger.

3) Make sure that the course you study prepares you well for your future business career. Companies these days are expecting young graduates to be knowledgeable, adaptable and immediately operational. They expect you to be able to grasp the complexity of the business world, and to be able to adapt to changes in the organisation, understand and incorporate technological advances, etc. What is your future degree course doing to help you prepare for your business career? Does it include internships or workshops, both of which will help boost your employability? These factors can make a real difference for your future career.

4) Choose a programme that does not close doors! Some subjects can sound fascinating, but do you really want to study a specific and narrow topic over the course of a three-year degree? Have you looked at employment statistics upon the completion of your course? Employers are increasingly concerned when they see a lack of relevance between a graduate's qualifications and the jobs for which they apply. So make sure that you understand how companies will look at your degree before embarking on a hazardous three-year journey!

5) What are the possibilities of experiencing an international student life? Learning is greatly enhanced when it is experienced in an multicultural setting. Joining an international university will not only mean friends for life from all around the world, but also more reflection on the meaning of what you learn. Is your programme offering opportunities to learn in different cultural settings, which will greatly enhance your capacity to adapt to different contexts? What is the proportion of international students?

6) What content will you actually receive? Students often underestimate the importance of looking at the teaching style of different institutions. Some universities and schools are renowned for their research, but what about their teaching? Many high-school students experience a cultural shock when starting university. They come from a highly structured educational environment, where classes are taught in small groups and they are not left alone for more than a few hours a day. At certain schools or universities, things can be different: receiving less than 10 hours a week of instruction, being taught in large amphitheatres of 300 students, having to work anonymously in a crowed library... It can all be quite daunting, so make sure you understand the type of teaching environment you will be joining!

Of course, choosing an undergraduate programme also includes a series of more personal choices, such as studying in an attractive and cosmopolitan city, or being offered a scholarship. At the end of the day, a good choice is one that combines rational and personal elements. But remember that a well-chosen undergraduate degree could well be the best investment you will ever make!

Find out more about the ESCP Europe Bachelor in Management

<- Back to: News