Finding the right degree for you

If you’re thinking about studying at university, you might be wondering where to start and how to find the right degree for your career goals.

We’re here to help at each step of your study journey. University is a place for everyone and it’s never too late to get started with study.

Before you make the final decision to apply, go through this checklist to give yourself the best chance at success. 

Step 1. Find your why

Before you look at programs and courses, decide on your Why.

Your Why may not be a particular job - although sometimes it is!

Your Why could be: 

  • making a difference to your community (or the world!); 
  • helping people; 
  • advancing your existing career; or 
  • finding a completely new direction. 

When you’re choosing your program, make sure you ask yourself, will this help me get to my Why? 

Step 2: Do your career research

Now is the time to think about where you want your studies to take you. There’s plenty of free online resources you can use to find information on industry and labour trends, the skills or qualifications needed for specific jobs, and current opportunities in your desired field. Here’s a few we recommend as a starting point: 

Use these resources to learn what programs or courses can help you reach your goals.  

Step 3: Think about how you’ll study

Once you’ve thought about why you’d like to study, it’s important to consider how you’d like to study. If you have family, work, or other commitments consider studying part time or online. Many programs at USC are offered online. Programs that aren’t fully online are often delivered using a mix of online and face to face teaching, which may mean only a few hours of on-campus time a week (depending on how many courses you study). 

When you’re choosing your program, remember that USC has a range of flexible study options to help you fit study into your existing commitments.  

Step 4: Start exploring programs

The USC website provides detailed information on the range of programs available to study. Here you can learn about what you’ll study, and how. At USC, we call subjects ‘courses’ and the degree you’re studying is a ‘program’. Some key information to consider is:  

Program structure
What courses will I study?  

Each program is made up of a number of courses, and each course has a course outline. These outlines are full of useful information such as the number of hours you’ll spend in class per week, the topics you can expect to learn in the course, and the assessment pieces you’ll need to complete. Have a look at the course outlines for the programs you’re considering and decide if the content is interesting and will help you meet your goals.   

Entry requirements
What study or experience do I need to get into this program?  

Each program will have specific requirements you need to meet before you are accepted. Check if you need to complete any other study or any mandatory requirements before you can get started in your program. Remember the Tertiary Preparation Program (TPP) is a great way to help you meet entry requirements and prepare you for university study.  

Program duration and start
When can I start, and how long does it take? 

Some programs only start in specific semesters, so it’s good to check when you're able to start. It’s also a good idea to know how long your program goes for (just remember, the duration listed on the website is the minimum time it will usually take to finish your degree). Keep this in mind to help you plan how university will fit in with your other commitments.   

If you’re not sure about committing to a full three- or four-year Bachelor degree, USC has a number of shorter programs such as Diplomas and Associate Degrees. These are good options to “test out” studying in a discipline and can often be used as credit toward larger programs (depending on what and where you choose to study).  

Once you’ve explored this information you should be down to one or two key programs you’d like to apply for.  
Step 5: Ask and apply

Now it’s time to Apply!

If you’re still a little uncertain about the right program for you, book a Future Student Career Appointment with the USC Careers Advisers, they can discuss your career and study options to help you choose the best program to meet your goals.