THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR WHEN CHOOSING A PRIVATE SCHOOL
Got your results recently and it doesn't allow you to go to the course that you wanted.
Now the question comes, do you want to make do with the course that you didn't want to study and waste 2-3 years, and potentially another 40 working years, of your life doing a job you dislike or will you want to choose the more unconventional way of taking up the course you prefer in a private school?
Worry not because you are not alone.
1 in 3 interviewed in our recent survey says they didn't got into the course they initially wanted and went into it anyway. Among them, as many as 82% of them went on to study part-time in a private school after working to pursue their initial interest so that they can get out of a job they don't enjoy.
It seems like going directly to study in a course you have interest in will actually save yourself much time and money.
Choosing a private institution
Unlike choosing a government or mainstream school, it is not really that straightforward when you are looking for a private school to study in.
Different private schools actually have different standards, ways of teaching, etc., and so it is very important you carefully select one that suits you most.
Let us go through the steps of choosing the right course and school with you.
1. What are the options to study?
If you have to give up your day job in order to go back to classroom again, it doesn’t really make a lot of sense- financially or logically.
Firstly, you will lose the very income you need to survive and pay your school fees.
Secondly, you will not gain the valuable experience your job is going to provide you with.
If you are already working, try looking for a school with a part-time option. If you don’t need to give up everything in life for an education, then probably you shouldn’t.
Maintaining your current lifestyle and, at the same time, making steps towards your goal of a career switch will make a lot more sense, especially when you have the option to.
2. Your Interest
It is important to know what you enjoy doing before deciding if to pursue that as a long-term career.
Considering that you most probably need to work for more than 30 years in your life, it really doesn't help for you to continue doing what you don’t like, hoping that one day something will happen and change everything drastically, in your favour.
You have to make that first step.
The fact that you are looking for a private school already signals your intention to change things. So why bother studying something you don’t like again?
Make the change today; take up something you like doing even if that means getting a second diploma in life.
3. How many roles can you take up in future?
Look into the modules that are being offered. Are they all theory or can you learn some skills (software, programming, etc.) in the course? It will be more valuable when the knowledge you acquire is not something you can learn easily by borrowing a book from the library.
Apart from that, how many different kind of majors does the diploma/degree has?
If a diploma has more disciplines, you will find it much easier for you to do a career switch next time when you realised that the course you have studied is not really what you enjoy working as.
There are also more options for you when you want to pursue a postgraduate programme in the future.
4. Who are your lecturers?
Are the lecturers current industry practitioners or full time lecturers with only academic experience?
Not saying all full time lecturers are bad but they may not have enough hands-on experience on the latest trends in the market and may lose out in imparting relevant current knowledge to the students.
Current industry practitioners are also good contacts for future use when you need a referral or to get a job done.
They tend to share good and interesting stories they have encountered which may help you avoid possible pitfalls in the future when you embark on your new career.
5. Location of the school
We all know how tiring it can be after a long day at work. The last thing you want to do is to travel/walk another hour before you can start your night classes.
You will feel like quitting halfway through the course and that is the last thing you need.
Most private schools are in the central district and are ideal in terms of accessibility. Please do not find trouble for yourself and enrol in a school that is located in the west when you are working in the east.
Rule of thumb, if you find it very far even when you are going there for the first time to sign the contract to study, perhaps it IS really too far for daily commuting for the next 1-2 years.
Try finding a school that is near to a MRT station too if you do not have your own transport.