The first task in your career journey: Your subject choice decision
Grade 9 is the year where you have to decide what subjects you are going to take into the senior years of high school. This is a very important decision and the very first career decision you will probably make. This decision forms the foundation of your career and will inform the direction your career takes. By now, you may be asking yourself a lot of questions such as should I take the subjects that I really enjoy or the subjects that will lead to more career opportunities? What about mathematics vs math’s lit? Does it make a difference? These are all very important questions for you to think about. The answers are specific to you and the career journey you would like to take. The good news is that there are some things that you can do to help you with this decision. Here are some ideas for you:
- Use your friend google to look up the prospectuses (brochure on programs offered) of different universities. This will give you an idea of what programs the different universities offer and what their admission requirement are. You will notice they will look at how well you have done in general as well as what subjects you took and how well you did in them.
- Think about which subjects will give you more options after school. If you have some interest in engineering, medicine or science for example; make sure that you take mathematics and physical science. If your interests lie more in the arts, think about taking ‘visual arts’ or ‘drama’ as this will help you to build up a portfolio of work that you will need when applying for related programs.
- Think broadly about what you see yourself doing in the future and find out what subjects you would need to make that happen. If you are thinking about going into the medical field for example, mathematics, physical and life science might be a good combination. If you are thinking about going into law, make sure that you do well in your language subjects and consider taking history (although it is not a requirement).
- Choose subjects that you enjoy and can see yourself studying further.
- Sometimes we enjoy subjects because we have a really good teacher, remember that your teacher for that subject might change. It is therefore important to choose your subjects based on a genuine interest and enjoyment of the subjects.
- Lastly, although it is good to choose subjects that you enjoy as you will likely to be more motivated to study and perform well in these subjects, there might be subjects that you don’t necessarily enjoy but that will allow you to pursue the career of your choosing. This is also really important to consider. For example, you may not enjoy mathematics but this subject will allow you to pursue a career in nursing which might be something that you really want.
If you are struggling to make up your mind about what subjects you would like to take further into your senior years, you could consider taking a subject choice assessment. This assessment will look at your aptitude (what you are naturally good at), personality and interests to guide you in making the best decision for you and your future. These assessments can be done remotely using zoom and other technologies and will just take a few hours out of your day.