Having Trouble Choosing a Program?

Posted by York & U on November 30, 2011


           When you’re applying for university, choosing a program can be just as difficult as choosing the school itself. Not only will does your program dictate the degree you receive, but it influences what you learn, how you learn and what employment opportunities are available to you before and after graduation. It’s a big decision.

Generally, there are two things that can help you decide which program to enroll in: what you enjoy and what your career goals are. Personally, I think a blend of the two is best. Or at the very least, a program that allows you to blend the two within your studies. This way you’ll enjoy what you’re studying while also working towards your career goals. You should also look at why these are your goals or interests. Are you good at what the job demands? Do enjoy the work? Do you like the subject matter? Do you enjoy the sort of assignments the program requires? Do you perform well in the atmosphere created by the program or career? These are all important questions to ask yourself.

Once you’ve figured out what your goals and interests are, you need to look specifically at the programs we offer. Many of our programs cover similar subject matter with subtle – yet all too important – differences. For example, the Communications Studies program seems like an umbrella for everyone looking to go into the communications field; however, those interested in the technology behind it might be more interested in the Information Technology program. Or, if you’re interested in both the technology and the actual communications process, Digital Media might be better for you.

Similarly, we also offer a number of Computer Science-related programs that all provide varying information. We have Computer Science (offered both a BA and a BSc as well as an iBA or iBSc), Computer Engineering and Computer Security (again with a BA and a BSc option) – and they’re all a little different. For example, the BA options usually look at more of the sociological aspects of the subject whereas the BSc will allow you to explore the way in which the subject interacts with other science disciplines. Looking at the programs themselves, each looks at a slightly different aspect of computers; Computer Science looks at how computers work in general, Computer Security looks at the protection of data and privacy as well as malicious software and Computer Engineering explores the development of software and hardware. Although these programs all seem to be quite similar, students in each program graduate with very different knowledge of how computers work.

To navigate this, I suggest going through the Future Students website or the handbook and writing down each program that you think might be interesting. You might also want to write down a few key aspects of the program, such as what the goals are or what the core subject matter is. Afterwards, go through your list and see which of these might suit your goals or interests best. If you can’t think of anything that suits your needs, you can always start an undecided major and explore what the University has to offer.

Choosing a program might seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Just take your time, think about what you need and want and remember that you can always change later on down the line. Feel free to ask questions about programs here, on our Facebook or our Twitter. We’re more than happy to help you out.