Course Vs College! Which is More Important?

Jun 2015

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Life is like a jigsaw puzzle and the choices we make are the pieces of puzzle. Hence, it is very important that we make right choices in right place.  Our choices have an inevitable but crucial impact on our life. We face a plethora of choices every moment we spend in our life. While, some of these choices have a short term impact on our life, other choices have a vital impact and even lead on to defining our life. Let’s call these the core choices. It won’t be wrong to say that these core choices shape our life.Choosing the right course and the right college are two important career decisions. However, many students commit the mistake of giving more importance to college than course.

With the rise in competition, securing seats in the top colleges and universities like IITs, AIIMS, Delhi University, IIMs, etc. has become a common aspiration of a large number of students. These students also face a common dilemma; whether to pursue a preferred course from a less preferred college or to pursue a less preferred course from the preferred college or university. A lot of students, when asked to select among the above two decisions, select the latter option and settle for the less preferred course, in which they have little or no interest. Let’s look at some demerits of this decision:


Demerits of college oriented career decisions

Finding the right college is very important for a successful career. However, college alone can’t make a successful career. Passion and interest are the key factors for a successful career. When a student gives priority to college over course, there is a bigger chance of ending up in a career that he/she is not passionate about. Let’s take an example, last year a student was aspiring to pursue computer engineering from a NIT. However, he could not secure a seat for computer engineering due to high cut-off. He decided to settle for the available seat of Mechanical Engineering in the same institute. Today, he is finding it difficult to excel in his academics due to lack of interest in the field. Course selection is a life time decision as it decides what you’ll do all your life. Hence, it is important to give priority to course selection over college selection.

There is a bit of discord among educationists in the course vs college debate. While some educationists believe that course should always be given priority, there some educationists who believe that college should be given priority in professional courses and course should be kept first in non-professional courses. This argument of the latter group is based on the fact that students of professional courses have to look for jobs after their graduation and a degree from a good college ensures a job in big companies. However, a job in a big company does not necessarily lead to a successful career. A successful career requires a job where you can excel with your passion, knowledge and interest. If you give preference to college, there is a chance that first you’ll have to struggle to maintain academic excellence and then you might end up in a job that you don’t have interest in.


Priority setting in career decision

Right decisions in right time leads to success in career and in life. When it comes to career, we need to take several small steps in right time to get success. It is very important that we prioritize our decision according to importance. Ideally, a career selection process should begin with first selecting the career we want to pursue. This decision is to be taken according to our own strength, weakness and interest. Once we decide the career, we should look for the courses that can take us towards our desired career and then we should find the colleges that are best for pursuing the course. However, generally students reverse the process completely. They first decide the college they want to get admission in, then they choose among the courses offered by the selected college. After pursuing the course, they go for the careers available for them. In this career selection process, you lose the steering wheel of your life and you have to follow your fate.

If you don’t prioritize your career decisions well, you might end up in a career that you don’t have interest in. This will not only affect your work life, there will be low work satisfaction and the chances of success will also drop down. There is huge amount of work related stress among professionals today and the major factor behind this is the lack of work satisfaction.


Why focus more on course selection

Selecting course is all about pursuing one’s passion. No matter what you want to become in your life, there will always be a course that caters to your interest and takes you towards your dreams. Opting for such course will not only ensures that you find what you study interesting, but it will also be conducive for you to dedicate yourself and work hard at. This also means that you’ll have a far better chance of exceling in the academic performance when you are studying a course that you find interesting. On the other hand, pursuing a course which you find less interesting can undermine your performance. 

You must remember that having a brilliant academic record in a preferred course from a mediocre college is always better than having a mediocre academic record from an exceptional college. The whole career selection process can be summarized in a small line, “do what you love and love what you do”. In other words, not having a good college name in your CV can be compensated by good academic record, but mediocre academic records cannot be compensated by having the best college names on your CV. We can take the example of Satya Nadella, the current CEO of Microsoft; He did not pursue his graduation from IITs or NITs. He pursued it from Manipal Institute of Technology. It was his hard work and intense passion for the course that empowered him to reach the pinnacle of success.


iDC is focused on helping students choose a career in which their potential is maximized. In case you are confused about Course Vs College, which is more important, please post your queries here: SUBMIT