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There’s no doubt that choosing a degree is a tricky task. Many school leavers are urged to decide on their career path while they’re still teenagers, but it’s difficult to know whether you like a course until you start it. If you feel like your current course isn’t right for you, we’ve chatted with some current and former students to find out about your options.

While it can be easy to switch degrees, there’s a cut-off date each semester for course switching. The date for each semester can be found on the application deadlines page. Remember, you may still have to pay course fees if you’re enrolled past the census date. All of the important dates can be found on the Curtin calendar.

Option 1: Switch to a different course

At Curtin, if you meet the criteria you can change to a different course by applying internally through the Admissions Office. Current Curtin student Paris Tenaglia began an Oral Health Therapy course in 2017 but switched to an education degree after her first year.

“I changed because I wasn’t passionate about what I was studying and didn’t feel I could be impactful in that field,” Paris said.

“It was important for me to feel I could make a difference and had purpose in what I was doing. If you get the gut feeling you’re not in the right course, then you’re probably right.”

Source: Iam Se7en (Unsplash) ­­­­

Option 2: Stay in your course

While you may not work in the field of your course, the skills you learn in your studies may still direct you towards your calling. Gloria Anokye completed her degree in Occupational Health and Safety and Health promotion but now works in the social enterprise and humanitarian sector at The Platform.

“Getting to the tail end of my degree, I knew it wasn’t something I could ever see myself working in,” Gloria said.

“I was striving to make the health system better but there is no funding or support from the government so it’s frustrating, but I learnt so much from it as well. It sparked my interest in the humanitarian sector, so it wasn’t completely wasted. I learnt being analytical and specific in both fields is very essential.”

Source: Andre Hunter (Unsplash)

Option 3: Add on further studies

University of Western Australia student Nikki Nguyen is currently studying a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Economics and Finance. After doing an internship and participating in networking events, Nikki realised the jobs she could get with her degree were not suitable for her. She then decided to enrol in a Master of Teaching (Secondary).

“While I had an idea of what career path I would go on when choosing my degree, getting experience in it showed me aspects that I didn’t realise the job entailed,” Nikki said.

“Although I like the content I learn in my course, it is quite different to what you do in the workplace. So, I extended my study to continue learning my majors but directing me to a different career

Option 4: Take some time off

You may find taking a break from study can help you figure out what you want to do. Sinead Lofthouse began studying a nursing degree but soon found the style of learning wasn’t for her.  After taking a year off, she began studying a Diploma of Mental Health at TAFE which allowed her to accomplish her goal to help people.

“You need to be able to balance life better than what I did. Balance is key and being able to handle those stressors of having so many assignments and exams all at once,” Sinead said.

“If you do want to do it, possibly think about other ways to accomplish it and maybe don’t rush yourself into things.”

Source: Valeriia Bugaiova

Chat to a career counsellor!

You don’t have to figure this out alone. There’s a range of career development support and related services and programs available on campus to guide you through your options at university and beyond. For more information about these services and programs, please visit Curtin Careers, Employment & Leadership at Curtin Connect (B102) or email careers@curtin.edu.au