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The good news about changing your academic plans

December 3, 2018 — 

The following article is published as part of a series of articles on academic advising featuring the writing of University of Manitoba advisors.

 

You’ve taken a few classes, or more than a few, and it hits you: you want to change your program of study. This is actually pretty common. Believe it or not, that’s good news. Changing your mind means you’re still exploring. This is the time to get knowledge, gain experience and gather your options. Meeting with an academic advisor can help you answer important questions and explore different opportunities so you make the best decisions for you.

Some things to think about when exploring your academic degree options:

What are you interested in?

Take the time to consider your interests and values. This will help you set academic and career goals. What you like to do, what you like to learn about, and what feels important to you are all indicators of what will give you a sense of achievement and purpose in your work. 

Being aware of your interests and values will also help you select better course options, make connections with the materials learned in class and identify areas where you can build specialized skills.

What academic requirements do you need?

Find out what is required for degree programs you’re interested in, such as prerequisites, the course load each year, or summer session options. Knowing more about your program expectations can help you discover courses that are suited to your goals and skill development needs.

You can also explore degree requirements on individual course level to find out where different subjects and programs cross paths. Some courses are useful in multiple different degrees and there could be alternative routes to your intended career path.

 What related experiences do you need?

The job market is continuously evolving. With ever-changing job descriptions, technology and skill requirements, it’s more important than ever to take your education outside of the classroom. Connecting with student groups, co-op programs or participating in exchanges and service-learning opportunities are all experiences in which you learn, develop and utilize transferable skills. This will help you to be adaptable and versatile in a changing marketplace. As a bonus, these experiences will look great on your resumé.

Academic advisors are your go-to resource for exploring and expanding your degree options. Ask the questions and explore the answers – it is one of the best ways to use your time on campus!

Academic advisors at the University of Manitoba can be found in each of the faculties and units on campus. Review the advisor list to find out who to contact.

 

Lesley Friesen is the undergraduate program manager in the Faculty of Arts and has been providing academic advising service to new and returning students for over 15 years.

 

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