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Do most people end up getting into the tertiary course they want to get into?

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Many people end up in the course they think they wanted, only to find out it really wasn't for them after all.  Many others don't get the course they wanted, but retain a passion for something and pursue it after doing their first degree (I did).  Not getting your first choices is not the end of the world.  There are so many paths to get into a profession people aren't told about and the key is really to ask people in the profession you want to be in what alternative options there are and where they would prefer to take people from.

There's nothing wrong with calling companies and asking what they look for in a recruit.  The best advice I've received is to put them into the position of being a mentor, don't tell them what you want bluntly, ask them what they would advise, ask them what alternatives there are, which other pathways would also be an advantage to that profession.  It's also worth a great deal to try to get work experience while you do your degree.  You learn ten times faster, you get to find out whether you really do love something or not and future employers look at how you went out and did something for yourself rather than relying on the system incredibly positively.

Many people treat first year as an opportunity to try out what they want and change courses after they decide it's not for them.  There's nothing wrong with this at all.  University is there to teach you not only the things you need to function in many professions, but also how to learn new things for yourself and how to motivate yourself to learn.  Those skills and the connections you make through your course and experience will serve you better in many professions than the actual skills represented by the piece of paper, so aim high but know if you truly want something, there is always another way in.

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