Changing Tracks after Polytechnic

You’re nearing the end of your diploma course but you’re thinking of exploring a new field. How can you discover a new area of interest to make it your expertise?
Anne Grace Savitha
Writer, gradsingapore

Halfway through your diploma, you may have uncovered your interest in a new field and hope to pursue it. There are a lot of questions running through your mind. Will I be able to pursue my passion in university? Will I be able to chase my dreams? What am I going to do next? If you have decided to explore a new area of study, here are some steps you can follow to figure out the switch, and how to make it work for you.

1. Talk to the right people

Do not make the decision of switching fields based only on your own reasoning. Get to know and consult people who are already in that particular field. Get as many perspectives as possible and weigh the pros and the cons of pursuing a new field in university. The new area of study that you are after can definitely be complementary to your current diploma pursuit, if you understand your professional edge and personality strengths.

Approach the career counsellors in your polytechnic and speak to any lecturer you are comfortable with as they can assist you with the information that you need on choosing a path suited for yourself. Do not simply rush into something new rashly only to realise that you are not ready for it.

2. Go the extra mile

Choosing a completely new course in university will require hard work from yourself to adapt to a new style of learning, let alone fresh content and entirely new technical concepts and abstract ideas to pick up. You may need some introductory modules to prepare you and you will feel that you’re a greenhorn at the beginning.

Do find out about the course you want to pursue and the entry requirements. Understand the different entry requirements, and check if you need any proficiency or entrance exams to get through the door.

3. Register for and complete online courses

The Internet is a great resource platform for you to fuel yourself with knowledge in the new field that you want to pursue. Reading up about is essential, but taking online courses with the assessments and certification enhances your understanding better. As you can be graded at the same time, there will be more motivation for you to complete through the entire course. Take one step at a time instead of being pressured and feeling like you are not up to speed.  This will be a good preparation for you before commencing a new course in university.

4. Do your own research

You’ve decided on the course that you want to study. That’s great, but you should also consider the universities which you can apply for. The university is a crucial environment for shaping you to be a professional in future – check if there are fruitful co-curricular activities and meaningful exchange programmes and internships which you can sign up for. Ask your seniors or friends who are already in university and even doing a different course from their diploma, so that you can consider if that will be a viable path for you after your diploma.

The idea of changing courses might seem challenging but it would help you gain an added advantage in your career pathway if you know how to chart your development and wield your strengths. Make an informed decision so that you won’t regret your decision!