We will see about the questions to ask college alumni in this blog. Your college years will probably be one of the most exciting times in your life. You might have to move to a different, city, state or for those who are fortunate enough, a different country. College is a whole lot different from high school so there are numerous things to consider when going to college. What is great is that you wouldn’t be the first person to go to college so many people can give you some good advice that will help you get through college.
Going to college is a big step, you might even be the first in your family to go there. The experience can be very overwhelming so it is best to prepare as best as you can when considering going to college. College alumni are the best people to talk to if you have any questions about college because they have gone through college. When you get the opportunity to speak to college alumni use this opportunity to ask as many questions as you need to if they allow you to. You should do your best to ask the right questions so that you get useful answers from the alumni. Here are a few questions you can ask college alumni:
Questions to ask college alumni
Let’s take a deeper look into some of the questions that you should ask college alumni and why you should ask these questions.
- What College degree did they do?
One of the most important questions to ask a college alumnus is what degree they studied. By asking this question you can see if this is the best person to talk to about college. You need to try to find alumni that have done the courses you are interested in so that you can get the most useful information about the degree you want to study. Keep in mind that people might go to the same college and have an entirely different experience simply because they studied different degrees.
- Which college did they go to?
This is an important question because not every college will have the degree you might want to study for. Asking alumni what college they went to will give you an idea of which colleges offer the degree that you want to study.
- How long did it take complete their college degree?
It normally takes a couple of years to complete a college degree. Each degree will have its study duration. It is important to keep in mind how many years you are willing to be a college student. Some qualifications, like medicine, can take up to 7 years to complete. This is a big sacrifice to make, so you need to know how long it will take for you to get your qualification.
- What are the requirements to get into your desired course?
This is one of the first questions you should ask because it will determine whether you will qualify to study for the degree that you want. College courses have minimum requirements you must adhere to, and different courses have different requirements. For example, if you are going to study a science course like physics, one of the requirements is that you took science subjects in high school. There is also a minimum high school GPA for each course.
If you know what the minimum requirements are to get into the course that you want, then you can prepare while you are still in high school to meet the requirements. You can also look at a college prospectus to find a detailed description of the requirements for each course they offer. A college prospectus is a booklet you can find on a college website that gives you detailed information on the admission requirements.
- How difficult is the course?
Every college course is different, some are more difficult than others. The very difficult courses normally require more time and determination from you. It is important to understand that some college courses are very demanding so you might have a non-extant social life. If you want to join all those fun and exciting college societies and explore different activities on campus keep in mind that the course, you pick will affect the amount of time you have to have the full college experience.
- Which subjects should you stay from?
One of the crucial things to ask alumni about to an alumnus is which modules to stay away from. Each college course has compulsory subjects that you have to take, and others are optional. Some modules can make your college experience unnecessarily difficult. You may pick an optional subject because you find it interesting or because you just had to pick one to fill an empty slot. Some people make the terrible mistake of not asking about an optional subject before taking it. Picking a difficult, optional subject can make your college life unnecessarily difficult, especially if you don’t have to take that subject to complete your qualification.
- Was the course expensive?
College is very expensive, some parents save up for years to be able to get their children into college. Although college is generally expensive, some courses are pricier than others. It is very important to know if you will afford to take the course. If you cannot afford the course, there are other ways to pay for like
- Applying for student financial aid
- Applying for a student loan.
- Applying for a scholarship.
- Getting a part-time job to pay for your studies.
- Finding private loans
- What scholarships are available for that course?
There are scholarships available for high performing students in different industries. You can ask alumni to advise you on where to find scholarship opportunities in their industry and what time of the year they come out. If you know which scholarships to apply for, you can send an application as soon as possible.
It is also good to know if you will have to work for the company if you get their scholarship. Having to work for a company that sponsored your studies can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. It can be a good deal because you know you can get work experience immediately after college. It can be a bad thing if you find a better opportunity after college, but you must first work for the company that paid for your studies first before looking for other employers.
- Were they able to get internships?
It’s good to ask the alumni what internships to look out for and which companies normally offer them. Internships help you bridge the gap between college and your first job. There might be some internships you can apply for while you are in college to help you gain work experience while you are studying. Having work experience on your resume gives you a competitive advantage when looking for work. Some internships can be upgraded to permanent positions if you apply yourself.
- Can they mentor you?
You can ask the alumnus to mentor you so that you have their guidance through college and when you begin your career. Having a mentor can help you make the best decision when it comes to which college to go to and which companies to choose when looking for an internship. A mentor can help you gain good industry connections to help you get ahead in your career. A mentor can also invite you into their workspace so that you can see for yourself what the day-to-day work looks like in your desired field. You can also ask to shadow your mentor for some time so that you can understand what their responsibilities are in your desired industry.
- Was it easy to get a job?
One of the biggest problems faced by college students is finding work after college. It is generally difficult to find good work these days. The truth is no matter how good your grades are in college if the industry you are going into is not in demand for your knowledge and skills it will be difficult to find a job. If you don’t come from a privileged background and you need to make an income as soon as you leave college, knowing how easy it is to find work is vital.
- How much did their degree count in finding a job?
Going to college and getting a degree is very valuable and it allows you to work in many industries. However, there are many good jobs you can get without having to go to college that pay well. There are other ways to gain industry knowledge without going to college. There are skills you can teach yourself online by reading a couple of books and subscribing to online courses that could take just a few months.
Find out from the alumni if they think their degree was necessary to get their job and if there are other routes you can take. College is expensive it will be very helpful to know if there is another way to get certain qualifications. One industry that’s on the rise right now, is the tech industry, which is very broad. There are many jobs in tech that you can get without a college degree if you can have access to the internet and teach yourself the skills
- What are the different career options they had?
You might have an interest in a specific subject, but you might not know all the career options you would have access to if you studied this subject. This is where college alumni are useful as well. You may have looked up on the internet, the different career options you can get if you get a certain degree but talking to alumni can give you a more realistic outlook on your career prospects. You can also ask the alumni which career options in their industry are high paying and which ones have a good work-life balance.
- Do they advise doing a postgraduate qualification?
There is a lot of competition for jobs out there even for college graduates. Depending on the industry you want to work in, you may or may not have to get a postgraduate qualification. One of the things that some college students do is to obtain a postgraduate qualification to look more desirable for certain jobs and or get a salary boost.
There are many qualifications where you don’t have to gain a postgraduate qualification to get started in your career. There are industries such as medicine and clinical psychology, where you must get a postgraduate degree to start working in the field. It is very important to know whether you need a postgraduate degree because doing a postgraduate degree adds to the number of years you will be a college student. Not everyone is willing to commit to more than 4 years of college.
Going to college can be one of the best experiences in your life. It is a rite of passage for a lot of people. It can be difficult having to think about all the different things to consider when going to college. College alumni are a great resource to use to gather as much information as you can about obtaining your college degree and the opportunities available to you afterwards. You must have a good list of questions to ask college alumni who are in the industry that you want to get into. If the alumni are willing to engage with you make sure you have valuable questions to ask them. The answers you get from the alumni can help you navigate through college knowing what to expect.