A Student’s Guide to select the Right Qualification - 5Rs

Congratulations on your decision to follow a course to obtain a degree or diploma. Education is a life long journey that leads you to success and finding the right path in this journey is critical. Selecting the right course to obtain the right qualification is an important decision that we get to make, not once, not twice but many times in our life. There are literally 1000s of degrees, diplomas, and certifications offered by many universities and colleges. However, you need to pick a course that your current and future self can be thankful for.


 “Pick a Course” will guide you in this article to identify your sweet spot of success in life with Select the right qualification to follow based on the “Pick a Course 5R Framework”


Finding the Sweet Spot

The approach to selecting the right career is not outside-in, it's inside out. What we mean by this is 1st you need to thoroughly assess what your interests are and who do you want to be. Your passion for your career matters a lot. We have met individuals who have taken drastic career changes once they’ve understood that they are not passionate about what they do. So, 1st step is to identify what you love the most.

Secondly, you need to understand what can you be the best in the world at. Each of us has many strengths. You could be creative (right brain thinkers) or analytical (left-brain thinkers) or creatively analytical. Do not assess your strengths only from the subjects you scored the most in school, think about what you were good at in life, it could be a sport or a hobby that you are good at or even an aesthetic interest.

Thirdly, these options you have identified should ideally drive your economic engine in the present and future. Therefore, you need to understand the potential earnings that you can make by entering into a job after completing this course. 

The sweet spot is where your passion, strengths, and economic engine intercept. It’s not easy to find the sweet spot, it requires critical evaluation of yourself and the outside opportunities and most importantly you need to find a course/s that will lead you to this sweet spot.

Don’t worry – it’s not hard as it sounds. 

Pick a Course has introduced a comprehensive framework titled 5R to guide to pick a course;


Once you have identified the sweet spot, you need to select a course that will lead you to this sweet spot. It should be relevant to the career you have chosen. This is a challenge most learners face as the course information provided by institutes does not have a link to potential careers. Pick a Course – Pathway Center is a special platform that aims to bridge this gap by visually showing potential career paths that one can follow through each stream. You may be someone who had already covered some distance in your academic and professional path, one important thing that you should remember is that what got you here – won’t take you there, therefore you need to constantly update yourself to stay relevant. Follow our weekly edutainment series to benchmark the brilliance of many professionals.



A very important factor in selecting a degree or diploma is its recognition. We were able to have a fair understanding of their recognition, when there were only a few universities and courses available.  However, now with the overwhelming number of courses and universities available for selection, understanding the recognition of the university and the course becomes important. Follow “Pick a Course Weekly Thought Leadership” videos to comprehend different academic regulatory bodies and the recognition provided by them. For example, University Grants Commission (UGC) Sir Lanka has 3 sets of universities under them,

  • Established
  • Approved
  • Recognized

Recognition of the university is not the only criterion. You also need to understand if the particular course you have selected is recognized too. If you are planning on migrating to let's say Canada, your qualification needs to be recognized by World Education Services (WES). We invite you to follow our YouTube channel for more information on this.


The rank of the university which offers your qualification has become very important due to a large number of universities present today.  There are multiple world university rankings available – with the best-known being the QS World University Rankings®Times Higher Education World University RankingsAcademic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU also known as the Shanghai Ranking and for UK University ranking - The Guardian University Ranking.

We have a dedicated video that discusses university ranking and we invite you to follow that to obtain more knowledge.


The resource panel or the panel of lecturers is crucial for the knowledge you gain through the course. A good resource panel would teach you beyond the course content, sharing their own experiences. Certain technical courses require technical specialists and you will need to evaluate whether the resource panel is well qualified in the subject. For general management subjects the exposure and experience of the panel would truly add value to you. This adds value especially when you are following a degree in Sri Lanka where an affiliated institute will be offering the course. 


Finally, the total investment you have to make for the course becomes a pivotal decision. Just as with everything else in life, good things don’t come cheap. Therefore, you need to fully understand the total investment you will have to incur to complete the course. This includes registration fees, course fees, exam fees, and certain other additional fees from time to time. The rates indicated on the websites tend to change and it's best that you get the course rates via email. Pick a Course has provided you with the facility to compare courses based on the investment as well as to find financial institutions to obtain education loans and many other payment plan options.

We believe you will make an informed decision in choosing the right course in your academic journey to reach your sweet spot. We cannot prescribe a path for you, but our aided discovery can provide you with a free personal consultation to select the right course. Finally, we wish you all the best in your academic journey and want you to remember Pick a Course is the best course of action for learning.