A university course is generally associated with a certain repertoire of HSC subjects.
We often hear things like: “If you want to go into STEM, you need to do science and math subjects. If you want to do a business course, you have to do social sciences/humanities…” Of course, some university courses have prerequisites subjects (i.e. HSC courses that you need to do to get accepted in the course), but other than that, to what extent do your HSC subjects matter in university?
Many university courses build upon knowledge learnt in high school, and some have ‘assumed subjects’ or ‘recommended subjects’. While university coursework is easier when you have done those subjects, it is definitely possible to do well in university – it just means you have to work a bit harder. Furthermore, universities often offer bridging courses in the holidays before the semester starts to help you ‘catch up’ with subjects you did not take in Year 12.
In high school you have limited knowledge of the nature of the work and many are often oblivious to the wide range of career options available. Therefore, it is hard choosing a career pathway so early on. Doing a subject in high school will give you an idea of certain disciplines you may enjoy. However, be aware that your strengths and interests may change over time and that what you learn in your subjects are not indicative of what is involved in industry. A prime example is the current chemistry course – most of the content is irrelevant and because technology is currently evolving at such a rapid pace, most things you learn now will actually be outdated by the time you graduate from university.
Although you should definitely keep in mind the sort of career you are aiming for when selecting HSC subjects, it is not the only factor to consider. Ultimately, just as your ATAR is irrelevant after you get into university, your HSC subjects do not matter in the long run. As long as you do the prerequisite subjects to get into your university course, think about which subjects you will enjoy or do the best in. There are multiple paths you can take to get into the course you desire!