How to Plan Your Tertiary Education

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Tertiary Education

Also called as higher or postsecondary education, Tertiary education comprehensively refers to studies undertaken after completion of schooling. Encompassing academic, professional, vocational and skill-based education, the importance of tertiary education has transcended the traditional purposes of knowledge dissemination and has been increasingly implemented as a means of upliftment of society. While the already established systems of higher education around the world, namely the UK Education System or Australian Education System, amongst others are followed by many other countries including India, the Chinese Education System and South Korean Education System are setting an example for alternative methods of learning and teaching. Owing to the significance it carries in the current times, giving serious thought to planning your tertiary education has become a staple activity. This blog aims to explore the question of how to plan your tertiary education as well as its crucial importance in contemporary times.


As discussed, tertiary education is a wide-ranging term which covers traditional academic, professional and research courses as well as vocational and skill-based courses. It is offered in the shape of bachelor, master and doctoral degrees depending on the nature of the program. Individuals have the option to choose from a variety of disciplines, for example, STEM courses or social science courses, amongst others. However, owing to the plethora of choices in front, it is necessary that candidates assess the suitability of fields in accordance with their skills, abilities and aspirations.

Want to know more about other systems in the world, refer to:

Tertiary Education: The First Step

While beginning your first phase of tertiary education, you have a variety of options namely, bachelor, diploma or international baccalaureate. The subject combination taken during the higher secondary stage of schooling also plays a huge role in determining your future track. Moreover, while a considerable majority of students prefer to continue and build on their previous school studies, many shifts to different disciplines as well. Whichever field you choose, it is crucial to think about pursuing tertiary education not as a burden but as a stepping stone towards a fulfilling career and to have a positive outlook towards it. As a suggestion, building a professional or research inclination helps in narrowing down your choices too.

Course vs University

Often, students struggle to prioritise between the course and university. Deciding between a course and a university is a tough job, especially when considering the consequences of one wrong decision taken can have far-reaching effects. Arguments favour both sides equally but going by the long-term goal of career satisfaction, picking a course closely related to your field of interest pays high dividends afterwards. However, making a career is not solely a function fulfilled by a course or a university, one needs to put in consistent efforts and utter dedication to reach their specified goals. 

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Tertiary Education: Professional or Technical vs Academics

In the current education system in India, the proportion of students shifting towards professional or technical courses has substantially risen. This is demonstrated by the growing number of graduates from B.Tech/MTech/MBBS/BCA degrees in comparison to the more academically inclined BSc or MSc degrees. Another question this dilemma poses for prospective students is how to account for the change in course structure in both the categories of degree programs, for instance, an MSc in Economics and MA Economics may both deal with core concepts of Economics but will differ in course objectives and approach. 

Entry Requirements

In order to commence your studies in a particular course, you need to go through the unrelenting admission process of universities which pervades almost every level of tertiary education, saving online programs. While specialized degree programs such as an MSc Physics or MCA usually require prior qualification in the concerned field, interdisciplinary programs such as MBA may not have any strict background requirements. To apply to institutions in India as well as abroad, the admission process is generally conducted through entrance examinations, such as SAT, GRE, GMAT CAT, NEET etc. Moreover, for application, IELTS/TOEFL scores, statement of purpose (SOP), and letters of recommendation (LORs), must be submitted as required. 

Note: However, additional eligibility criteria may apply and so, students are advised to visit the official institution’s website for course-related information.

Also Read: Grading System in India


What are the 3 educational levels?

Early childhood education is followed by primary school (known as an elementary school in the US), middle school, secondary school (known as high school in the US), and finally postsecondary (tertiary) education.

What is the difference between higher education and tertiary education?

Higher education is higher education that leads to the award of a degree. Higher education, also known as post-secondary education, third-level education, or tertiary education, is an optional last step of formal learning that happens after secondary school.

Is Tertiary a degree?

Tertiary education, often known as post-secondary education, includes all levels of education beyond high school, including undergraduate and graduate degrees. Certificates, diplomas, and academic degrees are examples of credentials.

Tertiary education, as considered by the World Bank, helps individuals to contribute to society not only economically but also intellectually and environmentally. Needless to say, this monumental decision requires unmatched thought and consideration. For guidance or assistance at any step of your career journey, you can always reach out to our experienced counsellors at Leverage Edu so that you take the right step towards building a rewarding career.

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