If you have an idea of what your future career may be …
Does your career choice require a specific degree?
Are certain HL subjects needed for you to study for a particular degree?
Employers in different countries may have different attitudes towards the degree you study:
Doctors, solicitors and accountants are examples of the most well known professions.
But, there are several hundred different professions covering a huge range of sectors including:
If you already have some idea of the kind of area you want to go into, explore the options it offers for a professional career.
If you want to enter a profession this may influence your choice of degree course, and possibly also your choice of Higher Level subjects.
For many professions you complete your professional training after you have completed an undergraduate degree… so lots of different degrees can lead to the same outcome.
What does the future hold?
In the future you may well work in jobs:
What employers are looking for is changing:
For some of you, the HL subject choices you make will be more important than others, depending on what you might like to study in the future, and where in the world you might like to study.
Is there a particular subject area that you are interested in specialising in? Does it require specific HL subjects?
Perhaps this will be a subject that you can take at IB, or it could be a subject that you can’t take at IB like Archaeology, Anthropology or Law, but where certain IB subjects might be either useful or essential.
What might this area of study lead on to?
Where in the world might you like to study?
Different countries have different university systems.
Some countries have very specific IB subject requirements, including language requirements, regardless of what subject you specialise in …e.g.
Germany usually requires minimum of SL maths, and require students to take particular categories of subject.
Italy - four different combinations of subjects that you can choose from.
UK - many students take specific degrees (e.g. Medicine, Engineering, Economics, Law) .
USA and Canada – general ‘core’ study before choosing a ‘major’, unless you attend a specialist institution for e.g. Engineering or Art.
Hong Kong and Korea – students often apply to university faculties (e.g. Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Social Science, Faculty of Humanities) and then specialise.
If you are planning on studying for a specific degree it’s important that you check you are taking the right HL subjects
Some students may know what exactly what they want to do in the future (e.g. become an engineer or a vet).
Not sure yet, and want to keep your options open?
Taking one or more of these subjects at Higher Level can keep your higher education options open.
Whilst you can keep your options open to some extent, it depends on the area of study or work that you may want to go into and where in the world you want to study:
Consider taking two, and ideally three of Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics at HL.
Arts or Social Sciences:
There is no set route. A range of subjects can provide good preparation, but one or more of the ‘facilitating’ subjects at HL will be useful.
There are many language degrees open to students who have studied one Language ‘B’ at Higher Level. Some students will also emphasise their linguistic abilities by being taught in English if it is not their native language.
None of the above?
Some subjects just don’t fit these categories.
An arts/science combination may be needed for some degrees:
I have no idea what I want to do or where I want to go!
Standard Level Courses
Take what you enjoy and what you feel will be useful, either for your other IB subjects, or for your chosen degree subject.
Aim for coherence if possible.
A note on Mathematics
For Maths-related courses, the more selective universities require HL Maths. This applies to Economics courses at the most selective universities, and many engineering courses.
Talk to your Teachers !
They will know what you are capable of and how best to excel.
Useful, whether you already have an idea of what you might like to do in the future, or if you have no idea at all.
Keep an open mind!