As future high-school graduates get ready to state their wishes and their choice of orientation, you may be among those who do not yet have a clear idea of their career plans. From business schools and preparatory classes to engineering schools, there is a wide range of post-baccalaureate programmes available in higher education, and you are still looking for a career path? Here is our orientation guide to help you choose your future degree programme!
The different post high school diploma programs
From public to private education, post-graduate studies are brimming with solutions designed to help you achieve the ideal career plan for you. A wide spectrum of programs and opportunities are available to you, so it's up to you to choose what's best for you.
The university has a wide range of training courses in many domains and sectors: medicine, literature, mathematics, political science, business management and administration, engineering...
Being public institutions of higher education, universities also follow the typical LMD (Licence Master Doctorate) structure of the university system.
For example, after the baccalaureate, you can choose to join the university of your choice as a graduate (bachelor), but you can also opt for a University Diploma of Technology (DUT) at a Technical University Institute (IUT).
While the theoretical courses in the faculty are mainly based on lectures given in auditoriums that can accommodate more than a hundred students for some of them, the DUT benefits from a framework almost similar to that which future students will have been used to as high school students: courses organised in classrooms of about twenty to thirty students. The attendance in Licence is only determined by your performance in the exams, whereas in DUT, it will be supervised according to your presence in class and your behavior.
Then, regardless of whether you have chosen a bachelor's degree or a DUT, you will have the opportunity to pursue your studies, if you wish, until you obtain a master's degree equivalent to five years of higher education.
The "Brevet de Technicien Supérieur" (BTS/HDN) is known for its relatively short-term duration and the diploma it grants after two years of higher education, leading to a diploma recognised by the French state at the level of Bac +2 – 2-year after your high diploma.
Nevertheless, nothing prevents you from pursuing studies after a BTS to reach a bachelor's or master's degree level.
The HND is a popular diploma for its wide choice of sectors and fields that it covers: from construction to hairdressing, as well as business management professions such as international trade or communication.
Some business schools have a competitive admission process that requires successful completion of preparatory classes (also called CPGEs) devoted to the preparation of these entrance exams. Whether it is after a Bac S, a Bac ES or a Bac L, these preparatory classes themselves have an admission procedure based on an application file and prepare you in one to three years for entry into the school of your choice: business, engineering, medicine... once again, there are many ways to join the elite!
Higher education institutions
Lastly, it is also possible to go to a higher education institution (engineering school, business school or other specialised schools) directly after your senior year. Indeed, for some schools, such as the IPAG Business School, admission is based on competitive entrance exams, especially to be admitted to our Grande Ecole Programme and on a dossier for our courses such as our Bachelor's degree (sometimes with written and/or oral tests and additional motivational interviews). These competitive entrance exams are organised before the academic year starts and sometimes even before you start your baccalaureate or even before you have passed your baccalaureate.
How can I find help with my Post-High School orientation?
Are you already aware of the courses available after your baccalaureate, but still have no idea which path after the baccalaureate would suit you best? Fortunately, you are not alone! Depending on your needs, you can take advantage of various support services by contacting the appropriate interlocutor:
- Your relatives: they are the ones who best know you! They can be valuable advisors and psychologists to accompany you in your choice of orientation.
- Your professional network: student job, family relations, acquaintances, you are still in high school, but you already have your professional network. This network can provide you with a range of advice on post-baccalaureate orientation, particularly from their own school and professional experiences.
- Student fairs: you can meet students from different postgraduate schools and universities who will be able to share with you the different types of training available, as well as their own experience within the institution. They will be able to inform you about the admission procedure and how to apply, guide you according to your educational project and tell you in which areas you can focus on. To get in touch with our students, come and meet us during our various events and open days!
- High school staff (teachers, counselor or guidance advisor...): as you prepare to make your post-baccalaureate choices on Parcoursup, take advantage of this period to talk to the staff at your school who will be able to inform you about your options and can also offer you an orientation assessment.
Our advice on how to choose the right programme after the High School diploma
As a conclusion, here are a few tips to help you choose the right post-bac orientation:
- Properly define your professional project: Whether you have a clear or vague idea of your ideal career, you can now already know in which sector you would like to continue your studies.
- Identify career possibilities: Whether you are a final year student or already have passed your high school diploma, you can already find out about the jobs and professional opportunities available to you after your studies. This will allow you to visualize the career that awaits you.
- Find out more about the different courses: Public events, fairs, alumni... are all available means at your disposal to gather as much information as possible on the training courses that you are interested in and above all to check which ones meet your selection criteria (selective training, professional insertion, teachings, specialisations etc.).
Lastly, it is important to bear in mind that many schools allow you to benefit from a reorientation thanks to their programs offered at the delayed start of the school year, which allows you to change your curriculum in the middle of the year and thus prevent you from wasting a year.