how to see more clearly in the hodgepodge of training, one month before the closing of vows

The post-baccalaureate orientation platform is full of information that is not always easy to decipher. Others are still to be found outside the site.

Only one month left to express your wishes. The Parcoursup platform, which opened in December, allows each student to submit around ten training wishes, not prioritized, until Thursday March 14. After analysis of the files by higher education teachers, candidates will receive a response on May 30. Proposals will then be sent throughout the main admissions phase, which closes on July 12.

This orientation period is a source of stress for many young people. And although Parcoursup has grown from year to year, it is not always easy to understand the information found there. With 23,000 formations, the site is like a large jungle. This 2024 edition, however, allows them to be better compared using a search engine.

Franceinfo helps you sort through the thousands of courses offered on the platform and optimize your chances of integrating a training course that suits you.

Find out about the type of establishment

Three types of establishments are present on Parcoursup: public establishments (78%), private establishments contracted with the State (19%) and other private training courses (3%), which are necessarily subject to recognition by the State. Jérôme Teillard, head of Parcoursup for the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, explains the difference between these two “kinds” of private.

“On the platform, there are on the one hand private establishments under contract, which notably carry national diplomas. This concerns for example high schools with preparatory classes or BTS, as well as private higher education establishments of general interest (EESPIG). On the other hand, there are private establishments which are not linked by a contractual relationship with the State. But they all benefit from recognition by the MESR for specific training, an essential condition to be listed on Parcoursup”explains Jérôme Teillard.

Clearly, you will only find private sectors recognized by the State on Parcoursup. We speak of a “targeted” diploma, at the end of an evaluation procedure by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research. Apart from Parcoursup, you can refer to the Ministry’s Official Bulletin, which lists the diplomas with a visa.

Pay attention to the degree of the diploma

Big point of vigilance: there are, on Parcoursup but especially outside, diplomas called “bachelor” which do not award the degree of license. Public establishments carry national diplomas (licenses, masters, doctorates) and private establishments have establishment diplomas (such as bachelors or masters). However, there are exceptions in the private sector, with establishments able to issue the degree of license thanks to the approval of the Ministry of Higher Education. This degree should be considered for two reasons: it allows you to continue your master’s studies or access a job anywhere in the world.

If you want to integrate quickly into the professional world, with a clear idea of ​​the profession, consider apprenticeship. There are 9,000 of these training courses on Parcoursup. They are subject to quality certification, Qualiopi, and registered in the National Directory of Professional Certification (RNCP). Please note, this registration guarantees the level of the professional qualification, but not its academic level. And for good reason: the issuance of RNCP titles remains confined to the Ministry of Labor, while diplomas fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Higher Education.

Consult the training label

Higher education is full of labels on the quality of training. On Parcoursup, all training courses, both public and private, are certified by the State. Outside of the platform, there are, on certain private school sites, labels which have not been issued by the MESR”, stipulates Jérôme Teillard. You can check it at a glance: the state labels are dark blue and have a hexagonal shape. They are also listed on the ministry website.

Among the labels in the private sector, the EESPIG (private higher education establishment of general interest) remains the best known and recognized. It was created by the Ministry of Higher Education in 2013 and brings together around sixty establishments. “These are all private, associative, non-profit schools, which participate in a mission of public interest”explain Delphine Blanc-Le Quilliec, general delegate of Fesic, a federation of private establishments, all labeled EESPIG. The EESPIG logo is, according to her, a guarantee “a set of guarantees”including that whichthe establishment will not go out of business”.

Be attentive to selectivity

You will find selective and non-selective training courses on Parcoursup. Those which are not: certain licenses, specific health access courses (PASS) and preparatory courses for school teaching (PPPE). Those which are: preparatory classes for the Grandes Ecoles (CPGE), BTS, schools of architecture, engineering, business or even nursing training institutes (IFSI). On the site, each training course also specifies the access rate, i.e. the proportion of candidates who have received an admission offer.

In order to best prepare your application, keep in mind the expectations of each sector. To do this, go through the “understand the criteria for analyzing applications” and “consult the application procedures” tabs. To put all the chances on your side, don’t hesitate to mix selective and non-selective wishes. Example: commerce is not the prerogative of private schools, think about university. Do you want to do journalism? Sciences Po is a very good option, but the history, information-communication or even law degrees will also give you a great background.

Check Tuition Fees

If your finances are limited, three filters on the Parcoursup search engine can help you select your wishes. First, the type of establishment. For the public, registration fees are around 170 euros for a year of license. In the private sector, it is not uncommon for tuition fees to reach 10,000 euros, like business schools. You can then choose a geographical area, to find training courses close to your family home, but also in a city where the cost of living is relatively low. Finally, do not hesitate to check the “boarding school” box to view the establishments that have it. The site also allows you, via the “preparing for student life” tab, to find out about financial aid in higher education, regardless of the sector.

Read the training model

When choosing a course, we are often tempted to think of “opportunities”. “The big wave right now is to say : you have to learn useful things to find a job afterwards. However, higher education can be long. You might as well use them to learn things in which you have an intellectual interest.”underlines François Sarfati, sociologist specializing in higher education. On Parcoursup, each training course has a presentation tab, but to go further, the sites of the establishments in question remain more complete. You will find there the course models by semester.

Ask for opinions from other students

To ensure that the promise kept on paper is real, the opinion of current students of the training, or former graduates, will be valuable to you. Parcoursup offers homogeneous information, this is the objective of the training sheet, to allow high school students to compare. But consulting the platform should never replace more personal time making contact with the people responsible for supporting high school students’ choices, such as speaking with their main teacher or even going to open days. I encourage high school students to participate, even by video. Sometimes, it is really through this dialogue that we can get a concrete idea of ​​the training and realize if it suits us at all., advises Jérôme Teillard. The dates of these days are available on the platform, for each training course that sets them up.

If you cannot get there, and a video is not offered by the establishment, do not hesitate to contact students on professional social networks, such as LinkedIn. In addition to the course progress and career opportunities, these students will be able to provide you with information about student life in the broad sense. What associations are present on campus? Is a student newspaper in place? What sports are offered? Do conferences take place? This information is, at present, not available on the platform. But the ministry wishes to make it evolve in this direction during future editions.

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