Choose a thesis topic you can use in your career

Have you found the best topic? Or do you have a hard time settling on one? Here, you will find help on how to choose a topic, and how you can think career into your thesis. Both before starting and after choosing the topic. Hopefully, we can help you choose a topic or get the most out of what you’ve already chosen.

 

Think beyond the topic

Try to avoid thinking of specific topics or issues. Think beyond that:

  • Make it clear what the goal of your thesis is: Do you want to get through it quickly and easily? Is the goal a good grade? Contact with professionals? Diving deeper into a topic or method?
  • Look back at your studies, the subjects you’ve taken and what you’ve accomplished. What did you think was most exciting? What do you want to delve more deeply into? You can also get inspiration from what others have written about by looking at old theses.
  • Do you have any exciting interests or hobbies you can explore and find an academic angle on? Or have you heard anything exciting in the media?

Anything can become a thesis topic, if you find an interesting angle on it. Once you have some possible topics on paper, you can work with them on two levels: 1) What do I want to write about and 2) How?

Think career when you choose your topic

You might think that we want you to choose a topic you can use directly "in the real world." Something that a company can go out and implement. That’s not what we want to say. You could easily write a thesis on something very academic or theoretical and still relate it to your career. 

Consider:

  • What would you like to do when you graduate?
  • Which tasks can you imagine doing?
  • Can you angle your topic so that you get some of the knowledge or skills you need in the job you’d like to have? 

Maybe there’s a field or area you’d like to work in, but don’t have knowledge about. It could also be that you’d like to work with qualitative analysis, which you can use as a method in the thesis. 

 

Write in collaboration with a company

Collaborating with a company is not the only way to think career into you rthesis, but it is a good way to make your thesis relevant and get some practical experience at the same time.

A project collaboration can be done in a number of ways. For example, some companies offer the chance to have a place with them while writing your thesis. Use this to meet others outside the university. It is a good opportunity to make you visible and form a network. Who knows? Maybe it can lead to a job afterwards.

How to find a company:

  • Take a look in the Job Bank. Under "Projects" you'll find postings from companies that are looking for you to do a project for them. Maybe there si something interesting? 
  •  Do you have a topic in mind, but not a company? Contact one! Maybe you have a company in mind. If not, you can find inspiration in the Job Bank. All companies that have a posting are willing to work with a student. If you see an exciting company, you can always contact them and suggest your project. 
  • What's in the media? Who do they talk about? Do they mention any companies with interesting challenges?

 

Your project should make sense for both you and the company

You need to explain to them how your project can create value for them. If they can’t see it, they may not want to spend resources on it.

This might mean that you need to adjust your project to suit both your needs and the company’s. They may not be interested in your entire thesis, but what you find out that relates to them. They may want you to give a presentation or submit a brief report of your results. This is an agreement you make with the company and it may well be after you’ve submitted your thesis. You don’t need to submit the thesis and your results to the company at the same time.

If you want to write a thesis in collaboration with a company, you should make a project contract. Find the contract here.

Is it difficult for you to contact a company? Maybe our pages on how to contact a company can help you.

 

Think careers once you’ve chosen a topic

Is your topic important? Why? For whom? How can it be angled to be interesting to others? How can the topics or methods be used elsewhere? Are there others who are interested in your specialist knowledge? You can use your thesis as a ‘ticket’ into a company or network. For example, use it as a reason for a coffee meeting where you talk about what you found. 

Think about how your knowledge can create value for a company. Practice talking about how your thesis can be used, not what it’s about. Maybe your thesis is suitable for publication? This could be in the form of articles, presentations, teaching, video, or podcasts. You name it.

Also, remember that your thesis is more than what you’ve written about. It’s also about the process and what you learned from it. What you learn from your process are also skills that you can use. When you write your thesis, you are the project manager of your own project and you get an understanding of how you work and what a good process is for you.

Do you want to make the process good? Take a look at the General Study Counseling's pages.

Also, take a look at our events. You might find something that can help you in your career.

Good luck!

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