Choos­ing the right path to suc­cess

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - HIGHER EDUCATION -

YOU are poised on the thresh­old of a dif­fer­ent phase of your life. You have im­por­tant de­ci­sions to make – what and where to study.

It can be a con­fus­ing time for a young per­son who has just fin­ished school and hasn’t quite de­cided what to do.

So, what do you do? The fol­low­ing steps may be use­ful:

De­cide on your in­tended ca­reer path first. You need to have a gen­eral idea of what you want to be be­fore de­cid­ing on the course.

At this point, do not think of the course of study you will need to un­der­take nor the cost as th­ese con­sid­er­a­tions will dis­tract you.

Get­ting the pic­ture

Try to get a pic­ture of your­self do­ing what you want to do as a pro­fes­sional and cap­ture the feel­ing of hap­pi­ness or ful­fil­ment you get from that pic­ture.

That should help knock some of the men­tal bar­ri­ers down.

De­ter­mine how you will get to be what you want to be.

Take note of what you want

Once you have a clear pic­ture of what you want to be, write down ev­ery­thing you need to do to get there: What sort of course do you need to do to be able to do the job ef­fec­tively?

Where would you need to get a job upon grad­u­a­tion?

What sort of job would you have to do first be­fore you progress to what you ac­tu­ally want to do?

This will en­able you to zoom in on the spe­cific things you will need to do to help your vi­sion be­come a re­al­ity.

Get more in­for­ma­tion

Next, find out as much as you can about the de­gree pro­gramme that will help equip you with the knowl­edge and skills you need.

Surf the In­ter­net, at­tend ed­u­ca­tion fairs, talk to ca­reer guid­ance coun­sel­lors at lo­cal col­leges and if pos­si­ble, talk to pro­fes­sion­als who are al­ready in the field you have cho­sen to gather in­for­ma­tion and ad­vice.

Make a list of all the rep­utable, recog­nised ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions, both lo­cal and abroad where the course of study is be­ing of­fered.

Once you have short-listed the ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions, find out more about the rel­e­vant cour­ses they of­fer and whether they fit your bud­get.

Check on how the cour­ses are struc­tured, the sort of prac­ti­cal train­ing in­volved, the lo­ca­tion of the univer­sity and range of sub­jects in­volved.

Then, make your choice af­ter con­sid­er­ing all the fac­tors.

Of course, the ad­vice is only hunky-dory if your fi­nanciers (in other words, the par­ents) are in com­plete ac­cor­dance with your am­bi­tion.

But what if they want you to study fi­nance and you want to do fash­ion de­sign?

Well, some­times com­pro­mis­ing is the best way to get what you want in the long-term.

Com­pro­mise

There are two ways – look for an ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tion that al­lows you to com­bine cour­ses from the dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines so you get to do what you want while ful­fill­ing your par­ents’ wishes.

Flex­i­ble ed­u­ca­tion

One of the ad­van­tages of study­ing in the United King­dom is that it of­fers flex­i­bil­ity to those who want to read more than one sub­ject.

Look for an in­sti­tu­tion that will of­fer you the best com­bi­na­tion.

Another way is to sign up for fi­nance and work dur­ing your course to save some money so that when you grad­u­ate, you will have some sav­ings put aside to do a course in fash­ion de­sign.

Earn some pocket money

Full-time stu­dents in the United King­dom are al­lowed to work up to 20 hours a week dur­ing term time and full-time dur­ing their hol­i­days for a min­i­mum hourly wage of £6.31 (RM34.20) (for adults) and £5.03 (RM27.30) per hour for 18 to 20--year-olds.

Another way to fi­nance your de­gree course would be to ap­ply for schol­ar­ships, bur­saries or other forms of fi­nan­cial aid.

Armed with some in­for­ma­tion, you can think of what you want to be.

The Bri­tish Coun­cil’s ex­hi­bi­tions will be held from March 8 to 15. For more de­tails, log on to www.ed­u­ca­tionuk.org/malaysia

Find out what you need to know at Bri­tish Coun­cil’s ex­hi­bi­tions this March.

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