Choosing the right path to success
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.
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.
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.