Choosing the right pathway
> Speak to qualified counsellors who can help identify your strengths and interests
them into university later without knowing they may not need to do that course at all. For example, a student who wants to be a chef should be looking at culinary courses at Certificate and Diploma levels and not a Pre-University programme.
If students are undecided, then a traditional pathway would be best but they still need to know the combination of subjects and where they intend to continue their studies.
What is your personal advice? Jerry:
My advice to students would be to speak to qualified counsellors who can help them identify their strengths and interests, and then map out the courses which they may excel in once they graduate.
No one pathway is correct for everyone. It should be tailored to the students’ capabilities as well as their budget. Some may need to study a traditional Pre-University pathway while others are better off studying Certificate and Diploma or Vocational courses.
What is the difference studying overseas and locally? Tony:
In overseas schools, colleges and universities, the difference becomes more acute because students are able to choose their lecturers, their choice of study times and a wide variety of subjects.
Students in most universities are able to cross faculties to take up subjects outside their major. Students choose what they are interested in by studying outside of their core subjects. That allows them to gain the knowledge in other areas they may be looking at working in when they graduate.
Students also generally develop a more confident personality upon their return and are able to work independently. That is why overseas graduates have an added advantage from the local graduates, but we have to take into consideration of their individual personality and attitude as well.
The benefits outweigh the weaknesses in this choice. The only weakness would be the higher costs, but this can be mitigated by a carefully planned pathway.
What are the current education trends? Tony:
Students in Malaysia prefer to go for traditional courses like Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Actuarial Science, Biomedical Science and Engineering. But they are unaware there are alternative courses in their area of interests.
There are alternative careers for those interested in science like Chiropractic Science, Physiotherapy and Occupation Therapy which earn more or just as much as doctors and specialists over the same period of time and the tuition fees costs half of what a medical degree.
Instead of Engineering, why not go for Project or Logistic Management if a student is not inclined towards Science, but is better at management. Look at how many things are marketed online today and how graduates are needed to understand logistics, warehouse and shipping. Or even Marine Engineering where you design and build oil platforms as part of your studies. or they are doing it out of passion – but generally, they blend both reasons together,” he told theSun.
When asked if there is a trend for people to undertake these postgraduate and doctoral courses, Siow noted that it was based on the industries that they are in.
“For example, there are some countries like Vietnam and Cambodia that require its lecturers to have a PhD to teach in the universities. Here, lecturers need to have a Masters or a PhD, according to the requirements of the universities,” he added.
He noted that companies would encourage their employees to have these qualifications to get research 1. Not knowing your strengths and capabilities and studying a course not of their interests or to their strengths. 2. Taking the wrong Pre
University programmes. 3. Taking the wrong subjects in
Pre-University. 4. Not checking the course structure and course requirements. 5. Not checking the institution’s
strengths and facilities. 6. Being obsessed with university rankings rather than the faculty rankings. 7. Accepting scholarships
without checking the details. 8. Not checking employment opportunities and requirements. 9. Blindly following friends. 10. Studying someone else’s
dream. done for the organisations.
Siow also added that there are retirees who are undertaking the doctoral programme.
“These people, especially retirees, do not want to sit at home ... they want to take the course as part of their self-actualisation process,” he said.
AeU is a unique collaborative multinational university established under the auspices of the 34 Asia Cooperation Dialogue Countries (ACD). All academic programmes are internationally benchmarked, approved by the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education and accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency.
Tony (left) said there are alternative courses in students’ area of interests, while Jerry (right) said no one pathway is correct for everyone.
Roshayu: “Students take up such courses to climb the management ladder.”