Ultimate Guide on How to Choose the Best Course to Study in Malaysia
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With the evolution of technology, the current job landscape in Malaysia has changed drastically. In many industries and countries, the current in-demand occupations or specialties did not exist 10 or even 5 years ago. The rise of technology has led to a disruption in the way we work and live. The Digital Era has changed the way we work.
As the digital economy grows, Malaysia must be prepared to choose jobs that will be in demand in the future as well as still exist. 75 million job roles are expected to disappear by 2022 according to the “Future of Jobs Report 2018” by the World Economic Forum,. Furthermore, another 133 million roles are expected to emerge.
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How to choose a career
Choosing the right career is a vital first step for your future. This can be an overwhelming task if you are unprepared. With the wide variety of career choices available to a student, the time after UEC, SPM or STPM can be a confusing one if not guided properly. Preparations should have been made even before this time but fear not it is still not too late if you have not decided on a career path. It is important for you to research carefully the career that you intend to pursue. Below are three simple steps that I will call the GEM method which will help you in your journey.
- Gather Information.
- Evaluate the Information.
- Make a Decision.
1. Gather Information
A. Make a list of your interests, likes, strengths, hobbies and talents. Also ask your family members and friends to tell you what you are good at.
Make a simple list of your interests, your hobbies and what you are actually good at. Don’t put down things that you are interested to do but write down things that you know that you are good at. For example, you are good in debates, sports, mathematics, fixing cars, and others. Your interests should correlate with the reality of your talent. For example, if you are interested in becoming an engineer but your results in Mathematics and Physics are consistently low, you may want to reconsider your choice or if you want to be a musician but cannot play any instrument, it would be an unwise move to choose music as your career pathway.
B. Show your family members and friends the list and ask them whether you are
actually good at the things you have listed.
Have your friends go through the list and give comments on how good you are at your interests, hobbies and talents. Your parents and trusted friends may give you a different perspective on what you are good at. This is valuable insight that will help you in your decision-making.
C. Talk to your parents, uncles, aunts, cousins and older siblings
Your parents and older siblings may have good insights into your abilities and offer good suggestions. Ask them what talents they think you have and maybe what career options would be good for you.
D. Talk to your career guidance counsellor at school.
Your guidance counsellor may have materials and tests that will guide you in choosing a career. Their advice may be useful in finding out the job prospects of a certain career.
E. Talk to professionals in you field of interest.
Talk to professionals in the fields that you are interested in to find out what they do. Ask them what they do in their jobs, what they like about it, what are its future prospects, what type of talents are required for the work, and other relevant questions. Visit their place of work if possible to gain a ‘feel’ for their type of work. Talking to the professionals will help you gain a wider perspective and insight into the type of work. They will be able share with you inside information on the work.
F. Attend education fairs like the Star Education Fair, Facon Education Fair, NAPEI Education, and others.
Go for education fairs and talk to the lecturers and counselors but do not register to quickly. Listen to their advise and take the information and then talk to your parents. Remember that the colleges and universities want your money for their “business” so they will want you to register quickly. Talk to the various counsellors at the booths to find out more information about the individual careers. Ask about tuition costs, short description of the career, job prospects, facilities offered in the college, and others. Ask them if the course is accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), if you can apply for the PTPTN loan and how much you can apply for, how long is the course, etc.
G. Use the Internet and local library.
Use these resources available to you to find out more information about the careers that you are interested in. Use the search engine on the Internet to find the information that you need. Your local library is a good source of information as well. Ask the librarian to assist you in finding out your careers of interest.
2. Evaluate the information.
After you have gathered all the necessary information then you need to weigh your options. Go through all the information and choose the careers that you would like to take up and take out those that you don’t like. Make a pro and con list for each career that you like. From the information evaluate the points carefully on its workability, your financial viability, future prospects, your interests and results.
3. Make a decision.
After evaluating all the information that you have, now you are ready to make a decision. Decide on maybe four career choices. For example, you may want to put your first career choice as Medicine, second in Pharmacy, third in Food Science and fourth in Nutrition. When one does not work out because of grades, finances or interest then you have a back up choice.
Remember two things: It is okay to change career options during your time of study, however, you need to make informed and educated choices. Secondly, the career that you choose should meet your needs and fit your beliefs and character. You must be happy with the choice and one where it would fit your desired financial status.
- List your strengths, what you are good at, your favourite subjects, the subjects that you do well in, etc.
- List your weaknesses, what you are not good at, what you don’t like, the subjects that you suck at, etc.
- List down your hobbies, interests, likes and dislikes, your personality, etc.
- Discuss the list with your parents, teachers, counselors, or friends
- Search the Internet for descriptions of careers and courses
- Does the course you have chose interest you, how much is the starting salary? What does the work involve?