How to choose the Right Course to Study after UEC 考试
Many students are clueless after UEC or Senior Middle 3 about what course to study and how to choose the right university that will equip them for a successful future. It can be confusing to choose the right course after UEC, but do not worry, it is normal not to know which course that would fit you. To find the best course to study after your UEC, you will need to identify your interests, values, passions, academic achievements and abilities. Combine that with the future job demand and salary for the courses that you are looking at.
Choosing a course is basically coming up with a plan for your future. Choosing the right course after UEC involves plenty of research and financial preparation. It is just the first step in the right direction of achieving a life with stable or high income. A plan will give you something to work towards. It’ll also help you make the most of the opportunities that come your way.
It can be confusing to choose the right course after your UEC in Malaysia. You should carefully think about what are the options available to you. To choose the best course that fits you, you need to consider the following:
- Look at your results – what are your best & worst subjects, and which subjects are your favourite?
- What are your interests & hobbies?
- What is your passion?
- Job demand for the career of choice. There is no point in choosing a course out of passion and then graduate to find out that you cannot get a job in that field.
- Salary of the career of choice
- Discuss the budget for your studies with your parents. There is no point in choosing a course like Pharmacy or Medicine, if you cannot afford it.
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Confused about what to Study after UEC? Here are some tips on Choosing the Right Degree Programme to Study in Malaysia
Choosing the best possible course to study is a very important decision to make, and often a challenging one. For some people, choosing the course is simple as they have always wanted to be a brain surgeon or a dentist or an engineer.
There are many courses that you can choose to study in Malaysia. If you plan to work in Malaysia, then you should choose courses that would be in demand in Malaysia and has a high salary so that you can support your family.
One of the aims of education is to get a job. One of the aims of getting a job is to obtain a salary that can take care of yourself, your future family and your parents. Therefore, keep in mind what kind of lifestyle you want and whether the course that you are choosing will give you the salary to sustain that lifestyle.
Furthermore, many students in Malaysia tend to choose their course based on what their parents or relatives recommend, rather than on what they are good at or really like to study. The end result is that a lot of Malaysian students discover that they have started on courses that may be unsuitable to them after studying a few semesters. Worse is when they start work, they find that it is not what they like.
One of the main problems why some Malaysian students have no clue on what course to study is because they have not participated in various types of activities at school or organisations. When you join clubs and societies, you are able to discover your talents, as well as develop leadership, critical thinking and other valuable skills.
Take Time and Effort to Choose the Best Course & Private University to Study in Malaysia after Your UEC
It is interesting that most students after UEC do not invest time and effort to make a decision about something that could potentially change their lives forever. This decision on choosing the right university after UEC could cost from RM50,000 to RM200,000 for the degree course and yet students and parents do not really take the time to research on which is the best choice. More time is spent on doing research to buy the right smart phone or car than on choosing the right course or university.
Some of the reasons I hear from students after UEC on choosing the course or university are:
- My friends are going there.
- It is cheap.
- It is near my house.
- I prefer a Mandarin-speaking environment because I find it difficult to talk in English.
- My auntie said that it is good. (Not knowing what really defines good or what are the statistics and evidence to support the choice)
- I don’t want to burden my parents so I chose the cheapest university.
- The university counsellor said that it is good.
- The university sent me a letter telling me that I have been accepted into the course even though I did not apply there.
- I like the lifestyle there.
- I have heard about the university somewhere so it must be good.
- I see a lot of their ads, so they must be good.
- I heard that they are the no. 1 college for that course. (Even though there is no external body to say that this college is ranked no. 1 or that the No. 1 claim is something the college is using for the advertising campaign)
- My girlfriend is going there.
- My parents told me to take this course because the future is good.
- It is easy to pass at that university.
Now, some of the reasons above are not totally wrong. It depends on the situation and whether you put in the effort to research. It is important to make the decision that would change your life forever based on facts and evidence.
Good Command of English Language is Very Important for Success Especially for UEC Graduates
Many Chinese Independent High School students in Malaysia have a strong command of Mandarin but are weak in the English language. If you are already strong in Mandarin, then you only need to improve your English language so that you can have a successful career. Being good in both languages, you will be able to command high salaries in future.
The university that we choose is important as well. Star Newspaper has reported that those who have a good command of the English language has a 25% higher salary and fast promotion opportunities than those who don’t.
It is important to choose a good university with an English-speaking student environment that can prepare you well for a successful future instead of choosing a cheap university so that you can just get the degree qualification. If you are not well equipped, even with a degree, you will get low salary for the next 60 years of your work life.
Whether you are looking for a new job or planning to travel the world, studying English can help you progress in life both personally and professionally. You can compete in the global job market, increase your career skills and start to meet people around the world. English is the most commonly spoken language in the world. One out of five people can speak or at least understand English!
English is the language of science, aviation, computers, diplomacy, and tourism. Knowing English increases your chances of getting a good job in a multinational company within your home country or of finding work abroad. Global companies such as Airbus, Daimler-Chrysler, Fast Retailing, Nokia, Renault, Samsung, SAP, Technicolor, and Microsoft in Beijing, have mandated English as their official corporate language.
In the last century, the number of scientific papers written in English has started to outweigh the number of papers written in the native language of the researcher. In the Netherlands, for example, the ratio is a surprising 40 to 1. For this reason, having a knowledge of English is incredibly important to those working in the scientific field.
Whether you’re a business owner, student or employee, English is incredibly important in the business world. English is considered to be one of the most important business languages due to being the de facto language of the United States and the official language of the UK, Canada, India and South Africa.Therefore, it has become almost a necessity for people to speak English if they are to enter a global workforce. Research from all over the world shows that cross-border business communication is most often conducted in English and many international companies expect employees to be fluent in English.
Since English is spoken in so many different countries there are thousands of schools and universities around the world that offer programmes in English. If you speak good academic English, there’re lots of opportunities for you to find an appropriate school and course to suit your needs.
Many of the world’s top films, books and music are published and produced in English. Therefore, by learning English you will have access to a great wealth of entertainment and will be able to have a greater cultural understanding. An estimated 565 million people use the internet every day, and an estimated 52 percent of the world’s most visited websites are displayed in the English language. Hence, improving your English is important as it gives you access to over half the content on the internet. As well as this, some of the world’s largest tech companies are based in English speaking countries.
English may not be the most spoken language in the world, but it is the official language of 53 countries and spoken by around 400 million people across the globe. Being able to speak English is not just about being able to communicate with native English speakers, it is the most common second language in the world. If you want to speak to someone from another country then the chances are that you will both be speaking English to do this.
What You Should Know if You Decide to Study in Taiwan after UEC
According to Channel News Asia, today, young Taiwanese face dim job prospects. They have been dubbed the “22k” generation — a reference to their minimum monthly salary of NT$22,000, which works out to just over S$1,000. Youth unemployment is more than 12 per cent, and many young Taiwanese are disillusioned.
“Most of my friends who studied overseas do not want to come back to work in Taiwan because of the low pay here,” said Mr Liao Jin-chuan, 30, a private tutor who earns about NT40,000 a month (S$1,685) and lives with his parents in New Taipei City.
Some students who are not good in the English language choose to study in Taiwan because it is easier. However, do note that according to a report by Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) of the Prime Minister’s Department late last year where it was cited that 48 per cent of employers reject students due to poor English. Unless you plan not to return to Malaysia to work, then that’s ok. If you do plan to stay on and work in Taiwan, do note that the salary for fresh graduates there is low and cost of living is high.
The Ministry of Labor (MOL) of Taiwan released a survey on starting salaries in various industries in 2014, indicating that the average starting monthly salary for graduates fresh out of school stood at NT$25,175 per year.
Youth Unemployment Rate in Taiwan averaged 12.91 percent from 2014 until 2015, reaching an all time high of 14.02 percent in August of 2014. Youth Unemployment Rate in Taiwan is reported by the National Statistics Republic of China (Taiwan). Now, if the Taiwanese graduates are having difficulty in securing a job, I am sure that the companies there would not be open to hiring foreigners first like you.
Learning to be good in the English language doesn’t make one less Chinese. After all, you are already good in Mandarin, why go to a university where everyone communicates in Mandarin so how are you going to improve your English? Many students proudly tell me, well, the lecturers teach in English and I will take an English course to improve. Then my point is, after 12 years of education at secondary school and you still haven’t improved your English, what makes you think that you can improve it in 4 years in the same environment as your school?
The other argument I hear is, “China is the world’s second economy and very important, so I can work there.” My reply to that is, well, China has more than 1.6 Billion people there and many degree graduates cannot get jobs, what makes you think that you have the extra skills to compete with them?
The only reason why I emphasise the importance of English is so that you have a better future. Language is not easily learnt overnight. The best time to improve it is during secondary school, if you didn’t, then university time is another opportunity.
When you start working, you will be too tired. You will be focused on your girl friend or boy friend, earning money to buy a car or house, and so forth.
What you decide today, can change your life forever, think about it.
How to choose the right course to study after UEC?
1 Know Which Subjects you are good at in your UEC in Malaysia
- What you got for your actual UEC can be used as a guide. This is a good measure of whether you are actually capable of doing well in the course or not.
- Look at the subjects that you scored high for, they would indicate that you are good at them and like those subjects as well. However, if you have all As for the subjects, then you have to choose based on which subjects you like most.
- Be realistic. If you are weak in certain subjects then maybe you should not choose courses related to them. Your results are a measurement on whether you can succeed in the course or not. However, if the course is your passion, then you will have to work very hard and study to succeed.
2. Knowing your Interests & Hobbies helps
- Make a list of your hobbies.
- List down your favourite subjects at school
- A list of your extra-curricular activities can provide ideas of what type of person you are.
- Students who love to cook can consider culinary arts. In addition, if you like to repair cars or motorbikes, then you could look at being a mechanical engineer or mechatronics engineer.
3. Make a List of the Degree Programmes that you are Interested in
- List the fields of study that interest you, and come up with a list of courses you would consider studying based on these interests.
- Do you meet the entry requirements for these courses?
- Narrow down the degree programme choices and see which Pre-University Programmes or Diploma Programmes that would be the best to guide you to the right pathway.
4. Look at the subjects offered in the Course at the University that you are Interested in
- Read through the course outline of the course(s) you want to apply for. See if the subjects interests you.
- The titles of the Course may be the same but the subjects are different from university to university. Universities do not offer courses where all the subjects are the same.
- Because the subjects vary, you must be careful to look at the subjects to see if they fit your career goals.
- Have a look at the subjects you must undertake and the types of learning, assignments and examination tasks involved.
- Talk to the lecturers to find out more about the courses.
5. Ask yourself and the People around you, “Are you Actually Good in that Course?”
- I asked a student interested in Culinary Arts, “Have you cooked before?” and he replied, “No”! It is important to choose a course realistically based on evidence and facts.
- There is a big difference between the desire and interest in a course and actually having the talents and skills to do well in the course.
- Your parents have been with you since the beginning and they should know you fairly well. Talk to them to find out what you are good at.
- Your friends can be a source of information on what you are good at. They can confirm whether or not you have certain skills.
- In addition, your results would be an indication of whether you would be suited for the course. Other evidences would be your hobbies and participation in clubs and societies in school related to your course.
- Your UEC results will show what you are actually good at. Having good results in Maths, you can consider Actuarial Science, Accounting, Computing or Finance courses. Having narrowed down to these courses, you can go for the Foundation in Arts for 1 year before really choosing which one to study for your degree.
- Alternatively you can also think about subjects you definitely don’t want to study at university level and which you can’t wait to say goodbye to. Crossing these off will make your list of options smaller and less overwhelming.
- An undergraduate degree course in Malaysia lasts three to five years – that’s a long time to spend studying something which you don’t enjoy, especially at a more intense level! First of all ask yourself what you have enjoyed studying at secondary school in Malaysia.
6. Do a thorough Research on the Course that you are Interested in
- The internet, newspapers, television and people around you are the best sources of information.
- Talk to people who are working in that field to gain more insights.
- Check online about the courses you are interested in and find out about the career prospects and the other info.
- Find facts and evidence to support the career and job prospects. Don’t just simply listen to the counselors or agents
- Starting salaries and how much you can earn eventually.
- Go to education fairs and universities’ Open Days to see the campuses and collect the brochures. Tour their campus to look at the facilities. Talk to the lecturers and students.
- Keep in mind that what you think about the course and career may be very different from the reality of working in that field.
7. Job Demand in Malaysia for the Course that You are Interested in
- 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.
- Look at the job prospects of the course before selecting one. Consider various factors such as income, job security, stress, responsibility and other benefits while researching a profession.
- Look at statistics, evidence and facts. Not just listen to your auntie say that she thinks a particular career is excellent or a university counselor say that the course is good based on their experience.
- There are reports and statistics which you can Google online to find. Newspapers have also written on the job demand for particular careers.
- Government Agencies such as ILMIA, Multimedia Development Corporation, Malaysia Plan, Department of Statistics, etc.
8. What is the Salary for the Job that Your Course will Lead you Into?
- There are many degree courses that you can choose to study in Malaysia. If you plan to work in Malaysia, then you should choose degree courses that would be in demand in Malaysia and has a high salary so that you can support your family.
- One of the aims of education is to get a job. One of the aims of getting a job is to obtain a salary that can take care of yourself, your future family and your parents. Therefore, keep in mind what kind of lifestyle you want and whether the course that you are choosing will give you the salary to sustain that lifestyle.
- Human Resource companies in Malaysia have also produced salary reports and statistics on the demand for certain jobs in Malaysia. You can search for reports from Kelly Services, Hays Recruitment, Robert Walters Salary Report, Jobstreet, etc
9. What’s the Budget for your Studies?
Discuss the budget for your studies with your parents. There is no point in choosing a course like Pharmacy or Medicine, if you cannot afford it.
A degree programme at a private university will cost from RM50,000-RM100,000 for a business or computing course to RM130,000 for a Pharmacy course. Medicine will range from RM300,000 to RM600,000 depending on which university you choose.
Moreover, to study overseas for degree will cost from RM150,000 to RM200,000 a year including cost of living.
To successfully complete a course at a private university in Malaysia will require some good financial planning. If you have good results, then you can look at scholarships. There is also the PTPTN Loan which can support part of your studies.
10. What are the Entry Requirements for the Course?
In order to choose the right course that fits you to study in Malaysia, you would also need to know the entry requirements. Entry requirements for university vary with each institution. It’s important you understand the qualifications needed for the course you wish to pursue. Each course will have its own entry requirements, often specifying both the subjects you must already have studied, as well as the grades you’ll need to have achieved. Malaysia’s Private Universities tend to express their entry requirements in a variety of ways.
Knowing the requirements, you can then choose the right subjects so that you can enter the course without any problems. For example, if you want to study Food Science but you didn’t take Chemistry in your UEC course, then you won’t be able to enter that course.
In addition, you will need at least 5Bs to enter into the Degree programme at Malaysia’s private universities. You will need to have the credits in the relevant subjects related to the degree. For students with at least 3Bs, you can go for the Diploma course for 2 years and then into Year 2 of the degree for another 2 years.
Furthermore, some courses will require additional requirements such as English, that you need to meet, therefore, you will need to plan ahead to sit for the relevant exams before the intake starts.
Some courses may require an interview, a test or portfolio submission. For Medicine and Pharmacy, in addition to the academic requirements, students need to go for an interview undertaken by the Faculty. Design courses may require a test or submission of a portfolio especially for those who did not take any design subjects in high school.
If the course requires you to achieve an English requirement, you may need to prepare early by signing up for the English test like MUET, IELTS or TOEFL.
What if I don’t have the right qualifications?
You may need to resit or retake the exam to achieve the necessary grades to enter. Alternately, you can choose another course that you qualify for