10 Proven Ways for Malaysia’s IGCSE Students in Choosing the Right Course
How to Choose the Right Programme to Study after Completing Your IGCSE in Malaysia?
To find the best course to study after your IGCSE, 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 IGCSE 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 IGCSE. If you read this guide from start to finish, you’ll know the best courses in Malaysia that would suit you.
You might also be interested to read:
- Top Courses to Study in Malaysia after SPM/IGCSE with Best Future Job Demand
- What is the Best Course to study after SPM / IGCSE O-Levels in Malaysia?
- Top 40 Courses You Should Choose to Study After SPM that has Future High Job Demand & Salary
- After SPM or IGCSE/O-Levels: Top 10 Tips on How to Make the Right Choice for Your Studies
- Choosing the Right Course After SPM or O-Levels Increases Your Chances of Getting a Good Job & Salary in Malaysia
- Best Diploma Courses in Malaysia at Top Colleges & Universities
- Entry Requirements for Foundation, Diploma & Degree Courses in Malaysia
- How to Choose the Best Private University or College in Malaysia that Fits Me?
- Study Courses that has High Job Demand in Malaysia
- Top 20 Courses to Study in Malaysia that has High Job Demand & Stable Salary
- Top 10 Best Courses to Study in Malaysia
- Malaysia’s 28 Top Jobs in Demand in Future with High Salaries
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Top 10 Tips on Choosing the Best Course to Study after Completing IGCSE
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.
Here are 10 Tips for Students after IGCSE to help you choose the right course to study:
1 Know Which Subjects you are good at in your IGCSE in Malaysia
- What you got for your actual IGCSE 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.
The IGCSE is graded from A* to G, with U stated as “Ungraded”. Each subject is graded from A* to G, with A* being the highest grade. Students are required to obtain minimum grade C for the 5 core subjects in order to proceed to the next advanced level or further education.
A credit is A* to C. Any grade “D” and below is not a credit.
The Cambridge IGCSE offers examinations twice a year, in June and November. The IGCSE issues the results in August and January every year.
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
Students after IGCSE will have to take either a Pre-University Programme or diploma first before entering into the degree programme. This can be a good thing as you do not need to choose which degree programme yet. The time during your Pre-University can be taken to expose yourself to various courses and explore them.
- 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 IGCSE 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. Choose the Best Pre-University or Diploma Course to Study in Malaysia that fits you
Students after IGCSE may go for a Pre-University programme with at least 5 credits or Diploma with at least 3 credits. These are just different pathways to the degree programme and you will have to research and see which one fits your needs.
After you have narrowed down the list of possible degree programme choices, they would serve as a guide in choosing the Pre-University programme or Diploma course that will lead you to the degree.
“Pre-University” means the course that you take before entering into a university bachelors degree programme. The common courses under Pre-University are A-Levels, Foundation, SACEi, AUSMAT, etc.
Students who have completed their IGCSE who are not sure what to study at degree level can go for the Pre-University course in Malaysia like A-Levels, SACEi, or Foundation.
During your Pre-University, talk to the lecturers and seniors about the various degree courses that you are interested in to find out more. Furthermore, join clubs and societies and expose yourself to the various fields of interest.
Students who are totally not sure of what to study can go for the arts or science streams in A-Levels, SACEi or Foundation. Since they are general, your options are wide open to most courses.
If you have narrowed down your choices to engineering courses but not sure which type of engineering course, you may go for the Foundation in Engineering. With the Foundation in Engineering, you can also enter into Computing and Business courses.
Design students may go for Foundation in Design while Architecture students can go for the Foundation in Natural & Built Environment. These courses would be better as you will be taught the technical skills and gain experience through assignments and course work. It will prepare you to do well in the degree.
Alternatively, students may go for even more specific programmes such as the Diploma. The diploma is for students who are sure of what they want. If you choose a particular diploma course, you will continue on to the related degree in the second Year.
Choosing the right Pre-University course that fits you would mean that you have to ask yourself which methods of assessment best suit you? Exams, coursework, practicals, group projects and presentations could all be in the mix in differing quantities. Every Pre-University course will include a % breakdown of assessment. You need to understand yourself and capabilities in order to decide which Pre-University course would best suit you.
Types of Pre-University Programmes Relevant to IGCSE Graduates in Malaysia
Choosing the right Pre-University Programme will help you enter your university of choice to study the degree course that you want.
- Foundation programmes by private universities in Malaysia
- Diploma programmes at private universities
- University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) UK A-Levels
- South Australian Matriculation (SAM) or SACE International
- American Degree Transfer Program (ADTP)
- Edexcel International Advanced Level UK A-Levels
- Western Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT)
- Canadian International Matriculation Programme (CIMP)
10. Ask the right people about the Courses
- Ask the right Education Counselors. Would you ask a Doctor on how to repair your car? Or would you ask a mechanic for medical advise? Although this sounds ridiculous, but many students do listen to advise from young and inexperienced counselors from universities, colleges or agents’ offices. Talking to an experienced education advisor would help you to navigate through this confusing time of choosing the best course that fits you.Speak to professionals in your field of interest and find out what it is like working in that job.
- People who have completed university courses can give you an insight from a student’s perspective – they can tell you the pros and cons.
- Listen to people who are experienced in the industry or know what they are talking about. Not just simply listen to Aunties or Friends who don’t know what they are talking about.
- Talk to your school counselor or an experienced career guidance counselor. This is important as you would not ask a Doctor on how to repair your car so you must ask the right person to help you.
- Ask your parents and friends what type of personality you are and what could fit you however note that some parents may not be objective and want you to choose the course they want for you.