Do you want to be an engineer? A psychologist? How about a doctor?
Deciding what career path to follow is not always easy and can change numerous times before you finally settle on a direction. All this can make choosing a university major an equally challenging task.
When preparing to make the big leap into university, there are endless things you need to consider before making a final choice on what course to study.
“I think they need to look at what their strengths are, what they really enjoy,” Professor Anthony Cahalan, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer of Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak, told SarawakYES! earlier this year.
“It’s very difficult to do foundation and then a three- or a four-year degree if it’s not something that you feel passionate about,” Cahalan said.
With the mid-year intake now starting to swing into action at universities, many young people across Sarawak will be grappling with the question around what major to sign up for.
When making a considered decision, it’s worth keeping a few things in mind, looking towards the future rather than focusing on the short-term. If you are confused or unsure, try and talk with friends or family who have completed a major that you are interested in, to hear what advice they have. Most universities also have counselors on staff that can provide guidance.
There are other questions you also need to ask yourself:
• What career options are available with this particular course of study?
• Is the course offered locally, or would I need to relocate?
• What is the earning potential and career growth opportunities in these areas?
• What skills will I develop through this major?
• Does this major offer opportunities for internships or study overseas?
• What percentage of graduates from this course is usually offered jobs related to the major?
Answer these questions and you may find yourself closer to a resolution.
You also need to keep in mind that the results you achieve in your final year of school will also play a significant role in what courses you can apply for, and what courses you believe you can excel in.
“There’s no point in applying for something that they cannot achieve,” Mohd Fadzil Abdul Rahman, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs and Alumni at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), told SarawakYES! earlier this year.
“For example, if your qualification is so low, but you want to get into the engineering faculty … you will struggle. You have to look at your results first and then ask yourself whether or not you’re capable of getting into any discipline.”
* This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (AZAM) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
* This article first appeared in The Borneo Post (www.theborneopost.com)