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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Making a good career match | New Straits Times Online - Education

"AS Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) school-leavers close one chapter in their life and start another, they now face the daunting task of taking the next step — choose the right course of study" summarizes Zulita Mustafa, Specialist Writer at New Straits Times.
Nik Faiz Iskandar Nik Zahari conducting a motivational talk for SPM school-leavers.
Photo: New Straits Times Online

After a structured school system where students generally pursue either the science or arts stream, how best can they decide on the field of study and programme?

A profession should be chosen with great care and it should not be taken lightly. The decision is the first step towards determining the path the future will take.

Nurhanani Hazamah Anuar, 20, prefers sitting exams similar to those in secondary school and the Cambridge A Level (CAL) programme fits her requirements.

CAL is a 15- to 24-month programme and it is 100 per cent exam-based, so it is similar to SPM.

However, unlike SPM where students usually sign up for nine subjects, CAL allows a choice of a minimum of three subjects such as mathematics, further mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology, economics, English literature, law and accounting.

Nurhanani, a second-year student at Taylor’s College, said it has been a relatively easy transition from secondary school and she has also enhanced her soft skills and embraced the chance of being the secretary of the CAL Student Council.

“Being involved in the council allows me to improve my skills in communicating, critical thinking, problem-solving and collaborating,” said Nurhanani, a Bank Negara scholar.

She plans to pursue a degree in accounting and finance at a university in the United Kingdom.

Another CAL student Low See Nee, 20, said he was initially keen on the Foundation of Science course at the International Medical University but finally decided on the CAL programme at INTI.

“A relative, who is an emergency department doctor, advised me to pursue the A levels programme as it is internationally recognised and therefore allows me to keep my options open.

“Besides, my focus is not only on academic performance but also gaining a wider social network among students,” said Low, who plans to pursue the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) programme at Monash University.

Antoine Xaverian Bonaventure, 20, has had his eye on a career in the field of science since secondary school, which influenced his decision to choose the Foundation in Science programme at Taylor’s University.

“It provides the most straightforward route to achieving my ambition to become a doctor. The curriculum integrates e-learning tools and interesting science projects so that students get exposure to basic human anatomy and physiology.

“The foundation programme helps me to become a well-rounded student who does not only excel academically but also in other areas.

“Since I plan to pursue the MBBS programme at Taylor’s University School of Medicine, the foundation course is the first step to reading medicine,” said Antoine.

A foundation in science programme focuses on science-related topics, concentrating on subjects such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and information technology.

The course not only prepares one to pursue medicine but also pharmacy and dental studies.

Foundation programmes at a university provide an advantage in terms of placement of students in degree courses at the institution.

Source: New Straits Times Online