Do’s and Don’ts When Choosing a Study Course

Do’s and Don’ts When Choosing a Study Course

BY R. Lee, Malaysia Education Fair Writer

KNOWING exactly which course of study to take up upon completing SPM (or equivalent such as IGCSE, GCSE, GCE O-Level) and leaving school is a rare phenomenon which happens to school-leavers few and far between.


For some lucky school-leavers, the verdict is relatively clear-cut as they most likely already pinpointed their passion and what they want to do. However, for many others, the decision making process can be overwhelming given the wide array of educational programmes available.


Once SPM results are announced sometime in June, school-leavers – who would have already been bombarded with plenty of advice from various parties (and most likely nagging from parents) regarding which programme to select – will face even more pressure to make a choice which may ultimately lead to confusion, indecision, frustration and stress.


To help ease that burden, here’s a list of do’s and don’ts when making your selection.



Think ahead and study future job trends. Now that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us and the job trend is moving rapidly towards automation and usage of smart technology. Hence, many traditional roles would either disappear or transform in the near future. So, it is your job to look into career prospects. Choose a course of your liking that will be in demand when you graduate.


Ask yourself what interests you. Your interests are a good indicator of which major you might end up in. But do keep in mind that interests do change over time. Question yourself and your intention of choosing a particular programme.


Determine where you would like to study. Do you want to study locally or overseas? Where in the world would you love to live for a few years – to learn a new language, new culture and make new friends? Where is the best country to specialise in your chosen subject area?


Be realistic. After you’ve narrowed down and determined your choice, the next step is to make sure you are able to afford the flights, tuition and cost of living. If you can’t afford it, are there scholarships for it? Will you be able to secure it? Do you need to have certain qualifications first for the chosen programme?


Consider the practicability in your country. Studying marine biology when you live in a country with limited or no such industry may not be a profitable decision. You need to consider how practical it is to put your education to use.


Look into what type of student you are. Some students prefer assignments, some prefer hands-on practicals, others prefer final exams. Some like to work on individual assignments, while others prefer group projects. Some prefer presentations, others prefer written reports. Determine your study style and choose a course which suits it.


Follow your friends blindly. The course of study your friends choose may not be the most suitable option for you. If you follow in your friend’s footsteps, there’s a high chance you may regret your decision a few semesters in and end up switching courses – which wastes precious time, money, and delays your graduation.


Instantly give in to your parent’s opinions, advice and nagging. Although parents always want what is best (and what they think is best) for their child, it may not always be the right option. There are many cases where the child is forced into a course of their parents’ choice and end up in a completely different industry upon graduating. If you and your parents have differing views on the choice of study programmes, it is best to sit down and have an honest and transparent discussion about it. Do your homework about the programme you intend to choose and explain to your parents why you want it and why it suits you. But at the same time, do not shut your mind off to other possibilities your parents may suggest.


Rush your decision. Yes, you are enthusiastic and eager to become a college or university student, graduate, and start your life as an adult. Unless you are absolutely sure what you’ve chosen is 100% what you are passionate about, making a hasty decision may cause regret when you are halfway into your course. Hit the pause button and ponder over your decision. Speak to friends, family and a trusted teacher or school counsellor



The Malaysia Education Fair will be held on April 17 and 18 at the Setia SPICE Convention Centre from 11am to 6pm. All-under-one-roof, the fair will house an array of higher-learning institutions – including Quest International University Perak, UOW KDU Malaysia, AIMST University, SEGI College, TARUC & many more – with trained education counsellors and experts who are ready to answer every query about courses offered, scholarships, taking the next step, and more, you or your parents may have.


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