JUDGING by the response at the Star Education Fair 2018, the majority of school leavers still go for the usual popular courses of business, computing and engineering but sometimes, there is interest in more unusual degrees.
One such option is the Bachelor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (Hons) course at INTI.
“Occasionally we meet students who specifically ask about our traditional Chinese medicine degree course,” said INTI International College Penang assistant vice-president Patrick Ooi at the recent fair at Setia SPICE Convention Centre in Penang.
That degree is offered in INTI International University in Nilai, and Ooi said INTI partnered with several renowned Chinese universities to offer students high quality learning.
“Traditional Chinese medicine is a niche field with very good career prospects,” he said.
Ooi added that another niche programme that attracted parents and students was INTI’s Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Physiotherapy (Hons).
The Star Education Fair 2018 in Setia SPICE Convention Centre ended last Sunday with thousands dropping by to meet 35 exhibitors offering a wide array of tertiary and professional programmes.
Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) student recruitment assistant manager Tham Yeong Shyue said visitors who enquired about less common options are usually already involved in the industry concerned and know about the career prospects.
UTAR also offers the Bachelor of Chinese Medicine (Hons) and degree programmes in other little-known fields like a BSc (Hons) in Dietetics and BSc (Hons) in Food Science.
“Parents who are involved in such industries have domain knowledge of the fields and will interest their children to venture into them,” said Tham.
“But with so many hi-tech factories here in Penang,engineering and computing courses are still the most popular.”
Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC), which will be 50 years old next year, is also offering a wide range of degree programmes covering the more unusual fields of aquaculture, sports and exercise science, and life science.
TAR UC Computer Science and Mathematics programme leader Nikalus Swee Shu Luing said that he met three parents who wanted to know more about their degrees in bioscience, food science, sports and exercise science.
“However, nearly everyone else who came to our booth were interested in our business degrees.
“We find that pure STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) courses are not as attractive to our visitors as business degrees,” he said.
However, Swee said there are exciting career prospects for graduates with STEM degrees because of the need for companies to go hi-tech.
He cited TAR UC’s degree in aquaculture which is offered at its large Johor campus, adding that the degree equipped students with in-depth knowledge of hi-tech fish farming.
The Star Education Fair 2018 was organised by i.Star Events Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Star Media Group Berhad.
The next instalment of this major fair in Penang will be on March 16 and 17 next year at the Setia SPICE Convention Centre.