By SIMRIT KAUR
A LITTLE planning goes a long way – this advice holds true for careers, too. Many students don't take the trouble to do their homework and narrow down their options before selecting an educational institution and a course of study.
A website on the Internet (www.mapping-your-future.org/planning ) lists 10 steps to planning a career:
1. Develop a career plan. Think about what you want to do and find out more about the kind of training, education, and skills you will need to achieve your career goal.
2. Assess your skills and interests. Think hard about what you enjoy, what you are good at, what kind of personality you are, and the values you hold.
3. Research occupations. Find out more about the nature of the jobs that interest you, such as educational requirements, salary, working conditions, future outlook, and anything else that can help you narrow your focus.
4. Compare your skills and interests with the occupations you've selected. The career that matches your skills, interests, and personality the closest may be the career for you.
5. Choose your career goal. Once you've decided what occupation matches up best with you, then you can begin developing a plan to reach your career goal.
6. Select an educational institution that best meets your career goal and financial needs.
7. Find out about financial aid to help you obtain your career goal.
8. Learn about job hunting tips as you prepare to graduate or move into the job market.
9. Prepare your resume, and practise job interviewing techniques.
10. Go to a career guidance centre at your school or the library for additional information and help on career planning.
This week's Star Education pullout is devoted to interviews with people in 16 exciting careers which range from popular professions – lawyer, engineer and pilot, to those involved in more creative pursuits (dancer, cartoonist and film director). They share their passions and talk about their routes to their professions.
And do check out Star Education Fair 2003. Yes, the fair – the biggest one-stop centre to obtain information on educational programmes offered by private and public, foreign and local education institutions – is on today, from 10am to 6pm at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur.
Education and career talks have been organised in conjunction with the fair. Besides browsing through the over 200 booths set up by 130 educational institutions, visitors can attend talks on information and communication technology, engineering,and professional programmes. (see chart for time and venue).
You can talk first-hand to some professionals at the two-day fair which ends today.
A unique opportunity has also been provided for students and parents to clear up any doubts about recognised courses and colleges through a Q & A session with the Education Ministry's Private Education Department. Officials from the department will give a briefing before fielding questions from the floor.
Also not to be missed is a talk on SPM Physics and Additional Mathematics by Star Education writer Sunny Yee and StarTwo columnist, Toh Puan T.D. Ampikaipakan.