Choosing suitable pathways


Management & Science University engagement and enrolment academic counsellor Rosmihaiza Ibrahim tells a group of Form Five students from SM Sains Kuala Selangor about courses available at the university.

The Star Education Fair is a platform for institutions to share information.

CREATING a balance between work and life is not only for those who are working.

Universiti Kuala Lumpur director of corporate planning Assoc Prof Dr Cordelia Mason said even those pursuing their studies need to strike this much-needed balance in their lives.

“Balance is not about better time management but better boundary management.

“Harmony means fitting in your work as a compliment to your life,” she said during her talk on “Work-Life Harmony: Starting on the Right Footing” during the Star Education Fair 2018.

She added that many problems could arise if work-life balance is not achieved.

What sets studying in the United Kingdom apart from other student destinations is its distinct character, says MABECS senior consultant Chew Phye Beng during his talk Study in UK.
What sets studying in the United Kingdom apart from other student destinations is its distinct character, says MABECS senior consultant Chew Phye Beng during his talk “Study in UK”.

Most of them, she said, stems from the physical fatigue and stress that happens when someone is approaching burnout.

“People tend to make more mistakes at work and this causes high absenteeism,” Dr Mason added.

There are many ways to achieve work-life harmony including investing time in self-care and leisure activities.

Making a decision on what to do after the SPM and STPM is never easy.

Experts at the Star Education Fair 2018 last weekend shared advice and answered questions from students and their parents on the next step.

Berjaya University College sales and marketing lead strategist Wendy Woon said over 600 visitors sat for the interest-based career test the varsity conducted.

“We help the students by narrowing down their interests,” she said, adding that some parents also sat for the career test just to see if they are in the right field.

Interests are vital

The “Pursuing Medicine and Health Sciences” talk was popular among visitors with many snapping photos of the slides with their mobile phones and taking down notes on what the experts were saying.

MAHSA University Faculty of Medicine dean Prof Datuk Dr Ravindran Jegasothy spoke about “What Does It Take To Be A Doctor.”

With more than 35 years expe­rience in the field, he helped students understand what to expect when venturing into medical practice.

“Being a doctor is a life-long commitment. When you choose to enter medicine, you study for life until you reach your grave due to ongoing and continuous advancements,” he said.

He stressed that students need to be sure of why they choose to enter the medical field.

City University Malaysia Faculty of Hospitality & Tourism) dean Yeoh Tay Boon (second left) looking on during the piping demonstration.
City University Malaysia Faculty of Hospitality & Tourism) dean Yeoh Tay Boon (second left) looking on during the piping demonstration.

Prof Ravindran, a former Kuala Lumpur Hospital senior consultant and head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, touched on the nitty-gritty of enrolling into and evaluating a medical institution.

He also cautioned students not to cheat or forge their minimum requirements when they enter the sector.

“Do not forge your qualifications and make sure you fulfil the minimum requirements. The Malaysian Medical Council has the power to withdraw a doctor’s license - ending one’s career in medicine permanently,” he said.

Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences lecturer Jagjit Kaur debunked myths about nursing and shared about job prospects and pathways to obtain academic achievements and promotions in the nursing field.

“Nurses care for sick people as well as the healthy. We educate people about taking care of their health,” she said.

She also explained about the differences between a diploma or a degree in nursing during her session “Job Prospects For Well Educated Nurses”.

“A nursing graduate can venture into education, management, research, insurance sectors, military medical services or they can choose to specialise in clinical areas – just like how doctors choose their specialisation,” she said.

MedCoach International Consulting Co Ltd founder and programme director Dr Atchara Srisodsai provided practical information about studying medicine in Hungary’s University of Debrecen – elaborating on entry requirements to the university, curriculum, accommodation, student life, as well as medicine and dentistry programmes available during her session “Study Medicine in Hungary: World Class Medical School in Europe”.

She also shared about the Stipendium Hungaricum Scholarship Programme, which covers students’ tuition fees, insurance, medical and accommodation.

The One Academy senior lecturer CK Lum demonstrates the use of Photoshop Illustrator to draw a portrait.
The One Academy senior lecturer CK Lum demonstrates the use of Photoshop Illustrator to draw a portrait.

AIMST University Faculty of Applied Sciences dean Prof Manickam Ravichandran spoke on “Career Pathways in Biotech­nology”.

He said a biotechnology degree allows students access to any biology-related industry available in the market.

“Biotechnology is technology based on biology, which is one of the fundamentals of pharmacology – where new medicines are discovered through biotechnology.

“It is essential for predicting and curing new diseases that could plague mankind,” he said, adding that stem cell and gene therapy are going to be the important methods of treatment, particularly in the field of medicine in the near future.

Architects, said Mohd Rizal Zakaria, have a moral responsibility to ensure the safety of their designs.

“We are paid for our ideas and to create quality spaces that make people happy.

Sharing his experience during the career talk, the Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur lecturer said mental and physical strength were crucial as was punctuality.

“An architect is someone who plans, and designs a house or building, and reviews its construction. It’s our responsibility to check and ensure that the contractor follows the design and specifications. We work from deadline to deadline,” he said, advising students to work as a team.

He said architects must have a keen eye for detail, be dependable, analytical thinkers, have initiative and integrity.

He reminded students to ensure that the course they are embarking on was recognised by the Malaysian Board of Architects.

“To earn the title ‘Ar’ in your name, you need to have a Master’s in Architecture, practise for two years, and sit for the Board’s professional exam. Then you can open your own firm,” he added.

Mastering fundamental skills, like the use of Photoshop Illustrator, is crucial for conceptual artists.

Nick Danish, 19, trying out the virtual reality game Beat Saber at the University of Southampton Malaysias booth.
Nick Danish, 19, trying out the virtual reality game Beat Saber at the University of Southampton Malaysia’s booth.

Demonstrating the use of the software to paint a portrait on the computer, The One Academy senior lecturer CK Lum said designing software allows for speed, so designers can have more time to experiment and explore.

“Imagine creating characters for a game - you can try so many different looks to see what works. And, you can present your clients with more options within a short span of time,” he sdded.

Economics, said University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus Assoc Prof Dr Teo Wing Leong, is one of the highest paid degrees in the United States.

Speaking on a career in economics, or the study of how people make choices under the condition of scarcity, he said graduates have a wide range of options in high-paying and high-impact jobs, as well as businesses.

“These are much sought-after by investment banks, management consultancies and commercial banks, which offer high salaries,” he said, adding that economics is not limited to the economy or business world.

Asked during the question and answer session whether science students would be at a disadvantage if they were to do an economics degree, Dr Teo said an economics background was not necessary as this would be taught in the programme.

Don’t worry if you’re an introvert. Many successful people are.

International University of Malaya-Wales senior lecturer and programme coordinator Alex Lee said the time has come for parents and students to look away from traditional careers and fixed salaries because the field of computer science promises greater prospects.

“Think big. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft’s Bill Gates are introverts but look at how successful they are. They’re worth billions.

“So, if your children don’t like going out and meeting people, that’s fine. They can do well in this field.”

He said computer science involves the study of programming, data structure, algorithm, and programme design.

“People think programming is difficult but it has gotten so much easier to learn. Programming today is very functional.

“Data structure is about how you effectively store and retrieve data. Google for example, needs good data structure or people won’t use it,” he said, adding that computer science is needed in areas like cyber security, information technology, mobile computing, cloud computing, and games development.

New skills & knowledge

Tunku Abdul Rah­man University College Faculty of Computing and Informa­tion Technology dean Lim Mei Shyan shared the importance of Information Technology Communications (ICT) during her session “Why You Should Consider ICT as the Pathway to a Rewarding Career”.

She said every company in all industries and sectors require ICT, adding that there is a lack of ICT professionals.

“Every company cannot survive without technology,” she added.

American Academic Consultancy academic advisor Larry Hyunh Van Dunh said that one way students can prepare themselves for the technological disruption affecting jobs today is by obtaining an internationally-recognised qualification that will open up job opportunities worldwide.

During his talk “Preparing Careers for Technology Disruption”, he said nearly 50% of subject knowledge acquired during the first year of a four-year technical degree would be outdated by the time the students graduate.

Visitors busy asking questions and gathering information on the last day of the fair.
Visitors busy asking questions and gathering information on the last day of the fair.

Heriot-Watt University Malaysia head of marketing and student recruitment Sarah Tate said employers were on the lookout for graduates with international exposure.

“Based on employer feedback, these graduates are not afraid of challenges and become more resilient,” she said during her talk on “Why Having A Global Education is Important.”

Dilog Training and Services quality manager Mohammad Sophian Bartan noted that those who work in aviation need to obtain the licence before a degree or diploma.

“The aviation industry does not recognise aircraft technicians and engineers who graduated with a degree or diploma. In order to work hands-on on the aircraft, they would need the licence,” he said.

Management & Science University (MSU) exhibition executive Hazli Halaluddin said many students wanted to know if the university provided scholarships.

“MSU has just started a sports scholarship for athletes who are interested in academics,” he said, adding that the scholarship would be based on their achievements, he added.

University of Reading Malaysia marketing, communications, admissions and recruitment director Madeleine Tan said the top two skills employers and industry look for are problem-solving and creativity.

“Other priorities include communication and managing people; the industry is still very much people-centric,” she said during her talk titled “What Employers and Industry are Looking For”.

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