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Like facing a forked road, we’re not surprised you’re taking your time deciding on what to major in in University. Apart from taking on personality quizzes and online tests, there are people in your life that you should talk to before embarking on this monumental journey.
Before you decide to study abroad and after looking at all the reasons you should consider a University in Malaysia, consult with the following people or sign up for the following courses to open potential doors to your bright future.
What do you see yourself doing for the rest of your life? What do you find yourself drawn to every day? Who and what is your inspiration and why? Taking away the money factor, what do you think will be a fulfilling profession?
These are difficult questions to answer so, we’re not surprised if you’re stumped for answers. It’s a tough cookie, this one.
What does an academic major mean?
An academic major is when an undergraduate student completes all elective courses required for a major qualification like a degree. If you looked through a degree program, no matter where the University is, there’s a list of core or foundation subjects. The list varies from program to program and sometimes the university or college allows students to come up with their own combination of majors which needs approval by the faculty.
The most popular majors are:
- Architecture and
- Social Science
- Industrial Arts
- Humanities and
- Liberal Arts
- Communication and
- Physical Sciences
- Agriculture & Natural Resources
- Biology & Life Sciences
Your guardians or parents
These could be your grandparents, aunts, uncles, or other counselors who have watched you grow personally and academically. They know what you’re made of, what they think you have potential in, and what kind of life they see ahead of you.
You don’t have to take everything they say word for word. In fact, when it comes to choosing the right major in University, the decision is ultimately yours to make.
The other reason these people are the ones you should talk to is that they are people who would financially contribute to your academic pursuits. They’ll help you pick out a few fields and degrees to consider and see if they fit the family’s budget, your future salary expectations and what the employment rates look like. They also might be able to help you see what the best return-on-investment for your degree or major of choice is like.
Things to discuss with your parents or guardians:
- The budget – how much can your family afford for your higher studies?
- Will there be a requirement to complete your program overseas?
- How long with the program take?
- Will your family or you be required to take on a study loan or other forms of financial help in order to see you through your program?
- Where – which university is best suited for your studies or convenient for your constant traveling
- Accommodation – if you’re studying in a local university, is there a need for you to rent your own place or living in a dorm provided by the university? If so, you’ll need to take into account living and traveling expenses
Your teachers, professors, counselors, and student advisors
Your teachers, professors, counsellors, and advisors have had a hand in grooming your academic success thus far. You might even have spoken to them on occasion about what your interests are. If you’re interested in sports, your teachers would have noticed. If you’re a Maths genius, they would have also made important notes in your file.
They are in-the-know about their student’s potential, the job market statistics, and have access to higher education data. They’re able to measure the success rate of their previous students or gain insight into job markets whether in the country you live in, graduate in, or elsewhere. Here are some professions to consider and why.
In fact, some counsellors and professors have connections with industry experts and can refer you to corporations, organisations, and departments which you can work in before entering college or university. They might give you that recommendation to sign up for an internship program, gathering crucial first-hand experience before deciding on what to pursue academically.
If you think you want to study dentistry, work with a dentist for a few months or a year and see where that takes you. If you still think dentistry is the right path, you know you’ve made the right decision.
Things to discuss with your teachers/counselors, and advisors:
- Your interest and performance in school
- The job market statistics
- The quality of the school’s educators, campus and facilities
- The possibility of an internship or a time off from studies to gain hands-on experience before you embark on this new journey
- What are your options when you decide to switch course or change your major mid-way
Mentors and leaders - opening the doors to possibilities
Some people dedicate their lives to helping improve the early-life decisions of youth by shedding real light into what work-life can be like. Real-life experiences. Many students attend talks and seminars to use as a beacon into the industry they’re about to enter.
These events are sometimes heralded by students’ former alma maters or organizations with the agenda to help improve the lives of the youth of the country. Experienced educators come up programs to help not just teach the youth of today how to take the next step into their futures, but also instill the entrepreneurial spirit and economic know-how to help them overcome potential obstacles in their way.
Students who attend these seminars are also better at seeking out and seizing good opportunities.
Types of events students should consider attending are:
- Inspirational talks related or unrelated to their industry of choice powered by motivational leaders
- Seminars held by educators
- Youth forums
- Youth challenges and character-building events
- Educational forums
- Educational exhibitions where colleges and universities from all around gather to showcase the courses they have to offer and share advice with interested students
Online Seminars held by global counsellors and educators
We live in the day and age of the internet, so anything is pretty much possible. If you’ve chanced upon someone who inspires you online and he/she is offering an online seminar, offering you a chance to pick his/her mind, sign up for it.
Not only will you be able to ask the counsellors/mentors and host questions, other students like you will also field questions and get insightful answers to the burning questions at the back of their minds.
- Udemy – The 10,000 online courses are not exactly accepted in Universities but one of the biggest benefits of enrolling in their short courses is that they’re inexpensive and shows you the nuts and bolts of an industry. In fact, if you plan to study in Malaysia, pick up either English, Mandarin, or Cantonese as a new language to get your ship out of the dock.
- Eventbrite – The site features the latest ongoing seminars and talks students and working adults can attend to bolster their knowledge base and experience. You’ll be meeting industry workers and experts alike at such events.
- University or college community service programs and events – Taking part of community service programs will open your eyes to the world outside the comfort of your own home. By taking part in popular universities like Taylor’s University community programs, UTM’s Gap Year Program (pdf file in Bahasa Malaysia), or MSU’s yearly events, you’ll get to see many things that will help you decide what your next steps should be. There will also be professionals at hand to answer questions you might have about the courses and student life in the university.
These are just a few good ideas and suggestions. As with opening the door to a brand new challenge and exploring our futures, nothing is certain. Nothing is completely right or wrong either.
After having a chat with the people involved in your life, you would, no doubt, be in a better place to organize your thoughts and decide on what’s best to major in in a University in Malaysia.
If you need someone to talk to regarding your options of universities and colleges in Malaysia, Edmates.com’s door is always open. Complete a simple form and we will get back to you as soon as we can.