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Wednesday July 17, 2024

Career counselling: questions and answers

By Syed Azhar Husnain Abidi
May 20, 2024
A representational image of two professionals during an interaction. — Unsplash/File
A representational image of two professionals during an interaction. — Unsplash/File

Q1: Dear Mr Abidi, I completed my bachelor's degree in commerce and later pursued the CMA Inter in Cost and Management Accounting from ICMAP. I am currently in Stage 4 of my CMA, with two stages remaining. I would appreciate your expert advice on the scope of this qualification in Gulf countries. Additionally, could you guide me on which type of industry—FMCG, Petroleum, Textile, or Power Generation—would be better for my career progression? Lastly, please advise me on choosing a specialisation: Costing, Finance, or Taxation? (Amna Saleem, Lahore)

Ans: Dear Amna, based on your academic background and future plans, I recommend focusing on the Power Generation or Energy Conservation sector upon completing your CMA. Power Generation is an emerging field with high demand for financial specialists who excel in developing business proposals, feasibility reports, and project documentation. This sector will provide ample opportunities for growth and utilisation of your skills.

Q2: Dear sir, I am currently a student of Business Administration (Masters) with a major in Banking and Finance. Can you please guide me on suitable short courses to enhance my academic background? My master's will be completed next year, but I am unsure how to start my career. (Farhad Mirza, Haripur)

Ans: Dear Farhad, I suggest that you look for an internship in a financial institution or bank, even if it is unpaid. Practical experience gained through an internship will be far more valuable and effective than any short course or certificate. This hands-on experience will enhance your job prospects significantly.

Q3: Sir, I have just completed my final exams in electronic engineering and I am awaiting the results. I am confused about whether I should pursue an MS or MBA, or something else. Should I consider studying abroad? If so, could you recommend a low-cost country? (Rehman Azhar, Karachi)

Ans: Dear Rehman, based on your current academic profile, you have two options: pursuing an MS or gaining some work experience before doing an MBA. I recommend starting with a postgraduate degree in Mechatronics or Communication Engineering with a specialization in wireless and mobile communication. These fields are highly popular and in demand and will remain relevant for many years. Such degrees offer excellent prospects both in Pakistan and internationally.

Q4: Dear Mr Abidi, I am currently studying Town Planning Engineering (BS) at the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore. Please guide me on the prospects of this degree in Pakistan and abroad. If I wish to pursue an MS, what would you suggest?

(Shagufta Naz, Sheikhupura)

Ans: Dear Ms Shagufta, your degree in Town Planning Engineering is highly valuable. You have good prospects for employment both in Pakistan and abroad, particularly in the Middle East. I suggest complementing your degree with a specialization in construction management. This additional qualification will give you a competitive edge over your peers in this field.

(Syed Azhar Husnain Abidi is a renowned educationist in Pakistan, with more than 20 years of experience as provider of education counselling services. He has represented Pakistan in over 100 national and international seminars, conferences and fora. He is a recipient of the most coveted civil award Tamgha-e-Imtiaz).