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August 16, 2017

Career counselling: Questions and answers


August 16, 2017

Q1: I am student of BS Chemistry at University of the Punjab. I have completed six semesters. Now I have to choose major subject for further studies. I am very confused to select my special subject. Please guide me to choose Biochemistry, Inorganic, Physical or Organic Chemistry as major subject. I am interested in Biochemistry and Physical Chemistry but Biochemistry faculty is not good. My future plan is to go abroad for further studies. (Farhat Khan, Lahore)

A: I would suggest that you look at Biochemistry as your main focus and specialisation. This is one area which has several sub specialisations and I would like you to review or explore doing your masters in Clinical Biochemistry.

A more specialise area from Biochemistry would be to consider doing your MSc in Pathology which is now offered under various titles at different universities in Pakistan.

As for your opportunities abroad, there are huge funding available in these areas if you do well. I mean a minimum of no less than 3.5++ CGPA and do an IELTS of no less than 7 band. You may end up getting full scholarship in Germany for your post-graduation.

Q2: My father gave me your email for career consultation as I am facing some challenges. I have done BBA from SZABIST Karachi in 2007 and then I worked in industrial marketing from 2008 to 2013. After that I did double masters in Australia from Macquarie University in Accounting and Business Management.

The professional field is very competitive in Australia and I am confused what career choices to make. I am looking to obtain an MBA from University of Western Sydney as I got admission in their part time programme but I wanted to ask you do you feel an MBA would be beneficial for me at this stage. I am aiming to get part time management work while I do MBA as currently it is hard to get jobs in corporate sector. I am aiming to settle in Dubai or Pakistan in the future so anything that helps me in getting to that point is my goal. Also I am 32-year old so maybe that is also a matter of concern in making a decision. I am currently located in Sydney and planning to move to Perth for MBA or I have also applied for MBA Technology at Sydney AGSM for which I am awaiting admissions. Please guide me on what would be best for me. (Fahad, Australia)

A: I think you achieved a good level of management qualification that is a mix of Pakistani and international flavour. The subject mix that you have chosen are also well in demand and are known to be a good combination. I don't think so doing an extra or an additional MBA from University of Western Sydney will help you in getting any better job. If I was in your place I would find an appropriate and relevant position in strategic and financial management and gain some relevant experience in the international market before returning to Pakistan or Middle East and I am sure you will be able to find ample career opportunities in this part of the world. I wish you all the best.

Q3: I recently completed my Electrical Engineering in power from UET Lahore with CGPA 3.4. What should I prefer? Job, MS or MBA (Eng/ Management), If MS, then which specialisation should I select?

(Ayan Ali)

A: My recommendation to you would be to work for few years in the industry connected to Electrical Engineering, Manufacturing, Power Plants, Operations and Distributions, or Line Management. Once you have completed few years of hands-on experience in your area you can look towards doing and MSc to top up. This could be sustainable power planning and management, it could be an MSc in Technology or Industrial Management but this would be directed by the experience and interest that you will have in any of the above areas.

Q4: I am doing BS in Food Science and Technology from Jinnah University for Women's in Karachi. As this is a public university and I am not satisfied with it, should I continue with this university or should I transfer to private university in Karachi? Or there is any difference of degree if I transfer to private university? And can you please provide me with your contact number? Waiting for your reply as admissions are going on all over Karachi. Thank you (Shahnaha Rizwan from Karachi)

A: I would not recommend leaving a government institution for at least till the completion of your BS. The public sector university degrees are more respected than private universities especially when you are looking to study abroad. I would suggest you to work hard and try to get a first class bachelors' degree and then look towards doing an MSc within the domain of food science which has huge and emerging career opportunities. There are great scholarship opportunities for food scientists across the world and I wish you all the best in your future career.

(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).

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