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Career counselling: questions and answers


April 8, 2019

Q1: I passed the CIE exams of first three subjects (Urdu, Pakistan Studies and Islamiat) attaining 1A* and 2As. I have been the part of a well-known educational institution “Bloomfield Hall School” for last 14 years of my life. This year I am appearing in the CIE exams of rest of the subjects (English, Maths, Biology, Physics and Chemistry).

I am confused what to do after A-levels as I am willing to go in for medical field while staying and studying in Pakistan. There are rumours everywhere that if you go for A-levels and then you want to join medical field, that is not possible because no matter how good grades you achieve in A-levels, your equivalence numbers would be very less and your dream for going into government medical college is shattered, leaving you with only one way i.e. private medical colleges.

Can you please guide me what should I do, either A-level or FSc, and what are other fields available that are valued in Pakistan for me if I go for A-levels other than medical. (M Shoaib, Lahore)

Ans: Having looked at your grades in your three papers and considering the fact that you will also do similar grades in Maths, Biology, Physics and Chemistry there’s no need to shift to FSc even if you are looking to stay in Pakistan and continue your education for MBBS. All you would have to do is to prepare your NTS test and if you do well in your entrance test and with the grade you will achieve in A-level should give you a combination that will allow you to compete in major medical institutions across the country. However, you would still need to work hard to understand how the entrance test system is designed and assessed.

Q2: I did my FSc in 2018, now I am studying Mechanical Engineering but I am thinking of changing it next year. I want to ask that if changing it is a good idea or if I plan to change what should I choose next? I have considered Physics and computer science or engineering. I have considered Physics because it is more interesting as compared to engineering. (Rabia – Multan)

Ans: Before I can advise you regarding changing your degree specialism, I would be grateful if you can share with me your FSc results and the first term of your mechanical engineering that you have completed so far, the name of the university that you are currently studying etc. Once I have this information, I will guide you more comprehensively.

Q3: I am currently studying in Mechanical Department of University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar. I obtained 935 out of 1100 in my FSc (Pre-Engineering) ie, A1 grade. I want to change my mechanical engineering to Physics and computer sciences. Please advise me what programme I should switch to?

In my first semester of mechanical engineering, I missed a few papers as I was switching disciplines. I spent almost one week in Physics department and more than one week in the English department of Peshawar University. Detail of first semester result is as following: Pakistan Studies A-, C++ Programming A, Islamiat C+ (missed paper), Electrical Technology C- (missed paper), Workshop Technology A, Calculus B+ and English A-. (Rimsha – Peshawar)

Ans: Having gone through your grades/marks achieved during your first semester, I strongly feel that you should switch to Software Engineering if possible. Once you have completed your four-year honors degree in software engineering, I will then guide you for one-year master programme in UK to top up and add value to your software development specialism. I’m sure based on your results in programming and calculus it appears that you would successfully complete your degree.

Q4: I got 612 marks in FSc (medical) and now I am confused about my career can you tell me please which one is best for me DPT, DNS or D-Pharm and in which university I should get admission? (Umar–Lahore)

Ans: Considering your marks in FSc pre-medical, I would advise you to look at applied health sciences which includes a BSc Hons in molecular biology, biochemistry or if you prefer doing a pharmacy degree provided that you are strong in chemistry all should be good as a career. It is important that you establish your base in biological sciences so that when you look at doing your post graduate you have a number of specialism options available that will help you to develop a specialism that leads to research or finding an equivalent career opportunity within the health industry.

(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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