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Career counselling; questions and answers


May 20, 2019

Q1: Sir, recently, I appeared in FSc pre-engineering Part-2 examination and I am currently preparing for admission test. But there is a problem, my mind is changing from engineering towards medical and now I want to become a neurosurgeon. I have passed Matriculation with Computer Science and taken FSc examination with Mathematics. I have A+ grade in all my examination and a lot of interest in science subjects as Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Biology. I wanted to ask whether I should change my field and if so how can I change my field? (Syed Abeer Hussain, Peshawar)

Ans: Looking at your grades, your vision and passion in becoming a medical doctor, I see no reason why you cannot shift from Engineering to Medical Science and then appear in MCAT for public sector medical institutions. I think you will have a better edge over other pre-medical students because of your computing science and pre-engineering background in clearing the task and hopefully you would get offers from the public sector universities. However, you will have to check with your relevant board how can you take the additional subjects of Chemistry and Biology to add with your Maths, and to subsequently qualify for a medical school entry.

There should be no confusion either in your mind or your parents’ mind that changing fields / specialism at this stage would create any sort of problem or loss of your time or education. I wish you all the best.

Q2: Sir, I am waiting for my intermediate pre-medical result. Please advise which medical university I should choose for further studies. I have good interest in studying Biology. I had 73% marks in my FSc Part-1 examination. Your expert advice for a medical university shall be a great help for me. Kind regards, (Ammara Nadeem, Lahore)

Ans: Since you are a pre-medical student you should have by now explored various processes, entrance procedures and eligibility criteria to pursue a medicine degree in Pakistan. I’m sure you plan to appear in the MCAT which will actually ascertain which public sector university you fit in terms of your percentage in FSc and in the NTS. If you fail to get the marks required for public sector universities then you still have a choice to go towards private sector universities which have a slightly different admission criteria / marks required as you will be paying a substantial fees once accepted. Please note that you must understand the process of admission to medical universities in Pakistan to ensure that you follow all rules and regulations for admission.

Q3: I am studying polymer engineering in National Textile University, Faisalabad. It's my final year. Now, I'm confused what should I do after graduation, either further study or job? And if I should study further, then how can I get scholarship from abroad? Please tell me about this. I will wait for your reply. (Usama Rafiq, Faisalabad)

Ans: Polymer Engineering or man-made fibre science is a huge domain. However, there are limited opportunities in Pakistan when it comes to working in the textile side of Polymer, but certainly there may be many auxiliary areas that you can explore. There are always two options once you graduate, firstly get some industrial experience and then choose the right postgraduate for further studies or go straight away to do your masters. Scholarships are not automatic and depend on various factors such as your academic profile, the country and the university you are choosing, extra-curricular activities and your English language proficiency results in many countries are all important when applying for scholarships. However, before you do that you need an offer letter and you must explore which course that you wish to take up for your postgraduate studies that will give the right top up to your undergraduate degree in enhancing your career going forward.

Q4: I recently completed my Engineering degree in Power & Electrical Engineering with CGPA 2.31. I am willing to do further studies but facing some difficulty in admission in MS i.e. because of CGPA which is a bit low. I am quite sure your suggestion would be very useful. Kindly advise whether I should go abroad for studies or what to do? (Tabrez Jamal – Hyderabad)

Ans: I see your grades are definitely very low. I am not sure doing MS or related engineering degree at postgraduate level in Pakistan will do much for you. Anyway, if you have any desire to study abroad which is a good option, you must study pre-masters in management engineering as a top up degree. This is a very useful blend of engineering and management and surely has a chance to increase chances in your future success.

(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).