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Career counselling: questions and answers

Lahore

September 9, 2019

Q: I have completed my graduation with major as Biochemistry from Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of the Punjab. Now I want to take admission in MPhil. Recently I secured admission in MPhil Biological Sciences (School of Biological Sciences), MPhil in Molecular Biology (Center of Excellence in Molecular Biology), MPhil in Biochemistry (Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology) at Punjab University. I have three opportunities or options now. But I am confused so please suggest me which field is best and has broader scope plus good opportunities of jobs. I have only 3 days to choose one. I will be really grateful to you if you can guide me. Thanking you in anticipation. (Eesha, Lahore)

A: I would highly recommend Molecular Biology irrespective of your degree in Biochemistry. Molecular Biology has a tremendous scope and is a diversified area where huge research funding is available worldwide. A degree in Molecular Biology means that you can apply your expertise in the entire field and science of genetics that would be the science of tomorrow going forward. I hope this will help you choose.

Q: Sir, I have done MBA Marketing from NUML Islamabad and also MA in Political Science and Islamic Studies. I am confused now for more study between MS Supply Chain Management from Bahria Islamabad or LLB from Punjab. I have been through difficulties during my MBA study. Presently I am also a serving person in government department but in low rank. I want to improve my status in society. (M Afqar ul Haq. Wah Cantt).

A: With your bachelors, MA and MBA; I would suggest that you prepare yourself for CSS provided that you are eligible in terms of your age. If not, you may still use your CV and qualifications to enter a better and prospective department either through proper channel or perhaps looking at the private sector where the chances of your promotions through internal and professional training programmes are better than as compared in the public sector. A further degree in Supply Chain Management should not make a great difference with your existing qualifications in expanding your career opportunities.

Q: I am currently a student of EASA PART 66 license programme in Pakistan. (The European Union Aviation Safety Agency or EASA is an agency of the European Union (EU) with responsibility for civil aviation safety.) It is an aircraft maintenance engineering program (licensed) which consists of 3 years. This course consists of modules and practical experience. After completing the exams, one can go for the top up degree which consists of one year or go for the practical experience (5 years compulsory in order to obtain the aircraft maintenance license). I am left with 6 modules to complete and I decided to go for the degree not just the license. I searched for different universities abroad (Germany, UK). I saw your program so I decided to consult you so that I can get you useful suggestions. (Abdul Ahad, Karachi).

A: Aircraft maintenance certification that you are doing should be able to build a platform for you to go for higher degrees. I think your decision is good that you are opting for top up degree. However, once you have completed your current license programme you can start applying within the aviation industry to seek an apprenticeship scheme that leads to enhancing your expertise in any one area within aircraft maintenance. I would recommend you try applying to Emirates, Qatar, Gulf and other airlines within the region who have a comprehensive aircraft maintenance workshop.

Q: I have passed my FSc (Pre-Medical) from Government College University, Lahore with securing 90% marks in 2019. Unfortunately, I could not perform well in MDCAT (2019) and secured just 81.5% marks, so not eligible for admission in MBBS or BDS in public sector medical colleges. However, I qualify for private medical colleges but very high fee of such colleges is not affordable for me. At the moment I am confused about my next move to select a path for my career. A right or wrong decision may lead to a success or difficulty in my career. So I need your expert opinion. Here under are some questions. 1) What is future trend of demanding jobs in near future? 2) Should I opt for a CA (Chartered Accountancy) and what is its scope in future (digitalization, threats)? 3) Should I opt a career in Allied Health Sciences disciplines? What is the scope of these programmes? 4) What about Nano Technology courses and which top ranked institutes offer bachelors in Nanotechnology in Pakistan or abroad. 5) Any other suggestion which you think more suitable for me, please advise. (Muhammad Ali Shahzad, Islamabad)

A: Not everybody can or should become a doctor. There are several areas and specialties within the Health Sciences/ Biological Sciences where you can find good career options. A number of them in the order of priorities can be as follows: BS in Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Biomedical Science, D Pharmacy and Biotechnology etc. Having done your bachelors, you may opt to do MPhil or MS on scholarship from HEC or may be from abroad of course your grades will have to be compatible and on merit list. As for Chartered Accountancy is concerned, that is a very different area and I would not suggest you divert your focus from sciences having achieved 90% of marks at your high school.

(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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