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November 18, 2019

Career counselling: Questions and answers


November 18, 2019

Q1: Dear Mr Abidi, I am taking this opportunity to get your expert advice about my kids. I am living in KSA for last many years and my family is also with me. I would appreciate if you please suggest which kind of education system my children should follow because in coming years they would be studying in Pakistan for engineering and medical as this is our plan. Can you please also advise on difference between Cambridge and American education? (Sharif Malik, Jeddah)

Ans: After going through your future planning for kids I would recommend your children to follow Pakistani education system and not any other. I understand Federal Board exams are available in Saudi Arabia. Further to your query about American education please note that it is theoretical based and broader aspects of studies by virtue of gaining credits and credit points which ultimately calculate to your achieving the IB certification.

This equates to the 12th grade and lets your child enter a four-year degree in the US. On the other hand, British Education System like GCSE O and A Levels is an academic based system where grades are awarded through examinations with no contribution of class work, attendance or homework. The A-Level equates to 13 years of education and enable students to start three-year honors at a British school or into the second year of a 4-year honors in the US.

Q2: Respected Abidi sb, I regularly read your column which normally contains useful information. I thought it would be a good idea that this time I get your guidelines for my subject/ professional career. Sir, I’m very much worried as it’s been more than a year since I have done MSc in Biotechnology and I’m still jobless. I could not get job related to my masters. Now after careful consideration I think I should switch my field. Can you please let me know which field is better and what are the options for me? (Ufaira Iqbal, Lahore)

Ans: My suggestion is that you must get at least an internship even if it is unpaid which should be related to your subject/ field. There are a lot of big companies and hospitals who look for fresh graduates on stipend and or even get them engaged free-of-cost. You will be groomed by interacting with people related to your field resulting in your full time job either at the same organisation or any other. I hope this guideline would be of great help to you.

Q3: Dear Abidi sb, I had done MSc in Psychology in 2012. Now I’m working in National Maternal Newborn and Child Health programme as a social organiser. Now I’m planning to study further like PhD. Now I want to do PhD in sociology/psychology as part time. I would be grateful if you could let me know if it would be in my benefit and whether I should take admission in this PhD? (Karamat Ali Jaffri, Karachi)

Ans: I think if you choose Child Psychology / Psychotherapy (remaining within education psychology) in career counselling etc. This will surely give you more opportunities and it is an emerging and in demand area in our country.

Q4: Sir, I’m studying Electronic Engineering from University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Lahore. It is my last semester. Please guide me what should I do after completion of my studies. (Arbaz Khan Baloch, Bahawalpur)

Ans: In my opinion, you should consider two specialisms that would help you in connecting your BE to some wider specialism. Popular programmes can be Masters in Embedded Systems and Design, Industrial Electronics, Control Systems and Design etc. These degrees are offered in many institutions not only in Pakistan but also in foreign institutions if you wish to study from abroad.

(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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