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January 6, 2020

Career counselling: Questions and answers


January 6, 2020

Q1: Respected Abidi Sahib, I regularly follow your columns. My two children are studying in a local English medium school. However, I am confused which education system would be the best in future for my kids either Cambridge/O-Levels or Matric? My relatives and friends are suggesting me to get my children English medium/ Cambridge education as it would be better for higher studies. My kids are right now in a matriculation school. Although my kids are very young but I think this is right time for making decision about their education. I look forward for your advice. (Rubab Qasim, Lahore)

Ans: Let me advise you that our national curriculum which we normally refer to as Matric/FA/FSc (10+2) is a well-structured system and believe me there is nothing to worry about that. On the other hand, CIE which is normally referred to as O/A levels is fit for those students who plan to get foreign education/undergraduate degree for which they go abroad after passing A-Levels.

Therefore, if you think you can easily afford British education system and you are serious about sending them abroad for further studies then CIE system should be your choice. However, intermediate students who do FA/FSc also go to foreign countries for studying bachelors and further education and I can assure you that they have double edge of passing national entrance tests which give them more success as compared to O & Level students. I hope the above information would be of great help and clarifies the situation.

Q2: Sir, I passed my high school (Intermediate) from Canada. Due to some reasons I could not continue and never studied further. Now I am about 35 years of age and live in Karachi. Do you think I can resume my education at this age if I want to? Can you please advise what should I study? (Barkat Soomro, Karachi)

Ans: You can resume your education any time when you wish as the education is not conditional to age or time. While I am not sure if the education you refer as high school is equivalent to Intermediate? However, I recommend you consult your current qualification with IBCC whether it is equivalent to Intermediate (12 years of education)? If this is so then you may start your education on the basis of the equivalence provided. You can find the IBCC details on the internet.

Q3: Dear sir, my youngest brother passed matric with A+ grade and started ICS. But he failed in two major subjects. Personally he was not happy in ICS. Afterwards he started FA, and now he is in 2nd part of FA. Please guide me for his best future. (Zubair Paracha, Gujrat)

Ans: I can only advise you to let your brother focus on his studies and try to get good marks in his FA. However, you didn't mention which subjects your brother is now studying in his FA. Once he successfully passes his FA then he should think and choose one of the streams which he has more interest and got good grip to take up in his future career.

Q4: Dear sir, I have recently passed my Mechanical Engineering (4-year degree). Now I am thinking to do such a degree which gives me a good combination of engineering and management. I want to study such a degree so that I have more career prospects and options when I go for a job in industry. Do you think I should do masters in business administration or an MSc? (Aashir Anwar, Toba Tek Singh)

Ans: After going through your background details, I suggest you should gain some relevant work experience for two or three years then only you should think over which area of management you should study to add value to your degree. You should try Masters in Technology Management (MSc) or Project Management. I would advise you to gain practical experience after your current degree if you even get an internship without salary. This will give you chance in developing contacts and gaining professional edge over new comers who look for job without any experience.

(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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