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Career counselling:questions and answers

Lahore

March 16, 2020

Q1: Dear Mr Abidi, I will be highly grateful if you could please help me in career guidance. I am interested in becoming a doctor and for that I want to do MBBS. But the problem is that I got 994 marks out of 1100 in my 10th grade and 996 /1100 in Intermediate (pre medical). Furthermore, in MDCAT by UHS I recently got 906 out of 1100. But still think I can score better as I am very near to the required merit. My main problem is that my two years wasted in trying to improvement of MDCAT. I would like you to suggest if I should try another attempt? If no, then please advise some better option whether it is medical or engineering. (Safdar Hameed, Okara)

Ans: In my opinion, you have tried your best and given time as much as you could for admission to a medical college. Now you should not waste time on it any more as it may be the same output again. For your information, there are many emerging subject areas relevant to health sciences and mixture of a medical practitioner’s work. These areas can be Biochemistry, Biology, Microbiology or Biotechnology etc. You should keep in mind that research in medical science is constantly in process and there are large funds/scholarships available for relevant researchers around the globe who are trying to find out cure for a lot of fatal diseases and viruses such as Cancer, AIDS (HIV), Zika and COVID-19 etc. So my advice to you is that you should work hard to find a degree that leads to the above emerging subjects/ issues. This will definitely enhance your academic studies and a successful career.

Q2: Respected Abidi sb, I am currently a student of Pharmacy at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. Right now I am in fourth professional. I wish to do PhD. I would like to know which institutions or countries will give me admission right after my graduation and accept GRE so that I can do MPhil leading to PhD programme. Please note that I do not want to do MPhil and PhD in two steps. (Shamshad Kaleem, Rawalpindi)

Ans: As soon as your pharmacy degree completes; there will be options available for you if you decide to go abroad. In case you want to do research in drugs related industry, then you should choose a specific PhD (MPhil with PhD). In case you want to start career in pharmaceutical industry after successful completion of your Bachelors degree, then you will spend again three years in relevant industry. After that you can top-up your Bachelors with a technical or a management degree to enhance your success chances in future.

Q3: Sir, I would like to discuss my attached CV and seek guidance. I have done degree in Energy Policy. In this degree, we study energy policies of different governments of Pakistan. Now I wish to do a PhD in this programme. I would appreciate if you may please guide me. (Hisham Rehmat, Multan)

Ans: A PhD means writing up a research proposal / synopsis and you have to find a supervisor with an appropriate institution to discuss your future goals. I can’t advise without having a one-to-one meeting and counselling session and find out about what do you want in terms of a PhD. Yet, I understand that Pakistan’s government need experts and specialists relevant to energy sector, either its policy making, governance or sustainability and its relevant issues etc. I think you are wise enough to think carefully about career chances, before choosing applying a PhD.

Q4: Dear Abidi sb, firstly I took admission in Computer Engineering degree in Quetta, then I got admission in Architecture and Planning in an HEC recognised university in Sindh and this is a very interesting subject for me. As both of the institutions are HEC-recognised public sector universities; therefore, I am very much confused as to which institution I finally select. Your guidance shall be highly appreciated. (Arbab Gul Sher Khan, Quetta)

Ans: Both of the options mentioned in your query are totally different. To be honest, architecture requires a lot of skills like drawings etc., and I’m not sure whether you have such skills and can successfully complete an architecture degree or not. Whereas, Computer Engineering has a lot of sub specialisms in masters and is an emerging area and it will give you diverse professional career options. Final selection is up to you.

(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).