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Career counselling: questions and answers

Lahore

September 21, 2020

Q1: Respected sir, I have done my O and A levels and now looking for universities within Pakistan. I have received my acceptance from NUST for BS Chemistry and BS Bio-Applied Sciences. I am indecisive to choose between these two majors. I like Bio and Chemistry too and have good command on both the subjects. Considering the future prospects like job market in Pakistan and further studying with scholarship abroad, what would you suggest me to opt for? (Anmol Mehmood, Islamabad)

Ans: Dear Anmol, thank you for your email. Having gone through your email, I would advise you to keep Bio-Applied Sciences as priority one and BS Chemistry as priority two. I would suggest that you don’t listen to stories or views of people who are not qualified to provide such information. The bachelor degree that you do from NUST would certainly require a top up masters in any niche area in both domains whether Biosciences leading to Genetics, Cell Engineering, Virology etc., or using your Chemistry degree to look at related research degrees in Analytic or Industrial Chemistry etc. Wish you best of luck in your future endeavours.

Q2: Sir, I really need your guidance regarding admission to a better university in Canada, UK, Australia and Turkey or anywhere whose degree would be acceptable globally. I am willing to pursue my career in MBBS. I would complete my FSc (Pre-Medical) next year. (Musfira, Karachi)

Ans: Dear Musfira, pursuing a medicine degree overseas particularly in the West is very expensive or hardly affordable. You should be very careful when choosing to do MBBS in Turkey, China or Cyprus as most of these are not fully recognised by PMDC and you may be asked to do additional exams or get your degree accredited again in Pakistan. Moreover, always remember that MBBS in UK, Canada or Australia may require additional pre-medical/ foundation programmes if you have not done your A levels. Please note there are either no or very little scholarships for doing medical courses so please be careful when planning your studies abroad.

Q4: Sir, please tell me the scope of PhD Psychology and research area on mental health of war-affected children in Europe. (Muhammad Arham Janjua, Gujranwala)

Ans: Dear Mr Janjua, Psychology has an extensive domain and there are very few highly qualified Psychologists in Pakistan. The increasing social issues in the society such as incidents of terrorism, violence against women, crime etc more research is needed to overcome this and Psychologists will play a key role. As you said the other important area is the state of mental health of war-affected families and children particularly in the region of Middle East and Eastern Europe. Student having PhD in Psychology; therefore, will have better prospects both for research and teaching this area.

(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).

Q3: Respected Mr Abidi, I request you to please guide me regarding my eldest daughter. She is in Class 7 in O-level school and wants to go in medical. Her tutor told me to switch her in Matric system to avoid one year waste, including 20 marks deduction if she appears in medical exam after O-level, also to ease her by over burden courses. (Naeem Shehzad, Faisalabad)

Ans: Dear Naeem Sb, perhaps you are right it is always recommended that students do their FSc (Pre-Medical) rather than A-levels if they wish to pursue a medical degree in Pakistan. This is not only because they have to study one more year but also when it comes to equivalence from IBCC, please also note that FSc (Pre-Medical) students are likely to score better marks in competitive examinations such as MCAT due to the syllabus they follow during their intermediate or higher secondary years.