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Career counselling: questions and answers


October 19, 2020

Q1: Dear Abidi sb, I am currently in 4th semester of an honors degree with specialisation in Agriculture Science at Arid Agriculture University.

Sir, in my 5th semester, I have to finalise and choose my major subject. Therefore, I thought to get advice from you as to which subject I should choose as my majors and will it have more prospects and scope? Subjects are Entomology, Plant Breeding & Genetics, Plant Pathology, Agronomy or Food Technology? My current CGPA is 3.63/4.00. (Shamsuddin Sultan Sheikh – Islamabad)

Ans: Dear Shamsuddin, I’m pleased to see that you are a hard working and bright student and your CGPA is excellent. When choosing your majors, your objective is very important. So I would like to ask you if it is research. Are you planning to go to industry or doing your own consultancy or business etc? If you want to do research PhD leading to teaching or publications, then Plant Breeding & Genetics or Plant Pathology would be the best option. However, if you wish to find a career opportunity in the industry or provide consultancy in technology then Agronomy and Food Technology should be a good option. Having said this, all of these areas have a good career opportunity.

Q2: Respected sir, I belong to FATA. I passed MBA specialisation in HRM and a Masters in International Relations. I mean I have done double Masters. Now I want to do a PhD but I am really confused that in which field I will do a PhD. I have decided to do MS & MPhil in Management, Strategic HRM and IR. I am getting confused in choosing subjects for MS/MPhil and PhD too. Sir, I am eligible for the above three programmes. Can you please suggest which subject will be better and have more scope in future so that I can choose the right path? I look forward for your suggestion. (Nayyar Khan – FATA)

Ans: Dear Nayyar, I think its better that I simply shed light on a few things. Firstly, MBA is a professional and conversion programme and has nothing to do with research or any help towards your PhD. Your masters in IR, also provides a well-rounded approach towards international relations. However, this course again doesn’t offer research modules. Therefore, if you wish to pursue a doctoral/PhD programme you must do a relevant MPhil. If you want me to suggest you more competitive and career-oriented area, I would recommend Strategic Management/HRM. However, it all depends whether you wish to work in this area or perhaps take the route of applying for CSS etc. I hope this information will be helpful.

Q3: Dear Abidi Sb, I am doing Commerce (an honors degree/ 4-year bachelors from the University of Karachi). My friends and parents are advising me to choose marketing as a major. I am confused and seek your advice in choosing the right path. (Fawwad Memon, Karachi)

Ans: Dear Fawwad, may be your relatives and parents are advising you to study marketing because they might think you are good in this area. I always recommend a student should make his or her own assessment in following three areas: Do you like travelling, are you good at negotiating, can you convince people. If you have these abilities then I think you must do a masters degree in marketing and one of the most popular and demanding area is Supply Chain Management.

Q4: My brother has done Electronics Engineering recently. He wishes to do a job as an electrical engineer. After this, he is planning to join any airline. However, he is also thinking of choosing to study masters in the same subject. His CGPA is 3.6. Your expert suggestion /advice will be very helpful. (Qasim Riaz Chattha, Gujrat).

Ans: Dear Qasim Chattha, after going through your brother’s academic background, grades and options, Communication Engineering in my opinion should be a better choice. This I suggest should be from a good university. This decision will help him in getting a good job in CPEC projects. He will have more options and chances for getting jobs. If there is any funding issue then he should do an internship and gain reasonable experience which will definitely help in getting a job in a relevant 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).