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Career counselling: questions and answers

Lahore

November 16, 2020

Q1: Dear Mr Abidi, I watched your interview on YouTube recently and have decided to discuss my problem with you. I hope you can guide me. I have done my BSc (Botany, Zoology & Chemistry) and now I want to become nutritionist. I searched on Google and found out that only Dow University offers Masters in Nutrition but fee structure is so high. Karachi University’s food science field is available but I don't want to be a food analyst so I am confused about selecting my field. I don't want to do master in Botany, Zoology or Chemistry. Actually I want to do something which makes me proud or doing something in society and making my future better. I am confused and please guide me what can I do. (Nimrah Aslam, Karachi)

Ans: Dear Nimrah, I have gone through the contents of your email, my suggestion is to reconsider your decision and seriously look at doing your masters in Biochemistry, Biotechnology or Analytical Chemistry. The life as you see is becoming more challenging amid the recent COVID-19 pandemic and related climate change issues. Hence, chemistry would become a prime and important subject area with lot of diversification and opportunities for research particularly keeping in view your objectives of contributing to the society and making a career for yourself. Following your MSc you may even look at more modern and relevant future specialisms such as Digital Forensics, Biometric Science as top ups. All of these require extensive and comprehensive base. I’m afraid Nutritionist are not as in demand as you might be expecting; so I will suggest that you review your plans.

Q2: I have done graduation with Biochemistry (majors) from University of the Punjab. Now I want to take admission in MPhil. Recently I secured admission in MPhil Biological Sciences (School of Biological Sciences), MPhil in Molecular Biology (Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology), MPhil in Biochemistry (Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology) at PU. I have three options now. But I’m confused. Please advise which field is best and has broader scope and more job opportunities. Please note that my BS is in Biochemistry. (Erum Ghazanfar, Lahore)

Ans: Dear Erum, I recommend Molecular Biology irrespective of your degree in Biochemistry. Molecular Biology has a wonderful scope and is diversified area where huge research funding is available worldwide. By doing degree in Molecular Biology means that you can apply your expertise in the entire field and science of genetics that will be the science of tomorrow going forward.

Q3: Please let me know that Architecture earns good or not? Should I go for BSc or Architecture in terms of money? (Haiqa, Toba Tek Singh)

Ans: Dear Miss Haiqa, I cannot give you any suggestion or guidance until I know what is your current qualification and subjects you have studied. Therefore, I would advise you to send me your academic documents so that I can give you a better advice and guideline.

Q4: I have done MBA Marketing from NUML, Islamabad and also MA in Political Science and Islamic Studies. For further studies, I am considering to do either MS Supply Chain Management from Bahria Islamabad or LLB from Punjab. But I am very much confused. (Feroze Ali, Taxila).

Ans: With your bachelors, MA and MBA; I would suggest that you prepare yourself for CSS provided that you are eligible in terms of your age. If not, you may still use your CV and qualifications to enter a better and prospective department either through proper channel or perhaps looking at the private sector where the chances of your promotions through internal and professional training programmes are better as compared to the public sector. A further degree in Supply Chain Management should not make a great difference with your existing qualifications in expanding your career opportunities.

(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).