Tak kenal maka tak cinta. Jom Kenali Universiti Awam (UA) Malaysia.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

What does one do after SPM anyway?

Posted by Snow

When the invigilator announced the end of my final paper, I heaved a sigh of relief and put down my pen. A few blissful weeks passed after I had completed my Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examinations – weeks where I spent half the time hanging out with my friends and the other half basically lazing around.

As time passed, I gradually turned my thoughts to the burning question every post-SPM student eventually asks: “What will I do after this?”

Examine your options.

You don’t really have to pay for those expensive, flashy motivational/ guidance packages. All you need is to be more self-reliant and take the initiative to attend the free education fairs / career talks that are constantly being held. Ask yourself questions, look up informative books or magazines or newspaper articles and do some online research. Personally, an education fair proved to be very informative and certainly provided me with sufficient details, allowing me to actually make decisions. I wandered around the huge education fair aimlessly, accepting every leaflet that was offered to me and filled every single form available requesting for further details of different courses. Different institutions of tertiary education may proffer different information pertaining to the same course, so it would be useful if you ‘did your homework’ and left no leaf unturned.

I didn’t know what I want to do, but I knew what I didn’t want to do, so naturally I eliminated anything that involved Mathematics in excessive amounts, because I hate Math. Nevertheless, I briefly toyed with the idea of doing Engineering before dismissing it due to the fact I’m one of the rare, weird people that likes Physics and detests Maths.

Talking to the lecturers/ counsellors that were sometimes present at the different booths really helped too. Each of them provided useful insight into the course available:
  • Required skills
  • The course syllabus – how does it prepare you for your future career?
  • Available career options upon completion of course.
  • What does each career entail – how would your daily life be like?
One will undoubtedly gain a deeper understanding of a particular career in addition to the above points. Ask questions, don’t be afraid! Consider tuition fees, location of academies offering a certain course – there are many things a prospective student of tertiary education needs to ponder about.

Do allocate some time for your investigation. I spent two days wandering about in an education fair. Technically, I had already made up my mind on the first day and the second day was spent doing in-depth research on my chosen career and the course available. It was time well-spent for I may now state my future ambition with unshakeable conviction whereas I never knew what to tell people my ambition was previously due to uncertainty.

Some scholars opt to take Diploma course immediately whereas some would prefer a pre-university course. It is really all up to you and no one can tell you what you should do. Your future is involved, so do open up your eyes and ears, be prepared to embark upon lengthy debates with anyone who is able to provide advice. Make your choice wisely. It will definitely be worth studying your options carefully before making a hasty decision you may regret.
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  1. At the end of SPM examinations, the million dollar question pops out : " What should I do next? "
    While some students have already set their minds, most are lost in the sea of tertiary education.

    To my opinion, if one has still not decided on what to do, they should move on to pre-U courses like A-levels, form 6, Australian Matriculation or even Canadian Pre-U.

    A-levels and F6 gives students wider options for university selection as most universities recognise them. The duration of A-levels and F6 is also long enough to give students adequate time to think about their prefered course in future. So if a person is undecided, I would recommend it.

    If a person is undecided, but want a faster path, SAM or CPU is a faster choice. Bear in mind that SAM and CPU is a very assignments-based course which Malaysian students might struggle to fit in. We, as malaysian students are more exams-oriented. Australian matriculation is 50 % internal assessment while CPU is 70% internal assessment. Btw, internal assessments = assignments and quizzes given by lecturers. So if a student prefers a faster pre-uni, australian and canadian matriculation is a good option.

    Then there are the diploma courses which gives students direct entrance to their choice of study. Diploma courses are very often less time-consuming and does not require students to study a lot of unrelated subjects. So if a student has made up their mind, by all means, go straight to diploma courses.

    Foundation courses are more rigid and students will not have the luxury to pick their favoured univeristy. Student from foundation courses can only go to the universities which are linked to the college where they take their foundation courses.

    These are the basic path a student will undertake. So I hope what I wrote will help.

  2. The other option is to take a year off and do something else. Travel, volunteer, sleep, work, learn an unusual course, whatever. You don't have to go into tertiary education straight away. Heck, you might not be able to if you get called up for NS! There is no rush. The break time would help your brain and body rest, and it could also help you with deciding what to do next.

    Also: you can do foundation courses in one uni and transfer. I've done this internationally and I had friends that transferred locally too. They count the credits.

  3. Well, you can always take a break for awhile.

    Explore some of the career options that you might be interested in by meeting new people, doing some research about it, or engaging in volunteer activities.

    If you are unsure of what to do, it's always good to take a career or personality test as a headstart. Although it might not be 100% correct, it'll give you an idea ;)

  4. I spend my 7 months doing absolutely nothing at all because I know it will be the last time I will have a break as long as this.

    After the blissful 7 months of heaven I accepted MARA scholarship and went directly to the states to start my freshman year in engineering.

    So that's what I do.

    Is it fun? No.I suggest you take other courses than engineering.especially chemical.

    1. what spm qualification should have to do marine course

  5. hi there..do u know where can i get the informantion on postgraduate programme..im still blurred on what course to be taken for my uni level. thanx...

  6. hi..can u please tell me how to apply psd scholarship via online?

  7. hey,i'm from Manchester, England and was just wondering. i am taking GCSE exams which is not so well known in Malaysia. i am a Malaysian which studies in the UK and hopes to carry on with my study in Malaysia. i have been here for the past 3 years and hopes to pursue my dream of doing aeronautical engineering. All i heard is that i can apply to any UITM, UIA or matriculation college in malaysia. i just want to confirm that if i really could do this and also, what are the qualification subjects needed in this course. my father advised me to start with mechatronics which is quite new or just do mechanical engineering first. if only i could know the subjects that are needed to qualify for this actual course. at the moment, the subjects that i'm doing are english, maths, science(bio,chemy,phys), design technology, citizenship, and B-tech Business studies. thank you.

  8. what the meaning of allied health science??plz help me..

  9. Hi,my daughter finished her SPM in 2008 - science stream.But her results for the main science subjects were 7D's ie for Mathematic,Physic,Biology,Chemistry,Add Mathematics.As her mom, i suggested that she resit the 5 science subjects which she will in November 09.But my problem now is what happens after that.If she slogs and gets flying colours, its ok but do i send her for A Levels or just straight away decide on a course and send her to a private colledge.Am not sure whether A Levels is the right choice! or a foundation course.She of course is blur as to what she wants to do but for sure she wants to study the science courses.Do advise.

  10. HELLO...!!
    Im an science stream student ...BUT Im in the plan of taking software engineering course...
    itz pretty cool...and im kinda interest in that....
    but at the same time Im quite worried about my future in this career....
    Itz there a good demand in our country for software engineering graduates in coming 3 years???
    Many of my frenz are advising me from not taking any courses related to computer systems...They said itz not a good choice to choose any career related to IT due to lot of IT graduates in Malaysia without the perfect job....
    so im quite worried and anxious to pursue my career in It field...so is ter a good demand for IT programmers and software engineers in Malaysia...?
    plz do reply soon...i desperately need ur advice coz i should go for my college as soon as possible...your co-operation is well appreciated... =)

  11. i got only 2As' in my spm. what should i do?all my friends get 8/9/10 As'. I feel so ashame with myself. Can I study STPM with this bad result?Im from science stream,but my result is so bad now.I want to change to art stream. Should i take form6?

  12. my sister just get her spm result~~horrible~~>"<
    as an elder sister,i need to find what she can do~(my mother's order~~)
    but i really lack of this kind of information,coz i from a chinese school~so thank god i found this website~
    so,my question are
    1)what is the minimum required for study stpm?
    2)do u have any information about IKBN?when it will start accept register for this year july?
    that's all of it~
    thx a lot~^^

  13. hi, i'am was the art stream student... get terrible result 2B 3C 3D 2E. i would like to studay the software engineering.As the:'
    Itz there a good demand in our country for software engineering graduates in coming 3 years???
    Many of my frenz are advising me from not taking any courses related to computer systems...They said itz not a good choice to choose any career related to IT due to lot of IT graduates in Malaysia without the perfect job....
    so im quite worried and anxious to pursue my career in It field...so is ter a good demand for IT programmers and software engineers in Malaysia...?' by the Anonymous | Wednesday, July 01, 2009 11:21:00 PM

    Some of my family told me this too. And the end what thing i learning in the software engineering. What college are provide this course, i been asking many college there are not provide, and which college are profressional in this course. Would mind anwser it? Or u can reply me as the e-mail. [email protected] i would i like to hear ur advise.

  14. I'm sit for SPM this year and I start to think of what should I study next year.... I'm a science stream student and I really interest in design and I plan to take multimedia design but my family discourage me from it. My family keep say design is not good for my future and I always argue with it .I now still blur and sometime ask myself not to think so much and follow what i want but sometime still worry of it.I'm the kind of people love to create new things but not to follow what people always do...taking science and find job work till old..what I love of design is I still can think of something new while I'm working,I still can think of a new way to let people see my creative thing but science not,engineer not,you just can work for a company in higher post o otherwise you do business.

    so hope to get opinion from you....should I change my though?

  15. Hi Ace, I think you should search for industrial engineering.
    It's not well known in malaysia. In fact, I'm not sure if it's offered in Malaysia.

    In industrial engineering, you'll be doing a lot of designing(depends on who your clients are). Build new stuff, reinvent common things. It's really cool.

    I'm not in industrial engineering, but some of my friends are. It's a good option and there's a lot of demand for in(not sure in Malaysia)

  16. Hey, sharing this really helped me out, so i want to say thanks for that, but if possible i would like more help with my life, obviously i just finished my spm, all credits, 4 A's, average i guess, and I am like totally blank on what i want to do. Considered form6/pre-u,foundation, and AUSMAT/Matriculation and A-levels, but as everyone knows, these options are hell(hard) and my parents are against it for some reason. So i have decided to take a diploma course but i have no idea what course to take that i won't mind doing for the rest of my life. Lil' help pls would be great and appreciated

  17. hey thanks, your link wasnt exactly what i wanted but it helped me get a better idea of what i should do, and after i few visits to the counselors i finally made up my mind, thanks again

  18. Great article, many thanks for your advice. :]

  19. Hi, I am a gap year student and have taken 2 years off from formal education. Some of the few things I did before resuming my studies are:-

    1. Improve weak subjects like linguistics, or learn a new language
    2. Do what you love to do but you never have the time for like learning a new instrument, modelling
    3. Learn Mathematics in advance because it is vital to brush up your mathematical skills
    4. Work such as doing internships, the most important skill you'll eventually gain is communication
    5. Be active in societies and organisations such as Tzu Chi
    6. Travel, go hiking
    7. Write more but in topics you thought you'll never be able to do. For my case, creating a history blog
    8. Read more, learn new subjects, learn advanced version of the subjects interested.

    Most of my time are spent on societies, volunteering, reading, writing, working. I hope this helps!

  20. Hi all! I am a parent of a post-SPM (2012) student and would like to share my two-cents worth of opinion for life after SPM. As I could ill-afford a private/overseas university education for my child, it was either to continue to STPM level, register for local matriculation, or sign up for a diploma all these options being different pathways to a local degree education. STPM takes 2 years, local matric 1-2 years (2 years for academically weak students) and diploma 3 years. I eventually advised her for a diploma course as the 3 years course can lead to a degree in the same course in the same university and if the diploma is achieved with commendable CGPA, the degree course of 4 years can be shortened to 2 1/2 years due to paper exemptions a total of 5.5 years.. If STPM is pursued, 2 yrs + 4 yrs degree= 6 years; if matriculation, 1 yr + 4 yrs degree = 5 yrs. Matric pathway may be shorter by 6 mths but a diploma can secure you a job if you decide not to pursue a degree.STPM is tough and you may not get the grades to enter local U.My child seem to agree with my advice so we have to see whether the temporary letter of offer from the U is finalised. During my time in missionary/govt schools, the SPM was Cambridge CGE "O" level and STPM was Cambridge Overseas Higher School Certificate like what private students are sitting for now! When you fail, that's it, you don't get to progress. You either re-sit or go for private school (it was'nt nice to go to private school then). But there were no pressure to get As then, just to pass was a happy event. Aaah, those were the days. Now, we parents are just as caught up as our chidlren.


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