Friday, July 26, 2013

Planning for Higher Education = Planning for a trip

As a student myself, I know that choosing what to further study is one of the hardest decision to make. I myself have also been through a lot during the process and understand how difficult is it. I have talked to a lot of people and find out a lot of information.

So to make it easy, planning for higher education is like planning for a trip.


This is the most basic thing you will think of when you are planning a trip.

Where? Where do you want to see yourself in in 5 to 10 years time? This is important. You have to take some time and think of where are you going to been in 5 to 10 years time.

Will I be in an office facing the computer?
Will I be outside talking to customer or client?
Will I be doing research in a company?
Will I be treating patient in a hospital?

This is the first and most important step. You are the only person that understand yourself. No one will understand what you want. So this is important to decide where you see yourself in the future.


What to do in a trip? Sightseeing, eating, relaxing.

It is important to choose what subject you want to pursue. I believe this is the hardest part. During high school, we are given choice of Art and Science stream. But when it comes to higher education you are given so many choices and the hardest part is sometime we don't even know such choices existed.

The most dangerous thing is, what we think we like is what we want to do in the future.However, I'm telling you that this is not the case. I've heard a lot of people claimed that they like maths and say accounting is their choice. Technically maths is maths, accounting is accounting. Generally this is two different things and one does not lead to the other. Same goes to science, you are good in studies and score well in your studies, generally the elder would give advice to pursue something related to science.

Just a reminder, SPM Physics, Biology and Chemistry is something general. At that stage most of our study method is memorizing instead of understanding. Scoring well in SPM doesn't means that you are good or talented in that area. I hate to say this but our education system in Malaysia is, if you have that key words in the marking scheme, you are an A+ student.

So a suggestion here, before picking a course check what is the subject in the course. Is it what you want to study about and is this your interest? Find good alternative and compare.


Who to go to a trip with? Friends, family.

Sometimes who do we go on a trip with can affect the trip entirely.

Same goes when making a decision to further studies. Who are we furthering study for? Ourself or for our parents? I realise a lot of people made the wrong decision because they study for the wrong reason.

Parents is one of the biggest influence in our lives. They basically made most of the decision of our life since we are born till now. When it comes to studies, our parents play a big part. Some parents might allowed you to make our own decision while some parents will make decision which they see is the best for us.I am disagreeing the fact that parents made the wrong decision but sometimes is not what we want.

In the end, this is a trip you are going on your own and the consequences or decision made is something you have to face it. So, take some time and think what you want before making any decision. Made sure that it is not only what your friends and family members wanted, but is also what you want as well.

Talk to your parents. Ask for advice. If what they tell you is different from what you want, discuss with them and tell them your thoughts.


This is the most headache question.

Many people think is not important but yet this is the deciding factor of all things. First, ask your parents their budget. If their budget is sufficient for you to pursue what you want, they this shouldn't be a problem. However, if there are limited funds available then this would be a harder choice to make.

Some people think that is worth to spend on a degree but some people think is just a paper. It depends on how you view it.

Ask your parents for the exact amount they save for you for further studies. Check it and see whether is sufficient to fund for the subject you want to study. If is not enough, check whether PTPTN loan will grant loan for this course. If PTPTN grant loan, how much for that specific course.

Check is there any scholarship available. If scholarship is available, do they cover only tuition fee or inclusive of other miscellaneous fee.


Passport is something essential for travelling. A degree is like a passport. With a passport, you can go to wherever you want. However, there are some places that you can't travel even with a passport, you need to have visa. Without a passport you will just be staying in

Same goes for a degree, if you have an accounting degree is impossible to go for a medicine career. It is important to know what document you need to pursue the career you want in the future.

So make sure that your degree is accredited and recognise by the government of Malaysia. If is a professional course make sure that it is link to the professional bodies and there is maximum exemption for the course.

Make sure the degree you get is from a trustworthy university with good reputation.

So basically this is the rough idea on how to plan for your higher education. This is the basic things you need to know before rushing in to decision. I hope that this would be a great help for school leavers. Spend time to ponder on this few question and I think this will help to narrow down your decision.

I am going to talk about what is the path available in my next blog post. So see you then =)


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Pictures and illustration are all taken from online sources.

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