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Factors to consider when choosing a course for further studies

by StudyMalaysia.com on November 12, 2020 | Top Stories

Factors to consider when choosing a course for further studies - StudyMalaysia.com

When you think about college or university, what do you think are the most important things to consider when choosing a course? Making an informed decision will help ensure that you stick to your course and complete it on time. Here are 20 tips to help you make a good decision so that you get the most out of your higher education experience and graduate with a qualification that leads your dream career.

Below are 20 tips to help you choose the right course. Pro tip: Start by choosing 10 tips most relevant to you to start off your search for a course, and a college or university.

Factors to consider when choosing a course Factors to consider when choosing a course

Choosing a course - Tip #1

You don’t want to sign up at a college that doesn’t fulfil your higher education needs. Making sure the course and institution you have chosen is approved by the Ministry of Education is important. To check if a course has been accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), go to https://www2.mqa.gov.my/mqr/

Choosing a course - Tip #2

Your higher education plans don’t just stop at choosing a course. You need to plan ahead to make sure that the course enables you to pursue a career you want. When deciding on a course, finding out what jobs you can apply for when you graduate could help you with your decision.
Factors to consider when choosing a course Factors to consider when choosing a course

Choosing a course - Tip #3

Can you afford the course fees? You don’t want to have to drop out of a course because you run out of funds. Don’t forget to cost in accommodation, textbooks and other expenditure.

Can’t afford a course you want? Don’t fret yet! The course fees for the same programme can vary rather significantly between different institutions. So, explore your options for the same course at different institutions. You might just be able to fit one in your budget.

For a list of courses for comparison, go to studymalaysia.com/what/

Besides fees, don't forget these important factors when comparing courses: course curriculum, learning outcomes, lecturers' experience, academic facilities, internship opportunities, graduate employability, and location.

Choosing a course - Tip #4

Many of us depend on our folks to fund our higher education but wait, there are other options out there. Check if you qualify for a PTPTN loan. Also, the institution may offer bursaries and scholarships.

For an extensive list of scholarships, look here!
Factors to consider when choosing a course Factors to consider when choosing a course

Choosing a course - Tip #5

When searching for a course, do remember to make sure that you meet the entry requirements for the programme.

Some programmes can have a particular set of entry requirements—from specific subject requirements to English language proficiency—make sure you check them out!

Choosing a course - Tip #6

So you think you’ve decided on a course but have you checked out the subjects they offer in the curriculum? Are you comfortable studying the subjects offered? Good to know—two bachelor degrees with the same name can have very different curricula.
Factors to consider when choosing a course Factors to consider when choosing a course

Choosing a course - Tip #7

There are various modes to acquire a bachelor degree, e.g. home-grown degree qualifications; dual-award degrees (the qualification can be awarded by more than one institution); or a 3+0 or credit transfer degree programme (the qualification is awarded by a different institution from the one you’re studying at). You can also study at a foreign university branch campus in Malaysia.

Choosing a course - Tip #8

With some professions (for example, nursing, medicine, architecture, accountancy, law and others), you may need a professional license in order to pursue a career in that field. Do make sure that the degree you choose offers a qualification that is recognised by the relevant professional bodies.
Factors to consider when choosing a course Factors to consider when choosing a course

Choosing a course - Tip #9

Do you want to pursue an academic-based or skill-based course qualification? Would you prefer studying full-time, part-time or through online/distance learning? Things to consider:
  • What type of qualification do you prefer?
  • What course delivery method suits you best?

Choosing a course - Tip #10

Internship programmes help boost a student’s employability prospects. Find out if the course you want offers internship opportunities.

Questions to ask an institution:
  • Is there an internship programme?
  • Is internship part of this programme?
  • How long is the internship and how many times is it conducted during the course of study?
  • Does the institution help with internship placements?
Factors to consider when choosing a course Factors to consider when choosing a course

Choosing a course - Tip #11

For many of us, studying abroad may seem like a dream out of our reach but the good news is that some institutions offer their students a chance to complete a year or a semester at a partner university abroad at no extra cost in terms of tuition fees. You will, however, need to make sure you can pay your own way for accommodation, food and other day-to-day expenses.

Choosing a course - Tip #12

Common facilities at a college or university include a library, lecture theatres, sports complex, cafeteria, hostel and others. However, you should also find out about the facilities offered that are specific to your course.

For example, if you’re taking a science-based course, are the labs well equipped? If you want to study a computer-based course, are the computers installed with the latest software and hardware? Students studying music would want to ensure there are enough practice and recording rooms while hospitality or culinary students would benefit from actual restaurant and kitchen set-ups.
Factors to consider when choosing a course Factors to consider when choosing a course

Choosing a course - Tip #13

Making sure you like the course you want to study is extremely important, but a well-rounded college life is also about taking part in social and recreational activities. Whether it’s a sport, society or club, do some exploring to see what the college or university has to offer.

Choosing a course - Tip #14

Questions on employability to ask a college or university: Do your graduates enjoy a high employability rate? Are they typically employed within six months after graduation? Do students get job offers even before they graduate?
Factors to consider when choosing a course Factors to consider when choosing a course

Choosing a course - Tip #15

Some colleges or universities may organise a career day or an employment fair where they invite potential employers to chat with their undergraduates. Some other institutions may also offer their students workshops on how to write a resume and how to do well at a job interview.

Choosing a course - Tip #16

Sometimes, choosing a course can be quite a difficult decision especially when the courses all seem to offer the same thing. A simple question to ask a course counsellor is: What makes the course special? You’ll be surprised by what you could discover this way. Try it!
Factors to consider when choosing a course Factors to consider when choosing a course

Choosing a course - Tip #17

If you have the chance, speak to a few of the professors, lecturers or tutors while you’re visiting the college. Are they friendly and approachable? Do they have industry experience? What are the expectations of the teaching staff for the students?

Choosing a course - Tip #18

A college or university with a good demographic mix ensures diversity in its student population. Studies show that diversity on college campuses promotes intellectual and cultural engagement, self-motivation and citizenship. It also improves academic skills like critical thinking, problem-solving and writing.
Factors to consider when choosing a course Factors to consider when choosing a course

Choosing a course - Tip #19

What awards and achievements has the college acquired? Do the undergraduates participate in any special projects especially in collaboration with the industry? Projects, competitions and collaborations are a great way for students to learn beyond the classroom.

Choosing a course - Tip #20

More and more consumers today rely on recommendations and reviews. Should your college choice, too? While not everyone’s advice is pertinent to your situation, speaking to current students could give you an idea about how satisfied they are about the course, campus and teaching staff in general. They may even offer you some tips on how to survive your first year at college and what to expect.

Still unsure about which course to choose? Send your questions to AskStudyMalaysia @ https://studymalaysia.com/career-guide/ask-studymalaysia/

Source: myCOURSE Guide (2020/2021 edition)
Copyright © StudyMalaysia Sdn Bhd (October, 2020)

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