Ten Degree Fields of Study that Indecisive Students after Pre-University (Pre-U) Should Consider
If you have completed your Pre-University (Pre-U) course, then chances are that you are worried about what to study at university. Maybe your course mates and friends have it all figured out. They have chosen a course early on.
But what if you have no idea which degree to study at university?
You’re not alone. Choosing a a degree course is a major decision, and one you shouldn’t take lightly. This is potentially a life-changing decision. There are many things to consider when choosing a degree course.
With hundreds of degree programmes to choose from at private universities in Malaysia, students may find the process of picking the right course overwhelming. It’s also easy to worry if you don’t know what to major in. After all, the course that you choose will likely determine your future career.
If you’re struggling to decide which degree you should study at university, perhaps it might help to learn more about which degree subjects will be the most beneficial to you after you graduate.
Read on for helpful advice on:
- How to choose the right degree course
- The 10 best fields of study for undecided students after Pre-U
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To Help with Stress Over Choosing the Right Degree Course to Study in Malaysia, I have Prepared the Following Tips
Step 1: Look at your Interests, Skills & Personality
This requires the individual to develop a certain degree of self-awareness. This require you to ask:
- What kind of person am I?
- What do I like?
- What are my hobbies?
- What is my personality?
This process of self-assessment consists of using several instruments in order to uncover your interests, personality type, work related values and skills. It is looking at these things in combination that can help you figure out what courses will be good matches for you, and you could learn something that will surprise you.
The greater the overlap between an individual’s interests, aptitudes and personal characteristics and those required by the area of study, the greater the degree of satisfaction when engaged in that area of study. This process will help you decide which course best fits you. If you find the right course at the right college you will be inspired to succeed.
Match what you have come to know about yourself (self-assessment) to a course. During this phase of the career planning process you will decide which course is the best fit for you based on what you now know about yourself and the courses you have researched. This will entail looking at the jigsaw pieces of your life to date and putting them together.
Considering your interests, hobbies, skills, aptitudes and achievements, both academic and personal, and identifying certain personality traits combined with appropriate course exploration will hold the key to successful course choice.
Step 2: Look at your Actual Results
Your results in SPM, UEC, or IGCSE/O-Levels will act as a guide in what you are actually good at. For example, if you are good in Physics & Add Maths, then you can consider engineering courses. If you fail in any of these subjects and want to study engineering, then you are being unrealistic.
Step 3: Research the courses and offer at top colleges or universities
Make a list of courses to explore that are of interest to you and then research each course. The internet, college prospectuses, family and friends are your best sources of information and support. Someone who is already studying the course can give you great insight from a student’s perspective.
It is important to attend college open days or other career events and make every effort to speak to lecturers, tutors or admissions staff in the colleges you are interested in, as they will facilitate your decision-making.
Many students drop out or change course, so something is going wrong with students initial decisions. A lot of heartache can be avoided if you take the time to look at the college websites to find out not just which subjects you will be studying on your course but also to find out the content of the individual modules of each subject.
In this way you will know exactly what lies ahead of you. Discovering that you have made the wrong choice can be upsetting, and expensive.
Check out the duration of the course, accreditation, and additional costs such as accommodation, books, travel etc.
Step 4: Talk to the Right People
If your car needs to be repaired, you would ask advise from a mechanic and not from a Doctor. So, when asking about your future career, ask from people who are experienced and knowledgeable. Many Malaysians tend to listen to their parents and relatives without checking the facts to see if it is true. An uncle would tell them to study a certain course and the student would just go for it without doing any research or consideration to see if it fits them.
A List of the Top 10 Best Degree Courses to Study in Malaysia for Indecisive Students
- Computing & Technology Courses
- Accounting & Financial Services Courses
- Business Courses
- Engineering Courses
- Communication & Social Science Courses
- Built Environment Courses
- Hospitality & Tourism Courses
- Design Courses
- Health Science Courses
What are the Top 10 Degree Courses to Study for Indecisive Students?
1. Computing & Technology Courses
The National Policy on Industry Revolution 4.0 (Industry4WRD), spearheaded by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), will play a vital role in promoting digitalisation across all sectors. Businesses are starting to pivot their operations to enable remote capabilities, no longer restricted to borders and time zone differences.The Information and Technology (IT) industry continues to relish tremendous growth since the pandemic started. It is one of the fastest growing sectors in the Malaysian market to date. According to a report by GlobalData Market Opportunities Forecasts, IT expenditure in Malaysia will reach RM103.75 billion by 2023.
Many of the fastest growing jobs and predicted future ones are driven by technology development, increased Internet connectivity, rapid globalisation and new business demands. Tech skills are required in jobs across industries in different roles and functions and this is expected to create demand for tech-based or tech-related jobs.
Jobs like artificial intelligence specialists and data scientists are required across industries to help organisations and businesses be more efficient in delivering their products and services, and be more responsive to customer demands in anticipated increased competition.
Cybersecurity and data systems integration solutions are burgeoning. The essentialities of such services received acknowledgement by SMEs, and the adoption rate reflects the shift. And predictably, the top 10% of job opportunities in Malaysia are cybersecurity related.
Budget 2021 allocated RM27million for cybersecurity programs alone. That itself forms the fundamental building blocks of the digital transition under the Malaysian Digital Economy roadmap. Although data systems integration (internet of things, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, big data analytics) and cybersecurity remains one of the greater potentials, the government is looking into creating 5G ecosystems.
In 2020, Malaysia recorded a shortage of 7,917 experts within the field. This is consistent with global trends, where the speed of digitalisation greatly outpaces the number of skilled talent. The government aims to resolve this shortage with plans of producing 20,000 cybersecurity knowledge workers by 2025 through the MyDIGITAL blueprint.
In February 2021, the government launched its digital blueprint—MyDIGITAL, a roadmap that charts the path towards Malaysia’s vision of becoming a regional leader in the digital economy. Some of these initiatives include increasing the number of local data centres to provide high-end cloud computing services, rolling out 5G networks, and driving greater cybersecurity adoption. MyDIGITAL is expected to create 500,000 new job opportunities in the digital economy and, in effect, contribute 22.6% of Malaysia’s gross domestic product by 2030.
- Cyber Security
- Data Science or Data Analytics
- Artificial Intelligence (Ai) or Intelligent Systems
- Cloud Computing
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- Computer Science
- Software Engineering or Programming
- Information Technology (IT) or Information Communications Technology
- Mobile Computing
- Network Computing
- Games Development
2. Accounting & Financial Services Courses
An important industry for the country, it contributes up to 11 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).There are many areas in the banking and finance sector in Malaysia where each sub-sector requiring specific knowledge and skills.In today’s ever-changing world, banking and finance graduates are highly sought-after in a cross-section of Malaysia’s industries where each offer a variety of job opportunities. The Financial sector stands as one of the largest sectors in Malaysia with more than 300,000 people employed. This sector is made up by professionals in the Accounting, Banking, Economics, Finance, Insurance and Statistics and Taxation sub-sectors.
As Malaysia’s economy progressively opens up and stabilises from the pandemic, roles within the Banking & Financial sector are rapidly evolving to keep pace with market and growth needs. Bank Negara, Malaysia’s central bank is set to issue its first digital banking licences in Q3 to Q4 2022, a move which is projected to accelerate the mushrooming of Fintech companies in the country.
Accordingly, demand for talent with cross-functional skill sets across finance and tech will rise rapidly as hiring activities increase. The ideal candidate would have experience in the audit, risk, or investment space as well as skills in data analytics and automation.
At the same time, there is also a growing awareness, especially among younger Malaysians, of tech-enabled financial tools such as digital wealth management platforms. As these tools and platforms become more prevalent, banks and financial institutions are progressively moving away from selling structured
Fintech is another area that continues to experience significant growth due to changing consumer behaviour, movement control restrictions, and regulatory changes. According to the Fintech Malaysia Report 2021, online and mobile banking penetration reached 112.5% and 61.8% respectively, with more than 3 million new mobile banking service subscribers and 400,000 new businesses registering for QR code payment acceptance in 2020.
The key in succeeding in the banking & finance industry is choosing the right specialisation, and ensuring you find a career path that best match your abilities and interests. Therefore, having a finance qualification can lead to a rewarding career. A fast-track career in finance depends on a good understanding of market movements and the diverse investment market.
- Accounting & Finance
- Actuarial Science
- Banking & Finance
- Financial Technology (Fintech)
3. Business Courses
As of Q2 2021, Malaysia’s e-commerce income grew 23.3% year-on-year, driven by the manufacturing and services sector. Total gross salaries paid within this sector also increased by 0.4%, equivalent to RM100.5 million.E-commerce is seen as one of the bright spots driving Malaysia’s economic recovery, not just for its growing
popularity but also for its growth potential. Many brick and-mortar stores were able to continue their businesses throughout the lockdowns by taking them online. And with platforms like eBay, even micro, small, and medium businesses have a platform to compete in global markets.
The e-commerce space is revelling positive growth amidst the pandemic. Retail sectors are occupying the e-commerce space while platforms such as Lazada and Shopee are booming. The government understands the merits of e-commerce enterprises. Thus, implementing various initiatives to strengthen Malaysia’s digital economy.
In addition, there is an allotment of RM300 million for the existing Penjana Micro & SMEs eCommerce, Penjana Shop Malaysia Online, Selangor e-Bazar and Buy Malaysia initiatives by the government encouraging consumers to shop online. As a result, more than 500,000 local SMEs will procure benefits from them.
As of 2020, 83% of the Malaysian population uses the internet, with 70% of them frequenting social networking apps, and 61% on shopping apps. Digital marketing has become crucial for brands to reach these prospective customers, thus making roles under this industry highly demanded.
The roles under this umbrella consist of digital marketing specialists who are responsible for creating marketing campaigns and reporting results. Companies are also seeking out content creators for marketing purposes, whether it’s a writer or editor for written content, or a video producer or graphic design artist for visual content. And to ensure content is able to reach audiences, they need to be optimised for search engines like Google. This makes specialists in search engine optimisation (SEO) in demand.
A course that many students overlook is Human Resource Management. Human Resource professionals whose expertise lie in learning and development, talent management, change management and transformation are an extremely sought-after breed, and especially so if such talent possess digital adoption or digital project management experience to boot. The heightened need for greater tech-savvy HR professionals is accelerated by initiatives such as the Malaysian government’s announcement to pump US$720 million into its “Industry Digitalization Transformation Fund”, in its endeavours to enhance its digital economy. A significant US$50 million of which would be used to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in their transition to Industry 4.0.
HR leaders who “lean into” new technologies, platforms, and ways of workin will be strongly positioned to have an impact on business results and employee experience. The importance of the HR function to digitalise the modus operandi of businesses has never been more indisputable.
- Digital Marketing
- Human Resource Management (HRM)
- Logistics Management
- Supply Chain Management,
4. Engineering Courses
In order for the country to become a developed nation, the engineer to population ratio must be 1:100. For Malaysia, with a population of 32 million, the number of engineers should be 300,000. Surprisingly, based on the Education Ministry’s statistics from 1997 to 2020, the average number of engineers produced per year by the local institutions of higher learning, excluding graduates from international universities is about 16,000. The cumulative total of all engineers produced from 1997 to 2020 is estimated to be about 400,000. The number of engineers may be currently surplus for Malaysia.The world will always need engineers, but some specialized fields are growing faster than others. As the population ages, environmental policy changes, and automation takes over more and more aspects of manufacturing, the world needs qualified and experienced engineers to design, develop, test, and implement new strategies to meet the challenges of technological advancements.
Unfortunately, the reality is that only 35% of the graduate engineers (GE) registered with the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM). BEM is owned by the Malaysian government to administer the registration of PE. Although according to Malaysia’s law through the Registration of Engineers Act 1967 (Revised 2015), all practising engineers must be registered with the BEM as GE to work as an engineer legally. According to the statistic published by BEM in February 2020, only 10% out of 142,000 registered Graduate Engineer (GE) successfully obtained the certification as Professional Engineer, which is less than 4% of all engineers in Malaysia.
The surge in telecommunications and internet usage skyrocketed. Virtual meetings are the norm. Software such as Zoom and other communication platforms are now necessities. Wireless networks and fibre broadband are a must to keep operations and businesses running amidst this pandemic.
Ministry of Finance states that the Malaysian economy expects to rebound between 6.0% and 7.5% through its gross domestic product in 2021. And civil engineering will be the one spurring the recovery.
- Electrical & Electronic Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Mechatronic Engineering
- Telecommunications Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Petroleum Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
Although lawyers affect nearly every aspect of society in a range of positions and industries, their basic duties are the same–to represent the needs of their clients in civil and criminal trials. Lawyers can specialize in bankruptcy, international, elder, probate, or environmental law. The growing field of intellectual property is also seeing a growing level of attention from lawyers. There are 14,300 registered lawyers in Malaysia.
6. Communication & Social Science Courses
Existing jobs like content creators are now being taken to the next level and being given new dimensions by technology to reach a wider audience through multiple channels and platforms. Bloggers, podcasters, and YouTubers are in demand as companies look to create both tactical and strategic content that will help their customers make sense of the new and rapidly changing environment.As of 2020, 83% of the Malaysian population uses the internet, with 70% of them frequenting social networking apps, and 61% on shopping apps. Data from LinkedIn shows an astounding increase of 48% for more digital marketers and content creators. Digital marketing has become crucial for brands to reach these prospective customers, thus making roles under this industry highly demanded.
The roles under this umbrella consist of digital marketing specialists who are responsible for creating marketing campaigns and reporting results. Companies are also seeking out content creators for marketing purposes, whether it’s a writer or editor for written content, or a video producer or graphic design artist for visual content.
- Mass Communication
- Public Relations, Advertising & Brand Management
- Film, TV, Video or Broadcasting
7. Built Environment Courses
As the East Coal Rail Line aims for completion in 2027, others projects continue to boost Malaysia’s construction sector. These include the Mass Rail Transit 2, Light Rail Transit 3, Electrified Double Track Gemas-Johor Bahru, Klang Valley Double Track Phase 2, Pan Borneo Highway and Coastal Highway.The 5-year centralised economic development plan, known as the Malaysia Plan, will be one of the keys to driving the construction sector up to pace again. The government has plans to expand and modernise the public infrastructures within the country. In December 2020, the government approved a 2021 budget worth RM322.5 billion (US$73.3 billion). 73.3% for operational expenditure, 21.4% towards development expenditure and the balance of 5.3% to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.
With projects underway, there is a surge in demand for skilled labour workers within the property and construction industry.
8. Hospitality & Tourism Courses
While in Malaysia, in the same year, the Department of Statistics revealed that employment in the tourism industry grew by 4.9 percent (3.5 million people), contributing to 23.5 percent of total employment. These statistics provide a clear indication that the tourism industry holds promising prospects for those who intend to venture into this career path.Over six decades, global tourism has experienced steady growth and has been seen as a powerful vehicle for economic benefit and job creation. In 2018, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) reported that the tourism industry is one of the world’s largest economic sectors contributing 10.4 percent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) and creating more than 319 million jobs globally.
As long as there is interest to explore places, be it physically or virtually, the promise of securing a job in this sector will always be available. Traditional and current, tourism career options range from working in hotels or resorts, cruise ships, adventure sports centers or even as tour guides leading activities and historical trips.
However, with the advancement in new technologies, tourism-related businesses need to transform the way they operate in order to utilize and adapt to the new emerging opportunities in the current Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0). Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Blockchain, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are among the emerging buzzwords in Tourism 4.0. These technologies help to unlock innovation and new potential in the tourism sector. With available data online, more personalized experiences will be created. This will create new markets for future tourism career growth. Online travel agents, tourism influencer marketers and niche tourism are among the disruptors that are expected to cater the demand of future tourism job vacancies.
On the other hand, without doubt the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected this industry. Many tourism services have had to close down, revenue from the tourism sector decreased and tourism operators were forced to find other alternatives to stay afloat. However, one should not be discouraged as it has been proven in the past, this industry has persevered and rebounded, and undoubtedly will be able to rebuild stronger than ever.
9. Design Courses
Many companies are tailoring advertising work to digital and direct mail in the hopes of reaching all the online shoppers at home. As companies battle to maintain brand dominance, creative firms and in-house departments are taking on additional projects, more qualified and trained creative talent are needed .The rapid rate of digitalization — for example, the shift to online retail due to lockdowns — has opened up new roles in e-commerce with companies rushing to place creative ads on the various social media platforms. Those trends, in turn, have led businesses to implement new digital technologies, resulting in a surge in demand for creative designers especially in the digital area.
Malaysia’s rapidly maturing digital creative industry, which includes animation, movies, and video games, is proving to be a significant growth driver to the nation. In addition, a total of 35,000 jobs will be made available in the arts and creative industry through an allocation of RM100 million under the Pemulih programme announced by the Prime in June 2021.
MDEC, in its South-East Asia Animation Report 2018, said the region’s animation industry was forecast to be US$404.8bil in 2023. Based on the study by MDEC, the country’s creative content industry, which includes film and game developers, generated RM7.4bil in 2017, while in 2018, the animation export product value alone totalled RM146mil.
The industry has also created thousands of job opportunities. The report, released this year, said there were 100 animation companies in Malaysia while the whole national creative digital group totalled 350 companies. The country’s creative content works have been exported to 120 nations.
The next exceptional technology trend – Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), and Extended Reality (ER). VR immerses the user in an environment while AR enhances their environment. Although this technology trend has primarily been used for gaming thus far, it has also been used for training, as with VirtualShip, a simulation software used to train U.S. Navy, Army and Coast Guard ship captains. Around 14 million AR and VR devices were sold in 2019. The global AR and VR market is expected to grow to $209.2 billion by 2022, only creating more opportunities in the trending technology, and welcoming more professionals ready for this game-changing field.
There are many types of designers and roles that they do in a job. The demand for designers in Malaysia will depend on which type of design you specialise in.
- Graphic Design
- Interior Design
- Multimedia Design
- Visual Effects
- Augmented Reality (AR) / Virtual Reality (VR)
- Game Design
10. Health Science Courses
In particular, its growing ageing population is expected to bring heightened demand due to a high prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in this age demographic. NCDs contributed up to 68% of the burden of premature deaths, majority of which occured in the 45-59 age group.Malaysia’s changing demographics has become a significant contributor in the increased demand for healthcare services, according to a Fitch Solutions report.
The report found that the proportion of the population aged 65 years and above has grown from 3.9% in 2000 to 5.1% in 2015, and it is estimated that the total elderly population in Malaysia will hit 2.4 million by the end of this year.
The country continuously faces a host of health-related issues that require active interventions from healthcare providers. The Ministry of Health is proactively addressing these challenges by enhancing healthcare facilities and services in the country by allocating appropriate resources to empower the public health delivery system.
As the pandemic continues to create uncertainty, health will continue to be a top priority in Malaysia. This means that medical professionals, especially nurses, will continue to be in high demand.
Hiring in healthcare and life sciences also rose, up 26 per cent in Q2 2021, and as reported in the Michael Page Malaysia Talent Trends 2021, the in-demand roles are radiographers, laboratory technologists, clinical research, specialist doctors, and research and development (R&D) scientists.
Finally, according to the Malaysian Physiotherapy Association, currently there is an estimated 2,759 practising physiotherapists in the country which is only 0.88 Per 10,000 population. Therefore, there is a demand for more qualified and trained Physiotherapists.
Find the Right Career for Your Future
These are only a choice few of the many careers in Malaysia with promising futures. The most important career is the one that is right for you. EduSpiral is here to help students plan for their careers by exploring different types of careers and understanding the future job demand and salary. Find out your best career for the future and start planning by filling up the enquiry form today.