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Career counselling: questions and answers – The News International

Q1: Respected Mr Abidi, I am currently a student of Pharmacy at Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU), Islamabad. I wish to do a PhD. I would like to know which institutions or countries will give me admission right after my graduation and accept the GRE so that I can do MPhil leading to PhD programme. Please note that I don’t want to do MPhil and PhD in two steps. (Shahabuddin Awan, Rawalpindi)

Ans: Dear Shahabuddin, as soon as your pharmacy degree completes; there will be options available for you if you decide to go abroad. In case you want to do research in the drugs related industry, then you should choose a specific PhD (MPhil with PhD). In case you want to start a career in the pharmaceutical industry after successful completion of your Bachelors’ degree, then you will spend three years in relevant industry. After that you can top up your Bachelors with a technical or a management degree to enhance your success chances in future.
Q2: Sir, I would like to discuss my attached CV and seek guidance. I have completed my degree in Energy Policy. Now I wish to do a PhD in this programme. I would appreciate if you could please guide me further. (Hikmat Bhutta, Multan)
Ans: Dear Mr Bhutta, a PhD means writing up a research proposal/synopsis and you have to find a supervisor with an appropriate institution to discuss your future goals. I can’t give you advice without having a one on one meeting and counselling session and finding out about what you want in terms of a PhD. Yet, I understand that Pakistan’s government needs experts and specialists relevant to the energy sector, either its policy making, governance or sustainability. I think you are wise enough to think carefully about career chances before applying for a PhD.
Q3: Dear Mr Abidi, I want to do MBBS. I got 991 marks out of 1100 in my 10th grade and 994 /1100 in Intermediate (Pre-Medical). Furthermore, in my first MDCAT attempt, I got 167 out of 200 and recently in my 2nd attempt, I got 170 out of 200. I hope I can score better as I’m very near to the required merit. My main problem is that my two years have gone wasted in trying to improve MDCAT. I would like you to suggest if I should try another attempt? If not, then please advise some better options whether it is medical or engineering. (Shahnaz Ghani, Okara)
Ans: Dear Shahnaz, in my opinion, you have tried your best and given time as much as you could for admission into a medical college. Now you shouldn’t waste time on it any more as it may be the same output again. There are many emerging subject areas relevant to health sciences and are a mixture of a medical practitioner’s work. These areas can be Biochemistry, Biology, Microbiology or Biotechnology etc. You should keep in mind that research in Medical Science is constantly in process and there are large funds/scholarships available for relevant researchers around the globe who are trying to find out a cure for a lot of fatal diseases and viruses such as Cancer, Aids (HIV), Zika and COVID19 etc. So my advice to you is that you should work hard to find a degree that leads into the above emerging subjects/ issues. This will definitely enhance your academic studies and a successful career.
Q4: Dear Mr Abidi, first I got admission in Computer Engineering degree in Quetta, then in Architecture and Planning in an HEC recognised university in Sindh and this is a very interesting subject for me. As both of the institutions are HEC recognised public sector universities; therefore, I’m very much confused as to which institution I finally select. Your guidance shall be highly appreciated. (Afrasyaab Kakar, Quetta)
Ans: Dear Mr Kakar, both of the options mentioned in your query are totally different. To be honest, architecture requires a lot of skills like drawing etc., and I’m not sure whether you have such skills and can successfully complete an architecture degree or not. Whereas, Computer Engineering has a lot of sub-specialisms in masters and is an emerging area and it will give you diverse professional career options. Final selection is up to you.
(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).
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