Graduating from high school is a tricky stage for every student – you bid farewell to assignments, projects and classmates that have become a part of your life for so many years and then you say hello to another phase of your academic life that will determine your future.
You’ve surely seen university agents crowding in your high school front gates during national exams and waving colourful leaflets to promote universities and majors. Visualising your university life is totally exciting; but it can be overwhelming and scary as well, especially for those who do not know what majors to take.
So, how should we choose our majors? Is there any specific formula we can follow to make sure we’re making the right decisions for our future careers? Who do we seek for help from?
Anselm Chu, Managing Director & School Director of Singapore (Cambodia) International Academy, emphasised the significance of understanding one’s inner passion to guide him or her to the right path.
“In order to know what to study, you need to know your career aspirations, options and dreams. The choice of your course is the foundation in which you build your career on,” he said.
Ouk Sonda Kota, a Grade 12 student from Sisowath High School, has been helping his parents’ business.
“I face a lot of problems helping my parents’ business operations. Over time, I learned to deal with them properly,” he said. However, he acknowledged that he doesn’t have any skills related to café management and he wants to take a degree that can help him with his future plans of franchising a coffee shop brand in Cambodia. Kota is an example of a student who would match a course that is relevant too his career aspirations.
However, choosing the “right course” for the “career of choice”, is in itself a mean feat to many.
I recall when I graduated from high school about a decade ago, I struggled with choosing my major, as there weren’t many available schools which offered English majors. Not knowing who to consult, I attended an orientation workshop to get to know all the possible majors that fit my interest. I remember there were more than a thousand students sitting in the hall, taking notes of subjects, programmes and universities. However, I was still in doubt after the orientation.
I am pretty sure many of the senior high school students in this present time are facing the same predicament as I did. Some students may have too many interests that they can’t choose which one to focus on; while some don’t even know what their passion is.
To answer the common concerns among the youths, SCIA is offering a programme that aims to include both students and parents in the critical decision-making of choosing majors.
SCIA’s International Foundation Programme (IFP) – in its newly set-up Foundation Studies Centre – will be providing a one-year pre-university programme to equip high school graduates with necessary skills and knowledge before their journey as undergraduates.
Students enrolled in the IFP will do a compulsory course of Mathematics and Statistics and choose to do three courses from these Electives; Accounting and Finance, Economics, International Relations, Politics, Pure Mathematics, Social Psychology, Sociology and Business Management. The selection of the electives will be subjected to the minimum class size.
At SCIA, advisors and teachers will also be sharing with parents on how to deal with their children’s educational decisions. For parents who are insistent on their children taking something that they are not really passionate about, Mr Chu said that it’s just like forcing the children to leave behind their own dreams.
Mr Chu gave another feasible suggestion: “If you don’t have a training for your child, my recommendation to parents is that let your child go outside of the country to study something that he likes or let them work for other people. Let them gain experiences that will help them become better people. When they come back, parents will see that their children have improved and have become more competent and confident. That way, they can be of much help to their family business, too.”