The Cambodia Asean International Institute recently organised “Major Orientation 2017” with the aim of raising awareness about university majors among students who have just graduated from high school. Held at the Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Centre, the event drew about 600 participants.
According to Yann Aoudourm, head of the Centre for Asean Studies, the main aim of the event is to provide information and orientation for recent high school graduates. He said it was now time for the recent crop of graduates to choose a major.
Mr Aoudourm said, “Before students make their decision, we organised events to provide them with crucial information to help them choose the right major based on the job markets in both Cambodia and Asean”.
Experts in various majors and areas of the job market like STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects, ICT, the medical sector and so on were available for the students to speak to at the event, Mr Aoudourm said.
One speaker, Deth Sok Odom, rector of Zaman University, raised the issue of the skills gap in Cambodia. He said many students choose to study accounting, finance, or business management as they believe that the job market in these fields is huge, but few opt to study STEM subjects.
“Because of a lack of information, and poor advice from parents, many students choose not to study STEM subjects. So I recommend students study different majors and don’t hesitate to ask for more information at school before deciding what to study”.
Mr Odom suggested that students analyse three things before choosing a major: their ambitions, their talents, and market demand. He said if students can properly evaluate all these criteria, they will make the right choice.
“Students shouldn’t choose to study two majors at the same time,” Mr Odom continues. They should focus on one major and strengthen their ability by doing internships, doing more research, and learning online.”
He encouraged students to download the “Find My Major” app, which recommends a major based on answers, supplied by the user, to 36 questions.
Another speaker, Sok Piseth, CEO and founder of G-Gear, shared his life experience in order to encourage students who live in rural areas and whose families have low incomes to study hard.
“I think that to be a success, students have to think positively and stay confident and persevere with their studies. No matter how poor you are, your abilities can match those of rich people. So students should not allow those problems to stop them, and should learn to create opportunities,” Mr Piseth said.
Life is a continuous learning process, he said. He hoped his students, especially those from rural areas, would find success and, in another 10 years, share similar success stories to his.