Wanted to write about this topic for a while, but then I got carried away with work.
Recently I had to interview a round of job applicants for some positions I was hiring.
I was looking for sales consultants and an administrative assistant to join my fitness centre. These are entry-level positions good for fresh graduates, and I was looking forward to resumes from – maybe – business or hospitality grads in my inbox.
Ultimately, I didn’t end up hiring any of the fresh graduates, but that’s another story altogether. *remind self to blog about the atrocity of fresh grads*
But what surprised me was that in amongst the 20 over resumes that I received, a few who applied were actually Bachelor degree holders.
Not only that, they were degree holders in… Engineering.
An engineering graduate applying to a become a sales consultant at a fitness centre. Are you kidding me?
Is he gonna make a robot greeting customers at the front desk?
It sounds almost as ridiculous as a blogger opening a fitness centre.
Not that I have anything against engineering degree holders. In fact, I am one of them. Lim peh right here holds a Bachelors Degree in Electronic & Communication Engineering, with Honours.
Which is really just a fancy way of saying "Hey look, I am holding a piece of paper that I spent 5 years in university working on, but acherly I donch really know what it was all about!" 😀
I got a theory with regards to students, in particular MALAYSIAN students, who study engineering at universities.
Kenny Sia’s Theorem On Malaysian Engineering Students: "99% of Malaysian students who do engineering at university do it because their friends/parents/government ask them to, not because they really want to."
I’m serious. If I could have a dollar every time I see an engineering graduate getting a job in something COMPLETELY unrelated to what he studies, I’d be so rich I could buy a fake $5-billion dollar boat made of gold and dinosaur bone.
I know it’s true. I am one of them.
My parents spent hundreds and thousands of dollars sending me to an overseas university, and I end up writing a blog and running a gym.
What a waste of time. What a waste of money.
I’m surprised my parents hadn’t disowned me after I wasted so much of their money on my university education.
It’s quite sad to think that the best thing I did in uni was joining the university gym. If I only knew which career path I’d take, I would never have picked electronic engineering. I would do something more related to what I am doing right now – like a commerce or hospitality degree. Why the hell did I choose to study engineering in the first place?
I blame it all on society pressures.
What to do? I was fresh out of high school when I was forced to make a decision on what course to do at university.
I was 17. How the hell do I know what I want to do for the rest of my life? I never had the chance to see the world nor explore my interests. Yet at 17 I was put in front of a university brochure and forced to make a AUD$100,000 decision.
My parents being parents are more than happy to comply. In Malaysia, there’s no such thing as a "gap year" like in Western countries, where kids after high school take a year off to do travel or volunteer work as a means to discover their interests, before continuing on their university education.
In Malaysia, kids must go STRAIGHT to college or university after they finish high school. Never mind the fact that most universities/colleges are privatised money-guzzling business entities now. In Malaysia, if kids don’t go STRAIGHT to university, they must be delinquents and therefore failure in life.
So what do I do?
I chose the so-called "safest" career option – engineering.
Why? Because back in the 1990s, Mahathir encouraged everybody to study technology.
Why? Because we got MULTIMEDIA SUPER CORRIDOR. And CYBERJAYA. And MULTIMEDIA SUPER TUALAMPA. And apparently everyone who study engineering will make a lot of money.
Tell me which one of Malaysia’s richest men have an electronic engineering degree?
When you think about it, it is so sad. University is so expensive, so important as a pathway in a person’s career development. Yet so many of us rush into deciding on what course to pick when we really have no idea what we want to do straight after we finish high school.
In the end, all we’re really doing is going to university for the sake of going to university.
By the time we find out how much we hate the course we’re doing, it’s too late.
Next time when I have kids, I’m gonna force them to take a gap year travelling or volunteering to find out where their true passion lies before they enrol into University. Aft
er all, if they are gonna be spending my money on their university education, they may as well do it right.
Don’t want them to end up like me – studying so hard for a piece of paper that I never ended up using.
Parents, please don’t rush your kids to go university for the sake of going to university. If they decide wrong course at University, die lah.
Might as well go Uneverstudy.
Ahhh so agree with you.
Curtin University FTW!!!!
can i write a response to your post ah! but you dont angry la ok ^_^ :3
Great post and i absolutely agree. I’m in the exact same situation as u Kenny – from Kuching, went to Curtin University Bentley, graduated with Chemical Engineering Degree with honours – but my interest all the way was in commerce!
Great blog post Kenny! While I was fortunate to have parents who allowed me to choose what I want to study, I ended up working on a job that is almost completely unrelated to my degree…
I have an engineering degree, and I totally relished the experience. I mean, building plans and testing rockets and programming auto pilots for helicopters? Hell ya – I would do it all over again. Right now, I working in an unrelated field that I have little interest in, but thankfully, managed to do not too badly (financially). But I had so much fun and it was the best time of my life, which is the point of a college experience!
I thought I was going to Princeton soon, but after reading this I may as well not bother.
Good post. I am a civil engineering graduate because parents (who had never been to university) thought it was most prestigious after Medicine and Law. Since I couldn’t go to either, Engineering it was for me!
Now not working in Civil Engineering. My classmates have become Air Stewards, Teachers and Bankers.
Don’t just advise your kids to just follow their interest though. Also consider the career path in mind. I mean, the study might be hard/less interesting, but if it will land them the job they want to do, they are more likely to stick with it.
Then again, why do 17 year olds have to make such big decisions to decide their whole life, when they have to be 18 to vote for who rules for the next 4-5 years?
This deserves to be an article on The Star, really. I’m sharing this with as many people as I can.
Please consider writing this to the local newspaper, this is exactly what is happening in our society.
Most of the U graduated end up doing nothing related to their studies.
Somehow I agree and disagree with you.
I believe that University is more of a place for personality development. As they always say, whatever you study might not be what you work as. But the knowledge gained is never a waste.
Why, so true!!! What a great post!
knn multimedia super tualampa … hahhahahaha
It is true that the knowledge you gained from university is never a waste but the point here is you could’ve gained WAY more knowledge if you had picked the right course which relates to your future job or atleast, your interest. Would you be satisfied paying rm100 for something that would worth a lot less than rm100? Hell, everyone is paying hundreds of thousands for their education fees nowadays.
I call this the social illness. Nowadays most of the parents (I wouldn’t say all) seem to base their achievements on not only their careers but also the type of degrees/university their children are holding/attending.
Your son didn’t graduate from LSE? Oh no! It’s the end of the world! This is something I hope the we the next generation would be able to change because everything is soooo wrong
oh my god i totally agree! especially with this, “How the hell do I know what I want to do for the rest of my life? I never had the chance to see the world nor explore my interests.”
and THIS, “By the time we find out how much we hate the course we’re doing, it’s too late.”
Why are we forced to choose at such a young age??? Walao I have asked this question myself so many times wtf. And now it’s wayyyy too late for me cos I’m already one semester away from graduating. FML. What am I supposed to do after graduation? Die lah wtf.
indeed, would be best if “gap year” is applied in Malaysia too..
p/s I heard that almost every top politicians in China has a major in engineering 😉
I think you just spoke the thoughts of most students fresh out of secondary school(in Malaysia).
After SPM I was being forced to choose what I wanted to do. Not being able to decide, I went for A Levels, and I still didn’t know what I wanted to do. Twas such a bad bad period, all the pressure being put on me to decide what to study. I was 18! I was supposed to decide my life career?
Now I’m in uni, doing Economics, not one of the more preferred courses, compared to Medicine or Engineering or Law, but I think I chose correctly.
I don’t think it’s fair how every other career choice other than being a doctor, an engineer or a lawyer means that you’re not going to be successful. It’s just not right.
Thanks for writing this post, Kenny 🙂
The future depends on what we do in the present ~ Mahatma Ghandi
Following the wrong path now = eternal wrong future. Eeeeeek!!
I found out what I really wanted to do at the age of 23! A few months after I graduated from Curtin’s Perth campus.
I was lucky that it was part of the course that I had studied. So nothing had gone to waste.
I was lucky. But I know a lot of people out there aren’t. I hope you can send this article to a local newspaper. This article needs to be read by many, especially parents!
Good post Kenny. Completely agree! I spent 3 years studying Finance and Statistics, only to end up doing something I truly love, IT 🙂
It’s just Asian parents mentality. Your right, social pressures and culture determine the way society works. I think as Malaysia develops as a country, the youth will slowly gain knowledge and the know-how of whats best and what’s not.
Me also carry an Electronic Engineering bachelor degree, and now am working directly for one of the 10 Richest Malaysian in your list above now 🙂
i agree with you on certain point and also disagree on some.
parents nowaday do forced their children to study what they are not interested which is bad for everyone.
but i disagree on the money part, being an engineer is not about being the top richest man but is to contribute. Engineering itself do can make a good living.
Great blog post! I do agree that having a gap year without studying and just exploring other possibilities is essential before entering university.
However, as the world keeps evolving, more things get invented and culture borders are being broken down, I think there are many opportunities for people to pursue, even though they have a degree in a specified field.
Also, having a degree doesn’t automatically mean that they can work in the field. Maybe they need money to pursue a masters and therefore would need to pursue a unrelated job in order to achieve their goal.
Never regret what you went through. Without your time in university, you’d probably won’t be the person you are today. It is more to develop your sense of maturity and your character more than anything.
I like this post :). Well said.
hey man. Its true that parents nowadays push their kids a little bit more. But hey, they are doing what parents do best. During their time, getting an education is the only way to succeed.
Due to the education system in malaysia, most ‘bright’ students will take up science field or engineering because that is the default choice.
However I dont think that spending time and money on an education is a waste. Even if you were in the field that you like, you might probably not apply what you learn but it definitely shapes who you are today.our character and personality.
This is so true but lucky I’m fall into the 1% category you are talking about. At least my parent didn’t force me into college immediately after completing high school.
Choosing engineering was my decision and I’m happy with it. But after 3 years of working. I decided to take a ‘gap year’….shit
Well sometimes I see a plumber can earn more than a uni grad.Yet, no super-high 3-5 years of university tuition fee. Uni grad will most probably works as an employee, forever, getting scolded; while unfortunate ones unemployed. Sad case.
I’m an engineering bachelor degree holder and hopefully soon to be master’s degree holder. There is one point, which is very important, that Kenny is missing here.
In my college, which specializes in science, technology and medicine, the graduates mostly go into banking. I know more engineering graduates going into banking and consultancy than actual engineering firms.
Hence, the point is, pursuing an engineering degree does not mean they have to go into engineering. Sure, I know people who are gonna work for engineering firms such as IBM, BP and Arup. So do I know people from the same year who are going to start work next month in Barclays, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley. There are all EEE graduates.
An engineering degree is ultimately the safest. Why? Because they equip you with the most diverse range of transferable skills through programming, group projects and endless reports: technical and non-technical.
Anyway, do you know that most CEOs on Fortune 500 companies are engineering graduates?
Hey Dude, I am one of the 1%, built my first crystal radio at 9 and started charging ppl for electronics repair during my SMK days..always wanted to be a ME or EE since I was 6-7 years old.
One thing I’d like to make everyone aware is, if engineering is not in your blood, even if you graduated with a engr degree, work in a real engineering firm as an engineer, you’ll eventually lose your job, because you cant perform as an engr. Engrs and scientists have different chain of tough you gotta have that creative edge. (btw, good in math is not prerequisite for engrs).
Choose your career path wisely, I have interviewed a few engineers, my fav question is “Define 1 watt” and many could not provide me with the correct answer, some with MSEE. Some did not even remember P=IV (expected answer is not simply P=IV)
Thanks for the insight. At the same time, this reminded me of one of many documentaries about the education “factory” we have today – “The College Conspiracy” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpZtX32sKVE
Gawd. Someone who truly understands.
So damn true. I’m also an engineering student right now who don’t really know what I’m studying and my true passion is drawing. :((((
finally there is a daddy understand children better !!
Thanks for this post and your sharing over lunch. When i am forced to choose between teaching and consultant training, you made me realize my passion for teaching is greater; and that skills are more important than academic scrolls.
God bless you Kenny! 🙂
I’m in my final year of Mechanical Engineering and I don’t really plan to work as an Engineer for long after I graduate.
I agree with Reader who says that it’s not so much the subject matter but the mindset and the technical training you’re put through. It will assist you well even if you’re in the finance sector. Personally, I think Engineering course is one of the most versatile.
You not really using your Engineering knowledge well doesn’t mean so many of us do it due to parental pressure. At the end, you got to take ownership for the situation you’re in and not simply blame your parents.
Although I agree with most of what you write, people must also realize that it’s not so much of what you study, but the skills you gain while in university. Developing your mind, improving your analytical and quantitative skills, your thought process, your ability to make calculative judgements, and not forgetting your inter personal skills because 99% of people can’t run a successful business being socially inept and anti social.
But going back on track, the oil & gas sector is booming, but sadly not many grads want to work offshore, most of them want to work in an office in kl.
agree with u kenny. true enough. but sadly, that’s the reality.
having an engineering degree really doesn’t mean that you must work in engineering industry, same goes to any other type of degree.
the most important aspect of engineering course is to develop the skill to define, analyze, quantify and ultimately solve problem thru logical thinking.
I know you run a gym now but i’m pretty sure you did learn something from engineering school that is useful in certain aspect of it.
I totally agree with you. I myself am an engineering degree holder having just graduated early this year. my job now is related to my field and yes, i actually do apply much of what i learn in uni. But, i just know that what i’m doing now isn’t my passion. and that’s sad! i think you’re right though. i mean at 17 we’re expected to decide what we want to do for the rest of our lives. And for me personally, i didn’t even give it much thought. i had no idea what i liked but i just took engineering because it was “safe”. so yea, that’s 5 years of my life and counting that i’m doing something i’m not passionate about (having said that, i don’t hate what i’m doing, i just don’t love it).
but i also agree with a lot of the comments being posted. a university degree is more about developing our analytical skills and expanding our horizons. what you do with it is up to you.
Getting in the wrong course or enrolling in any tertiary education is not the end of the world. Whats more tragic is a person living life without dreams, or have no motivation to pursue them. But really, getting rich is the worse dream ever. If you live for money you’ll run wherever you think it goes and whichever career you think takes you there faster.
Partially disagree with it. Personally feel that after 17 u should be able to plan yo path. If you wanted to know if you’re qualified for that field you should have start applying for intern since 1st year o 2nd year. It sounds rediculous but tat’s wat I did.
I totally agree with the blog entry, I wasted 5 years doing my masters degree interpreting and translations due to parental and social pressure and now I am happier being an international cabin crew. University does not inspire dreams and goals, only taught me how to find loops holes, meet deadlines, make assumptions, browse reading and master the art of being a functioning alcoholic.
I am a parent and what you have written is so so true…. kids tis days…they think having a degree is a guarantee…. but to me at the end of the day is how you present yourself, articulate in speech, open mind thinking, quick thinking, adapting to situations and assimilate seamlessly with others…. be part of the team and work towards the company’s goals… then you are set to reap the benefits…. university do not give such insights…. it is the day to day hardknocks that we learn in life…. then we adapt and change accordingly… thank you Kenny… you have opened a lot of eyes… my daughter included
I do not agree. Nobody can force you to choose engineering. Even if government wish to develop specify sector and encourage their people to for it, we can still make our own decision. We as a student, as a man lived for 17 years, and yet we do not know our interest and preferred life style, who to blame? Or the guy in article consider his future only when the decision making is around the corner? You do not know you interested in open gym instead of engineering, who’s fault? If you study engineering is for making big money, I can only say that you did not done your research well. Go for banking or politic that maybe much better for you.
good post!!!!!!!strongly agree with u…
Kenny,you forgotten another type of Asian parents we have,parents who decide what to get the children to do.
dont bluff ok, study in australia what’s so difficult. put across as if you have to study really hard…engineering trains the mind and gives you the confidence to tackle any situation no matter how difficult it can be.
Partially agree with some of the statements you made. Please do not ‘force’ ur children to take a gap year. Please ‘encourage’.
Gap year on its own is not without a prolem. Many students in the western world take up student loan in their gap year to do voluntering, travelling and etc as a way to experience life / find their destiny. I think in the chinese culture, this practice is strongly forbidden. ‘Dont know how to earn money but do know how to spend money first’. The situation is a bit like what happen to USA economy right now.
They are many ways to learn or experience in life. Gap year is good but there are always other ways.
Life is not perfect. Road is never straight. Sometime we just have to take extra steps in order to achieve what we want in life. The time that has been wasted turn into part of your life experience.
wah diu…. mah lan chat good post man…..
Actually i’m totally disagree here. 1st point is: you can used your certificate to find the job which fit on what you study and ignore your “interest things” first! People live for money but not live for “interest things”.No money how to survive? 2nd point is: i hope you can actually take consideration of what i suggest at above 1st, because “life is unlimited with passion” In this world things changing everyday and nobody can predict what happen next or in the future!My point is :(maybe u might like engineer someday!) If u really interested in “sales consultant at a fitness centre” you must at least 1st earn some money from the “engineer job” 1st and then only go to study the fitness course and went into your interested path!
We should not blame on what parents give us because everything is a gift, some others dun even have chance like you!(you should be thanksgiving). If you dun really like what parents made the decision for you, just said it out; i believe if you strong enough u can convince them to have faith in your own decision!
I’ve been your reader for the past, 6 or 7 years? And I must say I haven’t been seeing a quality blog from you for quite a while. It’s always about ads ads ads and your over-emphasis on your favourite beer, favourite this favourite that which I think you are giving undue influence on your readers.
Finally, at last, a good entry. I understand you have your commitments in life but maybe cut yourself some slack, post something nice that reflects your idea and get along with your readers. Thanks for the entry, it’s a good read 🙂
Wow, i didn’t know that overseas they have such thing as a gap year. If only i knew…
Good post bro! I’ve been a follower of your blog but dropped off during your advertis-y nonsense-y sanitary pad football-y days. First time back after years, glad to see a fantastic post! Keep up the good work!
Arghhhh WTF i so agree with you….. I am one of them………damnnnnnnn……
Who is Bill Gate? A sport science drop out?
Steve Job, Larry Page, Zukerberg and more.
Are they all having a bachelor degree in Gym Management?
Now to your question who in the top 10 richest Malaysian list hold a electronic engineering degree?
The answer is None but in fact, three are degree holders – one is in fact a Harvard MBA; and ALL of them have sent their children to university!
1) Ananda Krishnan graduated with a Harvard Business School MBA and double degree from University of Melbourne.
2) Quek Leng Chen qualified as a lawyer from Middle Inn – and reportedly studied law at University of Cambridge before.
3) YTL’s head honcho Francis Yeoh, who should be really credited for YTL group’s growth since 80s, graduated with a Engineering degree from University of Kingston, UK.
Kenny, i don’t agree with you. Engineering is a tough subjects, never been fun to study. But engineering bring up a core value inside engineers thats no other majors do. That’s most engineers are rational, analytical and problem solver. All problems can be soleved with right approach. Alot of engineering graduates growth through the courses. Recall freshman & senior you and compare the different in you. You are what you are because of engineering in you. Thanks you parents for their sacrifice.
you might not write a good analytical blog if you never go through science stream …
You are right. I studied thinking that this was the SAFEST thing ever and I’m stuck in finishing my professional papers before moving in to something I really wanna do.
I agree completely. It isn’t your fault that you do not know what to do when you’re 17, especially when the government education system for high school only cater arts and science subject. Take Psychology for example, it isn’t offered in high school, so I only knew I liked it so much better than the rest of science subject till I enter college for pre-U. Besides that, the stupid expectations and social pressure from the society, especially parents really need to stop. It’s stopping so much non-science related industry to grow, such as film, music, and comics(SAD CASE) and so many more!
Yes i totally agree.
Whatever u study is a foundation on your BIG step out to the world, living independently, surviving on ur own, and do everything on ur own. I have lived in Melb for the past 6 years and i have to say im lucky to be able to go so far away and to enjoy my uni degree + working.
I have hospitality degree and i only worked in hotel for 3 years and ventured into smth else, financially wise its still good.
The bottomline is degree is a piece of paper whether you will use it or not but a good foundation for u to find a job. It has nothing to do with your future job – Degree holder from overseas and degree holder from local uni, who will u hire?
Kenny, I remembered you mentioning that working in Spectra was one of the best moments in your life….. Now, would you have gotten that experience if not for your EE degree?
And if you had not studied EE or studied later, you may end up not owning a gym but working as a sales assistant in a gym instead! So don’t bitch about your past. Remember about your dad and the sacrifices he made for you to have a better future.
I am sorry to say that i totally disagree with you. Especially the part where you say the course does not help you at all. The reason why engineering is a good study is the course structure. Is not all bout knowledge, it train you to ready and acquire new knowledge. No matter in what field, the ability to understand a situation in the shortest time is most important Thats is the reason there are alot engineering student doing good in all kind of sector. Is the mind set. The experimental mindset that help us thinking critically… I am proud to an engineer.
Think kenny’s just trying to say that ppl chose Engineering without having a reason behind their choice other than complying to what their parents told them to bah.
It’s all well if any of you chose Engineering for whatever reason, be it interest or bright future or great range knowledge or whatever you can come up with, as long as it’s your own choice.
Hey Kenny! really love your post. I actually agree with you. I’m currently studying engineering in Melbourne, and engineering is definitely not an easy course. Parents have the typical thinking that engineering will get you a good job, but then again it’s not just about the money, it’s the passion that you have for what you want to do. But its great that your parents still supported you even though they sacrificed lots of money for your degree. 🙂 be proud! be happy at where you are at now!
Bill Gates had been the richest man for many years and he is a software engineer. Who say engineer cant be rich?! BRAINLESS
I started seeing the world when i was 21 after i left studies to start flying as a cabin crew..so after seeing the world and the people, my “ambition” is to sit and home and wait for money to come..tired of the world!!! Too much seeing the world eh??
It is still important to get a degree regardless where your future leads u to. But study something that interest u and not something ppl want u to. The only thing I regret now is to have left studies half way to see the world. I cant really get back to it!! The “gap year lasts until now 🙁
Finally a very meaningfull blog post after a very very long time 😀
I finally got the feeling that kennysia the blogger is back at kennysia.com
I TOTALLY AGREEEEE.
read carefully my friend
you should try watching the movie 3idiots. totally explains what you are trying to say. plus, it’s the best movie ever! please watch!
I wasted my life in my first degree. After a few years working, I finally know what I wanted to do. So I went back to study again. Never too late.. but that one could’ve studied it earlier. lol
In top 10 richest Malaysian, how come so many are of Chinese origin? Support from China gahmen?
Hi, I’ve a slight disagreement here. It is true in some ways that in many cases, what youngster study nowadays end up doing/working things/jobs that is unrelated to what they’ve studied in their university.
However, I believe that studying in university is not only to gain the knowledge of Sciences, Engineering, Accounting, Economics etc. I consider these as hard skills, the knowledge of math where you understand the theory of 1+1=2.
More importantly, I strongly suggest that university is a great place for me to developed and enhance soft skills; communication skills, people skills, problem solving, critical thinking etc.
I (as a fresh grad) would think that the subject that I studied does not seem to matter significantly. For me, these subject/knowledge is just a platform/medium for me to develop and enhance our soft skills; which we can only develop it by experience and hardly from books.
Well, it would be best if what I had studied is directly applicable and relevant to what I will be doing in the future. but how if it doesn’t? I think well at least I do have the soft skills that is applicable to any jobs in general.
The point that I would like to make is not to say that the subject itself doesn’t matter at all. What I am trying to say is that soft skills (which can be developed and gained through any subject) should have more emphasis than hard skills.
This is just an opinion of my own. I hope it doesn’t cause any misunderstanding or in any way if my language sounds confronting.
i think some of your misunderstood what kenny is trying to write. i don’t think in any way was he trying to condemn people that is taking engineering course but he is merely stating the fact that there are far too many youths who are taking courses in university that they have no interest in.
people who graduated with a degree in a field that they have no interest in does not give them a plus in the future because they won’t even go into that field for their career.
i agree with kenny, it is important to find out what we want to pursue for our career, and also to consider our interest before we choose to further our studies in university.
do not be hasty.
actually one only can vote when they are 21 not 18 ;]
I am in my final semester of a degree I don’t see any use for and have absolutely come to hate because I didn’t know what I wanted when I made this decision. So, yeah, I do agree with you. I do agree with finding out what you want before taking that very large (and very expensive) step forward.
totally agree man!! i even showed this post to my mum. hahahha. but my mum said that once we take a year gap..the child might not want to study anymore! which is maybe also true to an extent? but still, wonderful post!
I still think going to uni is relevant. This is a place where we can grow as individual and discover about ourselves. It doesn’t matter if after your job is not related to your degree. Kenny, tell me have your education in Perth gone to waste? I don’t think so.
This is the world of capitalism. The world create university and colleges just to make graduates to work for their company. IMHO. XD
I absolutely agree with you! I’m studying for an accounting degree in curtin bentley now because it’s a ‘guarantee’ that you will get a job if you do this. And the thing is, I was told that I was good in Accounting and Finance because I get good results in Math during high school?
After a year of studying, I realised that what I wanted to do was a Fashion Design/Design Degree but thankfully, during my course, I get to have an elective so took the opportunity to enrol myself in the Fashion Design unit and loved it more than ever! But I guess studying in a commerce degree has its perks because by then, I would know how to run a business if I were to open say, a company relating to fashion? After all, fashion is business too =D
I suggest everyone to watch Three idiots movie. And WATCH IT WITH THE PARENTS! I swear.
Please read carefully before u say something stupid like this….. Pls dont make urself a fool agian…..
After taking the disasterous Form 6, I could not even enter any of the Public Universities listed inside, except for courses which I do not even prefer. Luckily, my parents were financially stable, and I took a one-year break from all that to find what/whichever my interests are actually in.
Unfortunately, being from a Biology graduate in Form 6, my only nearest Engineering course is Biomed. Engineering in my nearest college. So I took it, and four years later I have graduated.
I was considered lucky because I have a chance to study in something related to Engineering, and my passion is in there. However, the job market for those Engineers aren’t very good – only it ended up as a poorly paid salesman or “sales engineer”, which even a Form 5 graduate can perform.
Again, I have a job in my own college now and awarded a postgraduate study.
It is ok that one shouldn’t go to university for the sake of going. But one thing – the entire job market is depending on such papers. Going out without a proper degree can be a disaster.
Why, so true!!! What a great post!
So true…society nowadays… just because some of us didn’t go straight to uni/college then they labelled us as delinquents… like your post by the way.
Well, I have a degree in applied accounting but I’m working as a software consultant. What does accounting got to do with IT? Lol! But I’m glad that I do have the accounting knowledge as it helps in my career.
That’s 100% true! Many kids nowadays went to uni just for the sake of society pressure and ended up studying for a piece of paper that they never use…
act ur parents r tryin to save u from makin bad decision aft highschool, n u just will realize ur true passion wen u r in the years of bein in college….
i say that, our parents just provide a “failsafe”
for us in case we dont know wat we r doin, so still, they r helpin after all….after a while wen u noe wat u want, all u have to do just to prove it.
Totally agree with you! I mean most of my uni classmate when I asked them why do you choose this course most of the answers are 1. because this is what my parents suggest n I have no idea what do I want to study. 2. Because most of my friend is chose this course. 3. because I can easily find a job. 4. cause this is a common subject.(by the way I’m studying business). When some of my high school friends would prefer to rest a year travel around n find their interest, mostly people would say “aya..why waste your time n money..” something like that..they hav the thought of “laziness”.
IT is sad.. but i have to say that I’m one of them!!!
Curtin U, where is that? Timbatu???
good one, a different perspective. thumbs up. =)
yea.. plumber earns higher !
Our education and parenting developed us to be passive. But surely we have to blame ourselves for not finding our interest and deciding our own path during the 17 years. I thought the 1 year traveling is insignificant as compared to those years.
If it’s about having our goal but not striving to achieve them, even if it means going through huddles like your parents’ wishes, that’s our fault to blame.
Simply put it, we were not mature enough to plan ahead, deciding and striving for our future. Forgive me if I say that it is too convenient for us to put the blame on our parents and teachers while demeaning our own.
Teenagers at western countries know they want for themselves while they’re in secondary school like us. There are also peers of mine that know what they want in life and work hard for it. Too bad they are not the majority.
In the end, it is up to us to break the chain in the future. you have 17 years to help your kid find his/her interest.
p/s: there’s nothing about engineers can’t be rich. They are the majority of the higher income level in our social hierarchy, though they are not the top 10 richest men.
sad but true!
for the 1st time I have to agree with you Kenny.
look at those pursuing their studies in MTiU… FTW… Lasapppp…
kenny, thanks. i am a first class honours from LSE. I am managing my family restaurant business. I thought of going to Harvard for my PHD, now I have second thought.
Can I apply for a gym trainer in your company? or how about a sales consultant? Maybe a diet consultant because I know how to fry a few chinese signature toufo dish.
If you let your kids have a GAP YEAR, they would probably spend time playing video games for the whole year and tell you…
“I want to be a video game designer”.
In kiasuland they have something called national service.
Kenny,you were lucky.Your parents can afford to give you a university brochure to make a AUD$100.000 decision.
Actually most of you are lucky.
What about other parents who can’t afford and needs to face their children who scores good grades.
They will be looking at the price tag of the courses.
Since most of you mentioned that you’ll end up not doing what you study,maybe Kenny can blog on a basic edu for kids to get a cert which is affordable,then work and they can move from there to study.And all will not be wasted.
I mean,to spend so much money for an edu that ends up wasted.
I seriously wished I read this 4 years ago while I was deciding what to study in university. Hah!
I never notice the poster at Spin Up Studio O.o
and anooh.. I studied accounting but never like accounting. T_T
As an American who has lived in Malaysia for many years I must say that you are spot on in your assessment. I would however agree with those that say that no education is ever wasted and I think that is true and as a retired educator I appreciate the value of all knowledge.
However education as it is practiced in Malaysia often I am afraid teaches students to hate learning when the goal of education should be to develop a live long learner – which sadly I am afraid Malaysia does not do.
If Malaysia is to ever produce leaders and Nobel prize winners – the emphasis in education has got to be on doing what you are passionate about.
This is one reason I always recommend study in the US where I believe there is a bit more of balance educationally and where a students path is not set at such an early age. After 23 years of teaching I know of very few 17-19 year old students who REALLY know what they want to do with their lives. Having a gap year or studying in the US where it is very common to change your major multiple times – are healthy options as a young person develops.
Good for you for having the courage to point out what most people in my experience in Malaysia actually think but are afraid to verbalize.
I do think your statistic of 99% may be a little hyperbolic however I cannot count the number of times I have met Malaysian students who have the same story as yours.
The problem also is that as you so correctly point out – too often students in Malaysia study things to please family/friends and government and not things they are passionate about.
Actually I think you would be a great education minister for Malaysia – as an educator who speaks with literally thousands of Malaysian students each year – I think that for the most part you pretty well reflect what I am constantly hearing. If I just heard it from a handful of students I would not pay much attention – but as the responses to your posting show and as my personal experience also reflects – your situation is more the norm than the exception.
SPOT ON COMMENT I couldn’t have said it any better myself…
Its like you are trying to say software engineer equals success. WRONG. Bill Gates was a bit of a progamming prodigy/genius at a really young age, so I think its FAIR to say this will give him abit of an advantage. Also, if you have read what some ppl close to him have to say, and that he is more of a good BUSINESSMAN than of a programmer. He hires the best people (which is another way of saying making people WORK FOR YOU instead, $$$$). Buyout smaller successful companies (ie. kill the competition); and there is soooo much more to Bill Gates than meets the eye…
*shakes head* ignorant fool…
but do you know what you are passionate about now? alot of ppl do not know this until after they have worked in your field for a few years.
Kenny ah Kenny!! look at what you have done!! My son was in uni studying finance, 1st year, but after reading your enligtening article about persuing your passion, he has since dropped out and now set on becoming a transvestite!! KNNCCB !!!! KNNCCB !!!!
It is a very difficult to say. Cause doing a gap year to see the world or even work require money and the parents have this mentality that rather than wasting money “wasting” time, better waste it doing a tertiary degree.
And sometimes they forget that you’re so young and they push you to make the decision of what to study or what to do. And us being so young and not wanting to disappoint them make those decision thinking how bad this could be? And we have this fear of being branded “indecisive”
And then come the peer pressure, not all of us is comfortable with the feeling of being slow. A year of searching is a year wasted and when we see our peers graduate earlier and we’re still studying, it feels like we’re slow and retarded or something. And to pour the oil into the fire in this matter is our forever loving parents. “You see this who who who who….graduate already, you’re still……..”
And then there’s some of us who just study for the sake of study. So that we graduate early as possible and get a job so we can be less of a burden to our parents.
It’s very difficult to say and i’m still 20 and i need to work it out. But this is what i see among my peers, siblings and relatives.
Btw, i’m doing Bachelors of Mechanical Engineering, 2nd year 2nd sem and 2 years to go.
Kenny freaking Sia, I agree with you. I am taking Cambridge A-level in west malaysia. and gonna graduate next year. and i have no freaking ideas what course should i take in the future. I am so stressed.my freaking life
I am already a PHD holder. Oh dear, Kenny what shall I do now? It is too late now, sh***t I am in too deep.Continue to study, open a fitness club, be a blogger or apply or a position in your company? Any vacancies?
what if my vagina gets too fat
depends if mara sponsors you
engine geer chee bai use proper grammar
While I agree with what you say partially, i think there is more to a University course than just the paper at the end of it. It is also about the network that you build along the course of education and also the shaping of your mind.
Most corporations hire engineer graduates not because of what they have learnt in their uni days but the skill sets that they have acquired along the way. The critical mind is more important than the theorems and what-nots that they have to learn.
It is usually not the end result that shapes you but the journey that you took that shapes you. While you may need an Engineering degree to do an Engineering job, you do not need the same degree to be doing alot of things. If we were to adopt the practise of studying what we want to do, I guess there should be a big big market for a Entrepeneurship University as everyone wants to be their own boss.
I respect that everyone has their own view point and this is just my humble opinion.
Are you so easily influenced?
I’m a part time tutor now and I always tell my tutees of what you wrote about here…
i agree with what some people said here. “No education is ever wasted”
As far as doing the wrong course where we don’t have any interest in is painful, going to uni is a good life experience. You get to meet people that you can call friend for life. Make connection with people whom would be your business partner one day. Sometimes the path to success is not always direct, you have to go the long way to find out what is ultimately destined for you.
But what you don’t see is, a plumber has to work on shitty days when it’s raining, freezing or stinking hot. No work, no pay. And plumbers have to be physically fit to some extent to be able to do their tasks and they fixed toilets for f*ck sake. it’s not a dream job that pay well.
i agree with thomas point and your point.
i studied electronics engineer and now i’m doing IT.
but of cos i had a few years as engineer before i was luckily accepted in IT field.
its true that we go to university to make friends and to shape your mind.
An Engineering grad will always be different. THey are brave, smart, able to withstand pressure and who doesnt know engineering is one of the hardest to study and to pass right? so engineers are always on the par with doctors and lawyers, which is top of the line as well.
Look at yourself kenny, which faculty deserves you other than engineering 🙂
In Malaysia, many people are poor than rich guy like you. Their parent saving hard money will definitely make sure used the the money wisely to encourage their kids to study in more potential of getting job field, eg. engineering. However, there are plenty of kids who cannot afford to study like you, in overseas or local private university.Did u think everybody like you, born in silver? Can afford jobless and wondering to many overseas country, wasting time for so many years.Many people are poors, need to feed thier parent and family. They have no choice like you. Commitment come 1st, not to what they interested in what feild they study. So, please look on majority malaysia people difficulty life, they have no choice like you.
I disagree. I think it has a lot to do with the British/Australian education system that does not allow much exploring other than your declared degree.
I am in university in the US. I took 9 months off after my SPM to enter school in the fall. I could have gone in the spring, but I had the luxury to have almost a gap year.
I entered university as a candidate for Bachelor of Science Economics. Because the American system is so flexible, I was allowed to take classes that are not econ classes. My friends who are in Australia and UK tell me that they can’t pick classes! Through taking random classes I found my passion: international relations! I switched my major and yet, I don’t have to start over from Year 1.
I have not been in an Australian or UK lecture hall yet, so I wouldn’t be able to compare the use of critical thinking in classes.
Eventually though, I think the university experience is what you make of it. Not every Harvard graduate is employed in their chosen field right now. Even worse, not every Harvard graduate has a job now, and that’s not by choice.
CURTIN ftw~!!! lolz
great.. how about an america graduate psychologist work in a call center now 😉 haa… thats me…
Y dun u all get a life, rather than mumbling about what happened u can’t change what happened…by 18 years old you should know what u love to do not thinking about making money yet. Its your fault, fail to stand up against your parents….well im lucky , my parents let me choose what i wanted (M.engineering)
any way good luck
hey u dun even sign in, dun talk ill about ever1 in the blog…ok
respect their opinion and experience, sad to think their doing work which is not relate to their hard earn degree. I think its not the societies wrong its da parents fault, force you to study..am I right?
the parents set a insurance to their children by spend money sending them to University…can’t u all dumb head understand, if u can’t make a decision parent will make for you, u should ask more time to explore your interest, and get a stand on your decision…kenny sian…and dun get Y.B Dr.Mahatir into this…
As far as I’m concern, you are quite right about graduate on different skills and make use of them on different criteria. Lucky for you that your parent love you much.
Not that lucky for me as my parent didn’t have chance to send me to University as the crisis force me on hard labor after my secondary. In the past people think the politician is correct abt. this education thing and still some of the parent still think so as they’re educated that way.
What is important is to find the passion as you have mentioned boot camp, gap year trip or something that would make your kids recognize their potential. Rather than letting those monarch master mind to play with the society mind.
i so damn fucking agree with every word u said
I finally start my degree studies in 2008 and I’m entering my final year in engineering in manufacturing..I am 29 now.. and I’ve decided engineering as my career after trying out studying chemistry, roboticss, mechatronics and electronics..I’ve also worked as marketing coordinator, executive chef, loan collector, event management and even hotel management… It took me 8 years gap to finally decide… So I truly think, we do need some time to decide what we want to do… hopefully we as parents in the future will not force our kids..instead, we just monitor their interest and guide them… ahaks..
I remember that Xiaxue’s husband-Mike is an engineer. Opps, you might offended Xiaxue. and few days later she probably will write a post with title “Kenny Sia is a loser”
Yeah…sadly that is the mentality of parents in our society…I’m also one of the many students who were forced to make a decision at 18, don’t know anything at all and yet forced to make a decision that will greatly impact my whole life.. It was hell these past few years, studying something i’m not sure of or don’t even really like…but luckily the course itself made me realize my true passion, and i’m now pursuing it:)
Kenny, i also think your article should be shared with everyone else, keep up the good work!
fuck the degree, go out and see the world! then decide what u wanna do. alot of things u can’t learn from books, get real! a degree is so over rated nowadays, its nothing but a piece of expensive toilet paper.
Kenny Sia you sucks.
Why you are mad? It’s bed time.
it had been a while since i left any comments.
But, this post is really an inspiring 1^^~
Yes, i knew tat my parents will never ever let me get into arts. So, i took chemical engineering instead. Haiz, just hv to live with it~ Consider this as a way to repay our parents^^
Hah. you could end up like me and so a degree in theatre and English literature, then proceed to become a teacher, which has nothing to do with my original degree. my parents were not too pleased with any of these choices.
Hahaha! I love this post, Kenny! You very seldom write like this nowadays. Yeah, I have a close friend who just quit his actuarial tenure before it’s one-year due date because he can’t stand it for another six months. His mind goes numb at work. He picked actuarial science thinking that it will him the money he needs to pursue his passion in the creative arts. Big mistake there. Now, he can’t do anything much with just a bachelor’s degree in actuarial science without being qualified. It takes three years of work to become qualified.
yup.. agree. I studied software engineering but now setting up my own business as well. Really wasted a lot of money..
Kenny Nia, your cbox is expired..
liddat and liddat also can one, sure can one! now, just goto uni, get drunk then decide later lorrrr…. haiya so mafan
kenny, you are 100% correct.ive been counselling so many of my younger cousins/friends/acquaintances that i know about doing what they are truly passionate about, rather than blindly paying a heck load of money to do courses that their parents want them to do. Sadly, the last thing parents ask nowadays is ‘what do YOU want’. and obviously if a kid has never been trained or guided to think about that (its a long term decision, duh!)he’s gonna say ‘I dont know!’ and the parents end up making decisions for them. its so sad, but so true. im definitely gonna make all my friends read your article because they need to hear more about this novel idea that people should go down the path of their interests =) thanks kenny.
Kenny, ur post blog speaks out what’s in my mind. I hope u don’t I share your post blog link in my blog. http://luckystrike14.blogspot.com/2011/08/truth-or-dare.html
If it doesn’t make u comfortable, pls do let me know ya.
Anyway, thanks so much for sharing. Current I am at the junction to pick what I am doing for my next 30 years. I do hope I have the courage to make a change.
This is why u r the person u r today. What a waste university education was on u. University is not about getting a meal ticket. It’s about learning about oneself. The course that you take is only the vehicle. Sure, universities produce people who eventually take up roles in society along the lines of the studies that they undertook but the university experience is much bigger than that. If all universities do is to produce engineers like u then u might as well just have colleges and institutes. U do not need universitites to produce engineers. If u understand that then u understand what university was meant to have given u.
Go to university???? Kuching people should:
1. Learn how to goddamn drive.
2. Learn how to goddamn park.
3. Learn how to goddamn use a toilet.
Only then think about going to university especially overseas.
Gotta say I agree with you! Being a first year in university yourself, I now truly understand how important and influential these uni years are — they ultimately mould you into becoming the person you are in the future. But I don’t think your degree is ‘wasted’ – i’m sure you have developed good problem-solving thinking skills with 3 years of engineering. anyway, i rarely comment and just wanna say that you have a great blog and keep it up! (:
PS: Just reading some of the stupid and inane comments that people post makes me angry and sympathetic at the same time. these people are such enormous losers/cowards/trolls and i hope you never let them get to you!
best post of the month? Then kennysia went inactive.
Mr Sia! I agree with you so much! I have a bachelor degree and rite now im not even using it! lol and im still wondering around thinkin what I really want to do in this life lol…so undecisive! can you help me to find out? any tips? 😀
oi noob kenny sia, pls continue to blog. one good post doesnt means that u can go on a break. hehehe! =P
Aiya Kenny, update your blog la… It is rottening already.
Absolutely agree. Way too many students do engineering nowdays just because people want them to or because of peer pressure.
BTW, I did the take-time-off-to-figure-shit-out thing. Worked wonders.
First of all, many thanks to Kenny for writing this.
I am one the contributors of the book “Don’t waste your talent”. It is a book to show you how to find your talent and passion, discover who you are and what career best suits you so that you get it right – the first time.
Let me tell you my story. After I graduated from Form 5, I was offered a medical scholarship. Deep down in my heart, I knew there is no way I could compete against my peers in the medicine. Instead, I went on to try to find out what makes people succeed in what they do and made good money out of it.
To prove that I was right, I rejected the scholarship and use myself as an experiment. I did what I was born to do – Economics and Finance. Today, based on satisfaction and I am experiencing, I am glad I took the plunge 10 years ago.
Only if Kenny permits, I am happy to share more with you. Until then, may I encourage every reader to keep discovering who they are and don’t let your passion fade away – ever 🙂
Thanks again to Kenny for this article.
This is one of the reasons why I’m in favor of the American liberal arts education system. It takes four years to complete a degree, but in the States you spend the first two years learning almost anything and everything you want to so you get to study and explore your interests at the same time. 🙂
“rottening” DING DING DING no such word – you goto uni first before making comments please…
I so totally agree with this post. I wasted 5 yrs of my life because of this. And now I’m happy because I’m doing what I want to do but I have to work extra hard to catch up the missed years.
Now every time I meet a high school kid who thinks he/she wants to do engineering in uni, I ask them to think long and hard if that’s what they really want to do.
I’m going to quit blogging. See ya guys.
Yes, i agree with you.
You can realise reading the big Company background, some of the big bosses doesn’t even have a degree too. Yet, they still success in career. So, is the matter of yourself actually.
Some how, parents do sometimes rushed their children to enter college and universities but in parent view, they would think that if takes 1 year time off to travel and discover own interest, are wasting times. Well, this is Msia culture.
Kenny Kenny I want you to entertain me now.. NOW NOW NOW …. goo goo ga ga, goo goo ga ga
sorry i’ve made up my mind.
I looked back at your entry when you were working for Spectra, earning about AUD4x,xxx annually, that’s about RM10K a month, about 3 times what an average Malaysian earns.
Consider a scenario where you didn’t have the resources to pursue other interests or setup a business, wouldn’t that job set you up for a good comfortable life?
Furthermore, you mentioned that you were helping to design websites when you were working for Spectra, surely that skillset must’ve helped you in your blogging?
So I wouldn’t call it a complete waste. Without that experience that build up your rational and analytical skills you wouldn’t be the person you are today. Would you have even started this blog if not because of that one lonely night returning home, suffering from the shock of losing your father and having to abandon everything you built up in Perth?
What teenagers need nowadays is a good role model, someone who can inspire them. If a kid grew up worshiping Tesla with his crazy inventions, and loved to indulge in DIY projects, his dream job would be an engineer.
when you are young ur parents asked u to study engineering but end of the day, ask u do business….
Have you lost your mojo in blogging, Kenny?
Test post please ignore
Normal lar… ppl interest change..
hi there. i was in the exact predicament last year. just completed A Level in June. i have absolutely no idea what i wanted because choosing a course is not really like any subjects, but a life-time decision. was very, very depressed. prayed very hard that i’ll find my passion. thank God, recently i knew what i wanted to do and have enrolled into a uni. however i am not afraid to take a gap year to discover life. we have a lifetime to work, don’t ever worry about graduating later than others. use that gap year to work, travel and volunteer. find out what you want. it’s now or never.
Are you deleting most of the comments?
Obviously you r not deleting comments. Why few of my previous one didn’t manage to go thru…
BTW Great Post.
It was mistakenly classified as spam. Sorry.
this is me right now. i didnt know what to do so i just simply choose. i wanted to quit during my first week in uni before i get in too deep but if i quit, i’ll be officially blacklisted from all gov uni.
parents just say, “that is life, sometimes you dont get what you want. take what is given.” ahhh so sad.
ur word are so true…now i m a uni student after failing and repeating subjectss now i still struggling on my study…haiz…
ur word are funny yet the Truth!! LIM PEH RIGHT HERE!! hahaha…
“Michael Spence originally proposed the idea of signaling. He proposed that in a situation with information asymmetry, it is possible for people to signal their type, thus believably transferring information to the other party and resolving the asymmetry.
This idea was originally studied in the context of looking for a job. An employer is interested in hiring a new employee who is “skilled in learning.” Of course, all prospective employees will claim to be “skilled at learning”, but only they know if they really are. This is an information asymmetry. Skill in learning is malleable, and depends upon many factors, including diet, exercise, and money.
Spence proposes, for example, that going to college can function as a credible signal of an ability to learn. Assuming that people who are skilled in learning can finish college more easily than people who are unskilled, then by finishing college the skilled people signal their skill to prospective employers. No matter how much or how little they may have learned in college, finishing functions as a signal of their capacity for learning. However, finishing college may merely function as a signal of their ability to pay for college, it may signal the willingness of individuals to adhere to orthodox views, or it may signal a willingness to comply with authority.” Wikipedia
if only my mum can see this and read English. Can you translate this to Chinese and post this on sin chew jit poh?
Life is more like a coincidence. Things kinda happen becoz of people who they meet and what they see, like how both the guys at Google met at Stanford, or even how Phillip Mills went to study at UCLA and attended some aerobic classes and came up with the idea that soon became what the whole thing is like today.
And i kinda had the first hand experience of having people who had been employees for generations and tend to want their son to just secure a job that pays for all their necessities. It’s just how the concept of Bourgeoisie and Proletariate works, and nothing can really change the idea that has been passed on from a long-established lines of people’s personal experiences, until some events break the whole thing.
Man i think i should do a sociology major instead, and be a Jew my next life 😛
man american education system is such a life changing one, and i had that experience right after i finished my first semester. Liberal Arts ftw!
aight me takes back something for correction. he didn’t attend aerobic classes it’s just that he saw the potential for the growth lol
Never been too late you got your own career at the right timing
No; you are not right. Even difficult hard time; you have a choice. Only fools don’t make a choice for themselves.
Revert back Form 6/STPM qualification as the only entry point into university (both private and public) and colleges.
No more SPM, Matriks craps as quick or back-door entry.
This would reduce:
1. crap-quality graduates
2. crap-quality private colleges that give worthless junk degrees (only cheated students of their PTPTN loans)
3. amount of loans by EPF given to PTPTN (ten of billions wasted for zero returns investment to EPF holders)
4. number of bankrupt jobless graduates
Ultimately all these education scams will stop: PTPTN LOAN SCAM = JUNK DEGREE GALORE = BANKRUPTCY = JOBLESS GRADUATES!
I am graduating next year! Hire me! As an intern! As a sales personnel! Work for food! Might not even need to give me a salary! I do BA. Accounting! More than willing to work with something business related! >.
yup i flunked my uni time because i ended not liking it and it was hard to study and not my passion.I am thankful for one thing though, supportive parents who encourage me to study again, but with something that I like. I totally agree with this post.
The vast majority of top CEOs around the world come from either Law or Account or commerce aka Art Stream. Few came from Engineering background aka Science Stream probably with the exception of the German.
I decided to revisit your blog and i stumbled upon this article, it speak of what i am currently thinking about. I’m 17 and i have no idea where i am gonna study or what i wanna do. I’m not a stupid or lazy person but people our age seriously need some time to sit think and decide what they wanna study in life
thanks kenny, for writing this post
Totally agree. I started off with a degree in Forestry, jumped several jobs before finally deciding on an academic career.
I have been saying this to a lot of people – about not studying just to pass exams, going to universities just to “fit in”, especially to many who wants to have “plenty to spend for the rest of their lives”.
Well they would still stick to the Industrial Age mindset- study hard for a degree, get a good job and get trapped in the rat race.. well, good luck to them.
Great post by the way, Kenny.
hey i thought it was
to meet girls
Judging from the way you wrote, your command of English is poor. There were so many grammatical and spelling mistakes and you dare to call yourself an Engineer?
Sat for SPM last year and ever since then, my parents/parents friends would ask me what course I wanna take/which uni. I usually procrastinated and said “Wait till results” because at the time I didn’t know. What you wrote is 200% true. All my ’95 friends are either in uni now, about to go, or will go after NS. Unless they really know what they want to be when they grow up, I think it’s so status quo to go to uni right after SPM year. I’d like to take a year off like you said, to fully think of what I’d like to do but my parents wouldn’t allow it. I had to really twist my mom’s arm to let me take any intake other than January. Now whenever I think of uni matters I think of your blog entry.
we have the same issue in Egypt , we don’t have a gap year and i had to choose my major when i was 17.
guess what , i am studying electronics and communication engineering in my fourth year 😀
it is not so tragic.
that’s right. like the saying goes if you don’t know where you’re going than it doesn’t matter which path you take.
Some will agree with Kenny’s advice and some will not. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions because each of us are unique in our own way. For me, I agree with the post and will definitely give my kids the freedom to choose their own career path. I think what would be good if that the Malaysia secondary students replace the NS program with an internship program or allowing students to work part time in some companies.
Another program that I find very beneficial is the Young Enterprise program that is sponsored by the American Chambers of Commerce. This program gives opportunities to Form 4 students of selected school to compete in building a business and give them experience in entrepreneurship, leadership, creativity, finance, public speaking, etc. Only if our Education systems supports this instead of letting the corp companies runs it.
Another point is which I don’t think that it’s too far away, are Internet Universities. These days you can learn everything from the internet and by the looks of how things are going, there will be a University of Youtube soon. There will be job titles like Minecraft Architect who i believe my son will score honors in.
Wishing everyone will find their calling. Life is short, don’t regret. Learn it, live it and move forward!
This post speaks my mind! Why would my parents think that I knew what I wanted to do after high school when what I had actually ever done were study, eat, sleep and study. Now my STPM is nearly ended and I have decided to end all these craps later I choose my course. ( Regretted a lot changing to Art Stream but that is okay now.)
LOL.. how Mahathirs ambition related to this crap?.. dont put a blame on others shoulder.. put it on your mama or papa or kong-kong who give u “hundred thousand of money bag” to further your study.