Between Course of Study and Choice of University, Which One is More Important?

Published by Afterschool.my on Sep 15, 2021, 04:08 pm

The UPU decision has been announced. If you are one of those with a successful application, you must be overjoyed and looking forward to your  registration and orientation. Meanwhile, those who were unsuccessful in their UPU application may feel as if their world has come to an end. 


We want you to stay motivated and unwavered which is why you need to realize that not everyone who gets into a public university will graduate to an array of job opportunities.  

Image via The Edge Markets

Here we share with you the realities of the current working world. There are graduates who are working in a field that is related to what they had studied, however the majority of graduates had deviated far from what they had studied for. 

Based on a research conducted by the number 1 Malaysia job search website known as Jobstreet.com, there are 10 courses of study where the majority of graduates ended up working in the same field and 10 other fields of study where graduates had to find unrelated jobs.

Fields of Study in Which the Majority of Graduates Work in the Same Field 

  1. Surveying

  2. Nursing

  3. Mechanical engineering

  4. Civil Engineering 

  5. Engineering (Metal Fabrication/Tools/Supplies/Equipment)

  6. Engineering (others)

  7. Architecture

  8. Pharmacy/Pharmacology

  9. Engineering (Electrical/Electronics)

  10. Finance/Accounting/Banking

Fields of Study in Which the Majority of Graduates Do Not Work in the Same Field

  1. Political Science

  2. Humanities/ Liberal Arts

  3. Science & Technology

  4. Protective Service & Management

  5. History

  6. Physics

  7. Geographical Science

  8. Social Science/Sociology

  9. Music/Performing Arts Studies

  10. Textiles/Fashion Design

  11. Biology

If you have successfully secured a course under the first category, you are safe as the industry currently needs graduates from those fields. You have chances of getting employed and there are job opportunities out there. You can also read our article on 13 Areas of Study with High Job Prospects According to Jobstreet and 10 Jobs That Will Remain To Be In Demand by Employers According To TalentCorp

Nevertheless, what would you do if you had gotten a course listed under the second category? Not only will you have limited job opportunities once you graduate, you will need to be adaptive and resourceful in looking for jobs that are irrelevant to your degree studies. Without the right skills and knowledge, work life will turn out to be full of struggle. 

What are the different options you can consider if you have been offered a course in the second category which may not be of your interest. Here are the following options you can take into consideration: 

  1. Upon graduation, consider furthering your studies to the next level (Masters) and enter the academic field 

  2. Try to apply for a course change after registering later

  3. Decline the offer and choose to further a course that meets the industry demand at a private university 

  4. Decline the offer and apply for a second intake that are usually somewhere around October/November

  5. Choose to take a skills course based on industry demand (Study for free, lucrative salary)

  6. Continue your studies and upon graduation, you can apply for SL1M or follow skills training under INSEP


Higher education studies are a huge investment for your own future. Therefore, we would rather not have you gambling with your life by accepting an offer in a course with no industry demand and future job prospects. A mismatch of qualification and job can be suffering most of the time as you will be expected to learn while working. No doubt, we want to learn while working but we do not want it to become overwhelming and unbearable. 

We want to remind you that wherever you study is not important as long as the programme is recognized and accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA). Find out How You Can Check if Your Course is Accredited by the MQA. Most importantly, you need to study in a field that has demands and is sought after by potential employers.  

While there is a common negative perception on the quality of graduates from private universities where people tend to believe that private university graduates are usually unemployed due to their incompetence, this is no longer the case. In fact, we have written an article on Why Is It Difficult For Public University Graduates To Get Jobs Compared To Private University Graduates

There are thousands of graduates out there who have made the wrong decision and ended up working in a job that is irrelevant to their knowledge and skills. In worse cases, there are many who are still unemployed. We hope that you will make a wise decision as this will determine your future. We wish you all the best! 

If you are interested in applying to a private university but unsure of which private university is best suited for the course you want to pursue, you can browse through a list of top private universities in Malaysia here. Some of the best private institutions offering students with programmes from a spectrum of fields include MMUMedic EDADMALTAR UCINTECKYUEMMSUImperium International CollegeLimkokwing and IUKL.

You can also schedule a personalized 20 minutes FREE counselling with our Afterschool Expert counsellors. Our counsellors will help you make the right choice according to your financial ability, interests and job prospects. Finally, we hope that this article will to some extent help you in making the right decision for your future. Whatever your decision is, do your best and we wish you good luck!

There are plenty of scholarships available for application. Browse through our list of latest scholarships for more details on study level, scholarship amount, scholarship deadline, and other information.

Afterschool.my is Malaysia’s no 1 higher education website that provides helpful information on courses, institutions and scholarships for students transitioning from secondary school to university level.

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