The Next Step

Published by SchoolAdvisor on Dec 15, 2017, 05:10 PM

School is out, exams are over, and most school-leavers are celebrating their liberation of secondary education. A vacation is in the books, along with some well-deserved rest and relaxation, but what happens after that?


Thinking about pre-university education could be a sticking point amid all the graduation euphoria, especially after 12 to 15 years of compulsory education, but a good study pathway is essential to the beginning of an illustrious, personally fulfilling career.

If you have an idea of what you want to do in the future, you may already have a plan as to what to study after school. In a foundation in business, for example, you are taught based on a syllabus with a general focus on business management, finance and the global market.

Even if you are unsure of an ultimate career choice, foundation studies could be a useful indicator of your interests and strengths suited for a certain career. Almost all foundation programmes offer you a chance to continue at the same university in a related Bachelor’s degree, which is an attractive option if you want to put down roots in an institution and be actively involved in university events as well as extracurricular activities.

A diploma programme is cut from the same cloth as foundation studies, albeit older in practice and more specialised. A student who has her heart set on being an accountant may prefer this option as diploma programmes are pre-university and early degree studies rolled into one.

After SPM, for example, a student can enrol in a two- to 2.5-year diploma programme and, upon completion, either start a career or continue into the second year of a related Bachelor’s degree.

Locally awarded certifications are also available from community and polytechnic colleges, comprising the Work-Based Learning Diploma and the Community College Certificate. These options are geared towards students who choose to pursue Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) courses. TVET post-secondary students usually come from technical/vocational secondary schools who are offered spots under the initiative after Form Three.

Private pre-university programmes, like publicly offered ones, depend on the type of education system a student was under in school. For instance, International Baccalaureate (IB) students typically move on to the IB Diploma Programme. However, most private pre-university courses can be pursued with a Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia certification.

For the undecided:? Form Six? Matriculation programme? International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme? Advanced Levels or A-Levels? Canadian Pre-University? Australian Matriculation and South Australian Matriculation 

For the decided:? Foundation programme? Diploma? American Degree Programme


There is yet another alternative for school-leavers who want to take an extended break from institutional studying. Taking a gap year is a popular choice, resulting in the implementation of Gap Year 2017 in eight local public universities. Gap Year 2017 is an initiative to involve more public university students in volunteering efforts, and began in September this year. A usual gap year, however, is based around travelling and learning all you can through internships, part- or full-time work, volunteering orpersonal exploration.

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