For every path you choose, there is another you must abandon, usually forever

Question: Dear Sir,

I'm 18 years and doing my Local AL's this year in Bio Science Stream. I did science because I was interested and wanted to learn more on science before my higher studies. My aim is to hold an Executive Post and ultimately become a CEO of a reputed company. So I'm hoping to do a MBA after my exams. What other courses/degrees should I follow in order to reach my goal?

And will learning foreign languages be a advantage towards my goal?
Your early response is highly appreciable.
Guidance Seeker, Via Email

Dear Guidance Seeker,

Answer: I see, too much of your effort is focused on gaining knowledge, but not enough of time dedicated to putting that knowledge into practice, in an article published by the HBR , Myth of the well educated manager, the author Sterling Livigston shows out that there is no relationship between performance in school or training programmes and records of success in management,
Where the article discusses the inability of formal management education programmes in both universities and industry to develop explicitly the traits, knowledge, and skills that are essential to career success and leadership in any business organization.

Today this comment is more than evident, when one looks at the failure of the most educated CEO's who have studied at some of the best institituitions known for its leadership an best practice.
In a nut shell you need to develop Enterprise skills, these are problem solving, working with finance, being creative, taking and managing risks and a can -do attitude this comes with experience.
For example you can start at the bottom with a start up bio tech company.

For inspiration you can turn to people like Anita Roddick(Body Shop),Bill gates,or Steve jobs, Sir Richard Branson. Ask yourself the question why have Sri Lankan companies not achieved truly global status.
The problem ????? You figure it out.

Q: My name is Sarala and I've sat my local O/L. My results were 4A's, 3B's and 1C. I prefer the IT field so I planned to skip my A/L and go through an IT degree. I would appreciate it if you could advice me on this and tell me whether it would be a problem later on because of skipping my A/L. Would appreciate your quick reply via e-mail.

Sarala. Via Email

Dear Sarala,

A: The lack of certainty over the value of university degrees is "descending into farce," says the chair of a committee of MPs investigating degree standards.

I hope you understand what this statement means, I have met many a student ,who have got into a IT degree skipping their A/L's only to realize they end up paying more for it, since the programme would start you up on a foundation programme, but also realizing that the degree is not going to get them anywhere.

Based on some mystery customers survey done by me, some of these local institutions put students in grave difficulty by promising them prosperity and speed when they skip the A/L's.

An institution can award as many firsts as it wants as long as it satisfies its own criteria of what a first means,". The degree classification system is no longer "fit for purpose" - and therefore be careful that the degrees are not national courses or exams and that standards are individual to each institution.
As such it is possible for universities/institutes to decide how many degrees are awarded at upper levels - as long as they matched the rules set by the university themselves.

Tell me the options you have chosen for the degree. I could then give you focused insight.

Q: I did my A/L's in 2008 in the bio science stream....since I am a bio student can I choose CIMA for my higher studies, I haven't done commerce as a subject in my O/Ls either...and what are the career paths? Must I complete every stage to be employed? And what are the employments that much suits a girl? And how much will it cost approximately?

Confused student, Shihana Nazeer

Dear Shihana,

A: I see three issues with your question:

  • First you have not decided on the critical question career first or qualification first , make a decision
  • Second you have not explored the options available with the bio stream. Please refer my previous career guru questions , where the options were shown out
  • Finally you need to explore where this qualifications would take you that is either the Bio or the CIMA option.
    Find answers to the above and write to me.
  • For every path you choose, there is another you must abandon, usually forever."

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Education Times,
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No. 48, Park Street, Colombo 2
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