Qatar Career Development Center (QCDC), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), has launched the Majors Guide, which is the first comprehensive and detailed guide for all the majors in universities and higher education institutions in Qatar, through which they supplement the local labour market.
QCDC Director Abdullah al-Mansoori said in an interview with Qatar News Agency (QNA) that the guide offers perfect reference for youth, their guardians and professional advisers, as well as academics and specialists in the field of scholarships and development in multiple agencies to fully familiarise themselves with the map of higher education in the country.
QCDC Director Abdullah al-Mansoori
He said the launching of the guide coincides with the QF vision, which focuses on upgrading and unleashing human capabilities by focusing on providing quality education and diversifying aspects of investment in the human capital for the sake of achieving sustainability in full commitment of the centre to assist the young generations in achieving career success through various tracks or educational phases available in Qatar.
He said the guide provides youths with information and advice that primarily helps them in their future plans in taking well-formulated academic and career decisions based on reliable sources for the sake of selecting career tracks that essentially congruent with their abilities and aspirations, and contribute to preparing human capital that responds to Qatar National Vision 2030 requirements, including development and sustainability plans for Qatari economy.
He noted that the guide has been launched in Arabic and English and offers ample and detailed information about all sectors that enrich Qatari labour market that can be further considered in universities and institutes across Qatar. It has 14 major specialisations, including engineering, medicine, energy, information technology, sustainability and environment.
The guide also offers the students a clear picture of the education map in Qatar, in addition to contact information for admission offices of universities and colleges and their official websites.
Al-Mansoori added that the guide provides detailed information about study sectors and employment in Qatar with a tabulation that includes the various specialisations that fall under each major, and are available in universities and higher education institutions accredited in the country.
Most importantly, the guide includes a set of advice and guidance for young people on how to make decisions related to choosing their academic and career paths, all within six sections: criteria for choosing a university major, work sectors, specialisations and professions related to each sector, government scholarship programme, an index of specialisations and universities, and contact information with universities and colleges in Qatar, he explained, noting that the guide provides details about the available specialisations for study within 14 major specialisations, which include engineering, medicine, sciences, law and public policies, international relations and media, literature, social and humanitarian sciences, Shariah and Islamic studies, tourism and hotels, museums and events management and disciplines of art and design.
The specialisations also include educational disciplines, management, economics, financial and banking sciences, aviation sciences, military disciplines, energy, sustainability and environment disciplines, he added, noting that this guide shortens the trouble of searching through scattered sites and books, and facilitates obtaining information and comparing all majors under one guide.
He said the guide is available for purchase for a nominal amount via the Education City online store, adding that the centre is going to provide about 10,000 copies of this first release.
He asserted that the launch of this guide is a vital step to unify the efforts related to professional guidance and counselling, as information about the available academic specialisations may be available from different sources, adding that, for the first time, these academic majors will be linked to the labour market and professional sectors, which helps to make rational and thorough decisions for the future of students.
He expressed hope that the guide will contribute to bridging the gap between the available university majors and the aspirations of the labour market, especially as it comes within the recommendations of the national document for career guidance and counselling in Qatar.
Al-Mansoori explained that the national document for career guidance and counselling in Qatar depends on the most crucial global standards, adding that it is also a map and framework that contributes to unifying the national efforts in the area of career guidance and counselling.
He indicated that the document is the result of the strenuous efforts of more than 14 years, and was prepared after conducting multiple field studies and specialised research, in addition to many discussions and meetings between experts specialised in this field and partners of professional guidance in the country.
Al-Mansoori pointed out the necessity of establishing an agency or entity that brings together all efforts and programmes in the field of vocational guidance and counselling, provided it is based on international foundations and standards and achieves national occupational security to meet the aspirations of young people and support them by all means, to become efficient citizens in accordance with Qatar National Vision 2030 and the country's human development strategies.
He noted that despite all the efforts to bridge the gap between the output of higher education and the labour market, there is still an urgent need to unify efforts and initiatives under one central national entity to enhance the role of career guidance and to obtain targeted results efficiently and effectively, provided that this entity is based on international foundations and standards that achieve national occupational security and takes upon itself the task of collecting all efforts made in the field of career guidance and counselling in the country under the umbrella of one system.
Further co-operation and partnerships are required to achieve this goal, the director of QCDC added, emphasising the urgent need to establish an entity that is responsible for meeting the aspirations of citizens -especially youths- as well as harnessing their energies and potentials and fully supporting them, in order to push them towards becoming effective individuals who are capable of meeting the country's needs as well as achieving them efficiently.
Al-Mansoori expressed hope that this entity will contribute to setting policies, strategies and standard frameworks for professional development in line with the future needs and aspirations of the labour market.
He indicated that providing such a unified system would bridge the gap, as it helps young people to make informed academic and professional decisions at all levels of study and career.
Each stage requires its own guidelines and standards, he said, adding that the time has come for all to join efforts for the sake of the national interest.
He encouraged drawing inspiration from global experiences and scientific and practical foundations in line with the Qatari context and ambition, especially that — with all its components, Qatar deserves to have this integrated system in vocational guidance, highlighting the speeches of the State's wise leadership in this regard on many occasions.
On the challenges in the field of career guidance and counselling in Qatar, al-Mansoori warned of the absence of sufficient awareness of this field in the Arab region in general, as well as the absence of awareness of the true role of the career advisor, whose role in most educational institutions is limited to assisting in admission procedures and other administrative tasks. The role should be to help students to choose appropriate specialisation for them in light of the country's aspirations and plans, in addition to enabling them to benefit from and invest in existing opportunities and raising their professional readiness for various career paths, he stressed.
He added that the establishment of a national entity for career guidance and counselling in Qatar will help in overcoming most of these challenges, as the entity shall be capable of implementing strategic plans, shaping the future, and measuring the impact of available programmes, as well as ensuring the progress of plans in accordance with national strategies, following up with their implementation and collecting information from various sectors to improve their course when necessary.
The QCDC director encouraged the students -with the help of their guardians- to choose their university major and specialty based on accurate information rather than wishful thinking.
In many cases, Qatar's students are sent abroad to specialise in majors that are available in the country, because of the absence of awareness of their availability in Qatar, he pointed out.
The guide was created based on studies that demonstrated the urgent need to provide detailed information about the majors available for students in Qatar, he said adding that sooner the information about specialisations is available to students and their guardians, the more they are aware of the requirements for future majors before they graduate from secondary school.
This gives them the opportunity to advance qualitative planning, and opens their horizons towards the various professional specialisations available instead of limiting their ambitions to repetitive specialisations that do not have a career future within the needs and plans of the Qatari economy, he added.