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After STPM – more options on what next
Published on: Monday, September 04, 2023
By: K Krishnan
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THERE are Academic and Professional career pathways.  

Academic qualifications from the universities award degrees, such as Degree in Accounts. 

Professional bodies such as ACCA offer professional qualifications / membership.  

If you want to be an accountant in Malaysia you need to have a license from the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA), which is a statutory body. 

Students who have completed Accounting degrees and those who have completed the ACCA are eligible to apply for the accounting license and become Accountants in Malaysia.

For some careers you must have a degree and for some careers you can choose a professional route. 

Students who have completed the STPM should check if there are Professional Courses offered for the careers they have selected. 

Instead of doing a degree they have the option to pursue a professional qualification.  

STPM is accepted as an entry qualification for professional routes.

Some of the common professional qualifications are:- 

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), UK The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), UK Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), UK CPA, Australia The Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA), Malaysia Society of Actuaries (UK) Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers (AICB) 
  • Malaysian Association of Company
  • Secretaries (MACS)
  • Financial Planning Association 
  • of Malaysia (FPAM)
  • The Society of Logisticians, Malaysia
  • Chartered Tax Institute 
  • of Malaysia (CTIM)
  • Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)

Once you have selected the career of your choice, you must explore whether there are professional career pathways.

This will give you the confidence and the motivation to pursue your career.  

Many employers prefer the professional qualification rather than academic qualifications because they have more practical working experience. 


Open Distance Learning (ODL) is a very important mode of learning after the Corona Virus Lockdown.

Students are used to completing their SPM, STPM and University degrees through ODL mode. 

Record shows that the examination results were better through Online Learning. 

As such ODL will soon become the choice of the students in future.

Furthermore, school-leavers today have the option to work and study through ODL courses.

ODL courses are currently offered by IPTA, IPTS and Open Learning Universities. Students have the option to choose the university and the course they wish to pursue. 

They can also choose the tuition fee that they can afford to pay. 

They can also apply for education loans/financial assistance to study. ODL courses are offered by  many providers. Some of the providers are:


Many IPTAs have started offering ODL courses leading to degree programmes.

Students are suggested to visit the IPTA websites for detailed information on courses offered, course details, mode of learning, tuition fees and duration of course. 

Many of the course providers have learning centres throughout Malaysia for study group sessions/classes/discussions/etc

b) Open University Malaysia (OUM)

Open University of Malaysia (OUM) was set-up by a  consortium of 11 public universities in Malaysia.  

Compared to the ODL courses offered by other IPTAs, you can apply for a wider range of courses from Bachelors to Ph.D. programmes. 

Students have the opportunity to work and study.

The tuition fee is affordable and the degree is widely accepted by employers. 

Matured students who do not have the required entry qualification can sit for the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) and apply to join the program.  

For more information go to:

c) Wawasan Open University (WOU)

This is another ODL university offering a wide range of degree courses for school-leavers and working adults. 

The Regional centres serve as a platform for face-to-face interaction between tutors and their students within the open distance learning environment. 

Besides formal tutorials and counselling, informal peer support and group study sessions are also offered. 

They have several regional centres throughout Malaysia.

For more information go to:

Many IPTS also offers ODL programmes. You are requested to browse through their websites too. The courses and tuition fees are very competitive. 

The main advantage of ODL degree programmes are you can work and study. You also have the choice to choose what you want to study. 

If you want to take a break and continue your studies later, ODL programmes offer you the advantage. The degree that you get is recognised by MQA.

Career Information

If you have sat for the STPM and you are looking at alternative options, you should consider the professional route and the ODL courses offered by local IPTA, IPTS and Open learning universities.

There are options for you and you should explore further. 

If you have a question on careers write to: [email protected].

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