What should I do after SPM in Malaysia?

It’s finally there! Your SPM result has arrived. And whether you’re happy with it or not, you’ve got to start thinking about the next step. There are so many options available – the ones your parents wish you took, the ones you really wish you could take, and the ones you’re terrified of.

It’s never easy to make a life-changing decision about your post – SPM life, but we’re there to help you.


First. Do you even have to study right away?

Well, not really. As long as you have some savings (or a supporting family), you can start with giving yourself some room to breathe. “What should I do after SPM?” – this question can be answered in a couple of months.  So, what to do?

  • Go travelling
  • Go volunteering
  • Focus on your passions
  • Take a part time job

Take the time that you need to understand, what do you want to do after your latest exams in Malaysia. 


Types of higher education institutions in Malaysia

If you’re not as lucky (or wealthy) to take your sweet time after the SPM, you will have to make some decisions fast. Where should I study in Malaysia? – that’s the most difficult one. The first step is to decide on a type of education that you want or need. You might consider all of them, or only some – depending on your budget and location.

Public Universities


Currently, there are about 20 universities in Malaysia, offering different kinds of majors and courses. The most prestigious ones include Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), University of Technology Malaysia (UTM).



Around 30 schools in Malaysia fall under the category of polytechnics. They offer courses for bachelor’s degree, Advanced Diploma, Diploma and Special Skills Certificate and are all courses are designed to meet industrial needs. The famous polytechnics from Malaysia include: Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka, Politeknik Ungku Omar (PUO), Politeknik Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah (PSA), Politeknik Ibrahim Sultan (PIS).

Community Colleges


Providing TVET (Technical and Vocational Education Training ), community colleges are mostly located outside of Selangor, in all other states of Malaysia. You can study courses up to diploma level there. Disciplines include accounting, architecture, construction, engineering, draughting, entrepreneurship, hospitality, personal services, multimedia, and visual arts.

Community colleges offer 4 types of programmes:

  • Sijil Kolej Komuniti (English: Community College Certificate)
  • Sijil Kemahiran Khas (masalah pembelajaran) (English: Special Skills Certificate (Learning Disabilities/ Difficulties))
  • Diploma secara Pembelajaran Berasaskan Kerja (English: Work Based Learning Diploma)
  • Pembelajaran Sepanjang Hayat (Kursus pendek) (English: Lifelong Learning (Short Courses))

Popular community colleges in Malaysia include: Kolej Komuniti Bandar Penawar, Kolej Komuniti Langkawi, Kolej Komuniti Chenderoh, Kolej Komuniti Kuching.



Colleges in Malaysia offer 27 fields of study, and the possibility to obtain diploma or degree. The prestigious institutions available for studies in Malaysia are: KDU College, Inti College, HELP, Brickfields Asia College.

Private Universities

These are institutions of higher education that offer all course levels – from pre-university to postgraduate. Unlike university colleges, universities in Malaysia can confer their own degree. You can also study at the Malaysian branch of a foreign university from Australia, USA or UK. Most popular private universities in Malaysia:  Taylor’s University, Sunway University, University of Nottingham Malaysia, University of Southampton Malaysia, Monash University, Reading University, Curtin University Sarawak.

What to study?

This is the tough one. How are you supposed to know what is your life goal, while you’re just at the beginning of your journey? Luckily for you, it’s very common in Malaysia to switch majors and universities – you might not exactly know what you WANT, but you should start with what you DON’T WANT (that’s easier, right)?

So, cross out the courses which are definitely not your cup of tea, and you will be a step closer to your final decision!

Fields of study offered in Malaysian universities:

  • Engineering and Engineering Trades
  • Education
  • Computing
  • Communication and Broadcasting
  • Business Management and Administration
  • Audio-Visual Techniques and Media Production
  • Arts and Design
  • Architecture and Building
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Veterinary
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Environmental Protection
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Humanities
  • Languages
  • Law
  • Manufacturing and Processing
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Medicine and Healthcare
  • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Technology
  • Occupational Health and Hygiene Services
  • Personal Services
  • Science (Biological Science and Physical Science)
  • Security Services
  • Social Sciences
  • Social Services
  • Transport services

Are you closer to your choice of study in Malaysia now?

When you make your choice, contact us for your student accommodation – which is almost as important as the choice of your university 😉


Zuzanna Ch
World traveller, but with the heart stuck in Malaysia.