In 2009, when 3 Idiots caught the fancy of many young students with ideas on finding their true calling, professionals across India had a word of caution for them – be practical. There is still “scope” mainly in Engineering and MBA. Today, its not so easy to be pessimistic about career options in India anymore. Yes, job options have exploded in Media, in Social Media (what? You manage Facebook communities) , in Sales and Retailing (hypermarkets, e-commerce), in Biotechnology (that offers scientific research jobs in a structured set-up), in Mathematics (bio-statistics, market research, data analytics), in Hospitality, in Public Relations, in Education and Teaching, in Toy Design, for god’s sake!
And too much choice is also a scary thing! As the options buzz around, students find it comforting to settle for the “safe” degrees, waiting for the early adopters to try new courses and explore their potential. In this article, I have tried to provide an overview of leading courses and the career options they open for you.
Great undergraduate courses in India:
Engineering (B Tech/ BE) Of course, the IITs, NITs and leading private colleges offer high-quality engineering education and areas like Computer Engineering, Electronics, Telecommunications, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. These areas offer excellent work opportunities within India, especially if you have studied in one of the Top 50 colleges.
Can put in a link to India Today “Best colleges 2016” here
Several Computer Science (B Sc IT, BCA) courses offer opportunities to enter the world of software without an engineering degree. Courses like BSC (IT) or BCA allow students to explore fast-growing areas like web development and design, cyber security and ethical hacking, game design and e-commerce through work opportunities in start-ups and smaller companies and specialize in these areas at the post-graduate level.
Life Sciences courses: Medicine, Occupational Therapy, Biotechnology (MBBS, BOT, BSc Biotech) Several passionate students who enjoy learning about the human anatomy and Biology / Zoology in general get attracted to the fast-growing industries of Medicine, Biotechnology and Occupational Therapy. Of course, Medicine offers several opportunities to grow and learn and earn well – with multi-specialty hospitals spreading across Tier II cities in India now, both facilities and job options abound for doctors as well as therapists. Clinical Research jobs in biotechnology firms are also growing. Biotechnology scientists have several opportunities in India as well as in Europe and the US.
Business-based courses: BBA, BMS, B Com 3 years If an MBA is the destination, there are many roads that can take you there. A business-based course at the UG level is not necessary but it does give students the necessary exposure and some understanding of their own strengths and place in the world of business. Jobs after BBA, BMS or even BCom are available only on leading college campuses and often students use their own networks to find jobs. This forms an excellent foundation to apply to leading MBA colleges in India and abroad - an MBA is needed to truly launch a career in Business.
Law (BA LLB) 5 years The fast growth of law firms in Litigation as well as Corporate Law – led by the fast growth of business in our country – has led to Law re-emerging as one of the most sought-after careers in India. A highly competitive field, however, fast growth is possible for those whose primary skills are analytical and who enjoy reading and writing as well as working in a structured set-up.
Architecture Architects thrive on the power of their vision and their ability to create their reputation with clients. With construction exploding in India, residential as well as commercial architects have several opportunities to get a break. However, in the long run, this is a highly entrepreneurial business and demands more than creative and technical skills – the ability to set up a business, to handle clients, build new clients and pitch for projects.
Design Of course, NID and NIFT are well-known for their design and fashion education. With more and more students applying for design courses, leading international design colleges like Parson’s and Raffles also offer courses in collaboration with Indian universities. IIT Powai and IIT Guwahati too have opened their Design courses to undergraduate students. While these courses are focused on Industrial and Web Design, they are open to all students with no specific subject requirements in Grade 12.
Liberal Arts Ashoka University, Flame University, Symbiosis School of Liberal Arts – these are all offering courses in the unique structure popularized by leading US universities. A multi-disciplinary course, Liberal Arts allows students to choose subjects from across Humanities (art, literature, linguistics, philosophy, religion, languages, music, theater etc.), Social sciences (history, psychology, law, sociology, politics, economics, geography, business informatics etc.), Natural sciences (includes astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, Earth sciences, etc.) and Formal sciences (includes mathematics, logic, statistics, etc.). Of course, students keen on a particular major area will need to check if the university offers that particular course or not.
Other courses: BA (hons) Graduate across Literature to Economics have similar options – in Academics (after an MA and Ph D), in Business (after an MBA) or in Media (after a Mass Comm degree). The key is to choose a good college that offers you placements as well as internship opportunity as well as a thriving culture of social and art-based clubs so you can truly build your skills working with people and teams.
Bachelors of Media Studies: BBA / BMS
Studying in Singapore:
It offers the best of many worlds – a high-quality education hub abroad but close to home, multi-cultural exposure for students, as well as excellent work opportunities with leading international companies (most of which have their South Asia headquarters in Singapore). Singapore is best known for its business, finance, engineering and computer science courses. Animation and Design courses in Singapore are highly in demand and Singapore offers interesting combinations between Media and Information technology at the undergraduate level including Digital Design and Media, Communications Design and Digital Media Marketing.
Studying in the US
Of course, the world’s leading courses in engineering and computers are offered at the US. But here, I want to highlight courses that are increasing in popularity.
Liberal Arts : What can one do with Liberal Arts education abroad?
Adventure Sports Management, Design (including Industrial Design), Bachelors in Sports Science, Martial Arts etc
Some other leading international destinations: Ireland, Germany, Hong Kong, Australia