Shipra, 21, a BE student from Raipur realized after two semesters that engineering was not her cup of tea. Parental, peer and societal pressures made her continue but once she finished her course, she shifted to a non-technical field. There are thousands who study a course only to realise later that their heart lies somewhere else.
A nine-month survey conducted by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in 2012 based on 4,000 students states that about 40% of teenagers are confused about their career options. The study took inputs from 4,000 students in 44 schools. The three-member panel headed by chief scientist N G Goswami said, “Not many students have a clear concept about careers. Importantly, the lack of guidance and motivation from parents and teachers is the major reason.” Cut to 2020, the scenario has not improved. Even today, students are as unsure as they were in 2012.
Studies show that less than 10% are able to define a career path. It also found that more than two-thirds are highly confused about what job roles. Even after 17 years of formal schooling, it is still difficult for students to understand what they aspire to be.
MD & Vice Chairman,
Shemford Group of Futuristic Schools,
says, “The key to find the most suitable niche for yourself while pursuing higher studies is to focus on specific interests. For a fulfilling life, one needs to identify a passion and tailor academic choices towards the same.”
According to psychologists from Stanford University and Yale-NUS College, in Singapore, “Passions are not necessarily inherent, waiting to be found but rather they are cultivated.”
Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford,
says, “It’s the idea of broadening the possibility of having more interests. Especially in higher education, where a student can readily get exposed to a number of areas and see connections.”
5 best books on career guidance
1. Refuse to Choose!
a self-employment career strategist writes,
“If you want to contribute your passion to the society and make income from it, a student needs to get realistic whether this could actually turn into career.”
Experts such as Shiv Khera
say “Proper skill training is needed to turn a hobby into a money-making venture.”
V K Menon,
CEO – India,
S P Jain School of Global Management
1) Introspect and develop possible choices.
2) Identify three mentors; should be senior and successful professionals from the areas that a student has chosen
3) Brainstorm the ideas with mentors and narrow down the choices to a stream that one would like to pursue.”
He adds, “The golden rule in managing careers successfully is to choose one that a student intuitively likes and which is aligned with the intrinsic strengths, rather than getting pushed into a career by societal pressures.”
(Four basic questions to start with)
What are you good at?
What do you like doing?
How would you like to see yourself?
What is your preferred lifestyle?
Once a student zeroes down on a path, he/she can check the courses, feasibility, eligibility, entrance exams, scope of job and career growth.
Beas Dev Ralhan,
Co-Founder and CEO,
Next Education India Pvt Ltd advise,
“Successful course choices are, above all, goal-focussed. Students should be meticulous while browsing through the course outline and curriculum. They should narrow down their course choice based on their interest (through self-introspection), industry trends, career prospects and scope of further education/research.”
Another interesting trend seen today is the emergence of Liberal Arts. Amol Arora, MD & Vice Chairman, Shemford Group of Futuristic Schools says, “Gone are the days when only technical career paths were considered to be more stable and promising, while creative education was largely undervalued.”
“Today, we have a wide array of great career options that allow a student to put the creative abilities to work, and even get paid well. So, if a student is someone who is an innovator at heart and is good at out-of-the-box-thinking, a creative field is the way to go.”
Designing, advertising, content writing, photography, film-making – the sky is the limit.
Today, there are number of private universities in India that are taking the idea of Liberal Education ahead. Universities like Ashoka, FLAME, Jindal Global University (JGU), and Ahmedabad University are few in line. Today, JGU has 100 students for Liberal Arts. Thousands of students from all over country in different universities are opting the interdisciplinary approaches with unique combination of subjects like – English and Philosophy, Law and Humanity, Math and Social Sciences — to keep the doors open for multiple career opportunities.
Arora adds, “If you are technically inclined and prefer to work in a structured environment, you might be a right fit for a technical job. Technical Programs provide a wide range of learning experiences that specialise in the skilled trades, applied sciences and modern technologies.”
To begin with, we divide the courses as per the number of years:
1-year diploma courses:-
There are more than 250 diploma courses a student can choose from after clearing 12th. Listed below are some sample courses.
2-year diploma course:-
Like 1-year diploma, there are many options in 2-year diploma courses. 2-year courses tend to cover more subject and tend to more practical in nature. Two-year diploma courses are available both in form of Post Graduate Diploma or PG Diploma as well as Under Graduate Diploma or UG Diploma.
Due to higher course length, there is a possibility that the subject is covered in more depth or more breadth. Hence, two-year diploma course graduates have slightly better edge that the single year compatriots.
Following are some of the 2-year diploma courses in India.
Anyone opting to dedicate 3 years for education post HSC has the option to choose between a graduate degree or an advanced polytechnic diploma. While bachelor’s degree is generally preferred on a usual basis, there is no dearth in earning opportunities for a polytechnic diploma.
Being more practical and industry oriented, polytechnic diploma is preferred in manufacturing & allied sectors. But bachelor’s degree is also not devoid of its sheen. For soft sectors such as creative and performing arts, accounts, social sciences, bachelors in respective areas is preferred.
A survey conducted by Wakefield Research in 2019, finds that teen and young adults in USA continue putting off career decisions as they progress from high school to college.
Research by Career Builder finds that as many as a third of college graduates do not work in a job related to their college major.
“What this research indicates is that many young people are entering college without a clear idea of what their career goals are,” expressed Jack Kosakowski, President and CEO of Junior Achievement USA
As per data from AISHE 2018-2019, within Bachelors, B.A. (23.3 Lakh) degree has been awarded to maximum number of students. B.Sc. (11.6 Lakh) is the second highest followed by B.Com. (9.6 Lakh). Similarly, there are 15.13 lakh students enrolled in Polytechnics and out of them 81.76% are male students and the remaining female with a very less participation of around 18.24%.
As recognized by UGC, there are 9 recognised 3-year bachelor’s degree in India. While polytechnic diploma is offered in all major branches of engineering, bachelors in nursing, physiotherapy and other vocational/medical courses are also offered in 3 year format.
As per AISHE, the total number of polytechnic colleges are 3440 and nursing colleges are 3039.
Commanding around 13.5% of the total enrolment in bachelors, BTech/BE is one of the most common courses in 4-year format. With good focus in practical as well as theortical aspects, BTech prepares students for a career in engineering, data science, manufacturing and software sectors.
The students can aspire to graduate in any of the following discipline.
- Computer Science & Engineering
- Information Technology
- Electronics & Communication Engineering
- Electrical & Electronics Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Industrial Engineering
- Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineering
- Instrumentation Engineering
Apart from the mentioned, there are many specialized disciplines available of which many are upcoming.
As per NIRF ranking 2019, the top institutions for Engineering are
|Indian Institute of Technology Madras||Chennai|
|Indian Institute of Technology Delhi||New Delhi|
|Indian Institute of Technology Bombay||Mumbai|
|Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur||Kharagpur|
|Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur||Kanpur|
|Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee||Roorkee|
|Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati||Guwahati|
|Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad||Hyderabad|
|National Institute of Technology Tiruchirappalli||Tiruchirappalli|
Apart from engineering, B Arch, Graphic Design, Fashion Designing, Food Chemist, is also a sought after course. In medicine domain, BDS and B Pharma are also some popular options.
Biology students aiming for a career in medicine can opt for a MBBS or Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. In the 5 year of the course, students learn the basics of human body and its ailments. Basic medicine and surgery knowledge
Internet is a torch bearer. It is the world of knowledge. It has several career aptitude tests, career quizzes, assessments and sites that are dedicated to help choosing a student understand and analyze the right fit. Some of the effective sites include
• My Next Move • Interest Profiler
• Psychometrics • Career One Stop
• Career Advice | The Guardian • myersbriggs.org
*Compare each colleges and course for better results
are also imparted. With a very good focus on practicals, MBBS is one of the most competed courses in the country. Due to paucity of enough seats and infrastructure, the competition for getting into the course is very intense.
Apart from AIIMS and JIPMER, top medical colleges in India are:
- Armed Force Medical College (AFMC), Pune
- Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi
- Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi
- Grant Medical College, Mumbai
- King George’s Medical University, Lucknow
- Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute
- St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore
- Institute of Medical Science, Benaras Hindu University (IMS-BHU), Varanasi
- M.S Ramaiah Medical College, Bangalore
- Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh
Apart from the medicine courses, for non-biology students, law is also a lucrative option. The advantage with law is that it is both an expert course whilst being a bachelor’s degree. A person can choose her/his domain of interest to do a bachelors such as BA, B Com or B Tech, and then pursue law in the respective domain. A LLB or Bachelor at Law will provide all necessary skills to influence law and public policy in their subject of interest.
Choosing your niche in Higher Studies is a very important decision that one as a student takes. It lays the foundation to the career, that spans around 40 years if not more! So, it is vital to choose wisely, choose well.