Friday, June 15, 2007

Deciding upon a career? Class XII Students

Deciding upon a career? Choose wisely

Sourajit Anthony Ghosh | June 15, 2007

Today, students who have passed out of Class XII have far more educational and career options to explore than I had nine years ago. What's interesting, however, is that the majority of sought-after options from back then continue to be hot favorites even now -- the dream colleges are still the IITs for engineering and AIIMS for medicine, although teenagers today have a whole lot of other interesting options to choose from.

Before we go into what career options are available to Class XII students, let's see how one goes about making a career choice. I would say that you need to strike a balance between what you are good at and enjoy, and pursuing a career in a field that is worth it. By 'worth it', I mean financially feasible and relatively possible.

Say you really love fashion. Now, designers Rohit Bal and Ritu Beri are rich, famous and hopefully happy with their lives. But it's very difficult to reach the level of success they have. What you need to understand is that with average efforts and talent, the chances of making it big in a career (that is not abstract) are much higher than making it big in a niche career, like fashion designing or tennis, which require exceptional talent and hard work.

Career options

So, what are the options open to you after Class XII? Here's a short list of the most popular careers today:

  • Engineering
  • Medicine
  • BIS/ BIT/ BCA/ BSc (Computer Science)
  • Law
  • Fashion technology and design
  • Hotel management
  • Mass communication

There are, of course, many other career options available. Doing a little research by visiting various colleges and obtaining their prospectuses, or visiting their websites, will help you make a more informed choice, one more suited to your interests.

Picking a college

Once you have decided on the career you want to pursue, the next step is to find the best college offering that course. Getting into top colleges in a particular field means you need to score reasonably well in the board exams.

Here is a list of some colleges that are the most distinguished in their field:

  • Engineering: IITs, NITs, top state-level colleges
  • Medical: AIIMS, Vellore, top state-level colleges
  • BBA/ BBS/ BMS: Jamia Milia Islamia (Delhi), IPS Academy (Indore) and a number of other colleges in the country's metros
  • BIS/ BIT/ BCA/ BSc (Computer Science): Most major universities such as the Maharashtra universities and Delhi University offer these courses
  • Law: National Law University (Bangalore), Government Law College (Mumbai)
  • Fashion Technology & Design: NIFT, iNIFD
  • Hotel Management: Exams conducted by the National Council for Hotel Management, Delhi
  • Mass Communication: IIMC (New Delhi), Xavier Institute of Communications (Mumbai), Asian College of Journalism (Chennai)

At present, business process outsourcing (BPOs) and knowledge process outsourcing (KPOs) firms are booming, and with any such boom come attractive job opportunities. If you are interested in seeking a job at a BPO concern, your academic career may not be a priority, but proficiency in spoken English is a must. For the KPOs levels, proficiency in statistics, economics, law and other such streams is needed.

What qualifies as a 'good career'?

How do I define a good career? Honestly, before anything else, a good career is one that ensures a good job.

So, what do you need to do to ensure a higher probability of success? Let's look at the situation from a recruiter's point of view. What does a company look for in a candidate? A company, for any given vacancy, will have a wide pool of candidates to pick from. So, even before you get a chance to meet someone from the company, you have to get short-listed first. The common criteria that most companies look at while short-listing candidates are:

~ Academic background, which includes the names of educational institutes and examination results of the candidate.

~ Subject examination, which tests your knowledge in that relevant subject.

~ An aptitude test, which comprises basic mathematics, English and general knowledge.

Once you are short-listed, the interview stage comes next. The interviewer will test you on knowledge of concepts, common sense, quick thinking and communication skills. Premium colleges follow a similar admission process.

To summarise, aptitude and attitude are the two pillars on which your success in any career depend.

Your aptitude for a subject is a good measure of whether you will enjoy your field of study and the success you will achieve in a particular profession. A positive attitude will help improve your people management skills, stress management skills, ability to influence others and work environment.

Different jobs will test both these facets, with the degrees varying according to the nature of the job.

Finally, as most people will agree, there's no shortcut to success, so whatever you choose to do, make sure you are involved 100 percent, and give it your best shot.

Sourajit Anthony Ghosh is Senior Manager at the Triumphant Institute of Management Education (TIME) Pvt Ltd.
(Source: Rediff)

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