— Written by Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury
The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have left many jobless. For thousands of students selecting a career path, this can be a moment of despondency. Many are finding it hard to decide on which course or stream of action to take as no one knows the reality of the post-pandemic world. The government universities have largely finished their admissions process and the University Grants Commission has instructed all universities of India to keep admissions open till November 30 for this unusual year.
For students who have cleared class 12 but could not get admission in any of the government colleges, all is not lost. As for the selection of a university, so long as one is recognised by the UGC, there is absolutely no difference between government and private sector universities, except for the fact that private universities have higher fees. So, if one can afford the fees, the focus should be on shortlisting colleges or universities based infrastructure for hands-on learning, quality, and background of the faculty, add-on exposure of industry masterclasses and linkages with global institutes and the corporate sector, history of internships and placements, and quality and opinions of the current students.
Here is a detailed step by step guide for admissions 2020:
Any domain can have a productive career, though the learner must decide what s/he is interested in. Choose a specific field, like first engineering, then AI-ML or automobile engineering or smart city and town planning, etc. If management, go more specific sectors like retail or banking or leadership or energy management, etc. If law is your calling, chose between criminal or civil law, constitutional or cyber law, international or environment law.
Read| Emerging courses to pursue: Virology | Actuarial science | Pharma Marketing | FinTech | Coronavirus | Robotics | Healthcare Engineering | Cyber Security | Data Science | Petroleum and Energy | Design Strategy | Business analytics | Digital auditing | Digital marketing | Luxury management | Machine learning | Gaming Industry | Product design | Transport mobility design
In a nutshell, do a deep dive into the field you are opting for. Know what skills sets, economy predictions, and job profiles come out of it. Look out for the top 20 employers in that in India and a few globally. Get to know about their actual functioning before selecting a course.
Attend several webinars on that chosen field or the broad sector, interact with experts in the webinars online or offline on the domain to get more clarity. Visit websites of the 10 most possible universities to study that within your reach and desire, talk to their counsellors, and get to know their course details and unique aspects, if any. Then make a comparative chart of the same.
Creative pursuits are a must
Apart from studies, look for a creative pursuit. If you have a creative calling go for the college which offers an opportunity in the same. If you do not have one, then go for a college which has a hold on a range of co-curricular activities to choose from.
Following a creative pursuit seriously is a must for everyone to evolve as holistic personality development. A student can create a blog or run a Youtube channel, it would not only help in personal growth but also make the resume more attractive.
One must identify a few professionals pursuing the same career which one wants to get into. People from different generations with a gap of 12-15 years between themselves have different world-views even if it is in the same broad domain.
Lifetime career to multiple careers
Now is not the time to stick with one career option for an entire lifetime, rather having multiple careers in a single life. Students often go for a second career or move into a different career sometime later after a decade or two in the chosen path. So, it’s always good to have a minor specialisation along with a major.
For example, someone pursuing engineering can also have a minor in management, a student studying law can also take up a management or an economics minor, or even computer engineering minor if one desires to be a cyber-lawyer. Someone in sciences or management can take up a photography minor. Selecting both major and minor areas in advance shall also be of immense help in real life career-building. Go for a university which gives that flexibility
Professional studies and career development
Getting a placement is a big part of a college degree. One can through a course of professional studies that prepares one for facing interviews, conduct group discussions, do teamwork better, under the professional needs of any job or career, including the ability to communicate be it in English or any other language. Alongside, career development calls for going deeper into the industry or sector you want to join in, understanding which are the best skill-needs, attitudinal aspects, trends, and major players of that career. The university you select to study must ensure the above two.
— The author is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Kolkata-based Adamas University.
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