This time of the year, sees a mad rush of students trying to get admission at Delhi University (DU) for undergraduate courses. But for many of them, off beat courses — both academic and vocational — are proving a better lure than the conventional undergraduate courses.
“Nowadays, there are students who enjoy risk-taking — the non conformists — who shudder at the predictable course of life. A regular Engineering programme may not give them the adrenaline rush while a degree in Commerce, Nutrition, Dentistry or even Applied Psychology could make them feel on top of the world. If some are inclined towards fine arts, there are others who may succeed in business but fail to make the cut in the study of literature,” says Naresh Grover, Dean-Academics at Manav Rachna International University.
The university offers various interesting offbeat courses like Sports Psychology, Cyber Security & Forensics Engineering and Gaming and Graphics Engineering among others. Grover says vocational courses, that too the more offbeat ones, are becoming more popular among students.
“This year Electronics and Communication Engineering is again picking up with the rapid advancement in Communication and move of Digital India and Make in India. Under Health Sciences, students are showing their interest in the field of Physiotherapy and Nutrition and Dietetics both at UG and PG level,” he says.
Several private universities are now offering one-of-a-kind courses to lure students, like BA in Global Affairs and courses in Victimology and Psychological Studies which are being offered by the OP Jindal Global University.
“Students no longer want just a degree, but they want a degree that can land them a job,” says Savita Mehta, Director- Media and Communication at Amity University. “The last few years has seen a surge in the number of applicants applying for courses like media and film making, hotel management and food technology”.
Engineering courses with an industry interface are also extremely popular amongst students. “We have started automobile engineering with the Tata group. And even though this was only launched in June, we have received a tremendous response,” Mehta told The Indian Express.
Aditya Tiwari, a class 12 pass-out who scored 76 per cent marks, has decided to opt out of admissions rush into Delhi’s universities and will instead do hotel management. “I am not interested in going to DU or IP University. My focus is to get into the hospitality sector and for that I am going to pursue hotel management from Indian Institute of Hotel Managment in Delhi,” he says.
However, it’s not just the vocational courses that are in demand. A case in point is the Centre for Studies in Sexuality and Gender (CSSG) at the Ashoka University, established in 2015. “It’s a first-of-its-kind centre, because it not only focuses on gender but also sexuality. As of now our focus is on scholarly research, social outreach, and media consultation, but we are in the process of developing major and minor programmes which will be offered to students from next year,” says Shiv D Sharma, Deputy Manager of CSSG.
Despite, not offering full-fledged programmes as of now, Sharma says the workshops and seminars organised by them have seen packed auditoriums. “Students have been very interested in the events we’ve organised, and I’m sure they will be equally interested in the courses we plan to offer,” he says.
Even brands like VLCC, are offering certificate courses in cosmetology, spa therapy and customised hair and skin care, which promises youngsters straight out of school jobs in the beauty industry. The VLCC institute also offers a diploma in nutrition and health education, after which the students can join NGOs as health advisers or diet experts in gyms.
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