Sunday, September 23, 2012

How to Choose a Course

How to Plan Career

The basic foundation of building a career is the quality of education and training to which a person is subjected.
A natural question that comes up is what course of study would ideally suit him. Identification of the right course of study involves a detailed analysis of diverse factors, The most important among them are:
1. aptitude of the student
2. learning ability of the student
3. financial position of the family
4. proximity of the educational institution
5, sex difference (boy/girl)
6, potential of the program for early placement
It may be remembered that there is no child without an aptitude for anything. Any raw stone has a Beautiful hidden statue inside, it is the duty of the parents, teachers, and well-wishers to play the role of a gifted sculptor and identify the hidden statue in the child.
If a child is pushed into a field of study in which he has no interest or aptitude. He may struggle to survive there. No good parent will desire this to happen; but they often do not contemplate such a possibility when they compel the child to fall in line with their blind wishes.  A total neglect of this important aspect may land the child in a career that is not to his liking. He may not therefore be able to excel in the profession. A person may have aptitude not for just one thing; there may be a variety of aptitudes in him.
If we should be able to learn the best course of study for a child, the first requirement is sound knowledge of the available options.  It is very rarely that parents prepare themselves by gathering detailed information on courses that may suit their children.

1. style, duration, end entry qualification of courses
2. Institutions as well as centers of excellence that run the programs
3, academic history and reputation of such institutions
4, recognition of the institution/course by the University! Board concerned
5. Positions attained by the alumni of the institution
6. Possibilities for campus selection
7. Fees and other items of expenditure involved, and
8. Potential for further studies
It is vital that the crucial decision on career choice of the child is taken on the basis of the latest information with regard to educational opportunities.
Courses in subjects such as biotechnology, bioinformatics, and genetics with their inherent charms of research have tremendous fascination for many young people. However, they should be aware of the course of persistent research work.  
Occupations such as those of airhostesses and fashion models do attract many girls because of the glitter and glamour involved; Aspirants should be enlightened on the hard work that these careers demand.  Young men who opt for professions such as hotel management and merchant navy should be endowed with strong Will power to withstand the temptations characteristic of the environment.
An objective SWOT analysis of the child and the family background is an essential pre-requisite of intelligent identification of the course of study in management jargon; SWOT implies the combination of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
 In the matter of course selection there are two significant crossroads: one after the tenth standard, and another after the twelfth standard. After the tenth standard, the student will have to choose his optional subjects. Generally he may go for the science stream (physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, etc.) the humanities stream (history, economics, political science, etc.), or the commerce stream. Those who have completed the plus two programs in the science or commerce stream may get the option to switch over to the humanities stream at the graduate level.  However those who complete the plus two in the humanities or commerce stream will not be permitted to join any science degree course.  This may be kept in mind while choosing the optional subjects after the tenth standard.
It is desirable that students and parents, instead of going by blind labels try to know in depth the course contents as well as the nature of the jobs related to the program targeted by them.
Let us examine the contents of the popular disciplines under engineering / technology.
• Civil engineering handles planning, design, construction, and maintenance of facilities such as buildings, roads, railways, bridges, tunnels, canals, dams, airports, harbors, water supply, and sewage disposal systems. .,Mechanical engineering deals with various machines, their components, internal combustion engines, thermal power systems, air-conditioning, industrial engineer" ing, etc.
• "Electrical & Electronics Engineering" emphasizes on electrical engineering that covers generation, transmission, distribution, and utilization of electrical power.
• "Electronics &Communication" is concerned with electronic devices, consumer electronics, communication including microwave and fiber optic systems, automation, computer hardware, etc,
• Instrumentation covers monitoring, control, and automation of systems involving mechanical, pneumatic, electrical, electronic, optical, thermal, or other types of instruments. It may be noted that instrumentation engineers and chemical engineers. may have to attend nightshifts during their early years of service.
• The Computer science and engineering course will open the door either to software or hardware, depending on the aptitude of the candidate, Graduates in other branches of engineering also get opportunities in software development.
• There is a popular misconception that industrial engineering is concerned with the starting of industries, an industrial engineer evolves methods for improving productivity and quality at optimal cost. He deals with operations research and integrated systems comprising men, materials, machines, and information.
• Chemical engineering covers areas such as fertilizer production, petroleum refining, food processing, synthetic products, mineral-based industries, and environmental protection.
• Production engineering is a specialized area under mechanical engineering, with emphasis on production, as the name implies. .
• Biomedical engineering is mostly the application of electronics and technology in the field of medicine, including devices for diagnostics and cure.
• Polymer engineering deals with rubber and diverse chemical products
• Architecture is an interface of aesthetics and engineering. It combines dreams and sweat. An architect designs buildings and other structures aesthetically. He should know materials, structural principles, acoustics, illumination, space utilization, interior and exterior design, landscaping, country planning, estimation, costing, legal aspects of construction, etc.
- Chartered Accountancy, Cost &Works Accountancy, and Company Secretary ship. These offer excellent career opportunities for the right persons, Training for these professions can commence after the plus two level in any stream, without the hassles of the entrance hurdle.
Computers have opened up a wide range of career options. Whereas conventional University level programs such as ,B Tech and MCA have their own roles in the profession, short-term courses for specific purposes as-web design may come handy for those who desire to enter the field at a modest level and gradually rise in the field on the strength of practical experience and part-time education.
In the mad rush for engineering and medicine, students and parents often forget options such as Dentistry, Veterinary science. Forestry, Fisheries, Agriculture, Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Nursing, Pharmacy, Law, Fine Arts, Fashion Design, Acting, Music, Modeling, Airline Pilot Training, Teaching, Travel &: Tourism, Journalism, Advertising, Public Relations, Foreign Languages, Design, Merchant Navy, lf, Physical Education, Food Technology, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Special Education (teaching the handicapped}, Spatial Design, Film &TV, Photography, Library Science, Food & Nutrition, Cosmetology, Criminology, Jewelry Design, Gemology, and Defense Services, Training as a commercial pilot starts after plus two with Mathematics and Physics.

An excellent option after graduation in any discipline is Management. It may be particularly noted that in management education a vital factor to be considered is that the institution where the candidate undergoes training is of great significance
There are institutions that conduct programs exclusively in Hotel Management and Hospital Management. It may be noted that hospital management offers graduates from non-medical streams an opportunity to migrate to the World of health and healing,
After the tenth standard, students can go straight to the polytechnics for three-year diploma courses in various branches of engineering and technology, The polytechnics train up the candidates as technicians, who play the role of a dynamic link between the engineers and the skilled craftsmen. Diploma-holders can secure the membership of professional bodies such as the Institution of Engineers and the Institute of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers through self-study Such memberships are considered to be equivalent to the related B. Tech.  Degrees for employment, except as teachers in engineering.
So far we have been focusing our attention on professional courses. There is a wide variety of academic programs that are not classified as professional courses.
There are vocational higher secondary courses held by some of the States, These include a job-oriented subject. The subject of specialization al the graduate level should suit the aptitude of the student. Bachelor's Degree courses in classical subjects such as chemistry, physics. Mathematics, zoology, botany, history, economics, and languages have their own strength. But many of the vocational graduate courses started in the recent past with UGC assistance in Arts & Science Colleges are yet to prove their promised worth. The pursuit of science subjects calls for an interest in scientific phenomena, and intellectual curiosity Students of physics have several possibilities in areas such as astrophysics, nuclear / molecular / solid-state physics, and space science,
Advance in technology depends greatly on chemistry and its applications. Apart from studies in organic / inorganic / physical/analytical chemistry, there are options in the areas such as biochemistry, sugar; petroleum; oil /food /cellulose ,' paper technology, pharmaceuticals, dietetics, cosmetics, fertilizers, and criminology. Biochemistry deals with chemical substances and processes in living organisms and the changes they undergo during development.
Mathematicians and statisticians are a class by themselves, Mathematics acts as a basic tool in many of the science subjects, and economics. Management subjects often need statistical analysis. Operations research and computer applications are some of the areas where mathematicians have a significant role to play. Institutions such as The Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, TIFR, Mumbai ; Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta offer opportunities for advanced learning and research. Indian Statistical Service engages specialists in this discipline.
The days when biological sciences were confined to classical studies in botany and zoology are over. Biotechnology has grown into one of the most significant and fastest growing branches of science. It emphasizes greatly on research. It has vital applications in medicine, agriculture, genetics, and environment.  There are graduate level courses in biotechnology in certain colleges; however those who take up these should have an aptitude as well as patience for further education and research. Every year Jawaharlal Nehru University conducts a national level entrance examination for selection to various post-graduate courses in biotechnology in more than twenty universities. Students from both physical and biological science streams can appear in the test. Genetics is a closely related fascinating discipline that offers boundless possibilities in research in the days to come.
Man's life is interwoven with microorganisms. Microbiology, the discipline that deals with organisms such as bacteria, fungi (yeasts, molds), algae, protozoans, rickettsia and viruses, is accessible to those with an abiding interest In research. Applications are many in the study of diseases, cytology laboratories, immunology, pharmaceuticals, and agriculture.
The different areas of biological science mentioned are only indicative and not exhaustive. There are specializations like entomology, biophysics, biochemistry, molecular biology, taxonomy, toxicology, plant breeding, ornithology, aquatic biology, and fisheries science. Geology is the study of earth including its composition, structure, and physical properties. It has specialties such as marine geology, geo-hydrology, seismology, and petroleum geology, Employment as officers or as research scientists is available to those who qualify themselves in geology. Some of the other disciplines under science are oceanography, meteorology, and anthropology, Oceanography comprises physical, chemical, biological, end geological studies. Meteorology is a part of atmospheric science, the other two parts being astronomy and climatology, with the rising importance of weather forecasts, meteorologists have gained a key role in society, and Anthropology encompasses the study of human beings, their evolutionary history, physical character, racial classification, group relations, and cultural history. The main divisions are physical anthropology and cultural anthropology, Job opportunities are mostly in national and international levels of research.
There is a popular misunderstanding that students of history have no opportunities for professional courses. Certain professions are the preserves of those who have specialized in history, whereas some other professional programmers show preference to graduates or post-graduates in history, these avenues are archaeology (study of the material remains of past human lives and activities monuments, inscriptions, etc.). museology (tile science of organizing, arranging and managing museums), (the collection of coins and medals, and the study of inscriptions on them for restructuring the past), epigraphy (study and interpretation of ancient inscriptions on rocks, pleats, etc. for discovering the past), archives (collection and preservation of historical documents and records).
Economists have openings in business journals, banking industry, planning cells, etc, where economic analysis is required; The Indian Economic Service recruits competent economists through UPSC examination.
Those who take up psychology have wide options as experimental; educational; industrial; clinical psychologists, counselors, psychometrics (experts in determining aptitude, intelligence, etc.).
Commitment to social work can find expression in an effective manner, if we have training in subjects such as sociology, social work, and psychology. Social work has different faces like community; medical; correctional social work, baby care, childcare, and family welfare.
Learning languages has its own charms. Proficiency in foreign languages like French, German, Russian, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, and Arabic will open opportunities to work as specialists ill the diplomatic service, interpreters, translators, and tourist guides.
Graduates in any discipline after a course in journalism can join the challenging career covering the print and electronic media, Wide general knowledge, keen observation, analytical mind, ability to perceive beyond the obvious, a nose for the news, language skills, qualities of good public relations, poise, and resourcefulness will be of advantage in achieving success in this field.
Advertising, public relations, law, fashion design, film and TV, management, teaching, special education, library & information science, and sports coaching, are some of the areas open to university graduates in any subject, but gifted with the appropriate aptitude. Graduates with poise and skills can contemplate the lob of an airhostess / flight purser.