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Hot options for science students
Dr Shelley Verma |
June 05, 2006
Completed your Class XII in the science stream?
You don't have to despair if you don't want to be a doctor or an engineer. Anyway, the entrance tests for these avenues are over and done with.
There are a wide array of options for science students today, right from microbiology to journalism, from design to the defence services.
Over the years, with emerging avenues in the industry, universities have also seen an introduction of industry specific courses. These professional or industry oriented courses aim at equipping students with a thorough understanding of a particular industry's specific requirements .
Many universities offer three-year B Sc programmes in industrial chemistry, biotechnology, bioinformatics, microbiology, environmental science, agro-chemical and pest control, geology and anthropology.
Admissions to these courses are merit-based. Some colleges even conduct their own entrance examination, as the seats are limited. You can secure a job immediately after these courses, as their content is industry specific.
With a three-year Bachelor's degree in Computer Science or a Bachelor of Computer Applications, followed by a post-graduate degree in MCA, you could be immediately absorbed into the IT industry in a variety of profiles.
These include hardware jobs in computer design, chip design and maintenance/ technician profiles. You also have software jobs like system programming, software engineering, application programming, enterprise resource planning and EDP management.
Internet-based job profiles like webmaster, web designer, database administrator, e-commerce/ e-finance professional are in demand, as are other IT-centric job profiles at call centres, in education, marketing advisors and animation and multimedia.
With the opening up of the aviation sector, there is a growing need for commercial pilots, aircraft maintenance staff, radio operators, ground and technical staff.
You can pursue a degree/ diploma course in aircraft maintenance from institutes affiliated to DGCA, government of India.
~ The School of Aviation Science and Technology, New Delhi, conducts a three-year programme in aircraft maintenance and radio technology. Admission is through a written exam.
~ The Indian Institute of Aeronautical Science in Jamshedpur and Kolkata and the Rajiv Gandhi Memorial College of Aeronautics, Jaipur, offers a three-year programme in aircraft maintenance. Admission is through a written exam.
One field that draws a number of youngsters because it is well paid and you get to travel is the merchant navy. This option, however, is limited to men only.
You can join as marine engineers, radio engineers and technicians after pursuing a course from:
~ University of Mumbai: A three-year B Sc in nautical science.
~ Academy of Maritime Education and training, Chennai: A three-year B Sc in nautical science.
~ National Institute of Port Management, Chennai
~ BITS, Pilani: A four-year B Sc in marine engineering.
Construction and real estate
The growth in the construction and real estate market has created ample opportunities for architects, town planners, interior designers and draftsmen.
A five-year programme in architecture (B Arch) can be pursued in architecture and town planning from institutes like:
A number of such institutes are there in most states. Degree and diploma courses in interior designing equip you with the necessary skills in the field.
You also have branches of the Indian Training Institute in every state, which conduct diploma courses in draftsmanship with both theoretical and practical training.
India is being acclaimed as the next destination for health care. Along with medical professionals, there is a growing need for support staff of paramedics like physiotherapists, nursing staff, occupational therapists, speech therapists, lab technologists and optometricians.
Here are some options.
- A 4 ˝ year BSc programme in nursing: Jamia Hamdard, Delhi, Nizam's Institute of Medical Studies, Hyderabad, Christian Medical College, Chennai and College of Nursing, AFMC, Pune.
- A 4 ˝ year BSc programme in either physical therapy or occupational therapy from Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Institute for the Physically Handicapped, Delhi.
- A 4 ˝ year programme in Bachelor of Physiotherapy, Bachelor in Occupational Therapy, Bachelor in Prosthetics and Orthotics from Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped, Mumbai, and the National Institute of Rehabilitation Training and Research, Cuttack.
The emphasis on healthy living has also given a boost to dieticians and nutritionists.
You could do a BSc in Nutrition offered by universities in Kolkota, Delhi, Kashmir, Mumbai and Chennai. After the course, you could be absorbed by hospitals, hotels, gyms and spas.
You could be absorbed as a medical transcripsionist. Private institutes conduct a one to two year programme on training for medical transcriptionists.
You may be surprised to know that the fashion industry is not just about designers. Technical staff are required for accessory design, footwear and as leather technologists.
You could take a four-year course in B Tech in leather technology from Harcourt Butler Technological Institute, Kanpur, University of Calcutta and University of Chennai.
You must write an entrance test to register for this course. You could get jobs in the leather industry and be involved in production, research and marketing. You could also be involved in designing footwear and accessories.
Enjoy writing? Then get a journalism degree. A science student armed with this can join the research wings of scientific journals and leading magazines.
Articles on environment, agriculture, IT, computers, technological innovations, biotechnology and so on and so forth are written and edited by science students with a degree in journalism, advertising and mass communication.
Due to the television boom, news channels require technical staff, for which a science background comes in handy.
Have a patriotic streak? You can join the defence services in their technical fields.
You have various training institutes like the National Defence Academy, Indian Military Academy and Officers Training Academy. You could also visit the Army Web Site for all details on eligibility and entrance tests.
Admission is based on a written test, a medical fitness test and an interview.
Want to pursue your BSC?
The most favoured choices are traditional B Sc courses like physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, electronics and mathematics.
These are offered as three-year graduate degree programmes in all universities and their affiliated colleges. Admissions are made on merit, based on your Class XII mark sheet.
Usually a graduate degree in any of these subjects needs to be followed up with a M Sc or, further still, a PhD in the subject to brighten your career prospects.
You can join as lecturers, teachers, technical staff in various industries, mathematicians, statisticians, analysts and consultants in the industry.
~ Your choice of a field MUST suit your area of interest; to succeed you must have a liking for your subject.
~ Be practical when assessing your potential. Do not blindly follow what others have done. They may have had the requisite skills in those areas. Compare your strengths and weaknesses with them before making any decision.
~ Check thoroughly with the institute, past students and faculty about the amount of work required in a course and the possible job prospects on completion.
Dr Shelly Verma is part of the faculty, department of economics, University of Delhi. She is also a career counsellor.
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