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Jobs: 'It's boom time for graduates'

Richa Pant
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March 20, 2007

Part II: Graduates, spruce up your skills
Part III: Hot jobs in retail for fresh graduates
Part IV: ITES/BPO sectors need fresh graduates
Part V: Opportunities for graduates in insurance sector
Part VI: Opportunities for graduates in the ad industry
Part VII: Hot jobs for graduates in the pharma industry

It is currently boom time for graduates in India," confirms Pankaj Sharma, 29, an executive in a recruitment consultancy in Delhi.

"New career fields have opened up in a big way making it possible for fresh non-technical graduates to succeed in today's competitive job market. And with new players hoping to set up shop soon, employment opportunities are poised to multiply, of which a big chunk will be for graduates," he continues.

As opposed to say, a few years back, call centres are no longer the only well-paying option either. For example, in the retail segment, biggies such as Reliance Retail will provide ample job opportunities for graduates. Furthermore, international giants such as Wal-mart are set to enter the market, adding to this platter of opportunities.

"There are a wide range of opportunities with MNCs and fast food chains in the sales and customer care functions as well," says Manish Arora, 28, an independent recruitment consultant based in Pune.

"There is a huge demand in sectors such as retail, ITES, insurance, advertising, etc for non-technical graduates," says Pankaj.

Yes, finding a good job with a lucrative pay package is no longer a distant dream for fresh graduates. Hence, we launch a new series to help fresh graduates understand their options in the job market, along with information on salaries, scope for growth etc.

Let's take a look at common segments that have a sizeable chunk of opportunities for graduates. The opportunities within these segments will be discussed in detail in subsequent parts of this series.

Hot industries

~ Retail

The purchasing power of people has increased, thereby creating opportunities for the growth of this segment. As companies are diversifying into retail, a career in retail is definitely a good option.

Some of the leading players in the organised retail market are Pantaloon (popularly known as Big Bazaar), Spencer's (RPG Group), Subhiksha, Vishal Mega Mart, etc. "The Retail sector offers plenty of opportunities for fresh graduates in positions such as that of Floor Executive, which can then lead to the position of Floor Manager within a few years," says Pankaj.

~ IT-Enabled Services (ITES) or Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)

This is one of the fastest growing sectors in India. This industry boom has brought along with it numerous job opportunities for graduates from various backgrounds. Major US firms like DELL, LG, Ford, GE and many others are outsourcing business from India.

Though ITES in India has become almost synonymous with call centres in public perception, it encompasses much more. The term ITES can be defined as outsourcing of such processes that can be enabled with information technology. It covers areas as diverse as finance, HR (human resource), administration, healthcare, telecommunication, manufacturing, medical transcription, customer interaction services, technical support, back office operations etc.

This continuously growing industry offers a lucrative option especially for non-technical graduates who can either make a career out of it or use it as a stepping-stone to another career. "For example, call centres can be a first workplace for anyone because there is no prior experience required. Yet it comes with an attractive salary package," says Manish.

~ Insurance

According to industry sources, this is a huge untapped market. Of an estimated insurable 300 million people, the present life insurance coverage is only 24 per cent and of a retired population of 30 million, the present pension coverage is a meagre one million. The potential of health insurance has not even been scratched, so it's indeed a sector waiting to be tapped.

~ Banking

With the ever expanding network of the Indian players on one side, and the entry of foreign banks on the other, banking job opportunities have increased manifold. The Indian banking system has become smarter, more market-oriented, and started paying better. "Entry-level jobs exist in fair numbers for graduates, especially for front office, marketing, and customer care positions," says Pankaj.

~ Advertising

"Due to the increasing number of brands and competition amongst them, advertising agencies of varying sizes/ scope have mushroomed to help meet the demand. Such agencies require graduates for their entry-level positions," says Pankaj. Some large companies have set up separate departments to handle specialised areas like market research, film, video production etc.

The job profiles vary according to departments: Client servicing, ceative department, media department, production, television and film, photography, market research, exhibition and event Management, promotion and direct marketing.

~ Pharmaceutical sector

"This is a good option for science graduates, medical representative openings are in abundance," says Manish.

Some of the top companies are Biocon, Astra Zeneca, Dabur, Johnson and Johnson, Ranbaxy, Cipla, Torrent, etc.

Hot profiles

"Sales and marketing jobs in FMCGs are popular options for graduates too. Direct marketing, telephonic marketing, customer care, etc opportunities exist to a large extent in most of the segments," says Manish.

Graduates can join recruitment/placement consultant firms as a recruiter as well. "Entrepreneurship and import-export are also options that can be pursued by those who have the knack," he adds.

So, whether it's to establish a career in the particular segment, or simply a stepping stone to better things, this is an opportune time for graduates. Having said that a plethora of opportunities exist for graduates, it is important for them to recognise the skills required for these jobs. These could include soft skills, computer proficiency, etc. In the next part of this series, we will take a look at the various short-term courses graduates can do to spruce up their skills.

Part II: Graduates, spruce up your skills
Part III: Hot jobs in retail for fresh graduates
Part IV: ITES/BPO sectors need fresh graduates
Part V: Opportunities for graduates in insurance sector
Part VI: Opportunities for graduates in the ad industry
Part VII: Hot jobs for graduates in the pharma industry

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