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9 job-friendly diploma courses for science students

Last updated on: September 14, 2012 15:10 IST

9 job-friendly diploma courses for science students

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Shipony Pavitran Suri

A host of professions are opening up in the healthcare and primary sectors that yield very high levels of satisfaction. Read on to know what these emerging professions are and how you can pursue them.

1. Diploma in Anaesthesia Technology

Ivan's daily task is to give skilled support to the anaesthesiologist for a surgery in the operation theatre (OT), a highly intense place in any hospital.

He sets up the equipment and arranges the drugs required for anaesthesia procedures, which temporarily numb the sensation of patients for pain-free surgery.

"I have observed all kinds of operations from cardiac and plastic to paediatric surgery," says Ivan Vijaykumar, Anaesthesia Technician at Kasturba Hospital, Manipal.

Anaesthesiologists feel that the presence of technicians is imperative. "We do not start a case without technicians." shares Dr Anita Shenoy, Anaesthesiologist at Kasturba hospital, Manipal.

Eligibility

Any class 12 science student with sciences can enrol in the programme.

What you learn

"All students receive both theoretical and practical exposure at hospitals. It helps them to grab exact skills," says Prof Saumy Johnson, Department of Respiratory Therapy, Manipal University.

Job outlook

Anaesthesia technicians are hired in any hospital having OT -- from small to big multi-speciality hospitals.

There is a swelling demand of technicians in the Middle East countries. In India, a fresher can expect a salary between Rs 12,000 and Rs 15,000 and abroad about Rs 50,000 per month.

Prof Dr K Prasad, Department of Anaesthesiology, MCOAHS feels, "The work demands high-level concentration as you are responsible for patient's life." The job may stretch to long hours during specific cases of operation.

Institutes

  • MGM Institute of Health Sciences, Mumbai
  • Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna
  • Maharaja Sayajirao University, Gujarat
  • Aligarh Muslim University; Amritha Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi
  • Manipal College of Allied Health Sciences (MCOAHS)

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Image: Image for representational purposes only
Photographs: Reuters

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2. PG Diploma in Horticulture

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Whose is the hand behind the gorgeous vegetable and flower gardens in your vicinity?

In all likelihood, there could be a PG Diploma graduate in horticulture who has a command over the art and science of gardening.

Our world would perish without plants, and to a large extent, we owe it to horticulturists, who in many ways are protectors of these biological species.

A horticulturist knows how to cultivate plants, fruits, vegetables and flowers in public or domestic gardens. Horticulture is one of the main branches of agricultural sciences.

What you learn

Horticulture students are taught to pick shrubs, store plant seeds, provide them space, water and manure thus multiplying and beautifying plants in an outdoor/indoor space. Since the knowledge of biology is important, science graduates are preferred for this programme.

Eligibility

Any BSc (Agriculture) student can apply for the course.

Job outlook

"The horticulture industry has a huge potential for growth. Interestingly, our country's horticulture production was a record 252 million tonnes of food grains in 2011-12," says Prof Dr Pritam Kalia, HoD, Horticulture, Indian Agriculture Research Institute.

"If we produce quality horticulturists, we can soon wipe out malnutrition plaguing our country," adds Dr Pritap who researched and developed the brocolli crop in India. This sector opens up many career options in land-based industries, particularly, the vegetable, spice, floriculture, gardening and nursery industries.

Horticulturists are also employed as ornamental gardeners for terrace gardens, corporate nurseries, National Highway Authority of India (NGHAI), CPWD, PWD.

The remuneration of professionals in this field varies as per his/her expertise and place of work. While a fresher in a government set-up can draw a cheque of Rs 15,000 to 20,000 per month.

An MSc, PhD in Horticulture will allow you to go deeper into research aspects at leading laboratories.

Subjects

Plant breeding, plant physiology, tropical and dry land fruit production, organic horticulture, propagation and nursery management for fruit crops.

Institutes

  • Aligarh Muslim University
  • Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar (BBA), Bihar University
  • College of Horticulture, Mysore
  • University of Mumbai.

Image: Horticulturists are also employed as ornamental gardeners for terrace gardens and corporate nurseries
Photographs: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

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3. Diploma in Nutrition and Dietetics

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Despite the economic boom, India still suffers from enormous under or over-nutrition problems.

To solve health issues, nutritional-level programmes are introduced in several institutes.

"India, the global capital for diabetes and other diseases needs both curative and preventive nutrition," says Kumud Khanna, Director, Institute of Home Economics (IHE).

Eligibility

There are various diploma courses available for Class 12 pass-outs and graduates.

What you learn

Here, you learn the nutritive value of food, how to advise people on eating habits and plan diets that will improve health.

If you are not good in subjects like biology, chemistry and physics at the school level, you are likely to struggle with the course curriculum.

"Diploma in Nutrition and Public Health is a need-based programme, which enables learners to develop skills to communicate nutrition knowledge to the community at large," says Diksha Kapur, Head of Department at the School of Continuing Education, IGNOU.

A dietician's role is restricted to hospitals, hotels and weight-loss clinics.

"A dietician helps to plan and monitor an individual's diet," says Namrata Singh, Senior Dietician at Department of Gastroenterology and Human Nutrition, AIIMS.

Job outlook

They work in hospitals, clinics, healthcare centres, wellness programmes, fitness, sports centres or own private clinics. Nutritionists work in the areas of food science, community development, research projects and Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies, doing research in the field, at one's desk or laboratory.

"Having BSc and MSc Home Science degrees adds credit to your professional growth," says Kajali Paintal, Senior Nutritionist, UNICEF.

A fresher can earn between Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000 per month.

Subjects

Physics, chemistry, biotechnology, maths, biology, home science, economics, psychology and sociology are some of the subjects taught as part of the course.

Programmes offered

Some of the programmes available are Diploma in Nutrition and Health Education (DNHE), PG Diploma in Paediatric Nutrition (PGDPN), PG Certificate in Paediatric Nutrition (PGCPN), Certificate in Food and Nutrition (CFN), Certificate in Nutrition and Child Care (CNCC) and Certificate in Food Safety (CFS).

Institutes

  • IGNOU
  • Institute of Home Economics
  • Lady Irwin College (Delhi)
  • Avinashilingam University for Women (Coimbatore)
  • JD Birla Institute (Kolkata)

Image: Image for representation purposes only
Photographs: Wikipedia Commons

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4. Diploma in Fisheries Technology/ Aquaculture

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With our country being the largest producer of fish, there's a growing demand for fish which helps generate much needed foreign exchange.

Since fresh fish is perishable, the challenge is to convert fish into value-added products.

One can enter the fisheries sector by pursuing a Diploma in Fisheries Technology/Aquaculture.

Eligibility

Any BSc student can apply. The duration may vary from one to two years.

What you learn

"The diploma produces technically advanced manpower having practical exposure on post-harvest management, processing, breeding and quality control of fish," says Prof AK Singh, Aquaculture Department, Birsa Agricultural University.

Job outlook

One can opt for self-employment or join services in various fisheries that require experts for fish breeding, preserving and marketing.

"Students can contribute their skills to NGOs working in watershed areas. They can train fishermen about different fish-catching techniques," adds Singh.

Subjects

Inland fisheries, fish breeding and culture, nursery pond management, aquaculture, riverine and reservoir fisheries and fisheries management comprise some of the subjects in the programme.

Institutes

  • Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University, Andhra Pradesh
  • RARS, Pattambi
  • Kerala Agricultural University
  • Birsa Agricultural University, Ranchi
  • IGNOU, Delhi

Image: Professionals in this field are experts at fish breeding, preserving and marketing
Photographs: Barry Williams/Getty Images

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5. Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology

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A patient's life and a doctor's profession depend on the right diagnosis.

A lab technician works behind the scenes based on the doctor's prescription s/he prepares specimens for analysis. S/he tests body fluids, tissues and furnishes data that helps a doctor perform accurate treatment.

"Lab technicians can be rightly called 'detectors'. They have technical skills that help spot illnesses.

For instance, we identify cancer cells, heart disease, diabetes, generate data and send it to doctors to review," says Shalini Dixit, lab technician at the Apollo Hospital, New Delhi.

Eligibility

A science student can apply for a two-three year Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology (DMLT) after Class 12.

What you learn

In some colleges, students are posted from Day 1 in hospitals for practical exposure.

"We give 70 per cent weightage to practicals and 30 per cent to theory. To receive practical training, students are posted in various laboratories of a hospital like histopathology, clinical, microbiology, and biochemistry laboratories. Sometimes, they also work at the blood bank," says Dr Sabu KM, Associate Dean, Manipal College of Allied Health Sciences.

Job outlook

Typically, a diploma-holder can earn anywhere between Rs 6,000 to Rs 15,000. The pay scale varies according to one's hands-on experience.

"The demand for lab technicians is rising in healthcare services. Their technical skills are needed by small laboratories, diagnostic centres and super speciality hospitals," he adds.

DMLT graduates are also hired by blood/organ banks, out-patient care centres and laboratory instrument sales and service firms.

Subjects

Anatomy, blood bank, hematology and clinical pathology, clinical biochemistry, histopathology, cytotechnology and microbiology.

Institutes

  • Manipal College of Allied Health Sciences (MCOAHS)
  • Government Medical College, Aurangabad
  • Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh
  • Jadavpur University, Jadavpur

Image: Lab technicians are trained for skills that help spot illnesses
Photographs: Rohit Gautam/Careers360.com

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6. Diploma in Radiography/ Medical Imaging Technology

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Delhi-based X-ray technician Solomon Chako is positioning a patient's chest and adjusting the imaging equipment to get accurate images of lungs, simultaneously. He directs the patient to inhale deep.

"The lungs will expand which helps capture images of body parts like heart trachea, ribs, etc clearly," explains Solomon who works at Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi.

Eligibility

A Class 12 (Science) pass-out can apply. The duration of diplomas vary from three months to two years. Radiographers work closely with radiologists.

What you learn

A diploma in radiography from the TMM Medical Mission Hospital, Kerala trained Solomon in the usage of sophisticated machines and techniques to carry out procedures such as fluoroscopy, ultrasound or sonography, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), PET (Positron Emission Tomography), CT scan.

Job outlook

"With the growth of medical technology, radiographers occupy intrinsic space in hospitals, diagnostic centres, research laboratories, institutes and medical companies," reveals Sushil Yadav, Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Imaging Technology, Manipal University.

"I cannot function without them. I identify medical problems from the images taken by radiographers who are experts in imaging technology," says Dr Ashwin Garg, Radiologist at Moolchnad Hospital, Delhi.

Their role is primarily diagnostic, but at times they contribute to treatment as well. The remuneration varies from Rs 8,000 to Rs 20,000, based on whether it's a private or public hospital.

"Professionals handling CT, MRI earn slightly higher than X-Ray department," Solomon shares.

According to Prof Sushil, diploma-holders can advance their knowledge by doing BSc in MIT or Radiography.

Subjects

Radiological anatomy and physiology, radiological physics, darkroom techniques, radiological positioning, radiographic special procedures and patient care and new imaging modalities.

Institutes

  • Madras Medical College, Chennai
  • Osmania General Hospital, Hyderabad
  • Manipal College of Allied Health Sciences
  • SMS Medical College, Jaipur
  • Jadavpur University, Kolkata
  • Institute of Paramedical, Management and Technology, Delhi
  • Indian Institute of Pharmacy, Jameshedpur
  • Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai

Image: Radiographers are experts in imaging technology
Photographs: George Pickow/Three Lions/Getty Images

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7. Diploma in Dairy Technology

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With a production of 100 million metric tonnes of milk every year, India is the world's largest producer of milk.

The dairy industry in this country plays a crucial role in terms of breeding milk yielding cattle, procuring and processing milk.

Again, this sector earns substantial foreign exchange for the country.

Eligibility

Any Class 12 passout can opt for the course.

What you learn

One develops skills to work with dairy processing units.

Job outlook

"Every state has dairy plants. And all plants need technicians to procure, store and package milk products," says Prof DV Singh, Dairy Science, College of Veterinary Science Animal Husbandry, Aizawl.

The diploma graduates can join at milk plants, cream units as technician, milk tester, dairy plant operator, quality control assistant. You can also be self entrepreneur and retailer of milk products.

Subjects

Milk production, quality of milk, milk processing, packaging and dairy products.

Institutes

  • College of Veterinary Science Animal Husbandry, Aizawl
  • Dairy Science Institute, Bangalore
  • Allahabad Agricultural Institute, Allahabad

Image: Image for representational purposes only
Photographs: Fox Photos/Getty Images

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8. Diploma in General Nursing and Midwifery

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Soniya is a third-year student of DGNM course at the School of Nursing, Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi. She cherishes the time spent with a 10-year-old boy from Bihar, who was badly burnt.

"Along with helping nurses lift and position the boy to dressing wounds, I used to play games and anticipate his needs. He underwent plastic surgery and recovered in months," says Soniya, who aspires to become a nurse.

Eligibility

Any Class 12 (Science) student can apply for the course. For three-and-a-half year diploma course, institutes conduct entrance exams based on the science subjects taught in school.

What you learn

Handling human dummies at college demo room taught Soniya about patient handling techniques.

"Right after three months of classes, we send students to general wards in the first year and others like maternity, surgical wards in consecutive years," shares Rita Sapra, principal, School of Nursing, Ganga Ram Hospital.

Job outlook

According to Rita, nurses will never be deprived of work. Nurses are hugely in demand in any health service.

Their daily work involves assisting doctors for physical examination, checking temperatures, blood pressures, dressing wounds and giving drips, drugs to patients.

A nurse can excel in the field, if s/he has a passion for patient care. They must be mentally tough so as to skilfully tackle tough conditions -- traumatic patients, surgeries and death. You can apply at healthcare centres, hospitals, schools, Red Cross and the military.

Colonel Usha Pandey, sister superintendent at Ganga Ram Hospital says, "In private hospitals, you can earn around Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 whereas in government hospitals, you can draw a salary of Rs 30,000 by cracking the entrance test."

Subjects

Fundamentals of nursing, pharmacology, midwifery and community nursing are part of the diploma course

Institutes

National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore

Maharishi Markandeshwar University, Ambala, Haryana

Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Pune

Avinashilingam University, Coimbatore


Image: Image for representational purposes only
Photographs: Courtesy Careers360.com

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9. Diploma in Pharmacy

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Divendra, ten years back, acquired a diploma in pharmacy from Indore's BM College in Pharmacy.

Today, he works as a manager, who controls the inventory of drugs worth Rs 3 crore at Ganga Ram Hospital's pharmacy department.

"I have to preserve and dispense drugs for in-patients in hospital," says Divendra who supervises a 65-member team.

Eligibility

DPharma is open to Class 12 science students who have to appear for Diploma Entrance Test (DET).

What you learn: Packaging of pharmaceuticals, how to read, translate and copy prescriptions and storage of drugs.

After completion of course, a student undergoes practical training and registers himself under the respective state pharmacy council. Only registered professionals are qualified to dispense drugs in retail shops, hospital pharmacy, pharmaceutical laboratories or set up own pharmacy shop.

Job outlook

"Every drug store needs the support of pharmacist and the knowledge of diploma-holders is only limited to selling drugs," shares Dr N Gopalan Kutty, Professor at Dept. of Pharmacology, Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Subjects

Pharmaceutical chemistry, clinical pathology and human anatomy are part of the curriculum.

Institutes

  • Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi
  • Delhi Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, New Delhi
  • Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University, Tamil Nadu 

Image: Image for representational purposes only
Photographs: Reuters

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