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4 job-friendly diploma courses

Last updated on: January 11, 2013 20:34 IST

4 job-friendly diploma courses

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Merril Dinniz, Careers360

Choose from a range of diploma courses that promise you an exciting career ahead. Read on

1. Travel and Tourism Diploma

Adventure, pilgrimages, medical tourism, leisure and MICE (Meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions)are some of the upcoming avenues for pursuants of thie field.

A dearth of trained professionals in this industry, prompted travel companies like Thomas Cook and The Kuoni Group, which owns SOTC, SITA and VFS GLOBAL to launch their own academies.

While Kuoni Academy has 22 centres, Thomas Cook's Centre of Learning has two outlets in Mumbai and Delhi. Both academies offer a range of programmes, at various levels.

For Class 12 students, Kapil Srivastava, Regional Head North & East of Kuoni Academy recommends the one-year UG Diploma in Travel and Tourism Management.

The course teaches students domain subjects like travel geography; itinerary planning; fare calculation; destination knowledge and Global Distributions Systems like Galileo, used for making reservations.

Soft skill training in areas like interviews, personality development and language improvement is also included in the course, which costs approximately Rs 80,000.

Employment opportunities exist in Front Office of hotels, visa services, tourist information offices, airports, travel companies/agencies, cruise liners, national and international tourism boards and travel BPOs that handle the back-end services for airlines as well as online travel booking sites like Yatra and Makemytrip.

Students who want to make a career in this industry are advised to keep abreast of upcoming and large-scale avenues like pilgrimages, adventure, medical tourism, leisure and MICE (Meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions). Salaries vary across the length and breadth of the industry.

"The larger the organisation the lower the packages," observes Kapil. The case is the same with the hospitality industry as brand names and work exposure is more in both cases.

One can expect between Rs. 10,000 to 15000 depending on your presentation and communication skills. Hotel chains such as the Marriot also absorb those from travel and tourism courses.

"They join either in Front Office or Reservations where there is a lot of guest interaction. Very rarely do they really look for a career in hotels.

Their aim is to get exposure and training and eventually work with airlines and travel houses," observes Gurmeet Singh, Area Director of HR India, Maldives of Marriott Int'l. Thomas Cook's Centre of Learning offers a four-month course for those who have finished 10 + 2 to help one master travel destinations.

Those wishing to qualify in Montreal-international certification IATA can register for training programmes offered at both Kuoni and Thomas Cook.

"It is recognised internationally, and opportunities can be sought in India in ticketing and management," shares Kapil.

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Image: Companies like Kuoni have set up institutes to train young professionals
Photographs: Courtesy Careers360

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2. Textile and Fashion Design Diploma

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Two of the oldest design courses in India, these are well-established fields that have a great demand in the market.

Fashion focuses on designing apparel -- everything from denim, children's clothes, and wedding attire to menswear.

On the other hand textiles focus on designing the materials used to create apparel, home furnishings and other products.

Hence, fabric is the raw material.

Design schools like JD Institute of Fashion Technology, Institute of Apparel Management (IAM) and Pearl Academy, offer three to four-year courses that train one in the fundamentals, skills and techniques of design.

While traditionally, fashion designers can seek employment in export houses, design houses, buying houses, retail stores and product companies, Sachin Khanna, Head of Product Design, Reebok feels that eCommerce is an upcoming avenue, as more and more online shopping portals (like Inkfruit and Zovi) have in-house teams designing products being marketed on the websites.

Another reason for an optimistic forecast in the recruitment of fashion and textile designers is the opening of the market to single brand retail companies in India.

"They need to offer designs relevant to the Indian market and hence will need local designers," says Sachin.

According to IAM, their students have either interned with or have been absorbed by companies like Orient Craft, Brandix, DeepikaGovind, Poddar Exports, Good Earth, Westside, Aligato, Marks and Spencers, Levis, Hasejaa Group, Aman Atlantic, Pee Emporo Exports, Ebony Retail and Benetton India.

"Students mostly join as entry level managerial cadre in design and development, merchandising, buying, production and product development," shares Dr Darlie Koshy, Director IAM and former director of National Institute of Design.

Salaries range from between Rs 20,000 to 35,000, and job profiles include designing, product development, sourcing and buying.


Image: Students attend a design event at Institute of Apparel Management, Gurgaon
Photographs: Courtesy Careers360

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Creativity and aesthetic sense is a must

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Textile or fabric designers can work in export houses, buying houses, textile mills, fabric retailers, handloom cooperatives, with fashion designers, design studios and buying agencies.

Fashion designers also move fashion PR/writing and design research, another upcoming area.

Many who head retail fashion brands feel that fashion designers have an edge in visual merchandising, which requires a good eye, creativity and aesthetic sense, and the profile includes looking at store layouts and dressing shop windows attractively.

To improve your prospects, Sachin who has hired from campuses such as Pearl and JD, feels that students besides having creativity and technical skills, must develop good communication and presentation skills, gain in depth knowledge and be initiative-driven.

Those with an entrepreneurial streak can start their own ventures, too. However, it's advisable to first gain experience under a good designer or company before flying solo.

"The interesting part is that unlike other industries, in retail/apparel, growth in career and positions are quite quick based on efficient performance," Dr Koshey rounds up.

Many reputed design institutes have positioned their courses as degrees.

However, students must note that while many reputed and quality design institutes have positioned their courses as degrees, their courses are included under diplomas as there is no organisation that is designated to recognise or accredit design programmes in the country.

The eligibility to pursue a postgraduate diploma at NID, Ahmedabad is 10 + 2 + 4-year diploma in design.

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Image: A student at IAM designs a garment
Photographs: Courtesy Careers360

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3. Visual communication diplomas

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Many design schools offer a range of courses that use images, visuals and video as raw materials, to communicate ideas, advertise and promote products or services.

An integrative programme, it helps the students tell a cohesive story through multiple tools.

A well-established course abroad, it is gaining prominence in India.

Developing good conceptulisation and visualisation skills is a major focus here. NID offers five four-year diploma courses under the umbrella of Communication Design -- graphic design, animation film design, film and video communication, exhibition (spatial) design, thus enabling students to choose one medium, where they have substantive interest.

However, institutes such as Pearl Academy offer one programme, which covers all aspects.

Raffles Millenium International offers two two-year diplomas in this area -- graphic design and multimedia design.

There are job opportunities galore; like Copal Mathur, an alumnus of Pearl Academy, one can work in the area of social communications for non-profits like WWF, or in a more commercial line such as advertising or design houses that work on a range of clients, products and projects.

Training institutes such as Arena Multimedia also offer short-term graphic design and multimedia, which give one basic exposure to this field.

These short-term programmes offer entry level jobs across the sectors, but longer duration courses are always preferable.

Also read: Love making things attractive? Become a display designer


Image: Students at JD Institute of Fashion & Technology in sewing class
Photographs: Courtesy Careers360

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4. Hospitality diplomas

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A few luxury hotel chains in India offer excellent diploma programmes for Class 12 students with a keen interest in hospitality.

During the programme, candidates will get hands-on training at their respective hotel properties across the country. What's more, the courses come free of cost!

Explore the Systematic Training and Education Programme (STEP) by the Oberoi Group and WelcomLegionnaire Programme's Diploma in Hospitality Management (only for boys) by ITC Hospitality Management Institute.

Both also enable you to pursue a Bachelor of Tourism from IGNOU alongside the diploma.

One can choose from the core hospitality specialisations, that is, Food Production (FP), Bakery and Confectionary; Food and Beverage (FandB) Service; Housekeeping and Front Office (FO).

Both programmes result in placements at the respective hotels, provided you work hard and learn the ropes.

Hospitality aspirants can also explore diplomas offered by food craft institutes and hotel management institutes located across the country in FP, Bakery and Confectionary; F&B; Housekeeping and FO.

Some food craft institutes offer additional specialisations like Canning and Food Preservation, which deals with food science and the manufacture, preservation, and marketing of food products.

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Image: The food and beverage industry offers exciting career opportunities for youngsters
Photographs: Courtesy Careers360

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Pleasing personality and operational skills are prerequisites

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Students are advised to check if the institute is recognised by the local tourism board, Government or National Council for Hotel Management & Catering Technology (Noida) by checking official websites such as: http://tourism.nic.in and www.fcikerala.org, as these courses are recognised by Public Service Commission, the Armed Forces and other government departments and overseas recruiters, which opens up job opportunities in their catering departments.

For instance, Food Craft Institute male pass-outs in Food Production can take the Armed Forces Junior Commissioned Officer (Catering) exam and be absorbed into the Armed Forces.

In the private sector, cruise liners, five-star hotels, airline catering, hospital and contract catering all hire young professionals. Many also choose to start their own catering businesses.

Gurmeet Singh, Area Director of HR India, Maldives of Marriott Int'l, shares that the Marriott, which has 24 properties in India under five brands, hire for starting positions in functions like Food & Beverage Service, Front Office & Culinary.

"In Marriott India, we offer a Marriott two-year Graduate Development programme called Voyage for college graduates in various disciplines."

"Fresh graduates have basic operational knowledge but they definitely need further training," Singh added.

At Marriott they are also given more structured operational training.

The main focus is to develop each student into an hotelier with a pleasing personality, impeccable skills, great attitude backed up with confidence of operational skills," he shares.

Students can also explore one-year certificate courses in Craft Bakery & Confectionery and All-Round Restaurant Etiquette (F&B) offered by Sophia Polytechnic in Mumbai.

Also read:
20 degrees that will make you a job-ready graduate
Top 20 job-friendly Diploma courses


Image: Trained professionals are employed in cruise liners, five-star hotels and airlines
Photographs: Courtesy Careers360

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