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Top 8 Job-friendly distance programmes

Last updated on: September 20, 2011 07:29 IST

Top 8 Job-friendly distance programmes

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You can choose from degree level courses in sign language and visual communication to post graduate courses in Participatory Development and the like. Here's the list of top 8 distance learning courses that guarantee you a definite career path.

For a long time distance learning institutes were associated with regular courses in Humanities and Social Sciences with a few adventurous ones such as Annamalai venturing into Science streams as well.

But in recent years, DL institutions have moved towards  courses that have immediate employment potential. Offered in association with either a private institute or a corporation, these programmes have become a rage, though issues of quality, governance, academic control and cost do arise in these cases. But their ability to generate employable graduates is not in question anymore.

1. BA in Applied Sign Language Studies

University: IGNOU
Duration: 3 years
Fee: Rs. 36,000
Eligibility: English literacy level must be equivalent to IELTS score of 4.5 for writing skills (intermediate level) and an equivalent of IELTS 5.0 for reading skills (upper intermediate level)
Address: Programme Coordinator, BAASLS
IGNOU, Maidan Garhi, New Delhi-110068
Website: www.ignou.ac.in

This programme is jointly offered by IGNOU and University of Central Lancashire, (UCLan), UK, and aims to produce sign language teachers, teacher trainers, literacy support teachers and project workers in the specialised area of sign languages and deaf communities.

The course is taught in Sign Language and English, and is flexible so that students can study a range of modules according to their interest. Focus areas include pedagogical practices in language teaching modules and dissertation modules. The university offers a number of scholarships too.

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Image: The course include pedagogical practices in language teaching modules and dissertation modules
Photographs: Illustration by Uttam Ghosh
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2. MCom in Business Policy and Corporate Governance

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University: IGNOU
Duration: 2 years
Fee:Rs. 6,000
Eligibility: Graduate in any discipline or equivalent qualifications from a recognised university/ institute and Pass in Company Secretaryship executive programme
Address:IGNOU, Maidan Garhi, New Delhi-110068
Website: www.ignou.ac.in

This programme is designed and developed in collaboration with the Institute of Company Secretaries of India, exclusively for the Company Secretaryship professional programme students.

Students can simultaneously study this MCom programme along with the Company Secretaryship professional programme offered by ICSI.

The main objective of this programme is to develop skills and competencies of the students in business policy and corporate governance. The programme comprises 12 courses of which IGNOU offers four (which are a part of existing MCom programme) and ICSI offers eight (which are a part of CS professional programme).

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Image: It develop skills and competencies of the students in business policy and corporate governance

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3. MA in Participatory Development

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University: IGNOU
Duration: 2 years
Fee: Rs. 25,000
Eligibility: Bachelor's degree in any discipline
Address: Centre for Extension Education (CEE), IGNOU, Maidan Garhi, New Delhi-110068
Website: www.ignou.ac.in

The programme focuses on understanding poverty and sustainable development. It introduces students to different models of social policy formulations and its relevance to social planning and development.

Completion of first, second and third semester makes the student eligible for Advanced Diploma, and on completion of all the four semesters, a Master's degree is awarded.

Distance delivery includes print materials, audio-visual CDs, guest faculty and engaged communication through web-enabled bulletin board services. On completion, the programme makes one eligible to work for developmental institutions and NGOs, amongst others.

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4. MSc in Dietetics and Food Service Management (DFSM)

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University:IGNOU
Duration: 2 years
Fee: Rs. 19,900
Eligibility:Graduation in select streams
(check website for details)
Address: School of Continuing Education
IGNOU, Maidan Garhi, New Delhi-110068
Website: www.ignou.ac.in

This course is designed to help working professionals like dietitians, nutrition counsellors and food service managers, who want to enhance their career prospects in the healthcare, fitness and hospitality sector.

It focuses on areas such as Applied Physiology, Nutritional Biochemistry, Food Safety and Food Microbiology, and provides theoretical and practical guidance on all aspects of dietetics, from promotion of health to management of diseases.

The medium of instruction is English and there is an arrangement for teleconferences and contact sessions. A unique feature of the programme is that one can exit it after one year, having earned a Postgraduate Diploma in Dietetics and Public Nutrition. Contact classes in select locations supplement the learning process.

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5. MSc in Geoinformatics

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Institute: Annamalai University
Duration: 2 years
Fee: Rs. 17,750
Eligibility: A pass in UG degree programmes in  Science/ Engineering/ Agriculture
Address:Directorate of Distance Education, Annamalainagar-608002
Website: www.annamalaiuniversity.ac.in

Geoinformatics deals with science infrastructure to address the problems of geography and geosciences.

It combines geospatial analysis and modelling, development of geospatial databases, information systems design, human-computer interaction and both wired and wireless networking technologies.

Subjects such as Digital Image Processing, Satellite Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System (GIS) are part of the curriculum.

GIS analysis has become an integral part of complex fields such as disaster management, watershed management, environmental assessment, and risk assessment.

Students after graduating in Geoinformatics can find opportunities such as the development of in-car navigation systems, automatic vehicle location systems, Geographical mapping and remote sensing, transportation planning and engineering, environmental modelling and analysis, urban planning, telecommunications, agriculture and public health.

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6. BSc in Visual Communication

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University: Annamalai University
Duration: 3 years
Fee: Rs. 28,300
Eligibility: Higher Secondary (10+2)
Address: Directorate of Distance Education, Annamalainagar-608002
Website: www.annamalaiuniversity.ac.in

This programme is the first step towards a successful future for those interested in becoming animators, graphic and web designers.

Visual communication is the conveyance of ideas and information in forms that can be read or looked upon and primarily associated with two-dimensional images, it includes: art, signs, photography, typography, drawing, graphic design, illustration, colour and electronic resources.

The programme in Visual Communication aims to impart practical training and develop working knowledge in computer for effectively communicating through medium such as Television, Graphics and Animation.

Subjects such as Computer Concepts and Office Automation Tools, Photography and Video Editing and Television Production are part of the curriculum. The boom in animation industry has made the programme an attractive destination.

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7. Certificate course in employability skills

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Institute: Institute of Management Technology (IMT) in collaboration with National Law University, Jodhpur
Duration:2 years
Eligibility: Graduate with 50 percent marks in aggregate.
Fee: Rs.100,000
Address: A-16, Site 3, UPSIDC Industrial Area, Meerut Road, Ghaziabad - 201003
Website: www.imtcdl.ac.in

The boom in the Indian economy has enhanced the need for skilled manpower. In order to supplement the technical skills acquired during graduation or other formal education, NIIT and IGNOU have announced Finishing School Programmes.


Students opting for IGNOU-NIIT programs will get placement support from NIIT. While NIIT will design and develop and market the programmes and carry out the education delivery, IGNOU will approve admission, design curriculum, consolidate results and award degrees. The programmes will be delivered at NIIT premises through qualified instructors.


The course provides knowledge about Workplace Mannerisms, Business Writing and Presentation Skills. It also guides on how to prepare a good resume and crack the GD(s) and Personal Interview.


This programme is also targeted at working professionals and job seekers. At the end of this programme, students would be in a position to apply for Executive Assistants, Office Managers and Personal Secretary, amongst others. It caters to skill development in a hitherto unattended sector which has good potential.


Students with a pleasing personality and excellent communication skills stand a good chance of getting real value out of the course.


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8. MBA in Shipping and Logistics

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University: Tamil Nadu Open University
Duration: 2 years
Eligibility: Graduate or Mariners with 6 years experience post 10+2
Fee: Rs. 60,000
Address: Tamil Nadu Open University
Directorate of Technical Education Campus
Guindy, Chennai 600 025
Website:www.tnou.ac.in

This sector-specific management programme aims to equip seafarers (people employed on board ships) seeking a career change to land-based employment in Shipping and Logistics companies.

It also targets people working in Shipping and Logistics companies desirous of career advancement and fresh graduates interested in pursuing careers with Shipping and Logistics companies.

The programme aims to equip the students with adequate skills and knowledge in General Management functional areas and in the Shipping and Logistics business sectors.

32 percent of courses in the first year and 52 percent of the courses in the second year are oriented to Shipping and Logistics sector that would help students gain an overall perspective of the sector.

The programme would provide the learners knowledge on the various modern Management theories and their applications in the Shipping and Logistics Industry.



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