Ask your parents or even your grandparents — what career options they had whilst growing up, and be prepared to step into a world full of doctors, engineers, chartered accountants, and the occasional lawyer. But (un)fortunately (that remains another debate), young India has embraced a whole new world of career options and professions, ranging right from fashion entrepreneurship to stem cell research. “I have seen a distinctive change in the trends that today’s students follow,” says Chaula Patel, a career counsellor. “They are not looking at ‘safe careers’ anymore, rather something they love to do.
This year, especially, students focused more on job satisfaction and a career that allows them time to give for themselves and their families. They are picky with subjects, and a lot more focused on achieving what they set out to accomplish.” Here is a run down of the ‘sweet sixteen’.
FINANCIAL ENGINEER Trust man to strike the perfect balance between engineering and finance. Best explained as the application of engineering fundas to the world of finance and economics, financial engineering is being increasingly employed in banking, securities, and international trade. The inter-disciplinary field aims at developing new strategies and options to control financial risk. • The Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta teaches Financial Engineering and Risk Management. The Indian Institute of Quantitative Finance also has a Post-Graduate programme in Financial Engineering.
ETHICAL HACKER Ever since the book and pen were forgotten, the world depends upon the Internet. Ethical hackers have the answer for just about everything — from recovering material, hacking attempts, virus attacks to thinking of ways to make sure that the anti-social elements don’t get through your cyber security in the first place. • CEH (Certified Ethical Hacking) courses are widely available and also online. FONT DESIGNER Ever wondered how new and cool fonts (Crayon Crumble, anyone?) or the new symbol of the Indian Rupee found it’s way to the e-world? That’s where Font Designers come in. With newer emoticons and styles of writing being introduced almost daily, font designing resembles a perfect balance between the artistic side of calligraphy and the world of computers. • Most font designers have a base degree in applied arts and typography. FOOD CRITIC Being a food critic is no easy deal. While basically being somebody with a clear understanding and taste for food, a food critic is not a simple connoisseur or foodie. This profession involves the ability to transform fancy titles, ingredients and menus into an explanation that even a layman can understand. • College of Arts in New Delhi and the Institute of Hotel Management in Lucknow offer courses in this field.
HARDWARE ENGINEER Hardware engineers are the people behind computer chips, circuits and boards, as well as those responsible for new milestones in the world of hardware computing and nano-technology. They are responsible to design, modify, research, test, troubleshoot and oversee installation of the latest gadgets and gizmos. Their software counterparts work with programming languages and coding. • You can obtain a degree, certification or diploma in Hardware and Networking Engineering at various institutes in Pune. (UNDERSEAS) WELDING TECHNOLOGIST Before you rubbish this as low-grade manual job, you might want to have a look at how much it pays! In today’s world, it isn’t just vital oil pipelines under the sea that need repairing. Underground transportation like the Eurostar and super expensive projects like the Large Hadron Collider need regular working on. • The Indian Institute of Welding offers several international qualifications.
MOBILE APPLICATION DEVELOPER With the advent of mobile phone technology, every phone is a smartphone. Hundreds, if not thousands, of applications are now available, and the market only keeps getting bigger. With most major companies following Apple’s ‘App-store’ trend, mobile application developers are needed for more diverse and widespread applications. • Training centres like geniusport.com offer programs in iPhone/Blackberry/Android application development.
DISTANCE EDUCATION CONSULTANT/TEACHER The world is a global village, and online teaching and learning is the order of the day. As a distance education consultant, you will be able to meet your e-students face-to-face, create podcasts, set online assignments and conduct workshops. Major universities also have distance learning courses, and require faculty for the same. • Most e-learning teachers have a degree in teaching and a basic knowledge of computers.
ECOTOURISM MANAGEMENT GUIDE Ecotourism is the latest trend, with co-operative efforts by governments and residents to safeguard a location for tourism. With India on the list of ‘places to visit before you die’ amongst foreigners all over the globe, perhaps it’s time to ‘Go Green’. • Most colleges, including Fergusson College, offer BSc courses in natural sciences and environment science.
TECHNICAL WRITER Just like technical drawing, technical writing involves the blend of a technical subject with a creative form. With today’s ever-evolving technologies and systems, somebody needs to answer the “what does this button do” question. As a technical writer, that would be you.
STEM CELL RESEARCHER Stem cell technology, though controversial, is often a ray of hope in difficult medical situations. With much more possible and on its way, the country needs more people researching the future and effects of genetic enhancements and replacement. • The National Centre for Cell science is located at Ganeshkhind, Pune.
STAND-UP COMEDIAN Overwhelmed by the science-related fields listed above? Welcome to the world of stand-up comedy. Known for their uncanny knack of making everything sound funny, stand-ups are welcome all over the country, and the world. The biggest advantage with stand-up comedy is that all you need is quick wit and a great command over the language!
FASHION ENTREPRENEUR Indian fashion has come of age, and now is the time to start your own project. Considering the almost never-ending market, the business community has forged a rather stable friendship with the fashion industry. • The National Institute of Design has courses in Apparel Design & Merchandising and Strategic Design Management
EUROPEAN STUDIES MAJOR Asian studies has been a staple major in colleges abroad. And, considering India’s position in the world today, it’s time to take a closer look at other countries, companies and markets. • Manipal University has a Manipal Centre for European Studies.
ACTUARIAL SCIENTIST Actuarial scientists focus on the link between subjects like probability, economics, computer programming and statistics. Similar to financial engineering, actuarial science is used to assess risks faced by industries. Historically, actuarial science used models to create tables and premiums. • IGNOU’s school of vocational science offers an MSc in Actuarial science
ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEER Having started off with Financial Engineering, let’s complete the cycle. Environmental Engineers are the order of the day, working to remediate toxic sites, develop new technologies for cleaner air and water, as well as waste management, disposal and radiation. The need of the hour, environmental engineers collaborate with both their chemical and civil counterparts. • IIT-Kanpur offers a programme in Environmental Engineering and Management (EEM)