Career Guide – Counsel queries

Confusion after plus two in science

I am in FYJC science, and I am in an utter state of confusion, as to which field to choose after my class 12 exams. On one hand, I like the field of architecture, the creativity and options involved. On the other, I am also interested in microbiology as a field, since I know I will be good at it, and it would be easy to be a pathologist for a steady and routine career for a girl. How should I decide? What would your advise be? – Hetal Gala

Dear Hetal,

It is interesting to note that you have come up with such interesting and diverse choices for yourself. I feel that your career should depend on potential, aptitude and interest a little more than you’re education. I assume that you have already researched the two fields and the entry point requirements for both. While the admission to microbiology will depend on your score in the class 12 exams, for architecture, you will have to take additional entrance tests and perhaps go for group discussions and personal interviews as well.

While architecture deals with design and construction of structures like buildings, bridges, dams, homes, parks and so on, there are certain professionals who focus entirely on interiors of homes as well. Yes, they have deadlines and budgets to meet, so it is a little bit of a pressured job even in the most relaxed atmospheres. For architecture, you need to have studied math and English at the class 12 level and you also need to take the relevant entrance exams.

Microbiology, on the other hand, is the study of living organisms at cellular level, and this field will take you into a lot of research and analysis related to medical laboratories. You can look forward to gathering related information including admission procedure and so on.

As a counsellor, I would advise you to make the decision on your own, weighing the pros and cons, especially when you mention that you want a stable and uneventful career option. Then perhaps microbiology would be a better choice as even the entry into the study programme is easier than architecture. Since you are confused about a lot of things, I suggest try and meet with one or two professionals working in the field so that you understand the requirements and the scope of each field. You will be able to understand the various job profiles, the demands of various industries and so on. You can opt either of the above mentioned courses based on your interest, potential, academic performance, financial stability and so on.

You can also take up a psychometric assessment (aptitude test, intelligence, personality, interest test) to check your aptitude.

Going international with French

I have finished my BCom and I am working as a junior accountant for the past eight months, but I am now determined to move out, study French and look at career options after learning the language. What are the factors I should keep in mind? Is it a huge risk to give up a desk job for something as uncertain as a foreign language? -Nilima Patel

Dear Nilima,

I feel that you are looking for something more interesting to do with your time and career, and that you should go for it. As far as the risk is concerned, it is a very minute risk, since there will be lots of opportunities to work after you learn the language. Plus, the work will be far more interesting than your current desk job.

You will have opportunities at growth, and each day will bring you something new. The thought of working with a new language itself is exciting! You need to keep a few things in mind – especially the time you will take to pick up enough of the language to start working, and the investment it requires. I hope you are aware of that, and are willing to spend the time and money and put in the effort.

I would suggest that you pursue the language course at a well known and established institute like Alliance Francaise in Mumbai. They have great instructors, and are well networked for work options as well, even though the fee would seem a little high initially. When you join the course, you will meet people from different walks of life and be able to exchange stories and experiences with them which will add on to your personality.

The most important decision that you might have to make is that whether or not you really need to quit your current job to pursue this course. Check the timings and the commitment the course demands and only then make a decision. If you can earn a little extra while pursuing the course why not! In any case, if you complete a year at the organisation where you work in accounting, it will look better on your resume.

When you pick up the French language enough to look for work, you can look for opportunities in language translation, content development, teaching French and so on. Some of this work can be taken on a freelance basis and worked upon over the weekend. This will demand efficient time management.

Marketing choices

I am in SYBMS, and I am thinking of taking up the marketing specialisation in TY. I am interested in marketing and would like to work in a well known company after I graduate, especially in the IT sector. Could you kindly help me how to proceed after BMS? Do I have to acquire any specialised IT qualification? – Ajay Mohite

Dear Ajay,

The first option would be that you try to look for a suitable opportunity after your graduation in BMS, since many colleges offer assistance in campus placements and IT companies do come to campuses for recruitment of freshers. Apart from that, if you want to improve your further qualifications, you can opt for an MBA with a specialisation in marketing. You can do this right after your BMS, or even after a year or two of working. In recent times, most experts would advise to get a year or two of experience within the industry and then look for the suitable higher degree institute that you want. After a few years of experience, you will know much better what you want, where you want to go in future in terms of your career and how you need to proceed for that. Also, when your pursue an MBA after two years experience, chances are that the qualifications will catapult you in designation to a mid-management level profile.

Thirdly, you do not need any specialised IT qualifications to work in the IT sector as a marketing professional. You will learn about the products you work with on the job, and other than that, the focus will be on your marketing and management skills.

Coaching classes or not?

I am in FYJC commerce, and I have not opted to take up any coaching classes for HSC. When I see everyone around me running for private coaching classes or tutoring, I get worried that I might lose out on scoring marks. I am a strong student and have always scored well. Am I making a mistake? I want to opt for BCom after my HSC and pursue CA alongside later. – Reema Bhatkal

Dear Reema,

If you are comfortable with the way you are progressing in this year with your college and the teaching methods there, I think you should be confident that you will do well. Do not worry about what others are doing. Sadly, many students are getting into the ‘herd mentality’ and doing things only because others are doing it. A few students may be pressurised by the parents to take up coaching. There are very few courageous students like you who fight these norms and work hard on their own terms. Since you are a good student, I am sure you already know your basics well, and I feel that you will do well in future as well. You will be able to get a seat to BCom in your college itself without any hassles after your class 12 exam results.

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