Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Number of avenues for math wizards
Usha Albuquerque

IF the MBA tag sounds inviting, you can explore options in the field of business and management with any subject, even humanities. However if you're a whiz in maths, why not study economics or commerce with maths, which provides a better foundation for studies in management. Business management, with its high salaries and attractive perquisites, continues to be widely sought after, but there are also good prospects for specialized professionals in areas like banking, chartered accountancy, chartered financial analysts, cost accountancy, company secretary, insurance, market research and foreign trade. And if you are a number cruncher with the spirit of adventure, what about becoming a stockbroker? There has been a huge growth in the financial sector with new careers evolving all the time. These careers encompass virtually all fields of business activity whether in the manufacturing industry, retail marketing, banking, financial consultancy, or even in government. Careers in advertising such as market research and media planning also require a knowledge of economics and commerce.

Moreover, you don't only have to stick with commerce, even if this has been your choice of subjects in plus two. Commerce students can also opt for a wide variety of choices open to humanities students. You have to examine your talents and interests and pursue the line that best suits you.

There's more to science

Most science students do not think beyond careers in engineering or medicine, often because they have little information about these alternatives. But if you are a good science student and do not really want to do engineering, there are many alternatives. If you like physics you could become another Kalpana Chawla, working in astrophysics or space technology. Or you could look at meteorology and weather forecasting.

You could also look at environmental science, increasing in scope with growing concern about preserving the environment; oceanography, where the potential for marine resources is being tapped. Then there are specialised technologies in the fields of leather, footwear, plastic, gems and metals, and so on. And if you are creative, you can consider architecture or television camera-work or sound engineering.

Food for thought

If you like biology and do not want to/ cannot get into medicine, take a good hard look at biotechnology, one of the fastest growing fields with applications in every aspect of daily life, from medicines and agriculture to healthcare and pollution control. And if you've enjoyed your burger at McDonald's or pizza at Dominos, think about a future in food technology. Packaging different kinds of foods from chips and namkeens to ready-to-eat dal makhani and kebabs is certainly going to help your popularity ratings.

You could also get into the medical line. If not MBBS, you can do paramedical sciences and conduct x-rays and lab experiments; or pharmacy, mixing and formulating new medicines; or physiotherapy, helping patients get back the use of their limbs after an operation or an accident. What's more, you can also get into the medical line without any medical qualification-- by studying hospital management and handling the administration of a hospital, clinic or nursing home.

Vocational courses

Moreover, if you don't want to study further, or do a formal degree programme there are many vocational courses which teach you the practical and professional skills you need to get a job. Most of them do not require any particular subjects at the plus two level. These courses ranging from three months to three years in areas such as travel-ticketing, or tour guide services, TV production, sound recording & editing, multi-media and animation, interior design, jewellery or accessory design, food-craft and restauranting services and hundreds of other subjects can lead to worthwhile careers. All they need is dedicated interest and work experience.

Of all the people, you alone know best what skills you possess, the skills you want to use, and the requirements for them in a career for the future. Use this knowledge to select the subjects you think will enable you to use your special skills in a possible career for the future.

The writer has authored The Penguin India Career Guide and The Essential Career Guide.