Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Career Hotline

Taking stock
Pervin Malhotra

Q I am a commerce graduate. I would like to know if there are any short-term courses that I can pursue in the stock exchange/capital markets?

— Rohin Arora

A The Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) has a certification process — the AMFI Mutual Fund Test. This certification has been made mandatory by SEBI for anyone engaged in selling mutual funds. Upon clearing the test, you can apply for your AMFI registration number that certifies you as an AMFI Registered Mutual Fund Advisor (ARMFA). For details log on to:

The National Stock Exchange offers NSE Certification in Financial Markets (NCFM) to test and certify people in specialised areas like derivatives, debt markets, depository operations etc. The online test comprising 60-70 questions can be taken year-round at any of the accredited test centres in six cities.

The certification is valid for 3 years after which you have to take the test again to continue as a broker. Log on to for details.

Web-based e-learning courses for professionals, retail investors and students cost Rs 500 - Rs 2,500. Certification is granted after you clear the requisite online test.

The Ludhiana Stock Exchange & Panjab University’s Centre for Industry-Institute Partnership offers a Certification Programme in the Capital Market.

The Bombay Commodity Exchange, Navi Mumbai, offers a Certificate Course in Commodity Futures (3-month) for screen-based trading.

The Bombay Stock Exchange’s BSE Training Institute, Mumbai ( offers comprehensive training & certification programmes for capital market professionals. Including Certificate Programme in Capital Markets (3-month). Also offers online financial training across the country.

The Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai (Deemed University) ( Courses: Postgraduate Diploma in Investment Management (1-year including 2-month practical training). They also offer an MBA in Capital Markets.

Not a beastly choice

Q I have completed MSc Zoology. What are the job prospects in my field? Also, can you suggest the names of newspapers which I can scan for job advertisements?

— Manoj Verma

A You have a fairly wide range of options open to you: Besides teaching, you could take up the job of a Research Assistant in a university, government body, health authority or industry or that of an Analyst in food & beverage and pharmaceutical industries to maintain quality and consistency of the products.

You could even work as a Medical or Laboratory Technician in hospitals and scientific institutions involved in conducting research and training.

Another area you could consider is marketing of pharmaceutical and healthcare products to medical and veterinary practitioners, retail pharmacists, hospitals and clinics.

Wildlife and forest conservation is yet another area you could be looking at. There the work could involve conducting biological surveys and making recommendations on the management and safeguarding of rare and endangered plants, animals and their habitats. The Indian Forest Service also offers a rewarding career in the reserved forests and wildlife sanctuaries.

You could of course take a shot at the civil services exam if you are so inclined.

By pursuing specialised courses you could specialise in related areas like sericulture (rearing silk worms), aquaculture/pisciculture (breeding fish and other marine life), social forestry, conservation of wildlife, dairy and poultry farming, animal husbandry or the upcoming fields of biotechnology and bioinformatics.

After higher studies in zoology you could work as a scientist in research-centered institutions like the Zoological Survey of India, the Indian Council for Forestry Research & Education, or the Wildlife Institute, Dehra Dun.

You can scan the classified section of the leading dailies for recruitment. While sometimes fruitful, the newspaper section is a limited reference. In which case cold calling can be an effective way of gaining the attention of employers. Cold calling involves approaching prospective employers before they advertise. You should tell them who you are, what skills you have and the kind of work you’re looking for. It doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get work, but employers will be impressed with your initiative. If they do have a suitable position they will be interested to know more about you. If not they will probably keep your resume on file in case they need someone in the future.

Manage hotel property

Q I have been working in the hotel industry (maintenance) for the last six years. What is the scope in property management related to this field in India?

— Neel Kumar

A Property management provides hospitality professionals an option to branch out from the routine chores in a hotel to a related but more adventurous career.

What is property management? Well it’s a proactive, efficient and scientific method of optimising the life of a property through timely maintenance and upkeep, resulting in a safer and more harmonious environment.

Instead of concentrating money, manpower and time on property management-related activities, many hotels now opt for property management service providers/consultants who, in turn, recruit hospitality professionals and students who are well-trained in the various facets of cleanliness, hygiene and maintenance.

Property management services can be broadly classified into three sections:

Services management: It includes security systems installations and providing security staff, pest control, gardening, housekeeping services, electrical installation as well as maintenance, carpentry and plumbing services.

Facilities management: It involves air-conditioning, plant-maintenance, fire-fighting operations, water pump installations, health club, elevator maintenance and providing trained plant operators.

Minor repairs: Painting, plaster repairs, waterproofing, furniture maintenance and repairs.

Move into microbiology

Q I am a B.Sc (Zoology) student. I wish to specialise in microbiology at the postgraduate level. Can you please tell me about the job prospects in this field?

— Nazneen Khan

A Microbiology is the study of micro-organisms, including bacteria and viruses (as different from the cellular components of larger organisms) and fungi. It includes the study of ecological behaviour of micro-organisms, their anatomy and physiology, evolution and mutation.

One of the frontier fields in life sciences, microbiology has varied applications in research and industry. While some research-based jobs abound for postgraduates in this subject, those with a doctorate are obviously in greater demand.

In medicine, microbiologists work in hospitals and pathological laboratories.

The pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food and beverage, water processing and bottling industries, swimming pools and hotels also employ microbiologists.

In the pharmaceutical sector, microbiologists study microbes and organisms that cause diseases (in humans, animals as well as plants), evaluating antibiotics and developing vaccines, manufacturing drugs by fermentation, etc. Agricultural microbiologists work in the area of plant development, plant disease and tissue culture.

You could also work with manufacturers of medical disposable goods, cosmetics and antiseptics. Some openings can be found in the sales and marketing departments of manufacturing companies in these fields as well.

In municipal or public works departments, you will undertake routine testing of water supplied to industrial and domestic users. Other destinations include university departments, research councils and government-funded research institutes.

Similarly, openings for microbiologists exist in the R&D and scientific departments in industry, public sector labs like CDRL, hospitals and universities. You can also take up teaching jobs in schools and colleges. The civil services is another option.

M.Sc Microbiology is offered at over 50 universities in India.

Scope in serials

Q I wish to direct serials. My school counsellor says that I’ll be good at it. But my parents discourage me by saying that it’s not a profession for girls. What should I do? How do I pursue my ambition?

— Jignesh Jha

A Many women have excelled as directors of films, television serials and documentaries all over the world. Some of the leading luminaries in this genre being our very own Mira Nair, Aparna Sen, Sai Paranjape, Suhasini Mulay, Tanuja Chandra, etc. Also, the fact that every year a number of girls pass out of the FTII, Pune, and other television and film schools to enter this hitherto male-dominated domain should dispel their doubts.

It’s quite true that as a director, you must be prepared for outdoor shoots at odd hours and at odd places. The work may also involve working with a predominantly male crew, but that should not deter you since you will be dealing with professionals. If you have an independent, creative mind and physical stamina, you can convince your parents about your capabilities and make your first move by enrolling for a good course, preferably after your graduation.

You must remember that creativity and the ability to think in perspective are essential attributes required of a director. Equally important is an in-depth knowledge of the medium honed to perfection, both in terms of handling cast, crew and equipment as well as in the deft handling of the script, music and setting. The responsibilities include managing and co-ordinating the unit and shooting schedules. It’s also important to learn the craft of filmmaking. The famous Soviet Film Director, Sergei Eisenstein, believed that only a good editor could eventually become a good director.

Since filmmaking is a complex business that involves huge amounts of money, logistics and technical expertise, it is best learnt at a good film school.

Teaching track

Q I am based in Haryana and interested in becoming a teacher. I have completed matriculation and would like to know whether I am qualified to join as a teacher in a government school if I do a two-year Diploma in Elementary Teacher Education? What are the prospects in my state?

— Rashmi Chaudhry

A Yes, according to the current government stipulations, the eligibility criterion for appointing teachers in the category of ETE (Elementary Teacher Education) or JBT (Junior Basic Training) is matriculation with 50 per cent marks along with a Diploma in Elementary Education. However, your government is in the process of raising the basic qualification bar to a bachelor’s degree.

The Government of Haryana feels that teachers with a bachelor’s degree would be more suitably equipped to teach the mandatory courses in English from Class 1 and Computer Education from Class VI onwards.

Incidentally, there are 10,000 vacancies for the post of teacher in your state. The government says that it is committed to filling these on a priority basis.

Get a dose of pharma

Q I hold a postgraduate degree in organic chemistry and am working as a Group `A’ officer in the government. I am interested in doing a degree/diploma in pharmacy/pharmaceutical chemistry through correspondence. Is this possible?

— Y.P. Nigam

A The Distance Learning Programme Division of the Birla Institute of Technology & Science , Pilani-333031, is the only institution offering a correspondence course in pharmacy. The course offered is Master of Science (MS) in Pharmaceutical Operations & Mgt and is open only for sponsored employees of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Hyderabad, with integrated first degree of BITs in pharmacy or equivalent.

For details, log onto:

Cosmetic approach

Q I am in class XII. I am really interested in becoming a TV or film make-up artist. What does the work entail and how should I go about it? Will joining any normal beautician course help?

— Manisha Kapoor

A Not all actors or models are born with flawless skin or perfectly chiselled looks, but professional makeup can transform the girl-next-door into the proverbial swan.

Besides a steady hand, speed and the stamina to stay on your feet for long hours, imagination and appreciation of the human form are the prerequisites of a successful makeup artiste.

TV and film make-up is quite different from fashion or party make-up. And being somewhat heavier, film makeup is different from TV make-up. Depending on whether it’s a period film or horror flick, you may have to use wigs, false teeth, highlights and shadow make-up for each character — maintaining the continuity shoot after shoot. If it’s a thriller, materials like foam latex and gelatine are used to change the shape of the face or create life-like scars and wounds.

Professional make-up artistes research and minutely plan the make-up required for each production. The medium — video, still or film — also determines the kind of make up to be done. Make-up for the ramp is different from that for TV and that for TV is quite different from that for film.

Beauticians who aspire to become TV or film make-up artistes should take up a course in cosmetology that focuses on how the camera perceives the face under different kinds of lighting.

A good course in media make-up from a reputed beauty school such NIFT (, NIFD (, Pearl Academy of Fashion Pivot Point India or VLCC Institute, would be a good starting point. Or else, you could train on-the-job under a professional media makeup artiste.

— The writer is a noted career consultant

Please send in your query, preferably on a postcard, along with your full name, complete address and academic qualifications to: Editor, Jobs and Careers, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160030, or at