An idea that’s clicked

E-learning is an effective training tool for India Inc and probably the only way to ensure provision of a high-quality, standardised learning experience to a large number of employees across geographies. It has the potential to create a stratospheric paradigm shift in any organisation or individual’s training needs, writes Navyug Mohnot

Consider some news items in the recent past:

  • The top 5 IT companies in India look at increasing the headcount by 50,000 in the next quarter
  • Infosys, TCS spend a total of 4 per cent of their revenue on training.
  • Infosys spent $5000 to train each fresher in FY-07

It is certainly a buyer’s market today. There is an acute shortage of skilled manpower in the country, especially of the knowledge worker. The high value and Intellectual property (IP)-centric industries like information technology require not only people in large numbers at the entry level, but also need their workforce to keep pace with the developments in the sector.

Training challenges

Another peculiarity of the IT industry is that the obsolescence which used to set in years earlier has now started to set in within months. There are new softwares, new platforms being created every day and the immediate requirements are such that by the time one looks at completing a formal training in one subject, there are already two more new things to learn. So, learning is a constant for an IT practitioner.

The basic HR principles for an IT company are about attraction, retention and regular training of suitable candidates and employees. In fact, it is now not as much as attraction and retention but the training that has started to gain centrestage. It is the constant training and retraining in the ever-evolving technology sphere that makes a successful organisation.

An easy enough thought, but how does one undertake the training of a workforce that is huge (the top 4 IT companies alone employ more than 2.5 lakh people)? Infosys had more than 2000 employees joining on the same day last year.

The sheer numbers that are required to keep pace with the growth in the IT sector make it unviable or impossible to employ people with the exact skill-set, so the freshers or the new recruits have to be trained in the projects that are being undertaken. Besides this, there is a constant need to skill, re-skill and up-skill. The focus today is on constant learning to keep pace with the evolving sector as well as the business objectives.

E-learning a solution

It is important that the workforce be properly trained and this can easily be undertaken by e-learning. E-learning can make learning effective and can use a variety of delivery media—CDs, Net and the intranet. This is probably the only way to ensure provision of high quality standardised learning experience to large numbers of employees across geographies.

“The secret of sound education is to get each pupil to learn for himself, instead of instructing him by driving knowledge into him on a stereotyped system,” says the Guide to Scouting. And this is what e-learning does. E-learning today has advanced to such an extent that it is, in fact, becoming the preferred methodology of transferring information/ knowledge/ learning. E-learning uses multimedia content and is very high on instructional design hosted on a good learning management system that delivers it over an electronic network.

Advantage online classes

In today’s world, where costs are sky-rocketing, the bench time has to be an absolute minimum and in such a scenario, e-learning solutions can really help, ensuring high productivity. Today, when a new person enters an organisation, there is a gestation period of around six months before he is equipped to work on a project. E-learning can help drastically reduce the learning curve and allow the individual to become a productive asset in the shortest span of time.

E-learning has an added advantage of being able to offer training that is made to order and this ensures quick and on-time delivery of training to the learners, ensures standardisation across locations, lowers the training overheads and is available anytime, anywhere.

As the corporate that avails of the e-learning content pays for only the training content, the cost per student decreases. As more and more individuals undergo the module, the cost remains a constant, unlike in a classroom where there is an incremental increase in infrastructure costs, which multiplies with larger numbers participating in training.

Besides the huge cost benefits, the benefits of e-learning are that it enables the employees to learn at their own pace, whether at work or at home and allows them to use it as a tool to enhance their competency rather than removing them from the workplace. Again, this is probably the only way that the corporates can monitor the skill upgradation of their employees in real time and track their progress.

India Inc to individuals

But it does not mean that e-learning is only a solution for the corporates and not for individuals. E-learning is an excellent way for skill enhancement and upgradation of skill-sets to take on progressively more responsible positions for individuals as well. A beginner or a working professional can use e-learning to learn in his own time, in his own space, at his own convenience and at his own pace. Monitoring of performance in real time and regular support for problem areas can help an individual to train and better their skill-sets.

Log on to right course

It is imperative that while choosing an e-learning programme, several things be kept in mind:

  • The expertise of the e-learning module creators: are they specialists in the business and do they have the necessary depth of content?
  • What is their reputation in the market?
  • Is there a clearly mapped growth plan associated with the courses that one is undertaking?
  • Will one benefit from this training?

Once the above are answered satisfactorily, the realisation will dawn that e-learning is not the NEXT big thing but the NOW big thing that has the potential to create a stratospheric paradigm shift in any organisation or individual’s training needs.

The writer is CEO, QAI India Ltd



Smart Skills
Data quest
Usha Albuquerque

We collect data for everything. Sachin’s batting averages, literacy levels, stock market fluctuations…. you name it, and there are statistics to back any information. The world is becoming more and more quantitative and the data focused. So, if you are one of those who loves to juggle with figures — what about a career in statistics?

Statistics essentially involves putting mathematics to scientific use in the collection, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of masses of numerical data. Statisticians use this knowledge to design, collect, and interpret data experiments surrounding many different fields from economics, medicine, psychology, marketing, public health, biology, to sports and others.

Statisticians use quantitative abilities to interpret numerical data, statistical knowledge, and communication skills to work on many challenging problems. Many professions depend on numerical measurements to make decisions in the face of uncertainty.

Study in statistics

Some of the institutions offering courses in statistics are:

  • Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta
  • Indian Statistical Institute (Delhi Centre)
  • Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore Centre
  • Aligarh Muslim University, Department of Statistics and Operations Research
  • Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
  • Department of Statistics, Panjab University
  • Punjabi University, Patiala
  • Hindu College, Delhi
  • Ram Lal Anand College, New Delhi
  • Presidency College, Kolkata
  • St Xavier's College, Mumbai
  • University of Calcutta, Calcutta

Different areas of statistics are crime statistics, census statistics, ecological statistics, medical statistics, statistics on job-seekers, on education, film statistics, cricket statistics, oil statistics, market statistics, accident statistics, labour statistics, population statistics, election statistics, district-city-state statistics, tourism statistics etc. All these areas require the analytical brain and comprehending ability of a statistician and explain to the common public what the numbers mean and how it can be beneficial to the common man.

Work profile

Statisticians make use of various methods like questionnaires, surveys and diagnostic tests to study real life problems in a broad range of disciplines like biology, economics, engineering, medicine, physics, sociology and psychology. They collect data from reliable sources, evaluate it using scientific methods, make use of statistical tools and present their findings in the form of graphs, charts, tables etc. On the basis of their findings, they suggest potential applications of the results of their survey and help to find solutions to the problem at hand. Some of the areas where mathematical and statistical knowledge is widely applied are in social, economic, medical, political, and ecological problems. These include:

Analysing consumer demand for products and services (at a consumer marketing firm, corporation, or consulting firm) Statisticians are involved in the development of products and quality factors. They often work for automobile, pharmaceutical, or computer software companies in trial testing and product evaluation. Apart from development, statisticians are also involved with the manufacturing, asset, liability, and risk management, and marketing departments of firms. Statisticians also work in the financial services sector, managing assets and liabilities, determining the risks and returns of certain investments. Many have been very busy over the past few weeks, furiously calculating risk and liabilities with the volatile fluctuations of the stock markets.

Medical statisticians help doctors and other medical professionals with their work. The job involves monitoring and surveillance of diseases and health pattern of the sample under study. It involves establishing the cause of disease or the factors associated with disease and death and thereby its prevention. It also involves designing and analyzing studies to determine if new drugs and medical devices are safe and effective for pharmaceutical companies, medical research centers, or the Food and Drug departments.

In the field of agriculture and agri-business, statisticians analyse data from agricultural experiments to increase productivity and yield. Many environmental, scientific, and agricultural agencies hire statisticians for similar type of work in their respective fields. Evaluating the environmental impact of air, water, and soil pollutants (at a research laboratory, commercial environmental clean-up firm, or for the Environmental Protection Agencies) Even national defense organizations hire statisticians to assess weapons and strategy effectiveness

In the social sector, estimating the unemployment rate, literacy levels, malnutrition numbers, dowry deaths and many other sociological issues are other areas of work. Most government organizations and agencies hire statisticians to evaluate population, demographic, and economic measurements. Statisticians use sampling techniques to determine sizes of relative populations and demographics. This process is achieved by surveying portions of large groups. They determine the size of group samples and the methods for carrying these samples out. This includes stylizing the instructions and questions to be used in surveys. Finally, statisticians summarize, analyze, and interpret the resultant data. Surveys may be conducted on a range of issues like most popular political candidate during elections, or issues related to the general public etc.

In the research field, statisticians help scientists and future scientists collect and analyze data to create information and develop new statistical methodology particularly at a university of research organization in disciplines such as statistics, mathematics, biostatistics, business, ecology, or psychology.

Sports statisticians are also much in demand, as they collect and analyse sports data like cricket scores, hockey scores, tennis scores etc along with other historical information that commentators refer to when reporting games. Such statisticians work for sports teams, associations, private sports statistic bureaus, sports channels, media etc.


Most statistical jobs require at least a master’s degree in mathematics or statistics but the minimum educational qualification required in this field is a bachelor's degree with a major in statistics or mathematics. More advanced academic research in statistics require at least a Master’s degree and Ph.D in the same field. A bachelor's degree with a major in related field such as economics or natural science and a minor in statistics is preferred for some jobs.

In fact, combining statistical skills with other subjects such as economics, operational research, computer science, business administration can give one a competitive advantage. Entry-level jobs in areas of research, such as industrial, require many experienced years of work and study.

For a B.Sc in Statistics you require 10+2 or equivalent examination with a minimum of 50 per cent marks in the aggregate in the subjects physics, maths plus any one of the following: chemistry, statistics, computer science. You need mathematics to understand the language and theory of statistics. Scientific knowledge will help you understand the subject matter and technical background of the problems you work on and will make you an effective problem solver. You will use the computer not only for calculations, but also to create visual displays of data

For admission to M.Sc courses students you should have passed B.Sc./BA, with mathematics/ statistics as one of the subjects, or B.Sc in Computer Science with minimum 50 per cent marks. Some Universities and Institutes conduct specific entrance tests to gauge the aptitude of the aspirants.

Besides high mathematical aptitude and a good reasoning ability, Statisticians need to have a curious and disciplined mind. Computer skills are important while command of written and spoken English will help you communicate the results of your analysis effectively.

Countless jobs

One advantage of working in statistics is that you can combine your interest with almost any other field in science, technology, or business, including agriculture, economics, education, engineering, insurance, marketing, medicine, public health law and several others. Moreover, as the requirement for data in all these fields increase, job opportunities in statistics are projected to remain favorable in the future.

The private sector needs statisticians in management, product quality, medicine, pharmaceutical research, medical device research, engineering, transportation, insurance, computer and data processing services, risk assessment, and marketing.

Colleges and universities need statisticians for teaching, statistical research, and consulting.

Government agencies employ statisticians to design, collect, analyze, and interpret data for planning and development services in agriculture, labor, education, and the census, among others. The apex body of the official statistical system in India is the Department of Statistics in the Ministry of Planning and Programme Implementation, which co-ordinates the work of statistical organisations such as the Central Statistical Organisation, the National Sample Survey Organisation etc, and the Indian Statistical Institutes — the most prestigious statistical studies institutes in the country.

For a career in government with the ISI you need to pass the all-India level competitive examination conducted by UPSC. A Master’s degree with Statistics or Mathematical Statistics or Applied Statistics from a recognised university is essential for such an assignment.

Other government organisations employing statisticians include Planning Commission, the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), Institute Of Applied Manpower Research (IAMR), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), statistical and economic bureaus, institutions associated with soci-economic research, banks and public-sector undertakings.

Moreover, with a degree in statistics you can also appear for the Indian Statistical Services, Indian Economic Services as well as Civil Services exams.

So, if you are good in maths, love collecting data and can easily figure out why our growth rate is not as fast as it should be, or how many mobile will be in use in 20 years…. then statistically speaking, you should have a successful career!

The writer is a noted career expert




Legal outsourcing to India is growing, says the New York Law Journal in its latest issue

Having questioned the quality quotient of legal jobs outsourced from India for long, the American law society is now accepting it as a "reality" with even Fortune 500 firms opening up to the idea.

The New York Law Journal, one of the highly reputed and most read publications among American lawyers, said in an article in its latest issue that "outsourcing legal work to India is no longer a novelty. It's a reality."

While noting that Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) to India was growing and resistance level in the country was gradually going down, the journal said that a significant cost-advantage was working strongly in favour of the trend and a "growing number of firms are angling for a piece of the action."

According to the report, the positive feedback given by the companies having outsourced their work in the past is leading to many other firms getting receptive to the idea, which includes some of the 10 largest law companies in the Fortune 500 list.

"LPO salaries for Indian lawyers are generally well below 10,000 USD a year. By comparison, a US contract lawyer usually earns around 30 USD an hour while associate base salaries at major firms in New York start at 160,000 USD a year," said the New York Law Journal (NYLJ) in its January edition.

The report noted that Pangea3, one of the largest Indian LPO firms, has garnered investment worth about 12 million dollars within three years of its incorporation.

It includes 4.4 million USD by GlenRock Capital, the fund headed by former top private equity lawyer Lawrence G. Graev and 7 million USD by venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, which also helped Yahoo, PayPal and YouTube.

Last year, international technology research firm Forrester had projected that around 4 billion USD legal work may head to India by 2015 and there could be a demand for as many as 79,000 LPO professionals.

The article further noted that some LPO service providers from India have also started their own facilities in the US, where they are providing on-shore services to the clients.

Quislex, an LPO firm with a team of 130 lawyers in Hyderabad, last year entered into a joint venture with local contract attorney agency Strategic Legal Solutions, which is providing the US legal industry both offshore and onshore outsourcing options together.

The NYLJ article quoted Quislex CEO Ram Vasudevan as saying that the US contract lawyers might be better suited for some jobs. "There can be parallel teams working in the US and India. There are no hard-and-fast rules." Vasudevan said.

NYLJ noted that the Indian LPOs also have to spend considerably on infrastructure such as office and computers.

"Aside from office space and computers, the leading companies also have US-trained lawyers working in both India and the US to supervise the work of the Indian staff. They also maintain client development teams to market services to the US companies," the journal said.

In order to maintain their cost-effective edge amid growing competition, the LPOs are now turning away from metro cities such as Mumbai, where real estate costs could be as high as in the US cities and are rather shifting towards small cities like Pune.

The report quoted another major LPO NewGalexy's Managing Director Robert Glennie as saying that operating in smaller cities was the only way to meet the US and European clients' expectation on costs and service. "You can't do that in a major Indian city anymore," he said. — PTI



More UK jobs move to India

Over 600 British jobs may go to Mumbai and Bangalore as two major British companies, Capita and Experian, have decided to cut their employee strength and move work to the two Indian cities.

Nearly 400 Capita workers at Wythall in Birmingham have been told that the site will be closed by the end of the year and their jobs moved to India and other parts of the UK.

Credit checking giant Experian is in the process of axing hundreds of jobs in Britain to cut costs after a dramatic slowdown due to the liquidity crunch.

The company, which employs 15,000 people, is scaling back its IT development workforce in Britain and the US and plans to outsource many of the jobs to India, Chile and Bulgaria.

Chief executive Don Robert said cuts among the 4,000 British staff would number 'less than 1,000'.

Staff at Experian's office in Nottingham were informed last week that 200 jobs at the office would definitely be scrapped.

All of the 200 job cuts will be made from the IT department. The IT section affected is involved in the area of software development. This work is being transferred to Perot Systems in Bangalore.

Capita's decision to cut jobs has angered the employees Union. The union today demanded "meaningful consultation" with Capita following confirmation of the closure of Wythall site.

Grahams Goddard, deputy general secretary of the union 'Unite' said "Unite members in the Wythall capita site face anxiety as their future rests in the balance.

"Unite is demanding that Capita meet with the union in order to have meaningful consultation about the future of staff in Wythall," Goddard said..

The union said it was seeking redeployment opportunities for staff, as well as an investment in the retraining of employees affected by the decision.

"Unite now has major concerns about the future of the Capita operation in Glasgow, which will also be badly hit as the company press ahead with plans to axe many hundreds of jobs as it transfer the bulk of its customer services to Mumbai," Goddard said.

"Our initial fears of about 1,200 job cuts in the UK following the deal between Capita and Resolution are now being materialised," he said.

A Capita spokeswoman said, "All staff will be encouraged to apply for other roles within the Capita Group and we are currently working with Unite to mitigate potential redundancies." The decision to close the site follows the outsourcing of 2,000 UK jobs by Resolution plc to Capita in August, 2008. — PTI



How employers can make a good impression
Molly Selvin

Memo to bosses: Although most job-hunting advice is, naturally enough, aimed at job seekers, remembering a few simple courtesies will help employers land top candidates.

Workplace experts say that too many managers have forgotten that today's applicant could be tomorrow's customer, colleague or superior.

It doesn't take much to make candidates feel good about your company, even if you don't hire them.

  • Inform every applicant that you received his or her resume. A simple e-mail or form letter is better than letting people wonder whether their applications fell into an electronic black hole.
  • Make a good first impression — it's just as important for employers as for applicants. For example, don't make job-seekers sign off on the company no-tattoo policy or authorise a criminal background check before they've even met their would-be boss.
  • Ask, then listen. A lot of employers do way too much talking when they interview candidates, says Gary Kaplan, founder of an executive search company. Instead of asking questions, they rattle on and on about themselves and their company. Then they make a judgment call based on the few tidbits the applicant managed to chime in. It's better to ask open-ended questions about a candidate's past employers and accomplishments. Then let them talk.
  • Sell your company. Despite the current economic uncertainties, the job market is very tight in several areas including finance, human resources and fundraising. Top applicants have many opportunities, and companies that win the war for talent make potential employees feel like stars not paper clips.
  • Finally, have the courtesy to notify the folks you reject. "It's tragic and very foolish" how often employers leave applicants hanging, Kaplan says. And you never know: Today's unsuccessful job candidate could be a potential company client tomorrow.

— LA Times-Washington Post



That's a score!
FT ranks ISB 20th among global B-schools

Hyderabad-based Indian School of Business has been ranked among the top 20 global business institutes by Financial Times, London.

ISB is the first business school from India to have found a place in the FT rankings. None from the premier Indian B-schools from the Indian Institute of Management stable has ever made it to the list, which has ranked ISB as 20th best globally.

"While the average student experience at ISB is 5 years, the IIMs have students with a lesser experience, as such, the two are non-comparable," ISB dean M. Rammohan Rao said in a statement recently.

"We wish to see many more Indian B-schools follow the trend and reach where we are today, or even ahead of us," he added.

ISB has affiliations with three of the world's renowned business schools - Kellogg School of Management, The Wharton School and London Business School, and 5 per cent of its total student intake consists of international students.

Experts agreed that management education in India has come a long way since where it was a decade back and the future seems promising.

"We are proud to have played a part in positioning India on the global map of business education. The FT ranking raises the bar even higher for ISB, and we are equipped to meet future expectations," ISB deputy dean Ajit Rangnekar said.

The FT ranking was calculated on the basis of 20 criteria covering specifics like career progress of graduates, diversity of MBA experience, international mobility of alumni, ideas generation and research.

In the top 20 rankings, US based B-schools had the maximum presence at nine, followed by UK with three. China, Spain and France each were represented with two B-schools, followed by India and Switzerland with one each.

The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton topped the list, while London Business School and Columbia Business School took the second and third spot, respectively.

Other B-schools in the top 20 list included Stanford University GSB (4), Harvard Business School (5), Insead (6), MIT Sloan (7), IE Business School (8), University of Chicago GSB (9), University of Cambridge: Judge (10), Ceibs (11), Iese Business School (11), New York University: Stern (13), IMD (14), Darmouth College: Tuck (15), Yale School of Management (16), Hong Konk UST Business School (17), HEC Paris (18) and University of Oxford: Said (19). — PTI



Bits & bytes
‘Women's strength in boardroom poor’

Representation of women in the elite corporate affairs remains dismally low compared to their male counterparts despite talks of women empowerment.

According to the 'Corporate Governance Research Report on Indian Companies', ninty percent of the 30-sensex companies in the country are being governed by male directors.

Stating that the diversity on the board, per say, was an important factor in governance, the report said that the same was true for gender diversity.

''If we look at the score card of corporate India, the number of female directors in Indian companies fall short, compared to the male directors. In fact, it is dismally low,'' the report said.

Suggesting the corporate world to make conscious efforts to bring more women on their board, the report says that a higher representation of women in the corporate governance would help in reaping obvious diversity on the board. — UNI

Aviation academy ties-up with Karnataka varsity

Avalon Aviation Academy, the aviation training wing of Aptech Limited, a global learning solutions company, has tied-up with Karnataka State Open University to offer a Diploma in Airport Management and Customer Care.

The course is a part-time one-year diploma that comes with a dual certification. The student gets a Karnataka State Open University Certification and also an Avalon Aviation Academy Certification on the completion of the programme.

The course focuses on enhancing human asset quality and productivity, and inculcates business and customer orientation specifically attuned to the requirements of the aviation industry.

Dr Janardhan Jha, Coordinator, Karnataka State Open University, says, “The University visualizes this course as a healthy tangent from the traditional format of learning at universities in India.

Aviation is undoubtedly an industry of the present and future.” — TNS



Career Hotline
Pervin Malhotra

Biomedicine in Britain

Q I am very keen to study in the UK but have heard that there is some special test for studying biomedical science there. Is this true?

— Kriti Sharma

A The Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) is a subject-specific test developed by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES) to select applicants for medical, veterinary and biomedical science courses. But it's not required for admission to all colleges.

The BMAT is to be taken only by students who wish to apply to the Imperial College London (Medicine, Biomedical Sc), University of Oxford Medical School (Medicine, Physiological Sciences), Royal Veterinary College (Veterinary Medicine, Combined Degree Programme), University of Cambridge (Medicine (BMAT not mandatory), Graduate Course in Medicine, Veterinary Medicine).

The BMAT measures two specific thinking skills, Problem Solving, and Critical Thinking. The 2-hour pen and paper test consists of 3 sections:

Section 1: Aptitude and Skills (60 min. - 35 multiple choice questions)

Section 2: Scientific Knowledge & Applications (30 min. - 27 multiple choice questions)

Section 3: Writing Task (30 min. - 1 essay question from a choice of 3)

For details on how to register, prepare, practice for the test log onto:

The website also carries an introductory specimen paper with an answer key, which is very useful.

Ideally, you should take the BMAT in November (5) this year, for which the application deadline is September 30.

Ad, ad world

Q I am a final year student of B.A. English and want to make a career in advertising. What is the best way to get started?

— Livinder Singh

A Many people enter the advertising industry directly after college armed with a Bachelor’s degree. Courses in advertising, marketing and writing are helpful, but internships may be essential to enter the field. Work experience is what potential employers always look for.

Many firms have structured summer internship programmes, which are advertised on their websites. You can also consider volunteering for a non-profit group or a community organization’s public relations or marketing committee.

In an increasingly global world one can also look for an internship or volunteer assignment with an organization that has scope abroad, like large multinational advertising agencies, chambers of commerce, NGOs or international firm’s communication department. Flexibility, a commitment to hard work and willingness to work long hours are important for success in this field.

Before you decide if this industry is right for you consider the long hours involved.

Nutritionist value

Q I want to be a nutritionist. Can you please tell me about the career prospects in this field?

— Gauri Chawla

A The fast developing food processing industry spurred by the entry of multinationals, offers well-paying job opportunities. Nutritionists continuously research and experiment with ways to improve the nutritive value, flavour and general acceptability of the food while keeping the calorie and fat content to a minimum. Food processing units, food research labs, wholesalers of edibles, hospitals, large industrial and educational canteens, besides hotels, health clubs and fitness centres employ people specialising in Food Technology, Nutrition & Food Services Management. Sports nutrition is yet another emerging field of specialisation. Moreover, should you wish to strike out on your own you could start your own consulting practice, or catering service, supplying balanced and nutritious low-calorie meals that can be eaten at the desk, for instance.

Teaching is yet another option. With a B.Ed under your belt, you could teach Nutrition & Dietetics at schools that offer Home Science as a subject. However, to teach in a college or at the high-school level, you require a Master’s in Home Science.

Sky's the limit

Q Please tell me something about aerospace engineering. Where can one do aerospace engineering in India after plus two?

— Rajat Kumar

A One of the most advanced branches in engineering, aerospace engineering encompasses the fields of aeronautical and aerospace (spacecraft) engineering. You would study topics such as fluid mechanics, heat transfer, applied aerodynamics, analytical mechanics, flight vehicle design, trajectory dynamics, and aerospace propulsion systems.

Aerospace engineers, popularly called “rocket scientists” develop hi-tech aeroplanes that weigh over a half a million pounds, to spacecraft that travel at the speed of 17,000 miles an hour.

They design, develop and test aircraft, spacecraft, and missiles and supervise their manufacture.

Aerospace engineers who work with aircraft are considered aeronautical engineers, and those working specifically with spacecraft are called aerospace engineers.

Besides the IITs - Kanpur, Mumbai Madras and Kharagpur which offer BTech as well as Integrated MTech in Aerospace Engg (5-years) at the undergraduate level, Amity University, Amity School of Engineering, Noida ( and SRM University, Chennai ( also offer Aerospace Engg

Alternatively, you could do a BTech (Aeronautical Engg) which is offered at several engineering colleges.

Pill prospects

Q If I don’t get admission to a medical college, what sort of scope does pharmacy offer?

— Minal Kaushik

A Jobs in the pharmaceutical industry range from those in sales and marketing to high-end research.

Pharmacy graduates are appointed by the government as Drug Inspectors and Drug Analysts. Hospitals also hire pharmacist consultants to advise physicians on the precise dosage schedules and possible side effects of the various drugs. Teaching is another option after a Master's degree. India’s pharmaceutical industry is the fourth largest after US, Japan and Europe, and thirteenth largest in terms of value. Apart from the drug manufacturing industry, pharmacists are also employed in the chemical industry and food and drug control organisations. R & D labs of pharma majors are manned (and womanned) by postgrads and PhDs in pharma.

A large number of pharma grads get into pharmaceutical sales and marketing.

Of course if you are enterprising, you can open your own chemist shop or even go into manufacture of drugs or cosmetics. The cosmetic industry is growing at an even faster rate as compared to pharma.

Field work

Q Can you please tell me if it is possible to do M.Sc (Agriculture) through correspondence?

— Manish Upreti

A Yes, a couple of universities do offer this course:

Yashwantrao Chawan Maharashtra Open Univ, Nashik (Mah) (

Course: MSc Agri (2-5 yrs)

Elig: BSc (Agri) + 5-years experience . YCMOU also offers a PG Dip in Agri Business Management (1-3 yrs). Elig: Foundation in Agriculture of YCMOU or 2-year Dip in Agriculture of any university.

IGNOU (with GO-FAU), M.Sc Agri Economics & Business, M.Sc Agri-Ecology.

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