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Posted at: Apr 25, 2018, 12:55 AM; last updated: Apr 25, 2018, 12:56 AM (IST)

Mini package, maxi gains

Explore new avenues of learning during college years with short-term courses to increase your employability score

Usha Albuquerque

With the exam season  almost over, it is time to start thinking about college and your course of study. As students take a breather after the sweat and toil of the Board examinations, many are also starting to think seriously about the numerous options available. Some will opt for conventional study courses, some for vocational and professional, while  many remain confused about their future course of action.

If  you have already decided upon a career, and the direction forward, you must begin thinking about colleges and courses. If you haven’t decided upon a career, then you need to start working towards this, keeping in mind your abilities and interests, and  thinking about what you should do while you begin to focus on your choices. Whatever your course of study may be, this is also the time to explore opportunities that may help you extend your diverse interests and nurture your talents beyond the academic and work environments. 

Today there are hundreds of short-term courses —  certificate and diploma  — in various fields which can build your skills and extend your learning, not only in the subject or discipline of your study, but also in other fields of interest.

These courses are opportunities to nurture one’s talent not only for the work environment, but to give you a broader perspective and experience that may enhance your life and could also open possibilities of using talents in new and uncharted realms.  

Here are some short-term courses, which one can take up depending on your interest, aptitude and study or career goals 

Travel & Tourism

Most of us love the idea of travel and the experiences of new places and adventures. If you are interested in the tourism industry you can opt for a diploma or even a certificate program in tourism, travel ticketing, tour guide training and tourism management. The time span for these courses generally ranges from 2 or 6 months to duration of 1 year, and can be taken up alongside your regular graduation degree. Areas of work in travel and tourism range from special interest packages that range from Himalayan trekking expeditions to golf, wildlife and medical tourism, and booking of passages for air, rail, sea and road travel, to arranging hotel reservations or other accommodation, and hiring cars and coaches for domestic and international travelers.  

Various institutions around the country offer courses in different aspects of travel and tourism. Several large travel agencies also offer short-term training programmes, and tend to absorb most of the candidates. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) www.iata.org/training offer a number of courses such as Airline management, Cargo, ticketing, Airline operations and several others at authorized training centres. 


Practically every fashion institute conducts a range of job-oriented short courses in design, marketing, and retailing of fashion clothing. So, if you have a penchant for creative work but are not confident to take up a full-time study course, you can start with some of these courses alongside your regular  graduation. The National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) https://nift.ac.in/cep conducts job-oriented short courses in  fashion and clothing technology, fashion entrepreneurship, and fashion merchandising management. Some of the programmes include —  Apparel Design and Development, a six-month course, Costume Jewellery & Accessory Design on Crafts (also six months), Fashion digital marketing  (1 month), and many others.  In addition Pearl Academy of Fashion www.pearlacademy.com conducts short courses in Fashion Media make-up, as well as advertising and 

graphic design.

Accounting & Finance

There are some useful courses for commerce students in the fields of business and finance — diploma and certificate courses in Accounting/ Accounting & Finance/ Auditing/ Accounts & taxation/ financial management and so on. These career-oriented skill-enhancing short-term courses are highly focused and intensive in nature and have been designed with a focus on the market need for professionals with requisite skills for openings in jobs, industry and self-employment. Accounting courses can be useful for students from all fields helping, as it does, understand the day-to-day business processes involved in any business or commercial enterprise. Many colleges of Delhi University are offering such courses,  including  courses in Retail management, Web designing, software applications development, TV journalism and many others. Most courses are of six months duration with two months of internship.


In this age of selfies,  instant videos and YouTube, the skill of photography  can be a big  plus point for the amateur and the professional. For many learning photography can be a wonderful hobby which helps you record momentuous events, keep in touch with friends, edit and file all kinds of pictures. Formal training earns knowledge and command over a variety of cameras, lights, props, and photographic techniques. It also hones creative skills. 

There are many institutes offering diploma and certificate courses in photography extending from one week to two years. Most courses cover basic photography to specialisations in fashion, desktop, events, weddings, stills, digital photo-editing and videography. 

The National Institute of Photography in Mumbai, the Raghu Rai Centre for Photography in Gurugram (Haryana), Academy for photographic excellence,  (APEX) New Delhi, and Asian Academy of Film and Television in Noida (Uttar Pradesh), offer several programmes extending from one week to two years. 

Digital technologies

And finally, if you are a computer buff and spend hours on your PC, laptop or phone, there are endless ways in which you can move into the virtual world of digital technologies, which demand a range of skills, from cloud architecture to social media. With the required fluency in digital technologies you can broaden the base of your career, or move into new growth areas such as fintech, social media, AI, machine learning, 3D design, android development, app development, or any of the new technologies exploding every day. There are a huge number of courses and training programmes available irrespective of whichever technology or programme you wish to embrace -  including a wealth of online education and training sites, from Khan Academy to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to help get you up to speed with changing career needs.

So, don’t waste your years in college — explore new avenues of learning that will open vistas of opportunities in the years ahead!


The beauty and wellness industry has grown exponentially. So, if you are a fitness freak, or want to look good and make others look good too, then there are many short-term courses available today. The field of beauty care encompasses several areas, including beauty therapy, hairdressing and beauty consultancy  covering  treatments of face, skin, nails, hair and body, and employs professionals such as hair stylists, beautician, skin care specialist, masseurs, nail technicians, aestheticians, makeup artists,  manicurists and shampooers, and others. There are several training schools for beauty and hair care courses. The duration of the courses varies from institution to institution, and also depends on the area of specialisation. Most institutes offer certificate, diploma and advance diploma courses in beauty care, with specialisation in any field like cosmetology, hair styling, beauty therapy, and other technical and business-related courses. The institutes include VLCC, across several cities, Shahnaz Hussain's Women’s World International, across several cities, Pearl Academy of Fashion, New Delhi. There are even courses in spa training if you want to try your hand at spa therapy or as a masseur. There are several spa academies including the Ananda Spa Institute at Hyderabad that  offers several international spa treatment programmes, including Ayurveda and Yoga therapies, and Orient Spa Academy in Jaipur, and many others. There are also short courses run by private gyms and health clubs to train fitness experts. Reebok India organises the Reebok Instructor Alliance programme — a two-and-a- half-month 80-hour course. The Sports Authority of India (SAI) offers courses in yoga coaching at its various branches, and private gyms such as Talwalkers in Mumbai, Gold Gyms, and GFFI Fitness training institutes in Delhi & Mumbai, and private training centres for a number of different exercise regimes such as kung-fu, karate, judo, yoga etc. are easy to access and undertake. 

Hotel management/ Hospitality

If you enjoy trying out your culinary skills, and like the idea of working with food, or setting up your own restaurant, there are several courses in food preparation and culinary arts which teach you the basics of food preparation as well as specialised courses in food production, food and beverage service, bakery and confectionary, patisserie studies and F & B management. The training often includes internships with hotels and restaurants where you will learn while on the job. Many courses also place students in internship positions with hotels and restaurants which can lead to long-term employment. Almost all hotel management institutes include in their academic programmes, short-term courses for skill development in the hospitality sector. There are also several diploma and apprenticeship programmes launched by the Ministry of Tourism for skill development in the hospitality sector. This includes the Hunar Se Rozgar Training Scheme for the conduct of training programmes in trades of F&B Service and Food Production. The programmes being conducted at the IHMs and ITDC hotels include 6 to 8-week short-term courses in Food and Beverage service and food production. 

Film and television programmes

For those who would like to extend photography to TV and film-making, with starry dreams of being in the limelight, there are a whole lot of different roles that can be exciting. So,  whether it is production, direction, handling the camera, lighting or sound, editing video, handling animation, or limelight, there are many exciting skills you can learn and try out for yourself. Several film and TV academies offer short training programmes. Asian Academy of Film and Television in Noida www.aaft.com/admission/short-term-courses conducts 3 - 6 months training courses in Camera & Lighting techniques, Production & Direction, Screenplay writing, TV graphics and animation among others for giving you exposure to this fascinating world of make-believe!


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