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How to choose the right career path

April 02, 2010 13:48 IST

Choosing a career is a complicated process that is based on a number of things, including your interests, skills, work-related values, and personality.

One of the questions heard most often in this context is: How can I know what I really want to do in my career? It's definitely true that you can't make much leeway in finding a job if you haven't decided what area you want to work in.

In a chat with Get Ahead readers on April 1, Amit Bansal answered queries on how you should choose the right career path based on an individual's skills and disposition.

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For those of you who missed the chat, here's the unedited transcript:

puskar_pride asked, hello sir, i m confused whether to work as a software engg or go for an mba????
Amit Bansal answers,  at 2010-04-01 16:05:56Job or MBA- I will request you to look at your interest areas and decide accordingly. Dont do an MBA just because you are not able to get a good job right now. Ask yourself some hard questions- do you like solving technical problems, do you like technology etc. If you do, take up an engg job.

ashish asked, Hello sir curently i am working as software engineer, just a freshman with only 3 month exp. i think being a engg only i can't get that height. so i want some extra degree. what you suggest it should be in engg or a MBA
Amit Bansal answers, Ashish, the question is somewhat related to the earlier question I replied to. It is not true that as software engineer you cannot become a successful professional. I personally know a lot of people who are holding an engg degree and are CXOs in respective companies. Engg or MBA - depends on your Interest and Skills.

kj asked, Sir, I have done BE. and have 4 yrs of experience in IT systems administration and now am getting bored of this repititive work and wanna move on to software. I wana do some creative work.So, want to know that how can I change my job, how much dificult is to change the field and also would my previous experience count there or i will be treated as a fresher?
Amit Bansal answers, IT Sys Admin has a lot of growth potential. Instead of looking for a career shift to software, I will advise that you take up specialization in Infrastructure Mgmt itself. RIM is a fast growing field and will provide exciting career options.

hemant1234 asked, Sir m 21, working as an acct asst in a pvt co whre there is no future, i want to do MBA correspondance , can u tell me which college s suitable for me without giving entrance exam in mumbai onl.? hemant
Amit Bansal answers, Hemant, it is good to know that you are looking at enhancing your skills. I will suggest that you take that extra effort of preparing for the exam and get admission in a good distance education MBA institute like IIM/XLRI etc. Remember, this is probably the last degree in your career and will stay with you for the rest of your life. You better do a little effort to make this degree count!

basava asked, I am in IT Industry (Development) since last 8 years. Now i am planning to move toward QA. Because i felt many times i like that kind of work compared to development. Can you please let me know what are pros and cons
Amit Bansal answers, Basava, success in a job depends on 3 parameters- Knowledge, Skills and Interest (or attitude). If you think about your current move and feel that your skills and interest are more suited to testing role, you have made the right decision. The only part that you may have to work on is the knowledge about the testing field, but that is the easiest to acquire of the 3 parameters. So, you may have to work that extra hard in the first 6 months of your new role, but you will be much better placed 3 years down the line. All the best for your move!

varun1120 asked, hello sir i am doing btech and thsi is my trianing semester.i am confused about taking masters program or mba from good school in india
Amit Bansal answers, What is your criteria for evaluation?

nikhil asked, I have appeared for x. I want to become Engineer. What are theoptions
Amit Bansal answers, Work hard and get admission in the best possible engg college :-)

Ram asked, Hi Sir, I am an MBA (Fin) graduate. I joined satyam in 2008 as a management trainee. I had to leave in 2009 after serving the company for 1.4 yrs. After this i joined another digital marketing company doing SEO and Social media. I have now realised my real interest is in marketing especially stuff like advertising and branding. However, i am not sure how to go about this as my qualifications and experience are not matching for any marketing related openings. Kindly, suggest what i should be doing in this scenario Thanks in advance
Amit Bansal answers, Ram, digital marketing is a field that will see huge growth in the coming years. Unfortunately, there are not too many structured programs available for a formal education in this area. I will suggest that you take some programs offered online by Google and build a strong working knowledge in this domain.

upasana asked, i am in the final year of BSC (Hons. in Human Development), what can I do after my graduation, besides doing Masters, and what if I do not get a chance in Masters. thankyou. upi
Amit Bansal answers, Upasana, specialization in HR is one obvious career choice for you. Apart from that, you can look at career in counselling as well. Have you figured out your areas of interest?

rohit_22 asked, Sir I m in 3rd year engineering.I did not get good marks in all semisters just 50%.So what next should i do after engineering to get a good job.
Amit Bansal answers, Rohit, you can start taking up the following programs that will increase your chances of getting a job despite low percentage: a. Networking (CCNA) b. Server Administration c. db Administration Also, join a good institute for improving your spoken English.

sam2510 asked, HI sir i am also from PEC.. 2 years exp in TCS.. try for MBA from last 2 years.. but not successful.. sometime i feel v low.. wat should i do?
Amit Bansal answers, Sam, good to connect with a PEC alumnus. If you are doing well in your current job, I will suggest that you continue there itself. If at all you need management education later, you can take up some executive education program after 5-6 years of work-ex as well.

sanjay jena asked, Hello Amit,now I am an Electrical Engineer.I want a good knowledge in english......Is post graduation in english in IGNOU is good or any other instituition????? Pls suggest if anything else??
Amit Bansal answers, Sanjay, look at acquiring functional english and not just a pg degree in english. I am not sure about your current level of English so cannot tell you the right institute, but you need a program in Business English and not academic one.

Joei asked, Hi, I am an engineer and MBA, have worked in core engineering for 5 years and then in IT for 10 years, having skill in consulting and program management and vast experience of handling clients in all continents of earth. Off-late I started feeling my personal obligations to family conflicts with my job requirements. But I am completely clueless what I can do and how should I tweak my career from current high salary towards a better work - life balance. Should I try for moving to IT of core industries, dynamics would be lower with a salary sacrifice, should I move to academics but again Phd is required for that. Please suggest.
Amit Bansal answers, Joel, if you have a flair for education, it may not be a bad choice to make a career move in this industry. There is a dearth of high quality people in the industry and PhD is not really a pre-req to do well in this industry. The salaries are not as great as the corporate but are much closer to corporate salaries than before. If you are in bangalore and interested in education, you can send your profile to our company as well.

mozi asked, Dear Mr. Bansal,Good Eveninig! what is career path of a Candidate with MBA- Marketing + Information Technology and Btech ECE. Regards, mozi
Amit Bansal answers, Mozi, MBA provides you the platform to choose your career. You need to define what you want to do. Prospective employer does not look at the combination so much (marketing+IT+ECE). The employer is looking at the fit in terms of your abilities (skills) and interest. Please invest in creating a better skill set for yourself (not just degree but hands-on expertise) as well as to figure out what interests you.

Amit Bansal answers, I did my MBA right after engg and in my class there were students who had 3 yrs experience as well. Ideally, one should do an MBA either in the first few years (0-3) of their life or wait and do an MBA after 6-7 years of work-exp.

sanjay jena2 asked, Hello Amit,Again Sanjay here..Thanks for ur suggestion to take business English instead of just pg degree....Then where to take(means instituiton or anything else)??? Also U have asked about my level,then it is just average...
Amit Bansal answers, you can explore institutes like IndiaCan or inlingua

anita asked, my son varun goyal has finished his B.E. in ECE in sept 2009 with 67% he has still not got a job, what shud he do
Amit Bansal answers, It is important that he invests in himself to get trained on specific skill areas. For ECE with 67%, a career in Infrastructure Mgmt might be a good choice. He needs to ensure that he really works hard and learns the concepts during the training and not just take it like another subject taught in the college.

Amit Bansal says, Thanks a lot for your patience. I hope this session helped some of you get answers to your queries. Wish all of you the very best for your careers.

Amit Bansal is a career counselor and trainer who heads PurpleLeap (, an organisation that works with colleges to make students employment-ready.