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10 careers to watch out for in 2010

Last updated on: February 1, 2010 09:52 IST

Photographs: Uttam Ghosh Mayank Gupta

2010 is here, and we are seeing the worst of the recessionary effects fade. Now is the time to look at the job market with a fresh viewpoint and get going once again on that job hunt. But where are the jobs? Mayank Gupta looks at 10 career streams that will throw up opportunities in the year  to come.

Financial planning
Year 2009 saw the 6th pay commission recommendations being implemented in government jobs and being followed by the PSUs and some other corporates, leading to an increase in the savings potential for their employees. The stock market also brightened up from its gloomy state and the investors witnessed a dream rally in equities. With the increase in individuals' disposable income, and with the renewed confidence in the investment options, there is a great need of professionals who can guide people about planning their investments in an optimum manner.

Banks, insurance and pension companies, mutual funds and other financial products organisations would be the key generators of such jobs. According to a statement by the ex-chairman of SEBI, the country wil need more than 50,000 certified financial planners by 2011. A love for number crunching, an analytical bent of mind, and good interpersonal skills will take you a long way in this field.

Teaching and training
The education system in India is transforming like never before. There have been significant changes in the school teaching and grading system, with focus shifting from just getting good marks to overall personality development. Newer ways of teaching are being adopted by schools and colleges, and there are engineering and management colleges opening up every day to cater to the huge demand for professional courses. It is, hence, obvious that this spur in activity will lead to an increased demand for teachers, and more so for those who have a passion for teaching and can adapt to the changing course curriculums and modern ways of imparting training.

Jobs exist at all levels, starting from pre-primary to postgraduate level, and from basic language teaching to advance technology training. According to government estimates, more than 40 lakh teachers are required to fulfil the requirements of the Indian education infrastructure. Key skills requirement is academic intelligence, patience and capability to handle multiple students at a time, and an inclination towards imparting knowledge to others.

Mayank Gupta is an IIM Kozhikode alumnus and handles the Business Development at BodhiSutra. BodhiSutra ( is an IIT-IIM alumni venture which specialises in employability skills training programmes for graduate and postgraduate students. BodhiSutra offers both domain-specific programmes and general employability skills training programmes for students and working professionals.

IT and ITeS

This one's a no-brainer. No one is unaware of the opportunities that the IT and IT-enabled services sector offers. Thanks to the increasing number of projects and also a high attrition rate, companies like TCS, Infosys, Wipro, Cognizant, Genpact and IBM among many others hire lakhs of new employees every year. The Indian IT and ITeS sector is expected to grow at an impressive figure of around 25 per cent every year, and has been generating 2-3 million jobs every year. In one of his statements a few years back, Infosys CEO Nandan Nilekani had suggested that the IT and BPO industry will generate 1 crore jobs by 2010.

The key skill requirement for IT jobs is to have a passion for developing algorithms and writing software programmes, and for the BPO sector, you should have good communication skills and the willingness to work according to various time zones around the world.

Who says jobs exist only for software engineers? Move beyond the IT parks of Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad and you have the entire country waiting for the mechanical engineers and civil engineers to work on their power plants, manufacturing plants and other infrastructure projects. With infrastructure projects being executed in big numbers, there is a huge requirement of engineers and technicians in India's largest organisations and the smaller ones too.

Some of the companies hiring in big numbers this year are L&T (20,000), NTPC (1,300), Maruti Suzuki (950) and BHEL (4,000) among many others. A sound academic background with a decent amount of technical knowledge will make you an ideal candidate for such jobs. Just keep an eye on the various job posting information sources and you are sure to make an entry into one of these giants!

Clean energy sector

The population of India is increasing every day, infrastructure is booming, and the overall standard of living of people is improving. But all this advancement also brings with it the problem of global warming and the call for clean and green technologies and emissions controls. With the latest spur in activities to promote clean technologies and clean energy production, this sector will definitely bring some good news to job seekers.

With CNG replacing petrol and diesel, PNG replacing household gas cylinders, office buildings getting energy-efficient and green, and several other initiatives being taken up to protect the environment, there will be a good number of jobs generated by companies working in this field. According to a report, clean technology has the potential to generate 1 crore jobs in India by 2025.

Tourism, travel and hospitality
India is fast becoming a preferred tourist destination and even the number of domestic tourists is also increasing every year. With the Commonwealth Games being slated for October this year in the capital, India is becoming an increasingly popular destination for tourists in 2010. Around 20 lakh foreign tourists and twice as many domestic tourists are expected to travel to the capital and other parts of the country during 2010.

Managing such a huge number of tourists is going to demand a huge workforce. Hotels, restaurants, airlines, bus and car operators, tour planners and guides -- there will be a demand for people in all avenues related to hospitality. So, if you want to make a career in the field of hospitality, there can't be a better time to start!

Fitness expert/ dance trainer/ dietician

More and more people in India are getting conscious about their health and fitness. They take up all sorts of activities that can help them get a toned body and that perfect figure, including going to gyms, taking yoga or aerobic classes, or just enrolling in dance classes. Many also seek advice from dieticians and nutritionists for preparing a diet plan and sticking to it. So, the health and fitness sector also throws open exciting opportunities in this year.

You can either join a health club or a fitness centre as a personal instructor, or you can go that extra mile and start on your own with very little investment and local advertising. Though formal training and/or a degree in physical education might help, it is not a prerequisite if you have the willingness and ability to learn yourself and the commitment to follow through.

Telecom and mobile application development
The telecom sector has shown an enviable growth in India since its introduction more than a decade back. With an ever-increasing subscriber base and introduction of innovative value-added services (VAS) through mobile phones, the cell of cell phones is only going to increase in the foreseeable future. With the expected introduction of new technologies like 3G on a large scale, the telecom market will further expand and lead to an increased usage of multimedia services on mobiles. This promises great potential for a career in the telecom sector and in mobile application development. The telecom sector was expected to generate 1.5 lakh jobs in 2009 and the trend is going to continue in 2010 as well.

Jobs will exist in mobile service provider companies, telecom tower set-up companies, mobile VAS solutions organisations, and in various other companies in the telecom sector value chain.

Medical professionals and pharmacists

With healthcare gaining importance in today's busy lives, and many corporates entering the healthcare sector to make it more customer-friendly and provide within-reach world-class facilities, the healthcare sector is one exciting sector to be in. Job opportunities will exist across a variety of roles and areas including pharmacists, hospital management, clinical research, and other support functions in hospitals. One can also find opportunities in innovative services like medical tourism, which is very quickly catching the attention of the foreigners.

Opportunities will exist in both government hospitals and private hospitals. Formal degrees or diplomas in pharmacy, nursing, science or related areas will be required for being eligible for such vacancies.

Sales/ customer service
With the ever-increasing focus of companies to serve their customers in the best possible manner, the role of customer service representatives has become critical. An effective sales representative can convert even a negative lead into a big deal, and efficient customer service can bring business to the company through repeat customers and referrals.

Opportunities are equally exciting for both males (mostly in sales profiles) and females (mostly in customer service profiles) and abundant in any company which has a direct dealing with customers. If you think you have good persuasion and convincing skills, and if you like interacting with different kinds of people, then this career choice is most suitable for you!

So what are you waiting for? Find out your interests, develop your skills, and start hunting for that dream job!