10 offbeat careers you should consider
Till a few years ago, there existed a mad rush to join the league of popular professions. Students passing out of schools and colleges would almost robotically choose to do engineering, medicine, management, journalism, law and the other such 'popular' professions that instantly come to our mind when we think of a secure and successful future.
Ironically, all these sound quite stereotypical today, because of the emerging new careers to opt from. What has augmented this shift in preference is the bold attitude of youngsters, the will to do what they desire, and the courage to accept challenges, the development of the risk-taking trait, and the institutions that are coming up to provide learning in these upcoming professions.
So what are some of the off-beat yet rewarding career choices out there? We look at 10 professions...
Social or community service is a much-talked-about career, attracting students from all branches of study. Because it requires no specific eligibility criteria and is not a closed door option, many join this profession, which is more of a passion than profession.
You can be a social worker after studies in any discipline. Interestingly, even MBAs from top management institutes dive out of lucrative jobs and devote themselves to working for community development. A significant branch of this is Development Studies, which requires training and is much sought after. Though no particular educational qualification is required, some institutes do offer a course in social service.
The emergence of an empathic and concerned youth has made the profession of environmentalist a viable option. The need to save the Earth from destruction has been felt very strongly recently pushing up the need and demand for environmentalists.
Environmentalists are people who are involved in taking measures to protect our surroundings, educating the masses about environmental degradation and taking steps to prevent it, also conducting studies and research that will help maintain and protect the environment. They also conduct seminars, marches, talks, workshops, etc to create awareness.
It is a profession that requires people from all backgrounds be it doctors, engineers, scientists or journalists. The field and scope is vast and it is one profession that can be pursued along with another. The passion to safeguard our environment is the only eligibility criteria.
Photographs: Rediff Archives
Disc jockey/ radio jockey
Video jockey has been an option for some time now, but the profession of a disc jockey and radio jockey is the coveted profession today. All you need to be an RJ or DJ is the die-hard love for music, and the desire to entertain people.
To bean an RJ, you also need to be an excellent communicator -- witty, smart, intelligent, with an empathic, down-to-earth attitude. If you have all this, you need no other qualification.
Toting a camera while on a trip is something that almost all of us do, but professional photography has become a 'hot' career option only lately. This profession does not guarantee huge returns and is not a sure shot to fame and success, so students (and their families) were skeptical. There were no specific jobs or career opportunities. Most of them were freelancers or working with news agencies. This has undergone a major change in recent times, however.
The fear of taking up photography as a profession has weakened. There has been a surge in institutes offering training courses and also in job opportunities for talented photographers.
The ever-increasing demand to organise and plan occasions and events has given a boost to the profession of an event manager. It's not just corporates and aristocratic families that look to hire the services of an event manager. Organising and managing all kinds of events ranging fom concerts, weddings, award functions, parties, conventions, seminars, festivals all fall under the event manager's purview.
Those who possess good organisation skills and are effective planners, who do not get bogged down by pressure and stress, become successful event managers. There are also courses that you can enrol for to help get a stronger start in the industry.
Those with a love for food and a bent towards entrepreneurship with a difference, can consider becoming a restauranteur or hotelier. Broadly falling under the hospitality industry, this group of people want to serve, be known, and also reap substantial benefits. And the emerging trend of eating out and vacationing provide significant incentive.
You have to be prepared to take up the risks of business, innovate and provide your customer with the best and most unique service to be successful. Though no specific education or training is required to be one, a degree/diploma in management and a strong sense of business will help you. Also you should be futuristic and be able to forecast the market scenario, and the demand in the market for your product.
The love for good food and the ability to be in the kitchen for long hours preparing delicacies, is what's needed to make it big in this profession. After an initial training in the art of cooking, it is your inherent aptitude to innovate and experiment that will make you a successful chef. Culinary skills cannot be learnt; they have to be imbibed.
The growing demand and fame associated with this profession in recent years, has pulled students to it. A trained and capable chef gets employed by hotels, restaurants, corporates, cruise liners and confectioneries, in the railways and in the air catering business. Food processing companies also employ chefs.
Experienced chefs can teach at hotel management institutes and many become food experts, culinary writers and researchers.
Every newspaper, website and magazine has a section that predicts what the day, month or year will hold, and there are entire television programmes based on it. Forecasting the future was never such a huge business as it is in recent times.
The field is not restricted to orthodox beliefs and ideals; it has become more scientific. Fortune tellers include tarot readers, palmists, sun sign readers, and various other specialised fields of astrology. Though the parrot and reading cards have not become a thing of past, the new approach to fortune telling and the trust and respect associated with the profession, attracts many young people today. There are specialised training institutes that offer courses as well.
Photographs: Bogdan Cristel/Reuters
Animator/ graphic artist
The widespread use and utility of the computer has given birth to and nurtured animators and graphic designers. Talented artists who earlier had no avenue to showcase their skill, now thanks to technology, have a lucrative one.
It is a skill-driven career and with constant practice, innovation and experimentation, it is a profession that betters itself within you and helps you climb the ladder of success. Designers are in demand everywhere. Institutes, colleges and training centres have sprouted in every nook and cranny if the country to train budding artists in the tools they will need to follow their calling.
The beauty industry is overflowing with job opportunities. Youngsters, the middle-aged and old; women and men; just about everyone has been bitten by the beauty and grooming bug. We all want to presentable and look good. And the beauty professionals satisfy this dream.
Today people go to beauty salons not only before weddings and parties, but on a regular basis. Numerous training institutes have opened up all over the country. So have beauty rendering companies and products. All this presents innumerable oppotunities to budding talent in the industry, and has attracted students keen on pursuing a non-stereotypical profession.
The hottest new careers available to students has helped wash away the age-old beliefs, stereotypes and popularity of traditional career options. The changing outlook of parents, society and the students themselves has been the driving force. No profession is looked down upon and the scope to grow and benefit from any of them is quite the same. The only requirement is to be dedicated to your work adn to your career goal.