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20 degrees that will make you a job-ready graduate

Last updated on: May 17, 2010 14:00 IST

Photographs: Rediff Archives Bharti M Borah

Most of you may have been asked this question, quite often: 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' Doctor, engineer, IAS, architect, is the typical answer. But, rare is the occasion when someone says, "I want to become an ethical hacker, apiculturist, film maker, or tourist guide."

Rajalakshmi who is pursuing a BSc in visual communications at Loyola College, Chennai, shares, "This field did not exist in my parent's horizon. So there was an initial resistance. A BCom would have made them happier."

The difficulty lies in identifying what interests you the most as opposed to enrolling in a programme that is the flavour of the season, says Rajni Arya, a former state psychologist, Boston, USA. According to Arya, it is almost impossible for the 99 per cent of students to know exactly what they want at the age of 16-17, when deciding on subjects to study. "My son has changed his preferences at least eight times in the last one year. The solution lies in more information," says Chandrasekar, a harrowed parent.

New degrees that crop up like mushrooms have also added to the confusion; we now have degrees in cosmetology, trichology, nano-biotechnology offered at the undergraduate levels. In a recent article, two professors from IISc argued that it is impossible to specialise in nanotechnology without a thorough grounding in mathematics, physics and chemistry. A basic degree in any one of these disciplines is crucial, before specialising in a subject like nanotechnology.

So to help you choose the right path, Careers360 has put together a list of 324 graduate programmes and examined 50 of them in detail. Today we present 20 courses that will make you a job-ready graduate. Make an informed decision!

Click on NEXT to check out the courses...

Degrees you can take up

Photographs: Careers360

All the programmes listed here will ordinarily be sufficient to get you a job. But remember, the final outcome is a function of the skill sets you develop, the knowledge you acquire and the reputation that the college where you study enjoys in the job market. But each one of the degrees gives you a fair shot at attempting a job immediately after your graduation. A PG at times helps, but is not crucial.

Actuarial Science
Duration: 3 years; Eligibility: 10+2; Job profile: Actuarial trainee (you could earn upto Rs 25,000 a month before becoming a registered actuary), apprentice, project manager, insurance officer

As an actuary, you will be required to make financial sense of the future. A strong inclination towards mathematics
and finance is required in the field. To practise you must clear all 15 exams conducted by the Institute of Actuaries of India (IAI).

Course overview
You will learn the practicalities of making informed decisions for businesses and individuals alike. An understanding of risk management is also developed along with mathematics and statistics as part of the course.

Job opportunities
It is a course with 100-per cent job guarantee. Insurance is the primary sector in which you would work. You may also work in select statistical wings of the government.

Graphic Design
Duration: 3 years; Eligibility: 10+2, a creative bent of mind and interest in graphic design; Job profiles: Designer, visualiser, art director

This field is broadly described as visual communication that combines words, images and ideas. Layout and production design is part of the arena, but it's a good idea to also develop your skills in drawing, layout, typography, lettering and photography too. A growing media sector in India is a good sign for aspirants of this course.

Course overview
It will expose you to electronic media, audio-visual media, publishing, manufacturing, printing as well as film and  animation.

Apart from theory, hands-on experience in all aspects of media would be given as part of the course.

Job opportunities
You could become a graphic designer or a design management professional with an advertising agency or publishing house. You could grow to become a creative director with an agency.

Initial salaries would vary between Rs 12,000-18,000.

Duration: 3 to 4 years; Eligibility: 10+2 with English as a subject. You must give the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) conducted by the National Council of Hotel Management and Catering Technology (NCHMCT); Job profile: Front office executive, guest relations manager, F&B executive, chef, facilities manager

This industry has moved beyond restaurants and hotels to serving the healthcare, wellness and corporate sector, too.
Jobs are aplenty across areas such as front office, housekeeping and food and beverage services.

Course overview
The programme comprises four main areas: Food Production, Food & Beverage Service (F&B), Front office and Accommodation Management. You will be taught theory, and gain practical experience in each area. In your final year, you will need to specialise in one of them. Front Office and F&B are popular options by students.

Job opportunities
You can find a job in a hotel, restaurant, healthcare, corporate catering, cruise liner or food processing company.  Catering services in defence, railways and educational institutions, is also another option. You can also become a food writer, food critic or set up your own business. Working in spas and resorts is another option available to you. As a fresh graduate, you will start by earning Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 a month. But, as you gain experience in the field, you can expect a fatter package in two years' time.

Rubber Technology
Duration: 3 or 4 years; Eligibility: 10+2 with PCM. Admission is secured through engineering entrance exams; Job profile: Rubber technologist, sales executive

This subject deals with the processing of latex, natural rubber or synthetic rubber. With the growing number of automobiles and the use of rubber in various industries, this course has gained traction, and the presence of 6,000  functional rubber units, only increases your options.

Course overview
You will study properties and formulation of rubber compounds. Methods to process rubber such as vulcanisation and calendaring will be taught. Learning about how to bring crude rubber into shape will also be imparted.

Job opportunities
Tyre companies such as Apollo Tyres, JK Tyres, MRF and Ceat are prime recruits. The Gas Authority of India,
HCL Technologies and Haldia Petrochemicals also have jobs in this domain, so does the semiconductor industry.

Click on NEXT for more courses...

Jewellery design

Photographs: Careers360

Duration: 3 years; Eligibility: 10+2 is the minimum requirement for a Bachelor's in fine arts that offers jewellery design as a subject; Job profile: Jewellery designer, export house designer

Indian gems and jewellery are exported the world over, making jewellery design a lucrative career opportunity.  Jewellery design is a subject that teaches you about creating art by combining precious metals and gems. If you are creative, the jewellery industry is a viable option.

Course overview
You must be knowledgeable about all aspects of the jewellery industry and possess in-depth understanding of gems and
metals. You will be taught how to handle equipment to create jewellery pieces. Your drawing ability will be developed during the course as well.

Job opportunities
A jewellery designer can find work with a jewellery house or can also think of launching own range of products, explore
retail and trading units for work. As a fresher, you can expect to initially earn between Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 per month. Private export houses pay higher, and also offer incentives. The income of an independent jewellery designer varies depending on the range and demand for his creations.

Duration: 3 years but 5 years if you opt for integrated programme; Eligibility: You need to have passed 10+2 level examination recognised by the Bar Council of India. Clearing the law entrance is a must to gain entry in many law institutes; Job profile: Lawyer (Rs 8,000 to Rs 20,000 per month), research assistant, law clerk, junior advocate

You must have good writing skills, clear understanding of laws and the court system. You will require good  memorisation skills along with clear understanding of applicability of different laws in the courtrooms. Ability to make precise and logical arguments is a must.

Course overview
You will be studying all kinds of laws that exist in our legal system such as corporate law, company law and the law of torts. While pursuing the course, one option that students can explore is working as legal trainee under judges of the
Supreme Court of India. You can gain in-depth knowledge about laws and its applicability in the legal world.

Job opportunities
The Registry of the Supreme Court of India advertises every year for jobs of law clerk-cum-research assistant, a good entry point for some. Lawyers are also required in corporates as well as government set-ups. You can work with a senior lawyer to gain hands-on experience in different specialisations such as corporate, labour, consumer, fundamental rights and telecom law. Salary largely varies depending on your area of expertise, from Rs 8,000 to even Rs 1 lakh in a corporate for a fresher.

Physical Education
Duration: 3 to 4 years; Eligibility: 10+2. NCC experience is preferred; Job profiles: PE instructor (salary of Rs 12,000 to 16,000), PE director, coach, trainers

The dual forces of health consciousness and rich possibilities of a sports career has led to the morphing of this once staid programme associated with drab physical education trainers in schools into a glamorous profession.

Course overview
You will be trained in fitness, development of neuromuscular skill and personality development through classroom training and physical training. Some basic understanding of physiology, medicine and nutrition also form a part of the curriculum. You will also learn how to manage teams and mentor others, as part of the course.

Job opportunities
The largest chunk of jobs still remain with schools and colleges that recruit physical education trainers. Large sports clubs, gyms, and fitness centers do provide opportunities for employment, for trained graduates. While an entry
level PE teacher's job at a school could bring you a monthly package of Rs 26,000, the package in the private sector
could vary between Rs 15,000- 45,000.

Duration: 4 years; Eligibility: 10+2 with physics, chemistry, mathematics/ biology. Some institutions have entrance exams; Job profile: Pharmacist (Salary Rs 6,000-13,000), quality control officer, drug researcher, pharmaceutical executive, sales executive, clinical researcher, regulatory affairs officer

The Indian pharma industry is nearly 100 years old and statistics indicate that the number of students choosing pharmacy is growing. Along with a passion for subjects like chemistry and biology, developing an understanding of drugs, their composition and effects is required.

Course overview
Largely focuses on the industrial aspects of pharmacy. You will learn about the manufacture of drugs as well as dosages
required for different diseases. An understanding of linkages between chemistry and biology will be of help

Job opportunities
You can join the production, quality control and marketing departments of drug firms, hospitals and research labs. As a fresher, salaries are low, but for marketing. You can also explore quality control departments, regulatory affairs, clinical
research and patient-oriented pharmacy practice.

Click on NEXT for more courses...

Speech and hearing

Photographs: Careers360

Duration: 3 years; Eligibility: 10+2 with physics, chemistry and biology (may vary); Job profile: Speech therapist (salary of about Rs 35,000 in a government job), speech language specialist, audiologist

Under the umbrella of paramedical courses, speech therapists and audiologists require special training. Speech impairment includes speech difficulties and vocal dysphonia, while hearing impairment is full or partial disability. Practical
training in both treating and handling people, is a must.

Course overview
As part of your course, you will receive instructions on various speech and hearing impairments that exist. Treatment
systems and methods are also taught.

Job opportunities
Helping individuals cope with limitations is very rewarding and job opportunities in this field are rising. Speech and hearing limitations are no longer ignored, resulting in a high need for speech therapists. You can work in a hospital, school, social welfare department or NGO. Salaries vary and working abroad is a strong possibility too.

Homeopathic Medicine & Surgery
Duration: 5 years (including internship); Eligibility: 10+2 (physics, biology, chemistry and English as subjects). Some institutes have entrances exams; Job profile: Homeopath, homeopathic surgeon

India is a country rich in alternative healing practices. Today, you can pursue a Bachelor's in homeopathic medicine and surgery (BHMS). Being a medical science, this helps in treating disorders and diseases from a different perspective.

Course overview
You will study the history of homeopathy. You must understand all existent diseases, and prescribe the best treatment for individual patients. You will learn how to create medicines with the right doses of ingredients, too. Having an understanding of diseases, health and other subjects such as psychology is also required.

Job opportunities
As a fresh graduate, a homeopathic medical officer will get Rs 13,500 in hand in the government sector. You can also start a private practice or become a faculty member in medical institutes. Homeopathic treatment is greatly preferred in India as well as abroad. Salary will vary depending on place of work as well as your own performance if you open a clinic.

Duration: 4 years but can vary; Eligibility: 10+2 in science with biology, physics and chemistry as subjects; Job profile: Government nurse, private nurse, clinic nurse, school nurse, company nurse

This function is a vital part of medical care and you can specialise in various areas such as pediatric, intensive care unit
or psychiatric care. With demand for trained nurses going up in India as well as abroad, a rewarding career is assured. But it is a high-pressure, high-stress job.

Course overview
It includes understanding different diseases and treatments. You will be trained to manage a patient's bedside care, provide medication, and set up and operate medical equipment. Keeping records of the patient's progress, general administration and routine duties are part of your learning process.

Job opportunities
You can opt to work as a nurse at a government hospital, private hospital, clinic or at the home of a patient. The salary can range from Rs 6,000-18,000 based on the hospital but it can grow substantially as you prove your expertise.

Office Administration
Duration: 3 years; Eligibility: 10+2 from any stream; Job profile: Accountants/office assistant, manager, executive

Administration is a crucial element in an office and includes managing day-to-day activities like financial planning, billing, and maintenance of employee and company records. Even small organisations need office administrators.

Course overview
You will learn office administration methods and systems, and about industrial and administrative law. Studying  organisational behaviour, financial, personnel management and managerial economics is also part of the curriculum.

Job opportunities
You could get a job with a government or private organisation. Initial pay is low but could increase to Rs 3 lakhs per year with experience and efficiency. You would start out as a typist, DTP, office assistant or accounts assistant. As you show initiative and gain experience, you could move towards office manager or admin chief in large organisations.

Click NEXT for more courses...


Photographs: Careers360

Duration: 5 years; Eligibility: 10+2 (science). You must take the national aptitude test in architecture; Job profile: Architect trainee (salary of Rs 10,000 as a beginner), interior decorator, urban designer, rural planner

An interest in history, buildings, construction costs, the ability to think 3D and good drawing skills are required.

Course overview
Combines theoretical and practical training. You will develop and sharpen your creative skills, and also spend hours in the design studio and work on projects individually as well as in groups.

Job opportunities
You can work with the government and developing agencies like the Public Works Department (PWD), National Institutes of Urban Affairs and Housing, Department of Railways and Urban Development Corporations. Some choose to work under an established architect or for an architecture/ interior design firm. Freshers can start as a junior  architects/ assistants and earn Rs 12,000 to 15,000 a month.

Duration: 4 years (can vary); Eligibility: 10+2 with physics, chemistry and biology as subjects. Some institutes conduct an entrance exam; Job profiles: Physiotherapist (can earn between Rs 15,000 to Rs 30,000), researcher, personal physiotherapist, pharmaceutical intern, physical rehabilitator, fitness instructor

Physiotherapy as treatment has gained in popularity on the global platform. Developing skills such as manual therapy is a must along with knowledge about therapeutic exercise and application of electro-physical modalities.

You need to understand various diseases, medication and history of each individual patient that comes for treatment.

Course overview
Understanding movement and health is a core part of the course. You will need to understand prevention, assessment
and treatment of the whole range of physical disorders.

Job opportunities
After completion, you can work in the government or private sector, join the physiotherapy department in hospitals, medical institutions, health departments or private nursing homes. A number of NGOs have also started running  physiotherapy programmes for the aged and the infirm, pushing up the demand for trained physiotherapists. You can also set up your own physiotherapy clinic.

Rehabilitation, fitness programmes or research and development in pharmaceutical companies are other viable options.
Physical rehabilitation is in great demand worldwide. Doing this course almost guarantees you a job.

Tourism Studies
Duration: 3 years; Eligibility: 10+2 in any stream; Job profile: Travel agents, tour operators, tour guides, travel writer

Travel and tourism encompasses both the public and private sectors. Basic people skills, organising, executing and managing the travel and stay of a traveller, will give you the edge.

Course overview
You will learn about various aspects of tourism, which includes a glimpse into Indian culture, ecology, environment and development.

You will also learn about tourism management and marketing, besides related aspects like air ticketing.

Job opportunities
If you opt for the public sector, you can join directorates and departments of tourism across the country. The private
sector provides jobs at travel agencies, tour operators, hotels, transport and cargo companies. Adventure sports and heritage walks are newer options available in this field. Freshers can expect to start with a salary of between Rs 8,000 to Rs 15,000 a month.

Yoga Science
Duration: 3 years; Eligibility: 10+2 (any stream); Job profile: Yoga trainer (a fresher can expect between Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 a month), yoga therapist, yoga instructor

Yoga is an ancient art, and a natural way of remaining fit and healthy. It also helps in improving mental health. Curing
health-related problems naturally is taught as part of the programme. An integral part of yoga is practicing physical exercises (asanas) and breathing exercises (pranayam). Fitness is the call of today's world, raising the need for yoga instructors and teachers on the global platform.

Course overview
You will be trained on the various asanas and pranayam as well, and learn the art of imparting yoga techniques to different age groups based on lifestyle patterns and health-related issues. Designing personalised regimes along with inspiring others to live healthy lives, is part of the course.

Job opportunities
Based on the yoga training you have received, you can opt for the field of research, training or work as a yoga therapist. You can find work in resorts, gyms, schools, health centres, housing societies and large organisations. Television channels also hire yoga trainers, and renowned personalities prefer to hire personal yoga instructors.

Self-employment is an option many opt for as well. A great stress-buster, yoga is gaining ground among the ever-increasing number of foreign tourists who seek peaceful holidays, adding to the demand for yoga specialists.

A fresher can earn Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 a month. With experience, the salary climbs higher at a faster pace.

Click on NEXT for more courses...

Foreign Languages

Photographs: Careers360

Duration: 3 years; Eligibility: 10+2, Jawaralal Nehru University has an entrance exam for their graduate programmes; Job profile: Translator (Rs 23,000-35,000), travel guides, interlocutor

As more MNCs set up shop, language translators are in great demand. You need a good grasp of at least two languages, a source language and a target language to fit into this arena. You could go for a BA in Japanese, French, Spanish or Russian, depending on your interest and job scope. Make sure your institute is reputed for its teachers.

Course overview
Includes reading, writing, listening and speaking, as well as an overview of the culture and history of the home country.

Job opportunities
Translators work across the judiciary system, medical, technical  fields, travel companies, embassies, companies or institutions with global operations and MNCs. Pay varies in terms of the language of expertise as well as the work involved. A beginner can earn between Rs 15,000 to Rs 35,000 per month.

Performing Arts
Duration: 3 to 5 years; Eligibility: Depends on institution and course; Job profile: Performing artistes, teachers, researcher, choreographer

Here, an interest and aptitude are equally essential for success. Even years of practice cannot give you a sweet voice.
There are three forms: music involves vocals, composing and playing instruments; drama involves acting skills that combine speech, gestures, facial expressions and sound to depict a story or thought; dance combines drama and music.

Course overview
It offers conceptual knowledge, a thorough grounding in techniques and grammar, and of course, performance. Students must specialise in one art.

Job opportunities
These depend on the performing art you choose. Talent and visibility in the world of performing arts is the deciding
factor in terms of an artist's future. A dancer can open their own schools to teach dance as well as keep performing on stage as a dancer. Remuneration will depend on your talent and the location where you practice. Struggling to make a name in the industry is part and parcel of the field.

Fine Arts
Duration: 4 to 5 years; Eligibility: 10+2. Most colleges conduct an entrance exam; Job profile: Junior visualiser (salary varies between Rs 12,000 to Rs 18,000 for freshers), junior designer, intern

The field focuses broadly on painting, sculpting, applied art, graphic design and mural design. You must have a creative
streak and be able to learn and master various media to express your art. Colleges usually organise annual art and
design exhibitions that get a critical reviews from the public.

Course overview
You will get hands-on experiences right from sculpturing to painting, print-making and photography. You will learn
the process from beginning to end through each medium of expression. This is the time that students make their personal
choice of medium as well. Studying art history is also part of the curriculum, along with continuous assessment.

Job opportunities
You can join the creative departments of advertising agencies, magazines, newspapers in the publishing industry or the
textile industry. Electronic media, films and theatre are other options. The salary is varied, and also depends on your talent.

You can also be a art historian, art dealer, art therapist or art educator. Unfortunately, few artists have the luxury of becoming full-time painters or sculptors.

Careers360 is a complete education and career magazine offering campus and course reviews, career features, scholarships, expert advisories, entrance exam preparation & solved papers, admission alerts and more.