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16 grad courses with great career potential

Last updated on: May 19, 2010 17:51 IST

16 grad courses with great career potential

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College admission season is hotting up. To help students make a more informed choice about the course they should take up, Careers360 profiled 50?graduate programmes and the scope they offer. In the first part we looked at 20 courses that will make you a job-ready graduate and in the second, 10 degrees that need postgraduate study. Today, in the third part of the series, we look at 16 courses that offer interesting careers and growth opportunities.

From economics to Tamil literature, the courses profiled in the following slides are the staple options for nearly 90 per cent of the students in the country. Barring a few like economics and fine arts, which do offer job possibilities which are related to what you study, most of the other programmes equip you with certain critical analytical and conceptual capabilities. But identifying the right job for the skills you have is left to your imagination and ability.

Indian Languages

Duration: 3 years; Eligibility:10+2. Some colleges have entrance exam; Job profile: Writer, translator, teacher

One of the most misunderstood degree programmes, languages still remain the least popular choice. But with increasing usage of vernacular languages in media, entertainment and even commerce, the potential for a good career exists if you equip yourself with language skills.

Course overview
Apart from learning the language you will study literature and masterpieces in the chosen language to strengthen your base and understanding of the language. You would need to study the history of the language as well as understand the changes in the application of the language, over the years.

Job opportunities
Translation, journalism and teaching are some fields that recruit professionals with a language skill. From a copy writer to editor, good language skills are most essential for success. Advertising is another field that increasingly looks at language experts. Copywriting in Indian languages is a very lucrative option. Yet another niche job, is as microfinance facilitators.

The cultural insights that a language degree provides you, coupled with a diploma in micro finance, would give you a headstart as a loan officer for the innumerable firms that are entering this field. Nachiket Mor, president of ICICI Foundation, predicts that nearly a million jobs would be available in the coming decade in this domain. The pay is largely dependent on your area of work; initial range for fresh graduates would be between Rs 5,000 to Rs 15,000.

Anthropology

Duration: 3 years; Eligibility: 10+2 (Science) for a BSc in Anthropology. Some colleges also accept Commerce and Arts students; Job profile: Anthropologist, researcher, project officer

First introduced by Calcutta University in 1920, anthropology is the study of the evolution of man from primitive times to the present, along with the physical and cultural diversity of human beings based on living environments is part of the territory.

Course overview
An interdisciplinary field, you will study socio-cultural anthropology, prehistoric anthropology, physical or biological anthropology, linguistic anthropology and applied anthropology. Field work is also part of the course.

Job opportunities
Anthropologists basically provide staff function. They provide inputs on a particular race of society to other professionals.

In other words, their expertise would enable archaeologists, medical doctors and social sector specialists to perform their job better. So job opportunities are minimal but well paying. Some of the experts with doctoral degrees also advise large developmental organisations like WHO, UNDP, etc.

Sociology

Duration: 3 years; Eligibility: 10+2, cut-offs vary from college to college; Job profile: Junior project fellow (Rs 8,000 per month for a fresher), sociologist, community worker, researcher, project officer

Human-social relationships is the focus. Being interdisciplinary, it includes fields such as demography, criminology and environmental sociology. In addition, you will delve into the depths of society and religion. Understanding economic, cultural and political aspects of countries is also required.

Course overview
The discipline will help you to understand social structures and processes. Not only will you learn about human society, but you will also develop the ability to classify human social behaviour. You will learn about kinship, religion, politics, economics and the society along with its impact on everyday life.

Job opportunities
Research and related aspects find the most takers. A sociology graduate will work largely in the social sector with various NGOs and organisations. Though government jobs are also available, postgraduates have an edge. Many graduates continue to do their postgraduation and work on projects alongside.

Community work takes in a lot of sociology students. The pay is largely dependent on the project and place of work.

English Literature

Duration: 3 years; Eligibility: 10+2, some colleges hold entrance tests; Job profile: Journalist (as a fresher, you can expect Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 depending on your grasp of grammar and writing skills), scriptwriter, English teacher, storyteller, freelance writer

If you have the creative bent, there is no other better option than a course in English literature. You will delve into the world of literature, right from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales to Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy. If you complete your programme from a good colleges, you will strengthen your English communication skills, writing techniques and analysis of literature.

Creative skills and an interest in reading all kinds of literature come with the territory. In addition, you will need to understand historical, political, psychological and spiritual aspects as well.

Course overview
You will study a range of literature, from classics to modern novels, and poetry. Understanding their implied meanings is part important. Similes, metaphors and interpretations will be part of the course. If you don't enjoy reading, you will be in for a tough time. Your writing skills and reading of literature will widen your perspectives as you do the course.

Job opportunities
You can choose from a number of jobs, such as teaching, publishing, writing, advertising, research or translation. Becoming a scriptwriter or author is another possibility. Publishing houses also commission you to author books. You can become an English teacher, too. Salary will vary according to the place where you join.


Photographs: Careers360
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Botany

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Duration: 3 years; Eligibility: 10+2 in science; Job profile: Research scientist (fresh graduates can expect Rs 18,000 to Rs 35,000 per month), botanist, ecologist, taxonomist, conservationist, plant explorer

Botany by definition is the scientific study of plants, including algae, fungi, lichens, mosses, ferns, conifers and flowering plants. An understanding of ecology and interaction between organisms and the environment is part of the field.

Course overview
A combination of theory and practicals, you will study ecology, molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics, physiology and taxonomy. Be ready to memorise a lot!

Job opportunities
Some outdoorsy positions to consider include that of ecologist, taxonomist, conservationist, forester or plant explorer. A person with an inclination towards mathematics can opt for the field of biophysics, developmental botany, genetics or systems ecology.

An interest in chemistry can provide you with the opportunity to become a plant biochemist, molecular biologist or plant physiologist. Biotechnology is a promising field to enter as well.

Geology

Duration: 3 years; Eligibility: 10+2 with science; Job profile: Geologist (a fresher can expect a starting salary of Rs 25,000 to Rs 40,000 per month), meteorologist, geographer, oceanographer

This science branch deals with the study of the earth, environment, history and minerals. A career in this field is gaining popularity; explore different branches such as structural geology, mineralogy, planetology and geomorphology as well.

Course overview
Geology delves into the assessment of natural disasters and effects on the environment. Study involves underwater resources, oil, natural gas and minerals. Get acquainted with activities like construction of bridges, roads, buildings and laying railway lines, with respect to natural resources. You will be taught to assess quality of soil through geo-chemical and geo-physical tests, too.

Job opportunities
You can become a geologist, meteorologist, geographer or oceanographer. Explore careers in petrology, paleontology, geophysics, mining or field study. Good employment opportunities exist in the public and private sector. Apply for jobs with central government agencies through the exam by the UPSC. Explore defense and paramilitary forces and firms like Reliance, Essar that have stakes in the Indian mining space.

Home Science

Duration: 3 years; Eligibility: 10+2, some require science background and hold entrance exams; Job profile: Nutritionist (Rs 10,000-15,000 for a fresh graduate), dietician, food technologist, nutrition consultant, research analyst, school teacher

Home Science has been in existence for many years, an option that most think is only available to women. The curriculum and course is also being altered to keep up with the current scenario. Focus on health and nutrition forms a large chunk of the course. The field of home science has an interdisciplinary nature to it.

Course overview
The course is interdisciplinary in nature, you are required to learn the basics of physics, chemistry and biology as part of the curriculum. A balance between the scientific approach and practicality is provided. Focus on betterment of family and community is part of the course as well. You will learn subjects such as nutrition and dietetics, rural community extension, child development, and interior decoration as part of the course.

Job opportunities
The opportunities for employment are growing, you can take up jobs in the production industry, tourism, service  industry or healthcare as well. In addition, you can work as a nutrition consultant or a research analyst. Most  opportunities lie in non-governmental organisations for graduates.

Teaching is another lucrative option available. A degree also opens up vistas for self-employment like starting their own school, creche, interior design and fashion boutiques.

Zoology

Duration: 3 years; Eligibility: 10+2 in science, other criteria vary from college to college. Some hold entrance exams as well; Job profile: Zoologist (a fresher would get initial salary between Rs 15,000 to Rs 30,000), environmental consultant, journalist, conservationist

It involves the study of wildlife comprising learning in depth about how animals live and their natural surroundings. Most specialise, and this means that you become an expert on one animal. Working closely with animals, observing behaviour and determining illness and disease is part of your field.

Course overview
Study the whole arena of animals from behaviour to health and wellbeing of the animal. Practicals make you familiar with lab equipment, research techniques and computers.

Job opportunities
You can work as a research zoologist, conducting experiments on specific animals. Zoologists spend their time outdoors, as part of their course as well as their work life. Zoos absorb many trained individuals. Other opportunities include government, environmental consulting firms and conservation groups. Salary will vary depending on place of work.


Photographs: Careers360
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Food Science

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Duration: 4 years; Eligibility: 10+2 (science); Job profile: Food scientist (Rs 15,000-20,000 as a fresher), quality assurance officer, production executive

Food science is simply the study, production and distribution of food. Improvement, preservation, packaging and distribution of food is the focus of a food scientist. Of late, people have become acutely conscious about content and quality plus nutritional values of food, giving a much needed boost to this field.

Course overview
All aspects of food will be taught as well as soil, plants and biotechnology and ecology and the environment, blending theory and practicals. You must also study global warming and population growth as part of the course.

Job opportunities
You can work as a food technologist or a biotechnologist. Food scientists are hired by government offices as well as laboratories, to check quality of food. R&D organisations also hire. Food technologists are mainly required in hotels, food, and packaging industries. A PG degree qualifies you for lectureship. A fresher can expect between Rs15,000 to Rs 20,000, initially.

Philosophy

Duration: 3 years; Eligibility: 10+2, cut-offs to apply vary from college to college. Some hold entrance exams; Job profile: Researcher, school teacher

The term philosophy was introduced by the Greek thinker Pythagoras. Philosophy is a subject that delves deep into general and fundamental issues related to existence, knowledge, reason, mind and language. You will study both Indian and western, and understand the relation between reality and experience. An interesting subject for 'thinkers'.

Course overview
You will be required to study philosophy in depth from all parts of the world. Ethics and aesthetics will also be part of the course. Logic is another core part of the course along with religion. Indian and western philosophy will be delved into deeply. Social and political philosophy also need to be mastered.

Job prospects
After the completion of a BA in philosophy, most continue to do higher education in a related field like linguistics, sociology, psychology or even history. You can apply for a job in publication or in school as a teacher. You can also apply for jobs in private firms or in government sectors. Many find work in an unrelated area unless they go into  research. Your graduate degree gives you the ability to apply to various sectors.

Economics

Duration: 3 years; Eligibility: You need to have completed your 10+2; Job profile: Junior researcher (Rs12,000 to Rs 15,000 as a fresher), bank PO, project officer, research economist

A social science, economics studies the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. You must understand various resources like raw materials, land, capital, technology and labour, as well as the relation between demand and supply, exchange rates, taxation and inflation.

Course overview
You will study economics and its impact on society, business, finance and the government. You must understand health, politics, religion, science and education. Statistics and analysis is also a core part of your study.

Job opportunities
Work in banking, finance, insurance, stock markets and consulting firms. Explore the National Council of Applied Economic Research and Institute of Applied Manpower Research, Delhi for research. Department of Economic Analysis and Policy and Reserve Bank of India recruit research economists.

Commerce

Duration: 3 years; Eligibility: 10+2, some colleges hold entrance exams as well; Job profile: Accounts executive (fresher gets Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 plus incentives to begin), finance officer, cost accountant, administrative officer, business development officer

Commerce is a subject that has great applicability in the real world. If numbers excite you, this is a great option that is always in demand. You will acquire knowledge about business and trade, nature and fluctuations in market, economics basics, fiscal policies and industrial policies as well.

The interdisciplinary range includes accountancy, business administration, e-commerce, finance, economics and marketing.

Course overview
The coursework is similar to a BBA but the focus on theory and business principles is more intense in the BCom course. Mathematics and calculations is a large part of the course as well. A clear understanding of economics, accountancy, finance and marketing will be developed in the three years.

Job opportunities
Some available avenues are banking and finance, auditing and cost accounting, company secretarial practice and also foreign trade practice and procedures. Salaries vary largely, dependent on the company and area of work.


Photographs: Careers360
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Psychology

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Duration: 3 years; Eligibility: 10+2 in arts, cut off percentages vary from college to college; Job profile: Counsellor (Rs 10,000 per month as a fresh graduate), psychologist, HR assistant, junior project fellow

Calcutta University was the first in India to set up a department of psychology in 1915. This discipline, defined as 'the study of human and animal behaviour', teaches you about yourself, others and about human psyche in general. Be prepared to be surprised many times as you get deeper into the subject.

Course overview
The course is a combination of theory and practicals throughout. The range of subjects include general psychology, statistics, systems, abnormal psychology and physiological psychology. In your third year, you would opt for a specialisation such as industrial psychology, child psychology or applied psychology.

Job opportunities
This depends on your area of specialisation. A student having done organisational behaviour can find jobs in industry and private companies. The other avenues include schools, NGOs, hospitals, HR companies etc. Pay is usually low for a fresher, if you're lucky your first salary would be Rs 10,000. Just remember it is an extremely rewarding experience in the long run.

Political Science

Duration: 3 years; Eligibility: 10+2 in Arts stream; Job profile: Political researcher (a fresh graduate would receive Rs 8,000 to Rs 15,000 per month), political scientist, civil servant, politician, school teacher, political advisor

Politics and its understanding is shaped by recorded history of the world. This social science is defined as 'the theory and practice of politics and the description and analysis of political systems and political behaviour'. Understanding various subfields such as political theory, public policy, national politics, international relations and comparative politics is part of the discipline.

It is also a study of human behaviour of sorts. Various social science think-tanks use it as a tool to analyse the current trends in the society.

Course overview
Theory is a major part of the course. You will delve deep into classical political philosophy, positivism, structuralism, poststructuralism, behaviouralism, realism and institutionalism. Research from primary sources such as historical documents and official records is required. In addition, secondary sources such as journal articles, survey research, statistical analysis and case study is a must.

Job opportunities
Political scientists can work as advisors to politicians or political parties. Working in government organisations or as a civil servants is a preferred choice. Some work in NGOs or political movements. Teaching is another possibility.

History and Archaeology

Duration: 3 years; Eligibility: 10+2 with science or geography or history, cutoffs and eligibility vary from college to college; Job profile: Surveyor (about Rs 35,000 in hand in The Archaeological Survey of India), researcher, museum curator, records officer, epigraphist, numismatist

A unique combination, this area helps in understanding the past, dealing with the present and the future. Delve into the world of history and archaeology together.

Course overview
Your course will be a detailed study of the past. Pre-existing monuments and tracing the past will be part of the curriculum. Research programmes will be part of the programme which will include re-visiting historical scripts. In addition you will delve into the world of fossils and history of evolution.

Job opportunities
There are plenty of jobs available for this combination. You can join a range of research projects or work with the government. The Archaeological Survey of India or the National Museum is another option to explore. Since the number of students pursuing this course is less than other graduate course, you have a better chance of making a mark in the field. Many pursue further education, too.

Geography

Duration: 3 years; Eligibility: 10+2, some colleges require a science/ arts background; Job profile: Geographer (Rs 8,000 to Rs 15,000 monthly for a fresher in government departments and research institutes), geography teacher (Rs 10,000-25,000 a month), regional planner, urban planner, cartographer and travel counsellor

Presidency College of Kolkata, established in 1949-50, is still known as the best college for geography. This field has growing opportunities. For instance, there's a growing need for geography specialists in today's world.

Course overview
You will learn the art of cartography, which relates to making maps, charts, globes and models. You will learn how to survey ie, mapping the surface of the earth through mathematical observations. Alongside fieldwork, theory teaches you about varied aspects of the geography of the world.

Remote sensing is also part of the curriculum, which entails studying phenomena like floods, draught and forest fires for example. Some of the branches you will study include urban geography, regional geography, economic geography, political geography, physical geography and medical geography.

Job opportunities
Your area of specialisation will help decide your area of work. Geographers find employment as forest managers, working at agricultural/ economic institutes, demographers in government and research organisations. Travel and tourism is another option as is travel journalism, provided you have a flair for writing. Geography as a subject is very scoring if you plan to appear for the UPSC or other competitive exams.


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