(This is an old article that I had written in a couple newspapers. I stumble upon it on my laptop and thought posting it could be of value to parents who are in a dilemma about what should their children pursue.)
IT’S a paradox of the times. The world is shrinking and expanding simultaneously. Technology is transforming our planet into a virtual village. More and more people, particularly youngsters like you, are using computers and the Internet. Sitting in your classrooms or homes, you can access whatever information you need from the World Wide Web and interact with any one around the world. No wonder geography is history now. If you really capitalize on this revolution, EDUCATION can become fun and paying too. No longer is the class XII student compelled to compete only for the engineering and medical courses, not that there is anything wrong with these popular streams. But now there is a plethora of career options. One can follow one’s heart and pursue a vocation of choice.
Ask yourself, “What do I want to be?” With information at your finger tip, literally, as your ARMORY and passion as your FERRARI, if you are enthused about a career, you can invigorate your parents too to jump in, to help you chase your dreams!!
Here are a few career areas that hold promise for the next decade or so.
ICE (Information, Communication and Entertainment): With integration of technologies, we are bound to witness a greater interactivity of computer networks, communication channels and entertainment media. You can now watch movies, enjoy a concert or even attend a class of a professor and university of your choice at your own pace and time, in your room at a click of the mouse. This means that the good times are rolling for back-end professionals such as innovators, software developers, content providers, engineers, technicians, producers, writers, script-writers, set designers, animators, and researchers. Of course, there’s good news for front-end experts like journalists, anchors, jockeys — VJ, RJ and DJ — newsreaders and performers. Those opting for humanities have a world of opportunities to choose from. So don’t suppress your desire to take up the Arts after class X.
Biotechnology, bio-informatics, biochemistry, biomechanics etc.: Developments in areas related to the application of biology and allied subjects along with Information Technology is bound to transform lives. Miniaturization of technologies will see outstanding progress and application in a variety of areas ranging from ICE to medicine. At the same time health-care products, food processing and preservatives, agriculture productivity, oil refining, contamination control, medicinal cures, waste management and environmental sciences will gain prominence. Keen to make a mark in these areas? Well, master both the physical and biological sciences in your senior secondary.
Design: Office or home Interiors, landscapes, shopping displays or communication – all need designs for enhancement. Institutions offer specialized and intensive courses in design – product, textile, ceramic, interior, landscape, fashion, gem and jewelry, retailing and communication design, not limited architectural design. Remember, it’s not the stream but creativity that determines your success in the world of design.
Education and Human Resources Development (HRD): They will be highly integrated and with the world becoming a knowledge village, there will be a growing need for educationists, counselors, trainers, assessors, motivators, academic administrators, instructional designers, course designers, and techno-academic integrators. One can get into this area irrespective of the subject at higher secondary.
Healthcare: Another area that will witness a great shift from public or governmental domain to the private domain. Healthcare will see greater application of technology and sophisticated medical practices at a reduced cost. Hospitals will be run like any other business corporate and so will require people for administration, public relations and customer care in addition to needing doctors, surgeons and paramedical staff.
The conventional sectors: Sectors that have a continuous demand for trained people include: Infrastructure — transportation, energy, community planning, for instance; Financial — innovative instruments for resource generation, insurance, banking and so on; Services — hospitality, tourism and travel, IT enabled services, for example; Development and legal sectors — such as social work, human rights, developmental economics, environmental issues; and, of course, the defence sector.
So list your thoughts and prioritize your interests, pursue your passion. Read up about the areas that appeal to you and see whether you have the capabilities needed to pursue that career. Armed with the information, speak to your parents and teachers, asking them to do both, listen to and question your plans. They will be able to help you in discovering the path to your goal. Befriend them as you would your peer group. If you need more help email me. Focus and work hard…the Ferraris will be yours for the asking.
R. SREENIVASAN, MTech (JNU), MBA (IIM Bangalore)
Educationist and Motivator,
Chairman, Indus World School, RAIPUR