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Editorial Articles

Volume-6, 11 - 17 May 2019


Career Options after Graduation

Vijay Prakash Srivastava

It is surprising indeed that not enough discussion or reference is available about career planning after 10+2+3 or 4 or 5  (as in some cases it takes 4/5 years to graduate) whereas it is very easy to find guidance  as what to do after 10+2. This article is an attempt to fill this gap. 

As a matter of fact for all students, completing H.S.C. and  then graduation,  are two major milestones in their lives. However in terms of choices both the stages differ strikingly. When you have just completed H.S.C., you're mostly still into your teens, not in a very strong position to take independent decision and possibly not fully aware of doors (read choices) that are open for you. In such a position it is not surprising to find students who have to choose a path without an assessment  of what the future holds for them. Of course, the future can never be predicted fully, but it is good that we try to design it.

When you are a graduate you are a grown up adult, with a wider perspective of the world within and around you .Your personality has become  relatively mature and it is easier to form an independent  opinion  and chart a path for yourself. Another  big difference  is that while after 10+2, a student in most of the cases will think of further studies only (which precisely means  choosing the course of study for graduation viz. engineering, medical, commerce, architecture, designing, pharmacy, agriculture, computer applications etc.) after graduation  though one may choose to go for higher studies, there are also many other paths to choose from.

Broadly, following are the options or paths available when you're done with  your graduation-

-              Pursuing further studies

-              Preparing for/appearing in All India Services

-              Seeking a job through other competitive examinations

-              Seeking a career in armed forces

-              Exploring instant job opportunities

Each of the above has been dealt with in detail  below  with an idea to help our readers to evaluate the choices.

Pursuing further studies: When you choose to continue your study after graduation, you are again flooded with options. You may go for a postgraduate degree or a diploma course. Based on your eligibility and financial situations, you may have to  take a call whether you want to join a  top graded institute or will be happy to join  any other institute  also. Another decision which has more significance,  will be about the subject to be taken for your postgraduate studies. You may have been a science student but may want to change your track now. This is quite common. Many  students who have done engineering (B.E. or B. Tech), instead of pursuing M.E. or M.Tech.. decide to go for M.B.A. (Master of Business Administration). Even biotechnology and medical science graduates have been found to pursue management education at postgraduate level. The advantage with courses like  M.B.A. and M.S.W. (Master of Social Work) is that  these are  open to graduates of all disciplines and has wide availability. Same is the case with a degree in law. A law degree (L.L.B) can be pursued only after graduation in any subject (we're not talking of 5 years integrated courses possible after 10+2) though in its nature it is a graduate qualification. This freedom is restricted and is  not applicable in cases of postgraduation in all  the subjects. For example if an arts graduate  suddenly develops interest in physics, she or he will not be allowed to join M.Sc. in physics. So you have to check if you are eligible to make the transition. But before that more probing questions need to be answered such as  what is your reason for wanting to change the subject. Is it your genuine interest in the subject, does it offer better job opportunities or you simply want a subject which is  easier to sail through. In certain cases people choose a different subject for postgraduation as they want to keep this as an optional subject in civil services examination.

After graduation,  doing Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) is a good idea for those willing to take up a career in  teaching up to secondary level. Post-graduate/diploma studies may be pursued in Indian and foreign languages as well.

If you're research oriented then you'll need a postgraduate degree before you could enrol for a Ph.D.

Whatever subject you choose for your postgraduation, you'll have to take a decision regarding the institute from where you want to do this course. For premier institutes like IIMs, IITs, IISc, IIITs etc. the competition is intense. You've to take into account your finances because moving to another city, will carry additional expenditure. Those who want to go abroad for their Masters will need to plan early taking into consideration various requirements like visa, etc.

Those who have graduated with qualifications like M.B.B.S or B.V.Sc. are considered fully equipped to take up a job or start practicing. However if they choose to specialize, post-graduation is the option for them.

Long and short term  vocational diploma courses can also be undertaken after graduation. Make sure that the diploma has a value and it is intended to fulfil the purpose for which you've chosen it. Few examples of diploma courses are-jewellery designing, computer networking, web designing, training and development, translation, hotel management etc.

Career in All India Services: Once you're a graduate you become eligible to compete for prestigious All India Services. These examinations are conducted by Union Public Service Commission on yearly basis. Civil Service (formerly Indian Administrative Service) examination is open to graduates of all disciplines. Upon selection candidates are allotted administrative (IAS), police (IPS), foreign (IFS) and allied services like Indian Audit and Accounts Service, Indian Railway Traffic Service etc. To appear in Indian Forest Service examination you should be a graduate in Physics, Chemistry, Zoology, Botany, Mathematics, Statistics, Geology, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science. Graduates in Agri-culture, Forestry or Engineering are also considered eligible.

All graduate engineers (B.E/ B.Tech. in any discipline) are eligible to appear in Indian Engineering Services examination.

Indian Statistical Service examination  is open to those graduates who have completed their degree with any one of Statistics, applied statistics or mathematical statistics.

Selection process to all of the above in three stages of preliminary, main examination and comprehensive interview. More details can be had from  the website upsc.gov.in

State Civil Services: On the line of Civil Services examinations, in most of the states their Public Service Commission conducts examination for filling up administrative positions. If selected you would be working within the same state.

Exploring jobs through competitive examinations: Your being graduate makes you eligible to apply for clerical and officers position in public sector banks and insurance companies. Combined examination is held for all public sector banks, while insurance companies recruit individually. These positions are filled through written test and interview. There is no interview for clerical posts. Officers position are filled on all India basis where as clerical vacancies are announced statewise. State Bank of India conducts its examination separately.

Staff Selection Commission conducts various examinations for filling up vacancies in central government departments, Keep visiting their website ssc.nic.in  to learn about opportunities.

Graduates are eligible to apply for sub-inspectors' posts in police forces. Recruitment is at  state level.

Jobs in Public sector organizations: Here the reference is to public sector oil (ONGC,IOL etc.), power (NTPC, Powergrid Corporation  and others), gas (GAIL, Petronet  LNG etc.) and other companies such as BHEL, HAL, REC etc. Many of these have  trainee scheme in management and engineering. For engineering trainee graduate engineers (in required discipline) are eligible. In many cases  a GATE score is required to apply for such position. At state government undertakings like Gujarat State Petronet, similar opportunities may be available.

Jobs in Indian Army: We all know the respect  Indian Armed forces command. After graduation there are multiple avenues to join army. Graduates with 'C' certificate from NCC have a special scheme  for recruitment of men/ women. Other entry schemes for graduates are Short Service Commission (Technical/non-technical) Combined Defence Service which may take you to Indian Military Academy/ Indian Naval Academy /Air Force Academy /Officers Training Academy for comprehensive training before launching you as a full-fledged army officer. Website joinindianarmy.nic.in will provide you more information about army careers. It is not necessary to continue in the army till the time of your superannuation. Army allows you to come back to civilian life after completing commissioning/ defined  period.

Jobs in private sector: Liberal government policies and growing ease of business have helped private enterprises to grow and expand in our country. This is good for jobseekers. Counter and sales related jobs may be available to graduates in private banks, insurance companies etc. While being open to private jobs, you need to  carry a strong persona so that you're not found gullible and are not taken for a ride. This aspect is highlighted as there are many dishonest  elements to exploit jobseekers with fake job offers.

Work and study together: Outwardly it may appear to be a difficult choice but this is the way for some to create a balance in their financial needs and growth aspirations. You may have to make few compromises when you decide to work and study side by side. However this can also prove to be a game changer in course of time. You may join evening classes (those having evening shift may take up day classes), enrol as a private student or register for a course from  an open university. Indira Gandhi National Open University has created  a niche in regard to  their line-up of courses, study material and student support services like contact classes etc. Whichever institute/course you choose, it should be well thought out and with a purpose since you will be spending enough of your time and resources into it.

Taking a break from studies to join work later: In many western countries like  US, this is considered usual, particularly for those interested in business studies/management. In fact at many institutes,   certain work experience is considered necessary before one is admitted to a business management postgraduate course. At few management  institutes in  India also  there is weightage for work experience in the admission process or work experience is a must (example- Indian School of Business at Hyderabad). After some work experience one may join part time M.B.A. also while continuing working. Few organizations provide study leave to their employees  and there are few who sponsor employees for higher studies. In such cases the employee may be required to sign a bond to continue in job for a given period or pay the bond money to the company.

Whatever you decide to do after your graduation should inter alia  be based on the following:

Your family circumstances and financial situation

Your personality and orientation and if need be, how far you're willing to modify it,

The kind of life you want to lead

Your propensity to come out of comfort zone

Your short and long term career goals

Your risk taking ability

The ultimate objective for your medium and long term future should be  to realise your potential  so that over a long period of time when you look back you can say with confidence that you made best of your gifts, talents and situations  and therefore there is no cause for regrets.

(The author is a career counsellor based in Mumbai Email: v2j25@ yahoo.in)

Views expressed are personal.

(Image Courtesy : Google)