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In-Depth Jobs


Issue no 5, 30 APRIL - 6 MAY 2022

Higher Education To Jumpstart Your Career

Nidhi Prasad

What Is Higher Education?

India's higher education system is the world's third-largest in terms of students, next to China and the United States. Higher education is defined as further education after high school completion.It is considered the third level of education after you leave school.

The term 'higher education with respect to India denotes the tertiary level education that is imparted after 12 years of schooling (10 years of primary and secondary education and 2 years of senior secondary education). Higher education begins with post-senior secondary education in learning institutions. The completion of higher education results in a degree, diploma, or certificate. The institutions that provide education in higher studies are universities, colleges, and various professional schools.

It includes the fields of Law, Medicine, Business, Music, Art, Social Sciences, and many more. Higher education also comprises teacher training schools, junior colleges, and technology institutes. The minimum eligibility to gain higher education is the completion of senior secondary education and an entrance age above 17/18 years. Teachers in higher education commonly aim to develop their students’ way of thinking, among others, and teaching in higher education is a faculty development space.

The world of education continues to evolve and has transformed leading to numerous growing trends in the learning space. The advent of technology has brought about many changes in our daily lifestyle and our mindset. It has opened the doors and windows of opportunities and new ideas and has enabled us to think beyond the conventional career paths and consider the new-age careers of today, for a living.

 The structure of Indian Higher Education is three-layered, consisting of Universities, Colleges and Courses.

On the basis of management, the universities are classified as:

·         Central Universities: These are set up through an Act in Parliament. The establishment and operation are funded by the Union Government. 

·         State Universities - These are set up through an Act in the State Legislature. The state universities are primarily funded and operated by the State Government. 

·         Private Universities - These are set up through an Act in the State Legislatures. It includes specialized institutions and multidisciplinary research universities that are privately funded.

·         Deemed Universities - These are well-performing institutes that are declared to be of equal standing as the universities by the Central Government on the advice of the University Grants Commission (UGC). 

·         Institutes of National Importance (INI) - These are eminent institutions in India that are known to develop highly skilled individuals. They are funded by the Government of India and include all the IITs, NITs and AIIMS institutes.

·         The colleges enabling higher education in India can be affiliated either with Central or State universities. The private colleges are mostly affiliated with State universities. Further, there are autonomous colleges as well that enjoy autonomy in terms of deciding curriculum, admissions and examination process. But they are also affiliated with a government university (Central or State).

Importance of Higher Education

In the 21st century, a college education is crucial for success.

The world is changing. Technology is developing beyond our wildest dreams, and complex issues in business, environment, and politics continue to challenge our society. Higher education prepares students to meet these challenges with grit and determination. A college education is more than classroom instruction. It is a holistic journey that explores facets of individuality, perseverance, and skill. A degree is about learning how to think, communicate, and deliver. More realistically, it can be considered as a transformation - from potential to realization.

A person chooses higher education when he wishes to specialise in his study stream. A prosperous career, financial security and higher growth opportunities are some of the benefits of higher education. With higher education, a person becomes more employable with specialised skills.

Higher education provides a gateway to a number of opportunities in the future.It has become very popular in the present scenario when live classes are not possible. It also promotes higher-order thinking skills in students, enhances their subject learning, encourages collaboration, improves knowledge retention, engages in discussion, and many more. Today Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Machine Learning, and similar other techniques are playing a major role in almost every domain. The present challenges can be met when students understand the Importance of Leadership in Higher Education.

Higher education is important in one's life:

1.      Jumpstart Your Career

If you joined your organisation at the most basic level and you are ambitious to grow up the ladder, you need supportive skills. These extra skills are gained by putting in your time and energy in a course that gives you extra edge to soar higher in your career ladder.

2.      Higher Skill Gain

All the skills and specialisations derived from higher education help a person to explore unexplored territories and achieve higher excellence in life.

3.      Intellectual Development

The more you study, the more you broaden your horizon and hence your perspective undergoes a serious transformation. A person who has completed higher education certainly has a better perspective and ideas to help in community and societal development and has the capability to build a citizen friendly nation.

4.      Deep Knowledge

Higher education offers you complete knowledge. Professors and teachers will teach you all the basics related to your subjects. You will get both theoretical and practical knowledge.

 

Career options which will define the following decade:

If you don't know what Master's degree to study and you feel blocked, without a clear idea about your future career path. To save you from the dilemma of choosing the right career for the future, and give you something to think about, here is a list of careers that will define the following decade:

Computer Science degrees - learn to speak "machine" and improve the web

 We are living in the digital era. Global companies from anywhere in this world have a high demand for computer geniuses, and, for this reason, most universities provide Master's degrees in Computer Science in a wide array of specialisations. Some of the most popular specialisations and corresponding careers are: z

·         Video Games & Multimedia degrees - game tester, web designer

·         Business Information Systems degrees - network engineer

·         IT Security degrees - software developer

·         Data Science degrees - database manager

Design Degrees

 If you've always thought of yourself as a creative person that also has a keen eye for details, a Master's degree in Design might be the perfect fit for you. Designers focus on the appearance and physical aspects of a product without overlooking the functionality and usability and overcoming customer satisfaction. Designers are "the brain" behind every concept or idea of a logo, food package, website, and more. As a graduate, you can become: 

·         Graphics designer 

·         Copywrite visual artist 

·         Advertising editor

UI/UX Designer

In the times when applications and websites play a big role in the digital marketing and business world, UI/UX designing is one of the most well-paid, new age careers of today. A UI/UX designer creates the interface for the best user experience for a mobile application or a website. Apart from graphic designing and knowledge of designing software, the basic skills needed to ace this profession are to have curiosity, empathy, and understanding of human behaviour and be adept at visual communication.

 Fashion Degrees

Are you the kind of person who buys tons of fashion magazines and is deeply interested in fashion trends, clothing, and accessories?One can make a career out of this hobby and start with a Master's degree in Luxury Goods and Fashion or Master's degree in Fashion Design. These programmes can lead to rewarding careers like: 

·         Fashion designer 

·         Fashion journalist 

·         Fashion critic 

·         Brand manager

Art and Art History Degrees

If you were always passionate about anything that is related to arts like paintings, sculpture, visual arts, or even photography, you can learn more if you apply to a Master's degree in Art.If you study a Master's degree in Art History, you can understand how social, cultural, and even political factors have contributed to the ideas and work of famous painters and artists, in general. Popular career options include:

·         Art critic 

·         Art broker

·         Art consultant

·          University professor

Social Sciences degrees - history, culture, politics, and economics

 Social Sciences Master's degrees are some of the most versatile in terms of knowledge and skills, as they provide future graduates great career options. Top disciplines connected to Social Sciences are: Economics, International Relations, Political Science, and International Communication.

Your career options are wide-ranging and includes:

·         PR officer for companies, institutions or political figures 

·         Economics analyst or freelance consultant for international business

·         Counsellor, analyst, political journalist, lobbyist, or NGO activist

Hospitality Degrees

If you've experienced working in tourism, or have been attracted to the idea of making a career in this field, you can start preparing with a Master's degree in Tourism and Hospitality. The overall tourism industry is one of the most prosperous worldwide, and specialists in the field will always be in high demand.A Master's degree in Tourism and Hospitality will prepare you for jobs like:

·         Restaurant or a hotel manager z Customer service expert

·         Tour and travel guide

Few other options one can explore are:

Blockchain Engineer

With Blockchain steadily growing into a popular part of the IT industry, the demand for blockchain engineers is also rapidly rising, making the field one of the exciting new-age career options for STEM aspirants.These engineers are hired to create and implement solutions for IT companies and various other companies of diverse industries using blockchain technology. A solid foundation of software development and proficiency in various programming languages is needed to become a high-flying blockchain engineer.

Artificial Intelligence Specialist

An Artificial Intelligence Specialist works towards supplementing the operations across industries. The plethora of opportunities available in the domain of artificial intelligence makes it an exciting domain.

 Having made their mark in the financial, health as well as sports industries, there is a lot of potential to make their mark in sectors like law and geology. AI will be a formidable force moving into the new decade and it is believed that it has the potential to improve India's economy and cybersecurity.

 Robotic Process Automation Consultant

Business Process automation is now being amplified by Robotic Process Automation. RPA can make a big difference for organizations troubled by repetitive everyday processes. RPA aims at speeding up the tasks, thus improving efficiency, resulting in higher client satisfaction. Automation is fostering a new way of operating. The organization will focus on a balance between the human and digital workforce, also known as software robots or "bots." The role of an RPA developer extends beyond automation and covers process design as well as automation architecture.

Growth Manager

Profit and revenue growth happens to be a core objective for most companies, and this requires each and every function to contribute towards the fulfilment of this goal. In regard to this, in recent years tech startups have introduced a new role in their structure, referred to as the Growth Manager. Synonyms for the same can be Growth Hacker, Growth PM, or Head of Growth, but the role stays the same. The function of a Growth Manager lies at the intersection of marketing and product development and focuses on the customer and user acquisition, activation, retention, and upsell. The Growth Manager works cross-functionally with engineering, design, analytics, product management, operations, and marketing to design and execute growth initiatives.

Site Reliability Engineer

The role of Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) was born at Google in 2003, before the DevOps movement, when the primary team of software engineers was tasked to form Google's already large-scale sites more reliable, efficient, and scalable. The practices they developed responded so well to Google's needs that other big tech companies, like Amazon and Netflix, also adopted them and brought new practices to the table. SRE eventually became a full-fledged IT domain, aimed toward developing automated solutions for operational aspects like on-call monitoring, performance and capacity planning, and disaster response. It complements beautifully other core DevOps practices, like continuous delivery and infrastructure automation.

Full-stack Developer

A full-stack developer is an engineer who can handle all the work of databases, servers, systems engineering, and clients. What customers need could also be a mobile stack, an internet stack, or a native application stack. In fact, "fullstack" refers to the gathering of a series of technologies needed to finish a project. "Stack" refers to a set of sub-modules. These software sub-modules or components combined together to realize the established function without the necessity for other modules.

Python Developer

A Python Developer is often an internet developer, programmer, Data Analyst, Data Scientist or an Automation tester, etc. And hence a Python Developer is often anyone of the above.

Simple access and increased demand are intriguing enough to become a Python Developer. The demand caters well for Job openings and being the one with the in-demand skills would assist you to stand out amongst your peers.

Lead Generation Specialist

 Don't confuse this position with a requirement generation specialist that runs marketing automation programs. A lead generation specialist focuses on two main objectives: Calling leads passed to Sales from Marketing to make sure they meet the firmographic requirements necessary to elicit a sales call. Researching leads that meet the aforementioned requirements and interesting them so as to qualify them for sales. Both jobs are important. Within the lead flow process, someone must follow up with the opportunities

Data Scientist

A data scientist curates large amounts of unstructured data by using diverse programming languages, mathematics, and statistics. Companies hire data scientists to mine, present, and clean data, as well as source, manage and analyse the unregulated data for insights, patterns, and trends that can be of use for businesses and other organizations.

Digital Marketing Specialists

Since such a big percentage of world commerce is digitalized, the opportunity to specialize in marketing online is also huge. Digital marketing specialists create online marketing campaigns to grow the engagement of a company via social media platforms, and the world wide web (www) so that it becomes open to new business from any part of the world. SEO, blogging, content marketing, etc are all components of a digital marketing campaign, used frequently by specialists.

Social Media Influencer

Social media influencing is probably one of the most lucrative new age careers for people who have a passion for social media, want to be their own boss, and love creating content. A social media influencer is someone who is paid to market for companies through their social media handles and blogs. Companies pay influencers to use their products and give honest reviews, ads to their audiences to increase sales.

Professional Gamers

Another new age career that is very popular today is that of a professional gamer. Companies often hire gamers to test their games on the basis of user experience, bugs, speed, dialogues, and quality. They are paid to complete all levels of the game and submit a detailed review of it covering all factors that are important for a video game. It is definitely one of the careers that will define the next decade, with the growing popularity of virtual reality, video games, and consoles.

Critical thinking, problem solving, people management, and creativity will continue to be the most preferred skills in the workplace. Employers want to see emerging professionals make hard decisions and showcase their leadership abilities. The institutions that uncover quality formulas for encouraging the development of these skills and making students more employable will have a competitive advantage within higher education. In my opinion, every education institution must offer requisite training to help students nurture and grow in the soft skill areas.

Needless to say, it is important to recognize that we have to prepare our students for the future of work and the nature of the future of work will be different. The important question we need to ask ourselves is, how well are we preparing students for the change?

Ensuring quality higher education is one of the most important things we can do for future generations- Ron Lewis

(The author is counseling Psychologist & Career Consultant. She can be reached at nidhiprasadcs@ gmail.com)

Views expressed are personal.