Add-on courses are gaining ground, with more and more colleges adding skill-oriented courses to their curriculum. Changing career preferences now demand a need for vocational and job-oriented courses that offer hands on training.
While youngsters don't wish to wait until graduation to choose their careers, senior teachers and academicians feel it is imperative that students undergo training in traditional disciplines as 16-17 is an early age to be fixated on career choices.
Every year, colleges are adding to their list of shortterm certificate courses (add-ons), which they offer alongside degree courses.
"How many of us knew what we wanted to do when we passed standard XII? I encourage students to pursue broader disciplines so their career scope is not limited and they can branch out into something entirely different upon graduation," said Dr. Pratibha Jolly, Principal Miranda House.
"Add-on courses are important as they allow students to pursue skill courses in languages or tourism along with their main disciplines. They also get time to decide if they would like to take it up as a full time professions," she added. According to Dr Minoti Chatterjee, Principal of Kamala Nehru College, students should have a good academic foundation.
"Liberal arts needs to be encouraged and I see no issues offering related add-on courses where students can enhance their skills," said Chatterjee. "I am not really receptive to the idea of opening up commercial courses. What I want to give students is an extra outreach quality," she added.
To meet the demands of the job markets, the newer addon courses are designed to enhance a student's marketability. Courses in languages, tourism and ticketing, nano-technology, globalisation, disaster management help students gather training in work areas, whereby they are equipped in handling certain projects when working.
"While pursuing these courses alongside degrees, students also gauge their own aptitude and interests. Sometimes students also get a direction into what they would like to do for their Masters level education," said Dr. Meera Ramachandran, Gargi College principal.
"These add-on courses are also an excellent bridge between traditional courses and the needs of the job market," she added. Kanika Khandelwal, Media Co-coordinator, Lady Sri Ram agreed that while these courses add to the students skill-kit, they do not compete in anyway with traditional BA degrees.
"They look good on resumes and give students an edge over others."