Ever since she was a child, Swati was deeply engrossed in History. She would have perhaps done a Ph.D. in the subject at some point in her life - but her marks ensured that she could not opt for History (Hon). Instead, she had to settle for English (Hon) at Lady Shri Ram College. “It was a good college, so eventually I decided to drown my misery in Coleridge’s romantic poetry,” she comments wryly.
Securing the “right” course at the “right” Delhi University (DU) college can be the toughest call for a student, especially when it is a difficult number game and the margins are so thin.
Therefore, before you set out to apply to a particular college, it may be useful to understand your academic potential, aptitude, personality, interest, values, aspirations, resources and the emerging job opportunities. A good career plan must draw a match between the programme requirements and your aptitude, interest, vocational preferences and values.
"Often, when you do not get the course of your choice, you can opt for a related course to stay on the same career path,” adds Vinita Thakur, a Career Counsellor with Perfect Student Academy, a Delhi based student’s counselling unit.
Explains Gautam Puri, Managing Director, Career Launcher, “A very small number of students, get their perfect combination, in terms of the college and the course. By and large, the student either has to compromise either with the course or the college. In such cases, I would like the student to stick with the course of their choice, as it is the only thing that will help him/her eventually and not the college.”
So, if you are a Science freak, you can opt for a B.Sc (Hons.) degree course in various Science subjects or the radically altered B.Sc Programmes (earlier known as B.Sc. (General)).
If your combo at 10+2 is PCM, then the streams you could go for include research, Biotechnology (only B.Tech), Engineering, Merchant Navy, Aviation, Audiographyor Motion Photography.
And if PCB was your combination, then you could go for a career in Biotechnology, Medical, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Medical Lab Technology, Nursing, or allied medical streams (Ayurveda or Homeopathy). Law and IT can also be pursued. Incidentally, the best-known colleges for Science are St. Stephen’s, Hans Raj, Hindu, Miranda House (MH), SGTB Khalsa, Sri Venkateswara, Deshbandhu, Maitreyi and Gargi.
For a Humanities student, the choice is really between Lady Shri Ram College for Women (LSR), St. Stephen’s, Shri Ram College of Commerce(SRCC), Hindu, MH, Kamla Nehru College (KNC), Indraprastha (IP), Kirori Mal College (KMC), Ramjas, Gargi and Jesus & Mary College (JMC).
The BA programme covers English, History, Philosophy, Psychology, Applied Psychology, Hindi, Sanskrit, Geography, Economics and Sociology. In this stream, besides opting for teaching, you could do a stint in Journalism, Hotel Management, Psychology, Social Work, Tourism, Defence or the police force.
For Commerce students, SRCC wins hands down. The other choices are LSR, IP, Hans Raj, Hindu, Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Khalsa (SGTB), KMC and Deshbandhu or Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, which is also coming up fast. The courses here can lead you to a career in Management, Chartered Accountancy, Cost Accountancy, Finance, Insurance or Banking.
If you want to enter a creative field like Fashion Designing, Accessory Designing, Acting, Book Publishing, Photography or Advertising, your best bet would be a course from the College of Vocational Studies (CVS). The cut-offs here vary with each subject and are higher for courses like Business Economics (Hon), where the college conducts a separate admission test.
If securing a job right after graduation is your first priority, the recommended courses would be a BBS or BCA from the College of Business Studies.
For those interested in teaching, DU offers B.Ed courses at Gargi, LSR and JMC. A Bachelor’s degree in foreign languages can also land you a good job. For this, head straight for the School of Language, Literature and Culture at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
DU also receives nearly 700 applications for courses in Chinese and Japanese languages. A few DU colleges also offer certificate professional courses.
Sri Venkateswara offers a certificate course in Financial Mathematics to its Commerce, Economics and Maths students. Gargi has Media, environmental Education, and Film Appreciation etc. and plans to introduce courses in Human Rights and Applied Philosophy, while St. Stephen’s conducts two hobby courses in Music and Mathematical Sciences. However, the image of a particular college should not sway students.
The college/course dilemma also becomes irrelevant in case of a professional course. “So long as the minimum standards in terms of faculty and infrastructure are being met, the choice of a college is not hugely important,” asserts Usha Alberquerque, career counsellor and Director Career Smart.
These days, there is not much difference between the faculties of various colleges. So it becomes immaterial where you take your degree.