Career counselling: A sea of opportunities for English learners

  • Usha Albuquerque, None
  • Updated: May 13, 2015 14:19 IST

Usha Albuquerque, director of Careers Smart and author of the Penguin India Career Guides Vol 1 and 2, tells students there are many career options availaible to students of English language. Replying to students queries, Albuquerque also names the various career choices they can make. Here are the details:

I am a final-year student of MA (English) from Delhi University. I am planning to appear for NET exam for the second time this June. I will also be appearing for the Civil Services Examination next year. Apart from these, can you suggest some other options that I can explore in case I don’t perform well in these two exams? Would preparing for bank exams be a good alternative? I am also interested in writing for newspaper and magazines.

English is an excellent field of study and need not be restricted to just teaching or civil services. In fact, the study of English can lead to a number of careers where writing and reading skills are required such as advertising, public relations, journalism, editing, film making and production, creative writing, law, sales and marketing, human resource management, publishing, librarianship, hospitality and several others. Students of English are typically in demand for their strong communication skills, and can opt for a variety of careers in government, business, research, education and publishing, as well as in the cultural, entertainment, and communications industries.

After MA in English you can get into any field of work, such as banking, particularly those that just require a basic graduation or post-graduation in any discipline. You can also get into a corporate job in human resource management after an MBA in HR.

However, if you wish to utilise the skills and learning from your English degree you may prefer to consider the options given earlier. If you have a flair for writing and an aptitude for journalism, then you can work as a reporter or editor in print or broadcast journalism.

There are several courses including PG diploma and short courses in journalism, offered by several universities and institutes. As far as job opportunities go, there are good prospects for writers particularly in new media, whether internet, social media or online publishing which is growing at an incredibly fast pace. Organisations globally are increasingly exploring user generated content in the form of blogs, tweets, online forums, social media, databases and a host of other sources to critically examine the voice of their customers, competitors and assess the market. Do check out these options to decide on what is the best career for you.

I am an MBBS student with great interest in psychology and writing. How can I pursue them along with my course?

It is interesting that as a student of medicine, you still have time to consider pursuing other learning pursuits such as psychology and creative writing. It is good to have such interests as it widens the view and understanding of your own subject and the patients you will be handling as a doctor.

If you are considering some general reading on these subjects, you can probably find lot of information on the internet and also a number of online courses on psychology and creative writing related subjects.

There are few distance learning programmes that cover a wide variety of subjects like business management, economics and all the sciences to professional courses in teaching, law, library science, journalism, psychology and so on. In addition, there are open online courses which offer short and long courses of general interest, specialised learning and formal educational programmes of a number of different institutes and universities from around the world. The massive open online courses (MOOCs) in particular, like Cousersa are quickly moving from a novelty to the mainstream. You can easily pick up a course in genomic medicine, a beginners guide to irrational behaviour, understanding behavioral science, teaching students with learning disabilities, and so many other psychology related subjects. Many of the courses are free and provide students with course materials, contact classes, and often multimedia facilities through classrooms without walls. If you are looking for formal courses, there are several distance learning certificate courses in psychology and creative writing being offered by open universities like Ignou, Annamalai University, Madurai Kamraj University and several others.

(Send your queries at hteducation@ or to Career Counselling, HT Education, 1st floor, HT House, 18-20, KG Marg, New Delhi-110001.)

( The columnist is director of Careers Smart, and author of the Penguin India Career Guides Vol 1 and 2.)

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