A degree helps you in your career only to a limited extent because what matters most are your written and verbal communication skills, analytical ability, team spirit and aptitude, said an expert at the HT Campus Calling counselling session in Gurgaon last week.
“Graduation is just a stepping stone. Beyond that it has no value,” said CS Sharma, associate professor, Shri Ram College of Commerce, who has also been the placement officer there for many years.
Sharma was part of a panel of college representatives, including Tanvir Aejaz, head, department of political science, Ramjas College and NK Gupta, associate professor, department of commerce, Ramjas College, which threw light on factors that work (or don’t work) in landing a job.
“If you want to work in the corporate sector, any course will do,” said Sharma at the event held in Shri Ram School, DLF Phase 3. The companies want to make sure you have those four (aforementioned) traits and they’ll train you for the work.
“There are companies in Gurgaon which simply don’t look at your course. They look at your personality,” said Sharma. If organisations need quantitative skills, they make applicants go through tests. “When it comes to numerical calculations and quick decision-making, they try to judge the candidate’s problem-solving skills by giving him situations,” Sharma explained.
Interestingly, the bachelor’s degree that trains a graduate best for the workplace is not among the much sought-after industry-oriented or professional programmes. The demanding BSc (H) programme in physics can give you a good base for a variety of careers.
“BSc physics graduates are preferred in investment banking, and stock markets. They have a large number of openings,” said Sharma. The mind “gets best developed” in a course like this, he said.
He also gave participants useful advice on certain combinations of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. “If you score very well in maths honours, there are companies like Google that straightaway pick you up. Maths honours plus MBA is a fantastic combination, particularly MBA (finance)…” Similarly, “people who do BA maths, MA economics and then pursue careers in economic fields, do very well. The same happens in mathematical statistics.” He, however, cautioned that these could be risky choices. “After the first year in college, your focus changes. So, the best option is to keep going on the straight path.”
The course should be chosen after the student has identified his/her interests and life goals, said the panellists.
Responding to an aspirant’s question about chartered accountancy (CA) and graduation, Gupta suggested, “Join the School of Open Learning and go do CA or join college and forget about CA for at least three years.” CA students face this dilemma due to the three-year articleship and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India requires them to produce a certificate saying their college classes get over by 11am.
The second session included an interaction with a panel comprising Meera Ramachandran, principal, Gargi College; Ruchira Agarwal, assistant professor, department of fabric and apparel science, Lady Irwin College and Inderjeet Dagar, principal, College of Vocational Studies.
Hindustan Times Campus Calling counselling sessions were also held at the Army Public School, Sector 37, Noida. “I want to pursue economics (hons) from Delhi University. I also want to know about the placement opportunities in this field. The session provided me with several details that helped me chalk out my career path,” said Utkarsh Gupta, who just completed his Class 12 (commerce) exams.
Another student, Akanksha Kohli, said: “I aspire to be a lawyer and the counsellors gave me a lowdown on the best colleges that I can study in. They also told me that law can turn out to be a very lucrative and satisfying field.”
Students from arts, science and commerce streams were informed about career prospects in biochemistry, psychology, architecture, botany, and business administration, among others. Parents were out in full strength, too. “I am extremely satisfied with the session. The presence of faculty from DU was especially encouraging,” said Rajni Gupta, who accompanied her son.
Counsellors and DU faculty members were happy to answer their queries. “With so many choices to choose from, it’s natural for students to have a dilemma and we are trying our best to help them,” said Sawhney.
Students were also given a DU Guide and Campus Calling bags.