From choosing between commerce and economics to joining international organisations such as the World Trade Organisation, admission hopefuls had their fair share of questions for expert panellists at the discussions organised by the Hindustan Times this weekend. At the heart of the experts’ message was the suggestion that after all, an aspirant needs to figure it out himself as to what the most suitable study and career option will be for him/her. It is not an easy decision to make as SS Sareen, associate professor, department of commerce, Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, said. It is a lifelong “bandhan,” harder to decide on than even marriage, he quipped. Ultimately, it is the student who needs to make the choice, Sareen said. “Do your SWOT analysis,” he said in response to a question from the audience. What are your strengths, weaknesses, etc, he suggested. In his answers laced with anecdotes and wisecracks, Sareen said that in their student days, they, too, missed classes and had fun but were “focussed on the goal”.
When a participant asked about the bachelor's in commerce and economics courses, Sareen said that there are more career options after graduating with a commerce degree while economics leads to limited avenues. Also, the commerce programme is “simpler” as compared to economics — the latter at the bachelor’s is different from what students read in school. Yet, “Both are equally good, except that after commerce, we have got attractive career options which everybody is acquainted with. After economics honours, the job profiles will be different.”
Rajendra Maheshwari, associate professor, Deshbandhu College, added that after a bachelor’s in economics, if one goes for a master’s in the same discipline from the University of Delhi, ‘then the whole world is open to you’. Listing the options for commerce as well as economics graduates, he said that in addition to business houses (each has an economist), they could get into educational institutions, and organisation like the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO. With an honours degree in commerce and an LLB, they could join one of these organisations, he suggested.
Kanika Khandelwal, associate professor of psychology, Lady Shri Ram College (LSR) for Women, pointed to the differences in the two disciplines which require different traits and aptitude. “Economics is a little more macro and abstract while BCom (hons) is more structured.” She urged the admission seekers to read the course content on the Delhi University (DU) website. “That’s true for any course you are contemplating.”
The panellists included Kuldeep Ahuja, senior lecturer, department of office management, College of Vocational Studies.
In the second session, JM Khurana, dean, students’ welfare, DU; Gurpreet S Tuteja, deputy dean, students’ welfare, DU and Tanvir Aeijaz, head, department of political science, Ramjas College, fielded aspirants’ and parents’ queries regarding the new undergraduate programme, sports and extra-curricular activities quotas, counting vocational courses in the best-of-four subjects and other topics.
On day two, there were discussions with panellists comprising Manoj Saxena, associate professor, department of electronics, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College; Rajiv Goel, associate professor, department of commerce, Delhi College of Arts and Commerce and Mala K Shankardass, associate professor of sociology, Maitreyi College, in the first session. The panellists in the second session were Renu Malviya, associate professor, department of education, Lady Irwin College; NK Gupta, associate professor of commerce, Ramjas College and Priti Dhawan, associate professor of psychology, LSR.