Career Counselling
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Career Counselling

Usha Albuquerque hepls you solve career doubts...

education Updated: Jun 19, 2012 13:32 IST
Hindustan Times

I have just completed my 12th grade with non-medical subjects. I am not interested in engineering. I aim to become an IAS officer. Should I pursue a BBA programme or something else like BA in economics to cover the risk if I do not get selected for IAS? Can you tell me something about the UNDP programme and which line should I choose to enrol myself into it?
- Mehak Kaur

I am glad that you are planning your future by looking at sensible fallback options. You can certainly sit for the civil services exam after graduation, but keep in mind that besides the IAS, there are 31 other services that you could get into, as selection in a particular service depends on your rank in the Union Public Service Commission exam. A BA degree in economics will give you many options, both related to finance and business such as banking, chartered accountancy, company secretaryship, cost and work accountancy, financial analysis (CFA) and so on, as well as those for which the study of economics is useful, such as corporate law, public administration, advertising, hotel management etc.

The UNDP, like other UN organisations, works in countries around the world. It is involved in developing work in areas such as education, health, poverty alleviation, environmental degradation, discrimination against women and so on. It requires specialists with a Master's or PhD degree and years of experience in different fields. As many of the assignments are in developing countries with development-related agencies, degrees in public administration, development studies, environment science, social sciences, international relations, human rights, or gender studies after graduation in economics or any other subject could be a good beginning. Work experience in any social development area or with an NGO is an important part of the eligibility requirement, so you could start by working with a non-profit organisation and building experience. Check for more details.

I am a first-year BSc (applied physical science) student at Delhi University. Can I opt for a diploma or MSc in forensic science after graduation? I didn't have biology in school, but we have it in our first year? What are the career options after my BSc? In which subjects can I do my postgraduation?
- Priyanka
With a degree in applied sciences, you can pursue a career in forensic science. Any graduate preferably with a first class degree in physics, chemistry, zoology, botany, biochemistry, microbiology, pharmacy, dentistry or applied science can apply for a diploma in forensic science and criminology, or a Master's programme in forensic science.
The programme equips students to apply their knowledge of science in crime investigation. Forensic science is primarily concerned with the application of scientific principles for the investigation of crime. Using the very latest in technology, forensic scientists analyse all physical evidence found at the scene of a crime and convert the clues collected into evidence admissible in a court of law. After doing this course, you can look for work in law enforcement agencies, the police, the legal system, government investigative services as well as with private agencies. Some of the institutes imparting this programme are:
National Institute of Forensic Science and Criminology, New Delhi
Faculty of Law, University of Pune
Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi
To the US for physics

I graduated in physics this year. I am keen to know the process of taking admission for MSc in American universities. Is there any entrance exam through which I can obtain a scholarship?
- Areeba Fatima

If you plan to apply for post-graduation in the US, you would need to start planning about a year ahead. Check out the universities you wish to apply to, short-listing about 6-8 of them, which offer the particular specialisation you wish to study. There are websites, such as, and, which give listings of colleges and universities and their ratings, costs of study, funding, and admission tests. You then need to apply for the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) which measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and critical thinking and analytical writing skills. The GRE is required for admission to Master's programmes in the US. You may also be required to take the GRE subject tests - depending on the programme you plan to study. The exam is administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS) in India. You can check or www.collegeboard for more information.
Admission to a good university depends largely on the results of the GRE. So you need to prepare well for this. You also need to take the English language test, TOEFL, which tests your written and verbal fluency. Your application should also contain a Statement of Purpose and at least two good references.

Questions can be sent to this column at hthorizons@ or to Expert Advice, HT Horizons, 1st floor,HT House, 18-20, KG Marg, New Delhi-110001

Usha Albuquerque is the author of The Penguin India Career Guide and The Essential Career Guide and Director, Careers Smart Pvt. Ltd. For appointments and personality development workshops contact Careers Smart 41828020, 41828021, and 2601106 or

First Published: Jun 22, 2009 17:32 IST