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Off beat courses have a bright future

With SSC results around the corner, we take a look at some of the hot courses you could consider and the work opportunities that come with them.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JUN 18, 2008 06:28 PM IST

Biotechnology
What:
Biotechnology is a combination of biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics and engineering. It's a research-oriented field, with applications in various areas such as medicine, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and environment. Plant Biotechnology, Medical Biotechnology, Bioinformatics, Environmental Biotechnology, Industrial Biotechnology and Animal Biotechnology are the six main areas.

Work Opportunities:
One can join Bio-pharma companies, live sciences projects, Pharma companies, Consultancy Services, Biotech companies, Foods companies, Bioinformatics sector, Agri-companies, etc. Companies like Biocon (research-driven, global healthcare company), Wockhardt (manufacturer of recombinant biotecg drugs), Serum Institute of India (vaccine manufacturer), RPG life sciences (exclusively caters to high-value life saving drugs produced by fermentation route using biotechnology), Frost & Sullivan (global biotech consultant) are all employing Biotech Managers to man their operations and research. Other companies include Trans Search, Reliance life Sciences, Nicholas Piramal, Mahyco, Avesthagen, Millipore, SRL Ranbaxy, Advanced Biochemicals, Sanmar, SPAN Diagnostics etc offer opportunities.

Hypnotherapy
What:
Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis in the treatment of certain ailments. Hypnotherapy is often applied in order to modify a subject's behavior, emotional content, and attitudes, as well as a wide range of conditions including dysfunctional habits, anxiety, stress-related illness, pain management, and personal development.

Work opportunities:
You would usually be self-employed and run your own practice. Hypnotherapy is also applicable across many different treatment-based fields such as: counselling, psychology, medicine and nursing. And in addition there is scope to utilise many of these communication skills in other people-focused professions like: management, coaching, training etc.

Product Designing
What:
Product design is critical to a customer's ability to get the most out of any product or service. Product designers are responsible for the look, feel, and functionality of different kinds of products and services.

Work Opportunities:
The designer can work for an organisation or may work on freelance basis with different consulting firm. Product designers often become graphic designers, commercial artists, cost estimators, and product manufacturing executives-all careers they come into contact with as product design specialists.

Wedding Planner
What: They are also known as wedding planner consultants. Wedding Planning Services include: Venue selection, choice of caterer, restaurant/venue reservations for pre-and-post-wedding events, hair and make-up arrangements, guest transportation from hotel to the wedding venue, wedding attire among other things.

Work opportunities: Wedding planning consulting, participating in mega wedding shows besides planning weddings. One can also get into event management.

Environmental Quality Management
What:
Industrial development is essential for rapid economic growth of the country. The industrialisation is aimed to increase the production of better quality by application of modern scientific and sophisticated technology. However, the rapid growth of industrialisation, urbanisation, modern agricultural development, new technological innovations, including material development, like energy generation, etc. for fulfilling the human needs, resulted in exploitation of natural resources, climatic changes as well as deterioration in natural environment.

Adverse health effects associated with exposure to chemicals are of grave concern. The environmental threats are noticeable as the problem of acid rain, ozone layer depletion, global warming and the climatic changes are now being discussed at various forums world wide.

This serious concern about the environment, clubbed with increased environmental awareness and increased number of public interest litigations, has created a demand for managing the environmental affairs by the industries and the regulatory authorities to the desired level of standards that are in vogue. Today, unfortunately, we are facing a lot of environmental problems. These environmental concerns are to be studied in detail by having academic and industry interaction.

Work opportunities: Government Departments - Government departments, both at Central and State level offer jobs related to environment.

Research Institutions - Research institutions, both government and private, employ people with environment background. Ex: NEERI, various environmental research centres with leading universities and centres of excellence (central/state government or private bodies).
UN/International Donor Agencies - UN/International Donor Agencies also work on environmental aspects.
NGO managed programmes

Academic Institutions - There are several academic institutions, which have teaching opportunities. IITs, reputed Engineering colleges, TERI, etc., are some of the leading institutions offering such openings.
Private Sector Companies - Large industries employ people with environment background to manage the waste water/environmental aspects. Apart from these, there are several private companies, which are engaged in providing solutions related to environment to industries and government projects. This is an upcoming area where several job opportunities are available.

Nanotechnology
What: Right from the food we eat, to the clothes we wear to the compositions of our own bodies, is made up of atoms. Since atoms touch almost every aspect of our living, it's important to understand them in order to control them. Nanotechnology is thus said to be the art and science of manipulating and rearranging individual atoms and molecules to create useful materials, devices, and systems to benefit mankind. Nanotechnology involves working at the level of molecules and atoms or studying materials smaller than 100 nanometers - roughly 1/100th the width of a human hair. A nanometer is one billionth of a metre.

Work Opportunities: Career paths in research and development, manufacturing, and marketing and sales of products will continue to grow as the demand increases. Cranes Software International, Monad Nanotech, Velbionanotech, Innovations Unified Technology, Qtech nanosystem, Naga nanotech, Tash nanotech, etc are some of the companies in India that hire nano techies. One of the fields in which Nanotechnology finds extensive applications is Nanomedicine. Biotech companies and large pharmaceutical companies too employ Nanotechs. Health Industry research and consulting (product development or interfacing of new technologies) in pharma, medical, agriculture, food and beverage, environment etc are likely to engage Nan Techies. One can also get into education and academic.

Communication Design
What: Communication Design specialises in the design and production of corporate marketing materials, visual identities, web sites, and other print and electronic media. It focuses on the study of the structure, processes, aesthetics, functions, and effects and creation of mediated communication.

Work opportunities: Tremendous scope in the advertising industry, publishing industry, card business, catalogue illustration etc. There are opportunities in the packaging industry too. They may also be hired for designing motifs and logos for use in hotels, airline offices and so on.

Commercial Pilot
What: Flying an airplane is great. Getting paid to do that is even greater. No wonder it's one of the most sought-after careers in the world. You'll find yourself in different time zones, climates and cultures every day. It's like a different expedition every time - a new and exciting world to discover and journey through. As a commercial pilot you will be responsible for the safe run of the aircraft between destinations. You will also be responsible for the safety of the crewmembers, passengers and the aircraft during its flight. You will have to be fully aware of the weather, flight conditions, flight routes and international sky limits. Seeking the approval of the Air Traffic Control before flying and landing, checking the electrical and mechanical functioning of various components of the aircraft and checking the fuel conditions are part of your job.

Work Opportunities: Besides Air India and Indian Airlines, there are several private airlines like Jet Airways, Sahara, Air Deccan, Kingfisher, currently expanding their fleet and range of operations in India. There are several other international airlines that operate through India like United Airlines, Air Canada, Virgin Atlantic, Quantas, KLM, Lufthansa, United Airlines, Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Thai Airways, Malaysian Airlines and China Airlines to name a few.

Dermatology
What:
Gone are the days when a dermatologist focused only on problems related to the skin, today they offer innovative therapeutic solutions for hair and nails too and everything that goes to improve the quality of life of dermatology patients. They no longer treat only acne and scars and boils but also treat individuals with various other skin diseases like tinea, vitiligo, dermatitis etc to surgeries and treating pigment disorders.

Work opportunities: There are a number of opportunities where one can work as a consultant within a general or multi specialty hospital or even set up their own practice.
Pediatric and adolescent dermatology for children up to 18 years. Skin surgery clinics/department involved in derma surgical procedures like punch grafting for vitiligo grafting, suction blister grafting

In the special care OPD department where patients require long term follow up. Diagnostic dermatopathology where skin biopsies are performed. Pigment clinic where pigment disorders can be treated. Special clinic for Acne and Scalp treatments.

One can start their own skin magazine or be a consultant to different magazines.

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