If you belong to the category I’ve mentioned, this blog is for you. Why do you want a job so soon, when other 18 year old are still sponging off parents, who like most conventional Indian parents consider their children as children till they have children? You might have many reasons.
- The most simple reason, Money or more appropriately the lack of it. Your parents simply cannot afford to send you to college and get food onto the table anymore, despite their best efforts.
- You do not want to start college straightaway. You would like to test the waters before taking the plunge.
- Convention bores you. your sister ,your friend ,your parents are all degree holders. Is that a reason for you also to join the crowd. No, you do not want to follow the crowd. you have a mind of your own.
- You are still not sure! you took science because mummy asked you to. She said it will be good for you. But you are now not sure whether you are good for science. you want to find whether there is something else, which will bring in the passion ,which successful entrepreneurs say makes their work a thing of joy not a chore, which has to be done to support yourself and your family. But now you’ve put your foot down, you would like to change your stream and understand what are the fields that interest you.
The Indian education system is rigid. We find it difficult to choose subjects across streams namely science , commerce or humanities and go for a course comprising of only those subjects we like. For example, a science student who has decided to take up a BSc Mathematics course can choose only physics as his/her ancillary subject. Even if he would like to choose some other course say, Economics or Accountancy or even an unconventional Arts subject he is not allowed to. The course subjects are not flexible and even at the college level , we are forced to study subjects, which we have no aptitude for. It is understandable at the school level . How can you decide whether you want to become an archaeologist , if you have never learnt History. Unless we are taught the subject, it is not possible to decide whether we have an aptitude for it. But at the college level this rigidity can translate into a waste of time for the student. He has to learn a subject for which he has no inclination and then probably spend the same amount of time learning a subject which he likes so that he can spend the rest of his life in a job which he enjoys working in. Though the permutations and combinations resulting from such freedom, can be mind boggling for the college authorities, it will have the advantage of having more passionate and driven students.
The other draw back is our mental makeup. In the educated world our degrees are our status symbols. Getting into an IIT or into AIIMS is an achievement in itself, there are no two opinions about it and passing out, instead of languishing in its corridors is another. The parents of these so called bright students , must start getting used to “you ‘re so lucky “comments from even distant acquaintances. But it does’nt stop with that. My maid’s husband is a degree holder. She was very proud to say it and I was also quite surprised to hear it, notwithstanding the fact that he is a drunkard and she is the main earning member for a family of four, inspite of being a humble standard 8 pass. Even among the lower middle class being a degree holder is a status symbol.
This mindset is however slowly changing and people are understanding that a degree does not guarantee a secure career. Employers and employees are realizing that if you are a misfit for a job even being an IITian will not save you from being given the euphemistic “Golden Handshake”.
There is a distinct segregation between academic courses and vocational courses in India, and most of these vocational courses have few takers because there are no options for an integration between the two. But there is a shift now and thereby vocational courses are also gaining importance. The academic courses give more importance to knowledge whereas vocational courses give more importance for practical knowledge. And increasingly employers have started understanding that a fresher with practical knowledge would be more of an asset ,for there is no need to spend precious man hours on training them.
This is where certification courses and diplomas come in. Whatever your reason for not going in for a degree, these courses fill the gap.
Once you ‘ve decided you are not joining a degree course, the decision could be short term or long term , then what next is the next question which you have to ask yourself. What are the options
Computer programming courses :
The course duration can vary from 6 months to one year. Web designing , animation and multimedia related courses are popular. These courses have a creative element also in them and so students who want to develop their innate creativity and software programming skills, into a perfect mix ‘n’ match theme, prefer them.
Design is the lifeline of a number of industries. Some which we can see because of their overwhelming visual impact , and some which we see but cannot understand. For example, we know that the fashion, beauty and textile industry depends on design for it to exist itself. But did it ever strike you that that our unglamorous everyday objects namely crockery, footwear, furniture and electronic goods also depend on design to be one up on the rest? Design touches our life in more ways than we imagine and it has now touched the newest entrant into our lives , the internet.
Though we are surrounded by the work of graphic designers , we have never understood it. The eye catching images which make us give a second look onto the bill board , as we walk to work is the work of a graphic designer. To make our morning newspaper pleasing to the eye, by neither making it a riot of colors or a plain page of black and white, is again his job. Graphic designers deal with a variety of mediums including the web, print media and television. Aspiring graphic designers should learn the software needed for making a start in this field. They have to have a working knowledge of design software namely PageMaker, Quark, Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver. Other than the skills that are taught in a graphic design course there are some which cannot be taught. To create an aesthetically pleasing graphic design there are other soft skills which have to be developed. They cannot be taught but nevertheless learnt.
These soft skills are also of equal importance if you are an aspiring web designer too. They areAn eye for design and innate creativity.
- An eye for design and innate creativity.
- Though vagueness and absent mindedness is forgiven in a creative artist, it is a crime in the design field. Attention to detail is imperative to succeed.
- Good written and verbal communication skills are a necessity. You cannot be a loner like the nerdy computer programmer whose constant companion is usually the computer. You will have to communicate across different levels of management namely your employer and colleagues and also most important of all, your client. To recreate aesthetically what the client has seen in his mind’s eye is the topmost priority , and to be a success there should be no hiccups in understanding each other.
- You will not have the luxury of imagining your designs and transforming it into reality without any interruptions.
- You will have to learn to work in a team and also on your own to create your individual stamp in the design.
- You might have to develop creative problem solving techniques in critical situations.
- You will always be a student . Are you ready for it? By the time you ‘ve finished your second project using Dreamweaver ,some savvy programmer might be ready with the next version and to be the best, you’ve to keep learning.
- The roles of the graphic designer, web designer and the web developer overlap, and to race ahead in this field,
Mass communication courses :
Though we are face to face with media in different forms namely, print or television or social media , Its not the joyride we all believe it to be. The totally unglamorous world behind all those painted nails and styled hair do’s is what we learn in this course.It is a study of how information is relayed to a large segment of the population at the same time. The audience is anonymous and comprises of people belonging to different religions , cultural beliefs and social strata. The study touches upon the effect the information relayed, affects this heterogenous group. The way it affects their attitude , opinion, emotion or actions. Mass communication existed even in prehistoric times. Information was relayed through art and writing even then. But now the options are mind boggling, radio, television, film, newspapers, magazines, books and now the latest entrant , the internet. Usually the course covers four broad categories advertising, broadcasting, journalism and public relations. Since this field is continually evolving , the study has now extended to social media where the feedback is much more stronger and swifter than traditional media. Advertising is a kind of communication where success depends on persuading the audience to use your product or service. The sponsor of the communication material completely controls its content. In the same vein , public relation also is a kind of communication where information about a product or service is relayed, but in a wholesome manner. It is more comprehensive and only aims at nudging public opinion towards the sponsor, rather than trying to persuade, as in the case of advertising. It is less intrusive. Broadcasting can be a hands on study of how to produce communication content for a television or radio programme , and also to relay the content , recorded or live. While broadcasting could mean audio or video content, which could be entertaining or educational , journalism deals with the collection, verification and dissemination of authentic news. The audience could be from remote areas where newspapers are the only sources of news or could be the internet savvy e-reader and smart phone user. The news should cater to all. You can choose the line you would like to be in. But whatever the line , the freedom this profession gives comes with great responsibility. The power of influencing the minds of our fellow men is not just a job but should be seen as a mission for the betterment of society as a whole. Glamour is a part of this job and honing soft skills such as interpersonal communication and the ability to sense the pulse of that fickle goddess, called your audience helps you to stay ahead of the crowd.
Beauty courses :
Though it is politically incorrect to say it aloud, a person endowed with good looks is said to have an advantage at first glance over one with below average looks, according to statistics. Good looks have never been so important as during the present times. There are industries which rely wholly on good looks namely modeling, film and media. Making the most of what nature has given you with the help of the blooming make up industry is what is taught in these beautician courses. The course duration is from 6 months to one year.
A beauty therapist has to be proficient in treating all exposed parts of our body and minimize its flaws in such a way that it should seem that the flaw never existed. Face, hair, skin, hands and feet are all work places for a beautician’s magic fingers. Though you can start your career with a simple threading of eyebrows, there is no end to the heights you can achieve in this line if you are good in your job. From becoming the beautician for hi profile weddings to becoming the personal beauty therapist of successful actresses and models. Other than their professional appearances , actresses and models have to keep in mind the taste of the public for any public appearance, even if it is a movie outing with friends. It is upto the beauty therapist to understand that a “One size fits all”, policy will not work. Different styles for different occasions and also different make up routines for different facial contours, skin tones and skin types have to be kept in mind. There have been mini tragedies when the bride who wants to look her best on her big day has had to deal with spots and acne on that very day, because of the carelessness of the beautician.
Other than professional skills ,a beautician has to develop certain softskills also : She herself has to be well groomed however tired or sick she feels. She has to have the patience and tact to deal with customers who themselves, probably are touchy about their looks and would’nt want to hear their beauty therapist rub it in. she has to have a friendly disposition and be meticulous in her work. Getting up at 4 a.m for a Guruvayoor wedding and making a fuss if work comes up for a sunday reception are an absolute no-no. She herself has to be fit and healthy for the demanding schedule ahead. Underneath all this a beauty therapist can never forget that he/she is in a business which has to be run solely on her creative talent and business acumen.
Jeweller designing :
India has always been a good market for gold. Around 20% of the world gold consumption is from India. Gold has been a status symbol in our country since centuries and the trend still continues. The jewellery designing industry therefore has a very high growth rate and jobs will not dry up in the near future.
Earlier this profession was practiced only by a few families and outsiders were not allowed to enter this profession. The secrets of the trade were closely guarded and passed down from one generation to another. Royalty and commoners used their services. Jewellery was an understated means to display ones wealth. The peacock throne of Shahjahan and the Golden throne of the Mysore palace are examples of the skill of jewellery artisans in the olden days. In the present day also jewellery designers need the same skills. They need the creative skills of a designer along with an indepth knowledge of precious stones and metals. The intricate designs that we see in jewellery nowadays demand a highly skilled artisan who can do his job with precision.
Jewellery today is not only an investment but also a fashion statement. Jewellery has started reflecting the personality of the wearer and thereby their designs have moved on from traditional to trendy and sometimes a mix of both. Jewellery has even become occasion specific, simple and chic jewellery for an outing at the coffee shop, trendy but no nonsense designs for the office goer, funky jewellery for the experimenting teen , the list goes on. And there is no need for a reason to celebrate nowadays. Loving grandparents find their own occasions to gift their grandchildren elegant jewellery for probably something as mundane as a ninth birthday. So a jewellery designer has enough work on his hands ,he just has to go find it.
The jewellery design course teaches basic skills such as polishing and testing the quality of precious metals and gems, stone cutting and engraving etc. The other skills taught are stone setting, enamelling and colouring of metals, anodizing and electroplating. Though jewellery designing depends on your creative eye for its spine your technical knowledge only will give it flesh and blood. You have to have an indepth knowledge of different types of stones ,their cost and the science of making these stones, alloys and metals into flawless jewellery. Some courses also teach computer aided programs for jewellery and accessory designing. Jewellery designing does not stop with precious metals and stones , it has extended to any metal or stone which has the strength to be melted into jewellery. Fashion designers are always on the lookout for fashion jewellery designers who can design jewellery that complements and enhances their designer wear. Jewellery designers therefore have a variety of areas in which they can challenge their designing skills.
Fashion Designing courses :
Though the word fashion designing always brings in thoughts of glamorous fashion shows and page three features, into our minds, the backbreaking ordinary labour that could be equated to the daily routine of our local household help, to bring about this glitzy illusion is never given prominence.
A creative eye is not the only thing that is needed to be a success in this line but also other skills. you should be a melting pot of drawing, sewing and design skills with the ability to work 24/7 under stressful conditions and bring in creative solutions during critical situations. You should also have an ability to view your designs along with the texture and color of your fabric three dimensionally , to get an idea of the final product. If your mind can only see fabric as a piece of cloth ,this is not the job for you, you should be able to feel the fabric as a living being and visualize how the fabric will move, drape and react when worn. This is possible only if you have an indepth knowledge of fabrics and their sources. Only if you know to sew and shape difficult fabrics into complicated designs , can you move ahead of competition.
A fashion design course teaches the basics of drawing, color coordination and composition of fabrics, pattern – making and draping techniques. In addition to these practical skills, you will be able to showcase your designs in a non judgemental environment and also at the same time get the honest opinion of industry experts, who might later turn out to be valuable contacts, as you try to find a foothold in this slippery industry.
You can also understand where you want to place yourself in this blooming industry. Though for an outsider the fashion industry is one single entity, it has varied flavors to it which only somebody who has no other interests except for fashion, can discern. You can decide if you want to make clothes for the common man who has his purse on a leash but likes the smell of new clothes or you could cater for those who wear their personality through their clothes and would not mind spending for it. You can cater for those who consider repeating a dress as a social faux pax or for niche markets like eco wear or for the trendy college kid. There is no dearth of sub specialties you can try your hands at, evening wear or day wear for men and women , knitwear, leisure wear, bridal wear, sports wear, outdoor or adventure wear, accessories or costume design for theatre, the advertising industry, movies etc. whether you decide to dabble in haute couture or ready to wear or you have decided to make a mix and match of all these specialties, becoming a success requires hard work and the ability to face criticism with a smile.
You will have to learn to work in a team and also on your own to create your individual stamp in the design.