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As women become more independent by the day, at home and at work, they are busting stereotypes and looking at better and more lucrative career options. Here’s a sneak peek into livelier and interesting careers that women are considering today.

Back in the days of the yore when women’s emancipation was relatively unheard of and women belonged in the kitchen, working women were looked upon with disdain. Thankfully, globalisation happened, which managed to change not just the world, but also broaden the perspective of people. With time, working women were almost respected as much as their male counterparts. Medicine, engineering, banking and teaching became stereotypical professions that women opted for.

The progressive woman of today however, has found herself other areas that she finds both challenging as well as exciting to pursue her career. Here is a look at popular job opportunities that women are considering as full time professions.

Media and public relations
Touted to be one of the most popular courses among youngsters generally, women in particular are considering a career in the field of public relations. According to a recent national survey, public relations, popularly known as PR is one of the top courses of the year 2010 with hundreds of students all over the country applying for a specialisation degree in PR. However media doesn’t mean just public relations alone. Students can explore various aspects of mass medium such as journalism (print), advertising, corporate communications and broadcast communications. Courses nowadays have broadened their spectrum and incorporate into their syllabus a wide range of specialisation/allied subjects which allow students to explore wider horizons when it comes to choosing their careers. The field of media is quite diverse, and opportunities in the industry – galore.

Fashion Technology
There is something irresistibly cute about a little girl who dresses her dolls, isn’t there? Dressing up countless Barbie dolls in attires that are painfully hand stitched and meticulously matching accessories would no doubt have captured the attention of many a young girl during her days of growing up. What can seem like a childish obsession for girls can actually blossom into a full time career option when they are older. Fashion technology, a course that provides students with the basics of not just designing but the kind of technology that is used in different areas of fashion (like retailing) is now emerging to be quite a sought after course. An industry that once enjoyed a predominantly male bastion today has women designers catering to the crème de la crème of the fashion world. Is there a lack of opportunity for women in the fashion industry? We don’t think so!

Science and Technology
Women quite unusually seem to harbour a flair for science– one of the many reasons that science courses seem to have more women takers than men. Be it allied albeit specific courses like biochemistry, microbiology and genetics or mainstream courses like the popular biotechnology, they both seem to be equally popular. However, with the arrival of such specialised courses, core science subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Botany and Zoology are being quickly replaced. With biotechnological and pharmaceutical firms mushrooming in India today, the need of the hour is trained professionals in the field. You never know, you might actually find a cure for cancer!

Animation and cartooning
One of the most popular and offbeat courses among the youth today, animation and cartooning is definitely here to stay. One of the main reasons as to why this course remains relatively behind the scenes is because the institutes that offer degree programmes in this genre sadly do not publicise it well enough leading to lack of information among people who are genuinely interested in such streams of education. Contrary to popular belief, animation and cartooning are one of the most highly paid industries in today’s job market. Have a flair for sketching? Well, let your dreams literally take wings and fly!

Face to face with Jayram K Iyer, Marketing Professor, Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA)

What are the popular yet innovative courses among students today?
A: Animation and cartooning comes to my mind immediately. However, institutes that offer such courses must both offer placement for students and publicize that information widely, or the media should devote space and time to popularize the courses that are in great demand by the industry. Students are sadly unaware of the vocational courses such as Tourism Management, Materials Management, Insurance, etc which are offered by many institutes.

Professional courses are still huge among parents and students. Your comments?
A: Yes and perhaps that is because there is a high correlation between materialistic well- being and professional courses. Unfortunately, parents and the society have defined well-being and quality of life to be the one that has material wealth. This thought fuels the demand for professional courses since they pay well. However, the real quality of life may not be so rosy and high after all. I observe with quite sadness, heavy burn-outs, stress and fatigue leading to medical complications. Many quit plush jobs to 'take a break', switch to entrepreneurship, or even to academics.

India still needs to let youngsters discover their true call in life, let them follow their own dream and heart, and not compel them to copy their peers. Many parents still behave as if India is still in the early 1900 - acute shortage of resources, poverty and unemployment. In this century, I am sure it is difficult to die of starvation! If one believes that then it is easy to chase one's dream.

A lot of new courses have been introduced by various colleges. What is the receptivity of such courses among students?
A: Educational institutes themselves lag in offering courses that are in great demand. For instance, there is a tremendous demand for skilled people in Animation and Cartooning, Marketing Analytics, Managing Social Media; however, very few colleges offer them and even then they are not advertised prominently. There is a lot of time lag between the need in the industry and the course becoming popular among students. Students due to lack of information on placement possibilities for such new courses often fall back on known regular courses.

What would be your advice for students who are all set to enter college? How would you advise them to choose a particular stream of study in college?
A: I think there are many people who are on an overdrive providing advice to prospective students. My thoughts will be to suggest calmness, weigh choices well and choose the one that balances between one's dream and employment opportunities. Visit people and friends who have done the courses you desire and see how they live and pay attention to their internal harmony and not just external wealth. My advice will be to keep a keen eye on what the quality of life will be! Of course, the most important aspect is perseverance after a choice.


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