I have a degree, what next?

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STUDJune 23;The belief “I have a degree, now I’m sure I’ll be employed,” held truth once upon a time. With changing trends in education, a degree is not all it takes to get a job. Students are increasingly taking up extra courses and internships which will give them an upper hand at the interview. Does your course provide enough training to face the competitive working world, or do you have to go the extra mile in your free time to catch up?

The Hindu EducationPlus spoke to students from different courses in Bangalore to see what they feel about this.

Anika Joseph, second year psychology, economics and English literature, Mount Carmel College

I don’t think that a Bachelor in Arts will give me a job that I want, in the field I want. I would definitely have to pursue higher studies. From what I’ve heard, we can volunteer at Non-Governmental Organisations and opportunity schools. Psychology is a new and diverse field, so these internships are really important to help us understand the field better and prepare us for the real world out there. I think a lot of field work is required which we should be doing in our course since we don’t have a compulsory internship. We definitely need more exposure and hands-on experience.

I want to pursue forensic psychology but there are very few colleges in India. So my chances are already slim and with a three-subject degree, I can’t focus only on psychology. I have to give equal importance to all subjects.

Harshavardhan Upasani, second year mechanical engineering, Kammavari Sangha Institute of Technology

I definitely think a degree will guarantee us a job because we have campus placements and interviews and there are many companies out there constantly on the hunt for mechanical engineers. The demand for mechanical engineers in construction companies has risen, so that’s another opportunity. However, I’m not too happy to face the working world without much experience. We need to be encouraged to do a lot of practical work because it is extremely essential to understand the need of the customer when you design and there are many problems on the field which we don’t study in books.

As of now, the focus is just on books and examinations, which should change. Internships and field work should be a part of our curriculum.

Karthik Bharadwaj, second year architecture student, University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering

Our degree doesn’t guarantee us a job, but I treat that as a motivation because it gives us an incentive to work harder. In architecture, it all comes down to your work and how you deal with your client. So the year that we do our thesis is really important and you learn a lot during the internship. However, we don’t have placements and what determines whether we get a job is how good our portfolio is. From what I’ve heard and seen, you learn a lot after interning.

Kalyani Puranik, fourth year fine arts student, Chitrakala Parishath College

I’m sure I’ll get a job because I’m specialising in applied arts. I can work as a graphic designer and we have great opportunities to intern at advertising agencies. We are put on different levels based on the software we learn. The more you know, the better your designation is. In college we don’t get a lot of experience in client relation, nor are we aware of the new trends.

So, internships definitely teach us all of that. However, in a course like this, there’s not much to teach. We are guided a lot, but what you make of it depends on how creative you are. Also, when we go for an interview, we are judged based on our creativity and skills, not our marks card.

Sowdamini Prasad, second year chemistry, botany and zoology, St. Joseph’s College of Arts and Science

I cannot say that I will get a job because the course is very research oriented. Usually, students join a research institute or pursue lab work with scientists. This field is slightly risky, and not for people who want to settle down fast. There are a wide range of opportunities but it depends on the hard work that you put in to achieve it. We are given a lot of funding, equipment and training but the idea depends entirely on us and how we materialise it.

In internships we can conduct surveys or maybe join an institute to help design its products, but we get to interact with scientists and discuss our ideas which is a great form of exposure. Nothing can give us the experience of the real world out there. However, we just observe old specimens, so I wish we had study tours which will help us understand a lot better.

Sowjanya Reddy, third year telecommunications engineering, M.S. Ramaiah Institute of Technology

It is extremely hard to get a job in this sector, from what I’ve seen. Most students who graduated this year have not been placed and this has led to a lot of insecurity.

The job requirement is a lot more than the number of available jobs. Adding to it, we don’t have a compulsory internship; so whatever we do is entirely out of personal interest. I think internships in the field are really comprehensive and they give you an in-depth view of what you study.

What I learnt from the exam point of view at college, I actually applied at the internship. So it gave me a chance to exhibit my knowledge.

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