Completing a graduate degree might feel big, but only until the question of post graduation arises. Offering insight for this mode of contemplation by all PG aspirants is Sandhya Rajasekhar, with an exciting list of opportunities that await!
The graduation caps are tossed in the air. Now what?
The post-graduate level marks a deliberated step towards securing one’s career prospects. Even beyond that however, is a holistic path of refinement – a post graduate should pass out of a university as a human being of reason and purpose, scientific in temper, pragmatic and open-minded.
A young woman pursuing a post graduate programme can mean more, because as a daughter, sister, wife and mother, she is someone a family truly resonates with. This is of course, not to say that women who have not been educated in the formal sense are not achievers in their own right.
Those who have not been fortunate enough to pursue a master’s or more might take heart in learning that today, options and opportunities abound for them.
There are several post graduate diploma courses, generally of a year’s duration, where one can pursue a focused expertise in a chosen area; it could range from financial management to design to technical writing, agribusiness and plantation management. The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) also offers several PG Diploma courses ranging from a minimum of one year to four years, at affordable fees.
A Time to Skill
Skill-based courses are aplenty on the internet –websites offering opportunities especially for women, the government’s encouragement for entrepreneurship – all these open up immense possibilities. To really cover your bases in your research for potential programmes that suit you, you could also take on a psychometric test, which would reveal your aptitude and academic inclinations.
https://www.gharsenaukri.com/ claims to be the largest career and community platform for women. It offers career advice, has dedicated sections on jobs, programmes empowering women, women entrepreneurship and so on.
Log onto www.ignou.ac.in for details of their diploma courses.
The www.fairandlovelyfoundation.in offers several options – online certification courses, career, scholarships, jobs and so on.
NPTEL- Swayam (http://nptel.ac.in) a collaborative effort of the IITs and the IISc is the largest online collection of courses in ‘engineering, basic sciences, and selected humanities and social sciences subjects’.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) like coursera, udemy and others are also immensely popular.
Note: Most courses are free, but if you want to take their exams and obtain a certificate, a fee is charged.
Mainstream is a Mainstay
Going in for a two-year master’s studies is an option, I believe, is the best one. A post- graduate education, the standard two-year system, is highly valued everywhere in the world, giving you better job prospects, an opportunity to continue with formal education as a research fellow, and higher points if you wish to apply for a visa, for instance. The University Grants Commission in India offers scholarship for research scholars who pass its UGC JRF national examination, and the UGC NET certificate gives you eligibility for an assistant professor job. CSIR-NET and CSIR NET JRF are for students of physical sciences, earth sciences, mathematics, chemistry, and life sciences.
There are several post graduate courses that are open for graduates from any discipline. State and Central Universities and institutes like TISS in India are highly affordable and offer varied courses. Check out the official websites of any university that you are interested in joining. The admission process for most post graduate courses begin really early, while you are still in your final semester, so do keep an eye out for announcements. Most have national level entrance examinations, so start preparing early in your final year of under graduation itself.
A Year of Reflection
Many enterprising girls prefer to take a gap year and work/travel while they make up their mind on what course they really wish to do. This year, with constant motivation, can prove to be fruitful in terms of offering the individual a rare experiential perspective which can even surpass a consultant’s advice. This is especially true in cases where the person does not yet feel a tug towards any particular stream.
Making the right choice of course is obviously, high on the list of priorities. If you wish to continue with the specialization you opted for in the undergraduate level, you do not have a problem. If you want to make a change in the discipline, then an interest in the new course of choice, the kind of employment opportunity it offers, opportunities for research, uniqueness of the course if you want to study, especially if you want to do it abroad, are important considerations.
Consult your teachers and do your research on the internet for the best courses, eligibility, course fee structures, opportunities for placement, the right colleges/universities. If you are still not sure, then approach a career consultant who will help you identify your aptitude and guide you on a choice of discipline that may best suit you.
About the writer:
Sandhya Rajasekhar serves on the chief faculty board at MOP Vaishnav College for Women in Chennai, as their Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Journalism.