Meera Srinivasan and Susan Muthalaly

Areas of specialisation emerge in science and commerce streams

Meera Srinivasan

and Susan Muthalaly

CHENNAI: Amid debates over reservation and the clamour for professional college seats, it looks like B.Sc and B.A. degree programmes are slowly regaining their past glory.

Though demand for these courses has fluctuated over the years, academicians believe these degrees still have takers; industry professionals also vouch for this talent pool.

The myth that only those candidates who do not get into engineering colleges take up B.Sc courses is fading, highlighting several areas of specialisation that have emerged in the science and commerce streams. There are still a few who are wary of the financial and logistical demands of B.E and therefore end up enrolling for a B.Sc course, but they will eventually have no regrets, say senior academicians. B.Com continues to remain one of the most sought after courses in city colleges. "For every seat, I got at least 20 applications," says V.V.Subramanian principal of Vivekananda College. Students find Corporate Secretaryship, Accounts and Finance, Banking Management interesting areas offering scope for specialisation.

More students are now considering Bachelors in Business Administration (BBA) as an option.

"Students are also beginning to see fantastic career developmental opportunities in these courses. They have a clear idea of what to expect from the basic degree and consider the stream's relevance to what they intend pursuing for post graduation," says Mr. Subramanian. In Loyola College, 6,000 candidates applied for the available 490 seats.

Subjects in the commerce stream throw open a wide range of career options. "Students can take up higher studies in Management, Computer Applications, Finance, Administrative Services," says K.S. Lakshmi, principal of Meenakshi College.

With the growing need for financial analysts and planners, Economics is also picking up. Other streams under Arts and Humanities are also finding more takers than in the past five years. Students are finding disciplines such as Fine Arts, Literature, Journalism, Sociology and History promising too.

Dolly Thomas, professor of History at Stella Maris College, says students interested in tourism and development show an inclination towards History. "We have a pure History stream and a specialisation in Tourism. Students who take up history may later special in Archaeology or even take up Civil Services," she says. "Mathematics, Planned Bio-Technology and Animal Bio-Technology are the most popular courses in our college," says Mrs. Lakshmi. Physics, Chemistry, Botany and Zoology come after these, as options thereafter are narrow. With systems becoming more complex, integrating advanced levels of analytical and mathematical thinking and communication would mould graduates into natural fits, says a senior HR professional.

Computer Science, Visual Communication, Biochemistry and Nutrition and Dietetics are some of the other courses in demand. Biomedical sciences are also developing in a big way. Women's Christian College has received nearly 500 applications for Computer Science so far. In Loyola, about 10,000 applications have come in for different courses in the science stream.