Build your skills

Uncertain about your career options? Low on self-confidence? This career counselling column may help

February 24, 2024 12:44 pm | Updated 04:33 pm IST

I have done my Bachelor’s in Science but want to work in the corporate sector. I am preparing for the UPSC and, after two years, plan to pursue an MBA from India or abroad. Is this a good plan? Sambhav

Dear Sabhav,

Transitioning to the corporate sector is not impossible but should be based on your interests and skills. Your current education may not directly align with any corporate roles and openings, but gaining experience, networking, showcasing and highlighting transferable skills (communication, problem-solving, analytical thinking) can help you secure entry-level positions. The UPSC exams are challenging so you have to dedicate sufficient time and effort. An MBA can enhance your career prospects in the corporate world by providing a broader perspective, managerial skills, and networking opportunities. Whether you do it in India or abroad depends on your long-term plans, programme quality, cost, networking opportunities, career goals, and personal preferences. Having some relevant work experience before doing an MBA adds practical insights to academic learning and also enhances your profile. To pursue an MBA abroad, you will need to take the GMAT or GRE. Research different courses, specialisations, faculty, alumni networks, and career outcomes. Network with professionals and alumni from various schools to understand what opportunities they provide. Finally, assess the financials aspects and understand the criteria for scholarships and financial aid options.

I have a Ph.D. in Agriculture but am interested in forestry, wildlife, and conservation. I want to align my professional life to my passion but don’t know how to start. Can you guide me? Manu

Dear Manu,

Transitioning from a Ph.D. in Agriculture to a career in forestry, wildlife, or conservation is doable. Research the fields of forestry, wildlife, and conservation to understand their scope, job opportunities and gaps, required skills, and ongoing projects. See how your agricultural expertise can be relevant here. Can you use your Ph.D. skills in research, data analysis, project management, or scientific knowledge of ecosystems here? Educate yourself about forestry, wildlife conservation, or environmental studies. Consider additional courses on wildlife conservation, wildlife and forestry management, conservation biology, forest ecology or environmental science. Attend workshops, conferences, or seminars to network with experts. Follow relevant journals, websites and publications to be update with the latest. Look for jobs in forest departments, wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, conservation organisations, research institutions, or environmental consultancies.

I am in class IX. My ambition is to pursue Psychology but my relatives insist that I should be an engineer. My main interest is in careers related to Biology, and I don’t feel confident doing Maths and Physics. What should I consider doing in the future? Vishnu

Dear Vishnu,

Remember that your career choice should align with your interests, strengths, and passions. Listen to all but think and decide for yourself. Engage and explore both Psychology and Biology. Read books, watch documentaries, or take online courses to gain a deeper understanding of these subjects. Speak with professionals to understand their work challenges and, career paths. A career profile from a career counsellor can help identify your personality, strengths, and interests. Some of the top courses in Biology, apart from MBBS, are Bachelor’s degrees in Veterinary Sciences, Pharmacy, Neuroscience, Molecular Biology, and Biochemistry and Cell Biology, B.Tech. Genetic Engineering, B.Tech./B.Sc. Food Technology, and B.Sc. Nutritional Biology. In Psychology, options are B.A/B.Sc. Psychology, B.A/B.Sc. Counselling Psychology, B.A/B.Sc. Applied Psychology, B.A/ B.Sc. Clinical Psychology and so on. A career in either doesn’t require you to excel in Maths and Physics as much as engineering might.

I have done a B.Sc. (Hons) in Climate Change and Environmental Science and am interested in doing an M.Sc. related to Atmospheric Science or Oceanography. Which are the courses and institutes in India to consider? Athira

Dear Athira,

You can consider the following: M.Sc. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences in Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru; M.Sc. in Atmospheric Science and M.Sc. in Ocean Engineering and Naval Architecture (related to Oceanography) in IIT-Bombay; M.Sc. in Atmospheric-Oceanic Sciences and Technology in IIT-Delhi; M.Sc. in Oceanography and Coastal Area Studies in IIT-Kharagpur; and M.Sc. in Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences in IIT-Madras. The National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa, offers internships, training programmes, and research opportunities in Oceanography. Before applying, check admission requirements and entrance exams, the specific course details, curriculum, faculty, research facilities, and opportunities, and internships. Consider the geographical locations, as some might offer better access to specific environments (such as coastal regions or areas with atmospheric research facilities) that could enhance your learning experience. Reach out to current students and alumni to gain insights into the programme’s overall relevance and quality.

Disclaimer: This column is merely a guiding voice and provides advice and suggestions on education and careers. 

The writer is a practising counsellor and a trainer. Send your questions to with the subject line Off the Edge

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