Off the edge Education

Make a choice

I am 26 and have been preparing for the UPSC since 2015 but haven’t been able to clear the prelims. Do I pursue UPSC or quit? — Swati S

Dear Swati,

Yes, maybe it is time to let go of this and realise a new dream and walk a new path. Your life has a meaning and purpose beyond the UPSC — find it. Please get a career profiling done and understand what else will suit you best. Wishing you the very best in your journey from here on.

I am currently pursuing my master’s in Geography from Delhi University. I want to go abroad for further research in Human Geography. However, I do not find lucrative career opportunities in this field. Should I let go of my dream? — Peeyus Raj

Dear Peeyus,

I disagree that there are not enough career opportunities in Human Geography! It has a number of sub-branches like anthropogeography, cultural geography, economic geography, political geography, historical geography, social geography, population geography and settlement geography. Where does your interest lie?

Yes, education across Europe is very expensive and so apply for scholarships and work on building your resume and portfolio. Also talk to a few existing students, old students and alumni who are already doing research work and working in the field of your choice to get a better understanding of the potential. The admissions counsellor of the colleges that interest you will also help you understand the nuances of the course better. Start an email conversation with them. Best wishes.

I am a 25-year-old B.Com graduate. I have been failing to crack the Staff Selection Commission-Combined Graduate Level Exam (SSC CGL) by two to three points every year. I like technology and am interested in gadgets, but want a good job in the government or private sector. What can I do? — Sachin Kumar

Dear Sachin,

You are only 25 years, so don’t worry. You still have time with respect to the age criteria to join SSC CGL, so don’t get disheartened. Have you considered joining the armed forces? The UPSC conducts the Combined Defence Services Examination twice a year for recruitment into the Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Indian Air Force. You can apply for this. Check the details online ( and see if this interests you.

If you are an Air Force enthusiast (having mentioned technology and gadgets) then AFCAT (, organised by the Indian Air Force twice a year, is also a great option.

I am 24 years old and graduated in 2016. Since then, I have been preparing for competitive banking exams, but took a break in 2018-19 because of a surgery. I started preparing again last year but don’t know whether to continue or look for private sector jobs. – Ashutosh

Dear Ashutosh,

I hope you are doing well now. Do you have any other skills sets that you have pursued and enhanced across these four years, which you can add to your CV? You should certainly start looking for opportunities in the private sector as well. Be honest and sincere with the interviewing panel. It always goes a long way in building your credentials and trust with the organisation. And should you still want to give the bank exams another shot, do that with whatever you can prepare, post your working hours.

Disclaimer: This column is not a substitute for long-term therapy. It is merely a guiding voice. Some issues may need medical intervention.

The writer is a practising counsellor and a trainer. She has worked extensively with students and young adults across a range of issues. Send your questions to with the subject line ‘Off the edge’.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 11:43:00 AM |

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