Think this through

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

May 27, 2023 04:32 pm | Updated May 30, 2023 05:28 pm IST

I am a travel writer at a renowned travel organisation in India. I want to work in organisations like the UN. Sustainability, Climate Consciousness, and Energy are the future of the travel Industry. Do you recommend any degree or career path in such arenas? Please also suggest the countries from where I can pursue these. Supriya

Dear Supriya,

To pursue a career with the UN, you have to gain experience in the specific field of interest via internships and/or entry-level jobs. Network with professionals from the industry who can help you learn about specific gaps, courses, job opportunities, and career paths. There are many credible courses available in Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia but you need to consider factors like language, culture, cost of living, and admission fees before you shortlist your degree. Based on your interests you might enjoy a degree in Environmental Sciences, Sustainable Development, or Renewable Energy. Some courses and colleges to consider are MPhil in Environmental Policy at the University of Cambridge, the U.K.; Master of Development Practice at the University of California, Berkeley, the U.S.; Master in Environmental Sciences at ETH Zurich, Switzerland; Master of Climate Change at Australian National University, Australia; Master of Science in Environmental Management at National University of Singapore, Singapore. There are many more options, so make sure that you research and identify a programme that aligns with your specific academic interest and career goals.

I am in Class 11 Science Stream. I chose Science because I like the subject but I don’t know which one works for me. My Math is weak, which makes other subjects difficult. But I enjoy studying Science. So how do I find out which career option is best for me when I have no idea which subject will bring me a career that I can actually enjoy? Sania

It is okay not to know what you want to do right now. What is important is to have the courage to explore different options and understand your self, interests, and likes and then make an informed decision. Also, being weak in a subject doesn’t necessarily limit your career options. Speak to a good career counsellor and identify what might be a good fit for you. Explore your interests and identify what about the Sciences you enjoy the most. Once you identify that, it will be easier to narrow down your subject options and career choices. Check out online courses across different subjects to explore as much as you can and then shortlist what you want to pursue.

I completed my B.Sc. (Hons) in Botany in 2021 from Delhi University and began preparing for Civil Services but it’s not going well. After a 1.5-year break, I’m thinking about a Master’s in Forensic Sciences. Is this a good idea? What are my other options? Akash

Dear Akash,

One and a half years is a very short time to pack up on your IAS dream. It is a tough gruelling process and it can easily take a few years. Pursuing a Master’s in Forensic Sciences depends on your interests, goals, passion, and career aspirations. Speak to a counsellor or career specialist and ensure that this is something that you are interested in and are cut out for. I hope that this is not an exit route to the IAS prep or a Netflix-induced temporary phase. Forensic Sciences is a growing field and there is a huge demand for skilled scientists across the government, police, other law enforcement, crime labs, and research institutions. Look out for job openings and the salary component in your city to know if this will be a sustainable career option. How do you feel about courses like Biotechnology, Environmental Sciences, Agriculture, Forestry, and Science Communications? They all have good scope today. Think and work out the pros and cons and then arrive at a final decision.

I am 17 and have completed Class 12 with Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. I did not get good marks in NEET. My parents are interested in sending me to the U.K. to do my MBBS. But I am not interested in that. How can find out what I am interested in? I am thinking of doing a B.Sc. Agriculture and an MBA later. Prasuna

Dear Prasuna,

It is absolutely okay to not know your passion at your age. A Career Assessment and a Personality Profiling will help identify your strengths and interests and suggest options that match your personality. Recognise your values: what is important to you and what do you want to prioritise in your life? If you take a gap year, volunteer and intern across different fields to gain hands-on experience with different career options. Research careers online and speak and connect with professionals in different fields to learn and understand their jobs, role responsibilities, educational prerequisites, and career paths. Have you considered a Liberal Arts programme where you get the opportunity to explore different options and can eventually decide on what you want to major in? Agriculture and an MBA is also a good choice, if that interests you.

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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