Ensuring quality healthcare
Q:What is hospital administration' Can non-medical graduates opt for it'
A: The emergence of multi-speciality hospitals encompassing a variety of functions and roles in the private as well as corporate sectors, have underscored the need for professionalism and quality in hospital administration. A course in this field equips professionals with the requisite knowledge to plan, direct, co-ordinate and control the various activities of a large hospital and manage the complex relationships between patients, physicians, hospitals, insurers, and government agencies. The overall objective is to ensure quality healthcare as well as effective utilisation of funds and other resources.
The courses broadly focus on four areas of management: human resource management, facility management, quality & cost management, and information systems.
This is a multi-disciplinary approach incorporating modern managerial tools and techniques, principles of public administration and behavioral sciences. It therefore helps to have a sound knowledge of clinical outcomes and an understanding of the structure and processes of medicine.
Several super-speciality and multi-speciality hospitals like Apollo, Escorts, Wockhardt have opened and countless others like Max India or Fortis are planning large-scale forays into speciality, primary and secondary care hospitals and diagnostic centres. Besides, there is a slew of internationally-funded healthcare programmes. This in turn has generated the need for a distinctly qualified and trained breed of managers who are exposed to quality delivery and information systems in the field.
So like many new emerging career opportunities, there is currently a lack of trained professionals. While a handful of professional courses admit non-medical graduates, an MBBS is eminently suitable and preferred for this field.
Flying power with commerce
Q: After my Plus Two, I want to take up commerce. Will it be possible for me to become an air force officer' Please tell me about the eligibility and the selection procedure.
A: Yes, you can take up commerce at the Plus Two and bachelors levels and still find yourself eligible for the officer-level jobs in the various wings of the armed forces.
Selection is through the Combined Defence Services Examination (CDSE) conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. Graduates in any discipline, aged between 1923 years are eligible for this exam.
But for joining the Indian Air Force as a pilot through the CDSE, a BSc with physics and/or mathematics or bachelors of engineering are mandatory requirements.
For further information, log on to: www.careerairforce.nic.in. All the best.
Researching agricultural growth and more
Q:What is the work of an agricultural economist' What are the prospects for a career in this field'
A: Achieving food security has been the overriding goal of agricultural policy. To achieve this goal, one needs not only agricultural scientists but also agricultural economists who apply the principles of economics to ensure greater productivity. The growth in this sector being a result of greater liberalisation and investment, the demand for agricultural economists is on the rise.
Besides land appraisal, crop grading, marketing and sales, an agricultural economist is involved with farm management, cooperative management, farm utilities, custom services, wholesale and retail marketing of agricultural products, priority setting for research, how much to invest, assessment of returns on investment. In other words, he or she is involved in all those activities that ensure that agricultural productivity grows at planned rate of growth.
Job prospects in this field are excellent. There are openings in cooperatives, banking and insurance sector, private firms in the agricultural sector, foreign embassies, NGOs, and other donor agencies, the ministry of agriculture, the Indian Economic Service as also in the field of research and teaching.
Q:I have recently completed my MBA. What are the pros and cons of staying in a stable MNC environment and moving to a very risky but potentially successful startup venture'
A:It's a major adventure you're contemplating ' and you have summed up the equation perfectly: employment in a stable, predictable MNC environment versus a potentially high-reward (money, excitement, etc.) but also high-risk startup situation
Having sized up the risk-reward equation, I think what you need to do is: Assess the downside of making the move; namely, assess the potential damage, if any, to your career growth in case the startup does not succeed, and the options then for getting back to a stabler environment. Then with all this objective assessment clear in your head, listen also to the 'subjective' call of your gut.
What weightage one assigns to one's head and gut, respectively, is, of course, entirely a personal choice. And since different people assign different emphases ' that's what makes the world so interesting ' and equally hard to predict.
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