Q: I am a final-year student of BSc (chemistry). Should I do an MBA or pursue MSc in chemistry?
— Bipin Swaine, Cuttack
A: Of all the basic sciences, chemistry has the widest range of industrial applications. Therefore, chemists are employable by a wide range of industries such as pharmaceutical, paints, pesticides, cosmetics, soap and detergent, dyes, oil, plastic, food biotechnology, environmental and green technologies, textile, paper etc.
So, pick a professional qualification in chemistry and try to gain some work experience (internship) so as to empower yourself with relevant skills by the time you hit the job market.
If you decide to pursue chemistry, you could opt for the Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology (www.cipet.gov.in), which offers postgraduate diploma in plastics processing. Institute of Chemical Technology (www.ictmumbai.edu.in) also offers several industry-oriented courses. Assam University, Calcutta University, and Central University of Bihar offer MSc in environment science. Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun (www.fri.icfre.gov.in) offers some courses in paper technology and aroma technology for which they accept students who have a BSc in chemistry.
An MBA is also an option and there is no harm in trying for CAT. However, do not be disheartened if you fail to crack the exam. The qualification is gradually loosing its shine.
Since you are keeping an open mind about higher studies, instead of MBA, you could consider getting a bachelors degree in law (LLB).
With a degree in chemistry and legal training, you could eventually work in the area of patent law.
Work experience counts
Q: I completed graduation in computer science and engineering from a mediocre engineering institute in West Bengal this year. The institute failed to organise campus placement for students. Should I look for a job or go for further education?
— Anil Saha, Jalpaiguri
A: Owing to thousands of engineering colleges, the supply of engineers far exceeds the demand. The problem is that the engineering colleges are unable to provide industry exposure to students through internships. As a result, there are thousands of engineers without any practical experience. Do consider approaching the small and medium enterprises and start-ups for placements. You need to gain some experience before you study further. If you are looking at further education, consider doing a masters degree in engineering in a specialised field.
Think positive to handle stress
Q: My daughter is currently pursuing a dual degree course (Msc and engineering) from a reputed university outside Calcutta. She scored 92 per cent in CBSE Class XII board exam in 2010. Of late, she has developed a phobia about exams. As a result, she has not been doing well academically.
— Lt Col (retd) T.K. Bhattacharya
A: Owing to lack of continuous assessment, most students face exam stress. Instead of thinking of strategies to run away from stress, I think it is more important to embrace stress and then think of positive ways to handle it. Thinking positively about oneself is one of the first steps towards handling stress. Here’s some help.
Step 1. Create a subjectwise list of goals to be achieved
Step 2. As you accomplish and achieve these goals develop another list of goals already achieved.
Step 3. Reward yourself for every couple of goals achieved
Step 4. Whenever you feel overwhelmed by stress or anxiety remind yourself of the study goals you have successfully achieved. A constant reminder of one’s achievements and one’s goals can facilitate the process of making a student more self-confident.
One strategy I would recommend is to develop a vision board of things she wishes to achieve and those that she has already achieved. This vision board in her room can act as a constant reminder of her positive growth. In due course you will find that your daughter will develop a more realistic sense of self where she will take pride in her achievements and set realistic goals of things yet to be done.
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