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When it comes to careers, pupils like to play safe
- 88 per cent Jamshedpur students opt for engineering & medicine, says survey by Delhi firm

The glorious feats of a certain Deepika Kumari or Bigan Soy are not enough to inspire Jamshedpur children to take up sports as a career. They would rather stick to the conventional streams of engineering or medicine.

An ongoing survey by a New Delhi-based brand and marketing consulting firm, Allunare Corporation, has brought to the fore the ‘play safe’ mentality of the students of the steel city’s elite cradles, thereby underscoring how parental pressure still played a major role in shaping up a child’s career.

Allunare Corporation is carrying out the survey in 22 cities spread across the four states of Chhattisgarh, Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand as a part of its Skill Platform for Augmented Creativity and Excellence in a Marathon Idea (Space-o-Thon) — a pan-India initiative to assess the skills of students and suggest them right career choices.

In Jamshedpur, it has so far covered over 10,000 students in the age group of nine to 14 (Classes VI-XI) in 35 schools since August 2013. Of them, 88 per cent have said that they wanted to pursue engineering and medicine.

Out of this 88 per cent of students, a staggering 78 per cent said they wanted to become engineers. A further break-up showed that of 78 per cent, around 80 per cent wanted to specialise in software engineering while 10 per cent opted for mechanical, marine, civil and automobile.

“Interestingly, around 6 per cent of the students are interested in becoming automobile engineers without having any idea about automobile design. This shows the effects of living in an industrial township and parental pressure on the mind of the students,” said Sanjay Banerjee, chief (strategy and operations), Allunare Corporation.

Again, nearly 10 per cent of the students preferred medicine as a career option, with around 90 per cent wanting to specialise in cardiology and neuroscience.

Only 9 per cent expressed their desire to become sportpersons. In this category too, the scaled weighed heavily in favour of conventional disciplines as almost 95 percent of students wanted to become cricketers and only 3 per cent footballers.

Offbeat career choice like entrepreneurship, fashion designing and filmmaking had very few takers. Only 2 per cent said they wanted to become entrepreneurs while 0.5 per cent were interested in defence, agriculture and fashion designing.

“Unfortunately, most students have not even heard about architecture and filmmaking. Besides, the small percentage that chose entrepreneurship belongs to business families,” Banerjee said.

Similar surveys have been started in Ranchi and Hazaribagh while Dhanbad and Bokaro are also on the cards.

Explaining the concept behind Space-o-Thon, Banerjee said: “Space-o-Thon is a kind of competition that helps us assess a student’s aptitude. We have a set model (written test) wherein a student has to answer 50 questions in 45 minutes. Based on the findings, the student is given eight challenges in different fields of career in which he/she is interested. Each student is given a score based on the performance in coping with the eight challenges. After examining the result, we try to guide a student in a career in which he/she can excel rather than giving in to parental pressure or blindly following peers.”

Allunare Corporation intends to submit the findings of the survey to the Union HRD ministry, the HRD departments of the respective states and the CBSE.