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Q&A for you

Complete your graduation

Shivani Manchanda

Q I have recently completed the third year of my BCom course. Since I failed to clear one paper, my graduation is not yet complete. I dream of becoming a banker, so I want to prepare for the banking examinations. Will the fact that I failed in one paper create any problems for me in the future?

Pritam Dhara

My sincere advice would be to first complete your graduation. Many jobs in India require applicants to have a bachelor's degree; it would be a pity to miss out on that opportunity long-term. Failing at something can really dishearten us but that does not mean we will never succeed. Just because you have not cleared a paper does not mean that you are a failure. Instead, think of it as your TED talk in the making. When you succeed, this will be a wonderful story to tell.

Keep working hard and try to complete your graduation. If you just cannot clear it for some reason, then you could take up a job with a bank or any other company that will hire you. The important thing is to work hard, be sincere and show initiative at the workplace. Some employers will give a chance to people without qualification but you may have to wait longer for those promotions. Being self-employed is another great way to find a perfect niche for yourself whether you manage to complete your degree or not. Hard work leads to success. So stay motivated and don't lose your focus.

Physics options

Q I am a third-year student of Physics at St. Xavier's College. I am not interested in a doctoral degree or research work. I just want a decent job after MSc. What can I be other than a lecturer?

Subhosri Basu

The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) is one of the key employers of Physics graduates in India. However, you need a master's in the subject - not to mention good marks - to get a job in a related field.

Some master's programmes, such as the one offered by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), come integrated with an employment possibility. BARC runs these training programmes at their various centres at Mumbai, Kalpakkam and Hyderabad. Successful graduates can be hired as scientific officers in various units of the Department of Atomic Energy.

If you score well in GATE, BARC runs a DAE Graduate Fellowship Scheme (DGFS) in conjunction with several IITs. You could do your MTech project on a DAE-approved subject. Completing the DGFS successfully could result in a job offer. The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) also has opportunities for Physics graduates.

If you don't wish to work as an academic or a scientist, you could look for a marketing job with a scientific instrument company. Selling sophisticated, high-end scientific instruments requires technical knowledge. You have to understand the requirements of a researcher before you can help him or her purchase the correct equipment.

If working in industry is your long-term goal, you could do your postgraduation in fields such as Computer Application or Information Security. You could also consider pursuing a master's degree in fields which don't require a bachelor's degree in a related subject, such as MBA, Journalism or Law. However, before you decide on a career, I would encourage you to do some introspection. Find out your interests and abilities, your strengths and weaknesses, and figure out which career will be the best fit for you.

Shivani Manchanda has masters degrees in career counselling and child development. She has been counselling about opportunities in India and abroad since 1991. Mail your queries to telegraphyou@ gmail.com with Ask Shivani in the subject line

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