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BY: Abhi | Category: Education | Post Date: 2009-11-15

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It is a known fact by now that the change in the outlook of the society is dependent on the transformation of thoughts that prevail in the minds of the young. The career choices that the students made or were forced to make even in the later phases of 20th century were mostly conventional.

Though the tendency of leaning towards pursuing engineering, medical or law as a career still exists, things have changed considerably in the 21st century and students are willing to convert subjects of there dreams into a career. In the recent past with the advent of new careers, many novel courses in compliance with the growing demands were introduced. Few of them were added to the course list of major universities and for few separate organizations or institutions were set up. Some such courses are journalism, films, designing, creative writing, advertising, music, games, etc. A few of these in fact existed in the past but they hogged the limelight after the renaissance of education and career in India. These courses in actuality came as a respite to the nonconformists. However, the latest situation that we witness tells a different story.

One of the most highly sought after career options today is that of joining the media. What is ridiculous is the fact that the courses which were implemented to cater to the radical demands of the generation are not being given enough weight. It is interesting to note that various highly acclaimed and eminent media persons today are those who have not been to any institute offering a course in journalism. This is a confirmed fact researched by me and seconded by a principal reporter of Hindustan Times, Soumen Datta. A classic example a journalist without a degree in the same is our dynamic, proficient and versatile editor-in-chief of Times Now, Arnab Goswami who is a sociology graduate and a postgraduate in social anthropology. Need more? Dr. Prannoy Roy, the head of NDTV, recieved his doctorate not in journalism but in economics. He does not boast of a degree in journalism. He infact was a chartered accountant intitially. But he is excellent at his job now.

The effectuality of such new courses is therefore on question. One of the advertisements which were recently seen in The Telegraph announced recruitment of journalists clearly mentioning their criterion as ‘English honors'. The disbelief that subsists in the minds of the recruiters regarding the efficiency of new modules of study is thus on display. It is often seen that some well known companies drop in to hire communication executives from classes where mass communication and journalism is a course of study. Recently Wipro, the well known MNC, called for students who were interested in working as communication managerial for interviews, students of which stream?

Journalism! A Wipro seems to compensate for a CNN. That though is unacceptable, in any case comes as a rescue to avoid unemployment; as a result many such media aspirants settle with these companies. Big initiates which are meant exclusively for media training do successfully place students but again the fact that such degrees are dispensable makes it obvious that any person from any stream stands a chance in the world of media. The students of journalism do not even seem to have an upper hand. An ideal instance of how superfluous and unessential such fresh courses are is Chetan Bhagat who is arguably one of the best Indian writers today. He is an IIT graduate and an IIM postgraduate - far from even the delineation of arts, but he is now a full time author, and is indeed great at it; he clearly did a fabulous job as an author for his first four novels, three of which were national bestsellers. Creative writing as a course of study in college level thus makes no sense at all. The prerequisites for new age professions are no longer certificates, and that is unmistakably demonstrated by the people who are making it big today. Designing is still fortunately one of those study modules which are crucial but surely not indispensable given that channels like MTV and Zoom came up with designing reality shows exhibiting untrained talent and possibilities.

Schools which inculcate true and formal education in music and are supposed to be called ‘music schools' did go through a rough patch in the recent past when reality shows gave birth to many a rising stars - soon fallen. Fortunately, maestros like A.R. Rahman, by giving opportunities to only the trained singers showed people the way and shortly true musical devotees got back their due. However, the fact remains that a musical degree is highly unessential to flourish as a singer. Another side of the story tells about the film schools. Many are inundated with brooding thoughts like whether these institutions play any role when shows like ‘Indian Idol', ‘Roadies' and ‘Splitsvilla' can produce actors. The fact they are unaware of the rich alumni which some film schools possess is highlighted thereby. It is pertinent to state here that all such courses somewhere do produce what they were supposed to during their implementation but such cases are numbered. Once what were thought to be capable of calling citadels of new age careers are not really being able to exhibit the worthiness of the certificates that they confer to their students.

The IT sector after introduction came across as one of the strongest and promising career options and it did live up to the expectations but then as is known to all, the IT professionals were literally jobless at one point of time. Soon after, the ruinous period came to an end. However the citing of this episode does not in any way diminish the point that is to be made. Hence it is time that the ‘new age' courses do find out exclusivity and indispensability in them.

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