Students are exploring lesser-known disciplines of medicine, agriculture sciences and management that offer a wide scope. Here’s why you should consider them.
EDUCATION Updated: Oct 04, 2018 15:51 IST
While many of her friends chose to chase degrees in medicine and engineering, Anushka Rajesh, 21, decided to go ahead with a subject that had fascinated her since she was a school student. “Chemistry and biology were my favourite subjects,” she says. “Pharmacy is the perfect blend of the topics.” Now completing her final year in B Pharm at Vivekanand Educational Society’s College of Pharmacy, Rajesh aims to go abroad to finish her Masters degree. “As pharmacy students, we can later branch out to cosmetology, perfumery or even marketing medical products and services,” Rajesh says.
Breaking away from the trend of following conventional engineering medical and management courses, more students are exploring lesser-known disciplines. This has resulted in the recent boom of several fields such as pharmacy, sports management, fisheries and other subjects under agriculture sciences.
In the last two years, applicants enrolling for the four-year B Pharm course have risen from 6,000 to 10,000 nationally. At the Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Science, part of Manipal Academy of Higher Education, 4,000 students applied for the entrance tests in 2016. “Last year, due to NEET, there was a slight drop in the applications, but we still had more than 3,000 applicants,” says Dr Mallikarjun Rao, principal.
Pharmacy studies are particularly taking off because of potential growth in the sector. A graduate can get into quality control, manufacturing, research and development or the regulatory department of government and private companies. “One can also become a certified government analyst controlling drug quality,” adds Dr Mallikarjun. A student can even enter the marketing sector and become a medical representative.
Most students are drawn to the good starting salary packages. Bachelors degrees aren’t as lucrative, so many go abroad to get a masters degree. An M Pharm student stands to earn Rs 6 lakh or 7 lakh a year.
Studying by the sea
Agriculture-related courses like fisheries science and food technology are also attracting young students.
Mujahid Khan, 31, studied fisheries science and completed his PhD in Fish Biotechnology last year. He is now a scientist with the fish genetics and biotechnology team at the government-run Central Institute of Fisheries Education in Mumbai. “This field is a dynamic one as it branches out into jobs in FSSAI, FSI, cancer research labs, the petroleum ministry, NABARD, food processing units, fish feed industries and even commercial banks,” he says.
However, only 26 government colleges in the country offer Bachelors degrees in Fisheries Science (BFSc) and no private colleges cater to this subject. At the Masters level there are 11 disciplines within the field. “So many students complete higher-education courses in Norway, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, China, the US and Australia,’ Khan explains. “Since 90% of Norway’s GDP is contributed by the fisheries sector, the growth and opportunities there are huge. Many PG and PhD students also end up starting businesses in farming shrimp, catfish and Indian major carps since these too are highly profitable.”
Coming from an agricultural background, Akshay Suryavanshi, 21, now in his final year in BTech in Food Technology from College of Food Technology in Naigaon, says he was always curious about the sector.
“My father is a farmer,” Suryavanshi says. “I was interested in learning the other aspects of agriculture, apart from farming, that contribute to the economy. Unlike the agriculture science, Food Technology is a unique course and I opted for it. I want to study further and carry out research in genetically modified crops.”
Many of his classmates are from families that are directly involved in farming. Suryavanshi’s class mate chose his field because he says “there are several opportunities in the corporate food sector”.
The college has recorded a 15% rise in applications from 2016. “Students are becoming aware of this field and this course is making students ready for jobs in MNCs like the Nestle and Unilever,” says Sunil Jondhale, assistant professor of the college. Moreover, the scope in research and quality analysis is immense. Freshers get paid Rs 3 lakh to Rs 4 lakh per annum, says Vishnu Somani, assistant professor at the college.
Sport it up
Sports management is getting popular among students, who are seeing the way games, matches and leagues are increasingly finding popular and corporate support.
Indrajit Deshmukh, 23, who completed his post-graduation in sports management from International Institute of Sports Management, Churchgate, in June, was aiming to crack the civil services exam. The sports course was merely a back-up plan. “I also studied literature and then did my masters in social work,” he says. “But I was always interested in the business aspect of sports and decided to pursue it.” He now works with the marketing team of a sports start-up in Pune.
The curriculum covered 24 subjects ranging from sports journalism, celebrity management, sports law, accounts, branding and promotion to analytics, business negotiations and communication. Salary packages start from Rs 1.8 lakh to Rs 5 lakh per annum,” he admits. “But in the days to come, with the international funding in sports increasing, this will change,” he adds.
First Published: Oct 04, 2018 15:51 IST