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Boost your CV

Published on : July 23, 2012
Boost your CV

Gone are the days when pursuing a degree from a good college was one’s ticket to a successful career. Times have changed. Students today are opting for a range of short-term courses, diplomas and certificate programmes, while simultaneously pursuing a college degree. This trend can be attributed to changing preferences of head-hunters and companies, who are more on the lookout for multitaskers rather than specialists with ace academic scores.

Anup Sinha, who teaches economics at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta, points out that students are now willing to work harder and acquire new skills so that they can grab job opportunities in a fluid global world of relentless change and transition.
While Sinha feels that the trend is here to stay, Swati Salunkhe, Mumbai-based career counsellor says, “The number of students opting for parallel programmes is increasing every year and likely to grow in the coming years.”

She further adds that it is important for students to choose complimentary courses and not just erratically opt for courses. For example, someone studying hotel management can take up a foreign language course or one studying architecture can take up a course on Vaastu Shastra. Similarly, a student studying botany can opt for a course in bonsai or a nutritionist can go for a fitness trainer’s course, etc.
Chirag M Narsimhiah, after completing his ISC from a school in Bangalore, went to the Gujarat National Law University in Gandhinagar. He’s doing his BCom LLb Honours (integrated five year course), while pursuing the Company Secretary (CS) course.

Ask him why, and he says, “There is an overlap between law and the CS course. Besides, the combination adds value to my CV, especially if I later opt for corporate law.”

Sreejita Dey, pursuing her graduation from Jadavpur University (JU), was inclined towards political science at the +2 level, so she decided to take it up for graduation. It was because of the curriculum that she developed a newfound interest in human rights, thus, taking up a certificate course in human rights from the Indira Gandhi National Open University (Ignou).

FUTURE PROSPECTS

Does having more than one degree result in a heftier pay packet? Tanaya Mishra, senior VP, Group HR, JSW, says, “I do not think that it makes much of a difference as far as the pay packet is concerned.”

Pay packets are at the discretion of the recruiter and, hence, can be different in each company. However, Salunkhe feels that the chances of a better pay is more, provided the courses as well as the knowledge gained is in-sync with the work profile.

According to Sinha, “The advantages are more because one can use the application learnt in actual work-life situation, which makes him/her a better employee and thus boosts one’s career prospects.” However, many colleges/universities do not allow a student to pursue two degrees simultaneously from two different colleges/universities.

Dhrubajyoti Chattopadhyay, pro-vice-chancellor for academic affairs, Calcutta University (CU) says, “This practice is not allowed in the University of Calcutta. But such rules are not binding upon courses offered by private institutes and professional organisations.” On the other hand, Abhijit Chakrabarti, former VC, Jadavpur University (JU), says, “In JU, if a person wishes to pursue another course simultaneously with the college degree, s/he must write to the highest policy-making body, seeking approval.”

Change is in the offing, though. In the wake of recent developments, new modalities are being worked out. Chattopadhyay informs, “We are in discussion with the HRD for the implementation of a meta-university. It will enable a student to pursue cross-disciplinary programmes simultaneously. The proposed institution, for example, will make it possible for an IIT Kharagpur student to enrol for a course in ancient history at Jawaharlal Nehru University or a mathematics student from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) to pursue comparative literature from Jadavpur University.”

— With input from Geetha Rao in Bangalore click here

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