'Be positive and plan your goals'

'Be positive and plan your goals'

Studying in India

Dr Ali KhwajaDear Sir,

I'm a resident of Mysore, studying in the 12th (CBSE). I have chosen Humanities with the following combination – Maths, Economics, Geograghy, Accountancy. I had to select this combination as I was not interested in Science and there was no other choice available to me but Humanities.

I'm interested in Story-writing and Fine arts.

In story writing, can you please suggest: 1. Type of careers available in this field (other than journalism); 2. How can I enhance my creativity in writing. Please suggest any websites which can be of help to me.; 3. Is there any particular degree/diploma which caters to this field-please give the details of the same (Name of the course, colleges offering it and their websites)

And in Fine Arts – 1. Names of the courses; colleges and their websites.; 2. Scope of doing the course.

In a DH Education issue, you have suggested students to get an aptitude test done.

Where can I get my aptitude test done and what is the procedure. Please clarify.


Dear Sohini,

Since story writing requires creativity with words and fine arts requires creativity in design, check out which area you have greater interest and aptitude in, and then select your courses accordingly.  In Bangalore, there are institutions like Promise Foundation, Phyllis Farais, Banjara Academy and many others who conduct aptitude tests.

In case you wish to make a career with the written word, take up a BA with subjects like Communicative English, Mass Communication, Literature, Psychology, Sociology etc., and keep writing stories and sending them to various magazines who publish them. If you feel you are enjoying story writing, and if they are being published, you can then do a PG programme in Creative Writing, Communication etc., which are available all over the country.

Dear Sir,

I am working in a multinational software company since six years, and I have more than seven years of experience in IT industry. It has been monotonous work in IT industry, so I started looking for changing the field. Then I came across Company Secretary examinations. Company secretary looked to me like an interesting job. So I'm considering about shifting to that field, but have many concerns.

1. Being in none Commerce field for long period, will it be difficult or will it be feasible to shift to that career?; 2. How is the career prospects in company secretary?; 3. How is the career growth in the company secretary when compared to IT field? I think we have to take into account the number of people coming to IT field.

Looking forward for your guidance.


Dear Adithya,

The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (www.icsi.org) conducts a series of exams and internship, on the completion of which you become a qualified Company Secretary.

This is a statutory requirement, that is, all large companies must necessarily employ a CS to look into the formation, regulation, legal and compliance aspects, and file the necessary returns to Company Law Board of Government of India. The exams are highly competitive (similar to CA). While Commerce students do have an advantage, any graduate can aspire for it either by studying on your own, or taking coaching from one of the various institutes in every city. Those at +2 level can appear for the Foundation Course. You can succeed if you have a logical mind, good concentration and memory, and the ability to work systematically.

Dear Sir,

My little sister, had failed in her II PUC (PCMB).We are awaiting her supplementary results, could you kindly guide us on the following: 1. In case she passes what are the possible options apart from BSc, BBM, BCom etc. 2. In case, (I hope not) she does not get through again, what are the options available.

Sumathy Nagendra

Dear Sumathy,

If she does not get through even in the supplementary exam, it is obvious that she is not cut out for Science stream. Check her interest and aptitude, and decide between Commerce and Arts to start with (she may rejoin college or appear as a private candidate, or even go through the National Institute of Open Schooling www.nios.ac.in).

Of course, she also has the option of doing a three-year polytechnic diploma, either in engineering, paramedical sciences, architecture, commercial practice etc. The third option is to join a degree course under Open University system, and take private coaching or gain work experience. Even if she does get through, it may be wise to reconsider her continuation in Science stream. Depending on what she is good at, you may seek admission in B.Com, BBM, BA, BCA, Home Science with Arts, Fashion Design etc.

Dear Sir,

My son is studying in 9th Standard ICSE. He has scored 75% in his 8th standard. We are unable to decide as to what he should study after his 10th. I know it all depends on his area of interest, but even he is unable to decide anything at this point.

It would really help us if you can give us some pointers in this regard and also let us know what would be a competitive per cent in his 10th standard.

There are students who move to State syllabus just to score good percentage in 10th standard, but I feel that my son should continue in ICSE so that he would be exposed to a high standard of education and this would help him in future. What do you feel about this?

Shashi Kumar

Dear Shashi Kumar,

I agree that he should continue in ICSE since he has scored 75 per cent and will be able to complete his 10th and get a better foundation. Stimulate his interest by exposing him to different careers. Show him and make him speak to: bankers, IT professionals, lawyers, architects, civil servants, doctors, paramedical professionals, business managers, marketing personnel, educators, and encourage him to dream and fantasise about his future. By the time he finishes his 10th he will be able to narrow down. There is no fixed ‘competitive percentage’ in 10th. Ensure that his learning is effective and he develops goals. With reasonable marks he will get admission in +2, and then work hard towards admission in degree of his choice.

Dear Sir,

I’m in my 4th semester B.E (Information Science). Due to ill-health I couldn't do my exams well and I fear I may have a year back. I have 60% average in my first three semesters and I heard that least priority is given to those having a year back, and placements are slim. Is this true? Should I continue with my B.E or join any other courses? Are courses from NIIT, HCL and other institutes helpful to get a good job on their own without essentially doing B.E? Please suggest.


Dear Sharan,

Since you have maintained 60% in your first three semesters, you should definitely complete your engineering. If you have a year back, utilize it well by taking up part-time courses or getting some useful job experience.  While it is true that you may be at a disadvantage at the time of placement, it will be only for your first job, and if you can explain that your year-loss was due to ill health, it will not go against you.  Be positive and plan your goals as to what you will do after BE.