Degrees matter a lot

Studying in india

Dear Sir,
I am an average student. I have completed diploma in aeronautical engineering with an aggregate of 63%. I was working with HAL (Hindustan aeronautics limited ) as an apprentice trainee and casual employee for two years, due to low salary I had to quit and I learned catia v5 r20, uni graphic 7.5  and pro-e 5.0 but where ever I went for interview they needed degree. So I joined Engineering in aeronautical as lateral. Now I am finding it very difficult to cope up with my studies. Is my decision right or have I just made a mistake? Since aeronautical engineering is new and availability of jobs is narrow, I am confused as to what do. I had joined for diploma because I could not secure good marks for PU. I am 25 years old now and am confused.
Sunil Kumar

Dear Sunil,
Having obtained a first class in your diploma proves that you are capable in the practical aspects of technical skills.  Perhaps you are not very academic oriented, and the short-term vocational skills do not really add much to your market value.  You need to take a call whether you can somehow struggle and complete the three years of BE, even if it is with low aggregate, then you will have a better foundation.  If you are finding it extremely difficult, then you will have to explore technical post-diploma courses, and also accept the fact that your salary and growth will not be as good as the graduate engineers. It is not necessary for you to limit your jobs to aero field; you can explore allied areas such as automobile, production, marketing, materials management, quality control etc. depending on your interest and skills.

Dear Sir,
I am currently doing my 11th and am really interested in Forensic Science. I have opted pcmb course. I want to get into Forensic but do not know how to do that. Could you tell me which course to opt for after my 12th? Are there any good forensic colleges in India?
Shivani S

Dear Shivani,
There are two ways to pursue your goals – you can either complete your MBBS and then do an MD in Forensic Science (in which case you will be authorised to do post-mortem and other investigations, your evidence will be sought in medico-legal cases etc.), or you can do BSc in Life Sciences and then pursue MSc in Forensic sciences which is available in limited universities all over India.  This will take you more into the area of teaching, research, analysis etc. Keep in mind that the role of Forensic Sciences in investigative work in India is limited to a few government institutions, and is growing at a slow pace.

Dear Sir,
I am a defense personal now. Before joining the defense, I was a student of engineering for one year. Now, I would like to complete my engineering from external. Would you direct me as to how could I accomplish that?
Keshav Kale

Dear Keshav,
It is very heartening to read that despite serving the country in a rigorous job in Defense, you are willing to take up the challenge of becoming a graduate engineer.  If you have completed your 12th/HSC with Math, Physics and Chemistry, you are entitled to register for Associate Membership of Institution of Engineers (AMIE), study on your own, and appear from time to time for the relevant exams. Details are available on A few private universities are also offering engineering through distance mode, but the matter is being debated and is before the court, who will decide whether they are allowed to continue or not.

Dear Sir,
I am doing my bachelors in Environmental Science (CZE as in Chemistry, Zoology and Environmental Science). I don't label myself as an average or excellent student.  I am quite good at studies. If I study with interest, I can ace everyone. I had to let go of my passion of being a doctor because of my carelessness in studies while in Class XII. I want to study wild life or neurosciences for my masters. Please suggest me the best colleges that offer such courses.
Supraja Prasad

Dear Supraja,
Wildlife and neurosciences are two extreme ends of lifestyle and vocation, and your choice should depend on your own personality, interest and aptitude.  As a wildlife professional you will lead an exploratory, outdoor, investigative and practical life, while in neurosciences, your work will be lab and research oriented, you will require high level of concentration, good knowledge of brain functions, and you should be very good in academics. Find out more about both these lifestyles, visualise how your life will be in either field, and if you decide on neurosciences, you will need to focus and study hard to get into national institutions like NIMHANS, AIIMS, or National Brain Research Centre (

Dear Sir,
I am a Class IX state syllabus student. I am interested in creative writing and have written too. I am fairly good in all subjects. I am interested in mathematics and subjects on humanity and social service. Could you help me as to which subject to choose after 10th because I am in a complete mess now.
Anagha Bharadwaj

Dear Anagha,
While writing, humanities and social service come under one group of studies and career, but Mathematics is completely different, not only regarding courses you need to take up, but also in working conditions and job expectations.  Hence, you will need to narrow down visualising whether you would like to work for the next 40-50 years in people and communication related field, or in the world of Math, i.e. research, teaching etc.  Based on this important decision you should choose either Science or Arts for your PUC, and then proceed for higher studies in the relevant field.  If you are unable to decide, since you are good in all subjects you may take up Science in PUC, and you will have two more years to take a final decision, as you can either continue with Math, or move into Arts at the degree level.

Dear Sir,
I am studying in class XII, and am interested in joining the cyber security and cyber forensics field. I would like to know what courses should be taken, and also how the scope of the field is.
A Student

Dear Student,
Cyber security is a fast growing field and will offer challenging jobs in future too.  You need to have a highly exploratory and investigative mind, and an eye for details.  If you have found out the details of the type of work you will be doing in this vocation and are happy with it, then you should go for it.

Dear Sir,
My daughter is studying in 1st PUC science. She is aspiring to become a psychiatrist. What are the best options/choices to study psychology after PUC at degree and PG level? Is it possible to pursue the degree and PG studies at NIMHANS, Bangalore?
K B Rajshekhar

Dear Rajshekhar,
It is heartening to see that your daughter, at a young age, has a deep interest in the welfare of human beings.  A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has completed MBBS, and has then done a post-graduation in psychiatric medicine.  She deals with treatment of persons with mental illness, addictions, personality disorders etc.  On the other hand, a psychologist is a person who has studied psychology as one of the subjects in BA, and then done a Masters in any stream of psychology – which includes, counselling, abnormal, child, education, etc. Good colleges are available in Bangalore for both graduate and under-graduate studies.  NIMHANS admits medical doctors for MD (Psychiatry), and those who have completed MSc Psychology for a two-year MPhil in Clinical Psychology.

Dr Ali Khwaja is the founder and
chairman of Banjara Academy.
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