Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses

Study in India
Last Updated 10 October 2019, 00:30 IST

Dear Sir,

I am currently studying in Class 10. I wish to become a commercial pilot but the fee for pilot training is high, hence I’ve decided to pursue a UG degree in Aeronautical Engineering, save the required sum, and later become a pilot. Is this a good idea? Or should I take a loan and join a flying school? Are there any scholarships for flying schools? Also, please suggest some good colleges offering Aeronautical Engineering course in the country.


Dear Abhijna,

It is true that commercial pilot training is very expensive. Hence it is good that you are planning to study Aeronautical Engineering, as it will give you a qualification you can fall back upon in case you do not get an opportunity to become a pilot or in case you are grounded later due to medical or any other factors. It will also give you an insight into the world of aviation and the different career options in it. An engineering degree often serves as a foundation for those who wish to get into a wide range of related and unrelated careers. Taking a loan and going for flying training is a personal decision based on your financial and family situation.

Generally, there are no scholarships for flying schools. All the reputed engineering colleges including IITs, NITs etc offer Aeronautical Engineering, and you can appear for JEE and CET and decide based on your ranking.

Dear Sir,

I have completed my BCom degree. I wish to pursue an MBA but have a limited budget. My ambition is to serve as a police officer and I am preparing for UPSC exams. Can you suggest what is the right thing to do?

Krishna Vamshi

Dear Krishna,

If your sole goal is to serve as a police officer then doing an MBA will not be useful. The UPSC exam for civil services is highly competitive and only those who are academically good and hard-working, and prepare very systematically on each of the skills required, finally succeed. Hence, however strong your ambition, it is better to keep an alternative plan in mind in case you do not succeed in being selected.

List out careers that you are interested in and have the potential to do well in. Only when you have narrowed down to your long-term career goal and have gained work experience you may consider doing an MBA which will allow you to go higher in your selected field. An MBA from a mediocre college with a limited budget may not help you in getting good jobs.

Dear Sir,

I have completed my graduation in Electrical Engineering and have been working for three years in a publishing firm. I wish to prepare for the Civil Services Exam but am not able to prepare well due to time constraints. Is it a good option to quit my job and prepare for the exam? And an as alternative will I be able to do master’s in engineering either in India or abroad in the future given that I worked in a different field?

Nithim Ganapathy

Dear Nithim,

The skills, personality traits, aptitude and specific intelligence required for civil service and hardcore technology are very different. Added to that, you have been working in a completely different field. It will be very nice if you could evaluate where you are most competent and where you would fit in best so that you can start working on your long-term goals. Civil Services selection is highly competitive and requires concerted and focused preparation, so do not attempt it half-heartedly. Similarly, getting back to higher studies in engineering may not be so easy if you have spent three years in publishing.

At this juncture, you will need to do a critical evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses, your interests and aptitude, and focus on one of the three. That will ensure smooth progress towards a better career.

Dear Sir,

I am currently working as a developer in an IT Company. I have completed my engineering in Computer Science. I want to switch my career to teaching or content writing. I would like to know about the various opportunities available currently. I feel I have a talent in writing and would like to give it a try by taking the risk of switching career. Kindly suggest some good colleges where I can pursue a relevant course.

Soumya K

Dear Soumya,

Teaching and content writing, though similar, require different talents. If you are a person who likes working alone, can concentrate for long hours and are very proficient in the language you may go for content writing. Currently, many private institutions are offering basic Content and Technical writing courses, and further learning can be done on the job.

Teaching requires you to have good oral communication and public speaking, ability to be assertive with groups of students, adapt and change to situations, have a love for children and an exploratory mind. You may need to do a BEd which is available in many colleges or specialised teaching courses offered by Cambridge, Academy for Creative Teaching, The Teacher Foundation, Notre Dame Jr College of Education, TISB Training Academy, etc.

Dear Sir,

I have done MTech in Computer Science, and am working as a Software professional for eight years. I am now finding it hard to cope with the pressures of IT Industry and I don’t consider myself to be technically good to guide others in cutting edge technologies. Should I consider doing an MBA and switching to a managerial role?


Dear Harish,

If you are finding it difficult to cope with pure technology-related work, then start exploring what type of work you would be good at. For example, if you wish to get into higher management will you be a marketing, HR, finance, operations or systems professional? Or would you like to consider a career beyond technology and management?

Once you decide your long-term goal, it may be worth switching over to an entry-level job in that field, reduce the work pressure, and then prepare for entrance exams to get into one of the best institutions to do an MBA or any other course. Just quitting and taking up an MBA in an average college may not bring you good prospects.

Dear Sir,

I am a BCom final year student, willing to become a teacher in the field of special education. Can you please guide me with the courses I need to take up?

Nidhi Kulkarni

Dear Nidhi,

It is heartening that you wish to make a career working with children with special needs. You have a choice of working with kids having Learning Disability, Mental Retardation, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Hearing Impairment, etc. There are diploma courses in special education available in different institutions such as Spastics Society of Karnataka, KPAMRC, Information Resource Centre for Autism, Fame Academy etc.

Alternatively, you may take up a Bachelor of Special Education (BSplEd) offered by many universities or in institutions such as Ali Yavar Jung Nat Institute for Hearing Handicapped, All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, National Institute for Mentally Handicapped, National Institute for Empowerment of Persons with Multiple Disability, etc. I would also suggest that in your free time you may do an internship or voluntary work with any special school so that you get a hands-on feel of interacting with children who have special needs.

(Published 10 October 2019, 00:30 IST)

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