Education and Careers

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Parents and students both of you beware and be ready.

“If a person does not learn from the mistakes he/she is bound to have the same fate again and again”. Unknown

The year 2020 is past and 2021 has ushered in. The year 2020 was not like any other year. It was once in the century year. Nineteenth-century saw World War II which lasted for almost five years. It caused a huge loss of lives and property. But it did not end there. What followed was the Industrial Revolution. Machines took over many human jobs. Though it ushered in the modern age of development, a lot of people lost their jobs. There was huge unemployment.

Twentieth-century saw the pandemic which not only claimed many lives around the world; it threw the world economy into a mess. It also resulted in job losses. Though there is the hope of the end of pandemic in 2021 due to the vaccines making their debut, things are not expected to get back to normal. We will see a new normal. This time there is going to be AI (Artificial Intelligence) revolution. AI is in the advanced stage. Google’s driverless car, robotic surgery is a few examples. In India, a driverless train has been inaugurated by PM in Delhi this week.

According to industry experts, AI is going to take over nearly 50% of jobs in the next five years. Of course, new jobs will be created simultaneously. But new jobs will require new skills. Everyone needs to open their eyes to the future. Do not adopt the wait and watch approach. Once the ax starts falling, there will be no escape. Parents prepare for your own future. Also, consider the future of your children. Plan career, may it be yours or your child’s from the new perspective. Read this article carefully. The time you spend reading this article will help to prepare for the future.

Career is a misunderstood term in our country. By Career, we mean a course. It could be engineering, medical, accountancy, etc. Actually, a career means a job or profession in which an individual wants to work in. Career planning is the education path required to be eligible for that job or profession.

Since the dream job or career goal is the final destination of education, it is necessary to decide the career goal first and then choose the appropriate education stream. What we do in our country is exactly the opposite. We take education first and then search for an appropriate job. This is like going to the fish market and buying whichever fish is fresh and affordable.

I read today in the newspaper that this year’s preference of students has shifted to pharmacy-related courses this year. The reason is that the pharmaceutical industry has suddenly got a boost due to the pandemic. This is what is called a herd mentality. This trend will create a large number of students lining up for admissions for these courses. The numbers of available seats are limited. These cannot increase overnight. The expectations that jobs availability in this industry will increase may not be true as in the new normal many non-specialized jobs are going to be automated. This only means that the large number of students who are following the crowd may face frustration.

Career is not like fish, which we cook, eat and the story gets over. Career makes our future. It shapes our life. Therefore career choice needs to be done very carefully. The career choice is based on a proven principle.

When Head, Hand, and Heart are in perfect unison, creativity, performance, and most important Happiness are at their peak. Head is the inborn skill, the strength of the individual which differs from person to person. Hand is a hard skill. It could be any trade or profession. The heart is passion. This is what the individual likes doing best. The best example is Sachin Tendulkar. He was born in an upper-middle-class family. He did not choose the academic route after school. He chose cricket as his career path. Though this is an extreme example, it emphasizes the above principle.

This is also true in the case of intelligent students. A survey was carried out of IIT entrance examination toppers. It was found that more than 90% of students have joined major corporations including Google, Facebook, etc. Only 10% of students have started their own projects. The toppers from the best institute of our country are expected to work independently who are armed with the best knowledge and possess their own intelligence. But they prefer to work under somebody. This is because they miss their heart in the job.

Coming back to career choice, the process of discovering one’s passion is the most difficult aspect. In developed countries, education stresses identifying and promoting a child’s interests from the beginning. Unfortunately, our education system compares all children by a criterion of aggregate percentage. Aggregate percentage always provides an undue advantage to toppers of science and mathematics subjects as these are scoring subjects. This system, therefore, makes injustice to children with interest in other than science subjects. This is the case of academic careers. Sports, adventures, and arts are not even considered as career choices. Good thing is that our new education policy which will soon replace the current policy will take care of this problem.

It is high time now for parents to review career choices for their children. Post corona and with the advent of AI (Artificial Intelligence), future jobs are going to undergo a sea of changes. Non-specialized jobs will be taken over by AI or robots very soon. Many current jobs will be taken over by AI. A glaring and fresh example is the driverless train that has started in Delhi. Of course, there will be new jobs replacing the lost jobs. But those will require new skills. To address this issue today India’s first AI training community center has been launched by HexArt in Hyderabad which will provide training in skills required by AI. My request to parents and students is not to take this lightly.

I have made it my mission to create awareness and provide Career guidance to students and prevent them from following the herd mentality. The future world is going to change. If you do not see the writing on the wall, it is going to cause a lot of heartburns and frustrations. It is my earnest request to parents to take career guidance advice before choosing a career path post-high school for your children.

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