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Rise of the offbeat careers

About ten years ago, if a parent asked his/her child or even their friends about what they wanted to be when they grow up a child’s response could be as imaginative as, “I want to be an astronaut, or a tennis player or a hairstylist”. As you can well imagine, however, the typical reaction from a parent would’ve been to chuckle and think, “Yeah right! You young man/lady, will be headed for the B.Com Honors and then opt for an MBA, or get a degree in Mass Communications, that is, if you don’t get the grades to qualify for a medical/engineering college! ”

A decade later, however, the scenario has changed beyond recognition. The age of alternate careers has truly kicked in. Today, when a 10 year old announces his intention of becoming a tennis player, in all likelihood, he means it! Moreover, the parents too are likely to be supportive of the choices made. Youngsters today have the option of choosing careers in areas other than what were earlier considered the traditional favorites, i.e. medicine, engineering, civil services, management, journalism, the list goes on – as a parent, we are sure you know them well, having opted for either one of these yourself!

So, what has augmented this shift in preference and the bold attitude of youngsters? Is it the will to do what they desire, or the courage to accept challenges, or is there simply an increase in their risk appetite? It is probably a combination of all these things, coupled with the increase in exposure and opportunities available in todays connected world. For instance, a typical youngster today would much rather prefer joining a television production house as an assistant after that MBA, rather than join an investment banking firm.

In fact universities and institutions too have recognized this change in attitude and mindset, and have introduced courses in sunrise industries such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, and even industry-specific courses like herbal microbial studies and fermentation technology among others.

So what are some of the popular choices in the alternate career landscape, you ask? Here’s a sneak peek at some of the career choices your child could possibly make tomorrow:

Social worker: Social or community service is a much-talked-about career, attracting students from all branches of study. Because it requires no specific eligibility criteria and is not a closed door option, many join this profession, which is more of a passion than profession.

Environmentalist The increase in concern and hazard to the environment has given rise to a crop of empathic and concerned youth and has made the profession of an environmentalist a viable option.

Specialized tour operators: While tour operation has been around for long, its avatar has changed dramatically over the last few years. Today, if one has the flair and interest in specialized tourism, then the options available are aplenty. Careers in medical tourism, adventure tourism, spiritual tourism, and yoga & spa tourism have seen a substantial rise over the last few years.

Rally/Race driving: While Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok have given a face to F1 and other forms of race driving in India, one can see an increased interest among youngsters to train for this unique sport in India.

Professional blogging: A large section of youngsters today indulge in blogging as a hobby, but now, it also fast-becoming a viable career option, what with major conglomerates hunting for talent in this arena.

Photography: Yes! Your child may just want to do a “Wake up Sid” on you and turn photographer instead of joining the family business or getting a management degree. With the profession becoming a “hot” career choice and the avenues to explore the passion increasing, being a photographer today is a viable career option, one that can rake in the moolah as well keep your child’s passion clicking!

Apart from the career options enlisted above, youngsters today can easily choose from a career in the airline industry, hotel and catering industry, design industry, beauty and fashion industry, media industry, new age sports and even opt for entrepreneurship.

Given this shift in attitude and aptitude, in what ways are you supporting your own child if he/she has to choose between following his/her passion or a conventional career?

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Comments (3)

Yes, very rightly put.. its got to do a lot with being connected with the world.. and not making merry in ones own fools paradise!
Education still has to undergo a paradigm shift.. not only for the children, but also for the parents. Theres a large section of society that still looks at the grades and theoritical aspect of academics as “good education”, whereas our western counterparts have left that behind some 50 years ago!
Education has to be more practical and oriented towards development of child in holistic manner.
Emphasis has to be more on action and learning rather sedentary learning. when we offer the young minds an exposure to the various fields of subjects showing how even Geography and history can be so very interesting by going beyond marking the states on a political map.. they will soon start making a career out of it. That will also be the birth of a Happy human being.. for he will Love what he is doing.. and doing what he loves!

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