Emerging Careers in India: The Road Less Travelled

Nidhi Bahl updated on : 10 Feb 2016

Advances in the technological world, evolving business practices, demographics and changes in the global economy have opened multiple new career opportunities in India

The Indian education scenario has changed remarkably in the last decade. Not just the number of academic institutions and courses has gone up, but the number of emerging careers in India has also risen dramatically.

While the conventional career options remain as popular as ever, advances in the technological world, evolving business practices, demographics and changes in the global economy have opened multiple new career opportunities in India.

Courses such as mass communication, hotel management and fashion technology have gained wider acceptance and are recognised as good career options today.

Moreover, the realization has dawned that no two people are the same. So, it is understood that a couple of traditional professions wouldn’t be enough to fulfil the professional desire of millions of people.

There has also been a radical shift in the preferences of students who want to move past the conventional career route and explore the glut of choices available to them. Instead of treading on the much trodden path, students want to pursue something that constantly adds value to their lives and aligns with their ultimate goals. This has all the more facilitated new careers in India.

What is causing the shift in career preferences?

While there are multiple factors to explain the shift in career preferences, the biggest of them all is the fact that what was once considered just a hobby can be easily turned into a full-time career today. With globalization and technology doing wonders to the economy, a whole lot of new career opportunities in India have opened up for the Indian youth. What has augmented this change is the bold mind-set and out-of-the-box thinking of youngsters who are ready to risk comfortable jobs and fat salary packages in order to follow their heart.

Fact: A recent news report in HT claimed that four IIT Kanpur students turned down jobs which would have paid them more than Rs 1 crore annually. Why? While the two of them wanted to pursue higher studies, the other two declined the offer saying the job profile did not match their temperament and that they wanted professional fulfilment. The two have, therefore, accepted offers of Rs 50 lakh per annum from a smaller company.

1. The Age of Hyper Specialization

Scottish economist and moral philosopher Adam Smith’s magnum opus ‘The Wealth of Nations’, published in 1776, famously touched upon the topic of ‘Division of Labour’ where he described how dividing work into ever smaller tasks performed by ever more specialized workers can build nations’ wealth in the centuries to come. We are entering in an era of hyper specialization where we need to develop specific skill sets to meet employability demands of the industry. In order to support customized learning, different specializations are being broken down into smaller, more focused units of learning.

2. The Wave of Telecommuting

Over the past few years, we’ve witnessed a sea change in our work culture. Flexible work arrangements are bringing the work to the workers. The change brought about by technology has introduced new working practices that are helping employees lead a more holistic life. Work from home and freelance options are giving employees an opportunity to create a balance between their personal and professional space.

3. Less Competition in Offbeat Careers

Traditional careers like engineering, management, medicine and healthcare are not just expensive they involve a lot of competition because a large number of students opt for them. Hence, finding jobs in these mainstream fields becomes a challenge. Treading on the road less travelled and exploring new careers in India means limited competition and a better chance to excel.

4. Higher Chance of Recognition

There is no fixed recipe for success, but exceptional talent blended with strong skills and the ability to tackle all the hurdles with patience can help you make it big on the not-so-usual career paths. There are people who have an itch to do something completely different from the rest of the world. For them, choosing a stream where they could make an impact is of utmost importance.  A good example could be of some of the entrepreneurs who’ve come up with some innovative ideas to contribute to our rapidly growing world. They have also contributed immensely to the rising number of emerging careers in India.

5. Increasing Risk Appetite

Gone are the days when students used to cave in to parental and peer pressure by choosing traditional careers that guaranteed a safe and promising future. Breaking out of the traditional mould, the generation of today is ready to take the plunge by making offbeat career choices.  Whether it is to become an entrepreneur or in a job, the youth are no longer averse to exploring their interests as full-time careers.

6. Listening to Your heart

A quote by Steve Jobs “The only way to do great work is to love what you do” aptly describes this point. Waiting for the weekends and dreading Monday mornings are signs of an employee who is working incessantly to survive in today's economically turbulent times. But that’s not true for all. Employees are looking at much more than just working for a fixed number of hours. They are looking for jobs that can bring out their creative side and motivate them to participate actively in decisions pertaining to their workplace.

7. Changing Mindset

The society seems to have woken up to the fact that people need their space in order to satiate their thirst to take risks and opt for unconventional careers to become successful. The industry, too, seems to have accepted that jobs are not just about chasing deadlines, completing work hours and earning money. A lot of people also think that offbeat careers do not pack in enough moolah, but chances are if you hit it off then these options could prove to be fun as well as lucrative.

Fact: In a survey conducted by networking website Linked recently, India topped the list of countries where people are working in their dream-jobs with 44 percent Indians admitting they have the career they wanted as a child.

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