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Arts for Jobs Sake

A degree in Humanities can open up a host of career opportunities, says our career counselor 

Not long back a degree in humanities subjects seemed to be the last resort for students and few opted for them.

However, with a plethora of career options unfolding before them now, more students are opting for degrees in Arts. Now students, despite scoring high marks in class X and XII are going for the humanities stream. "Students are realising that a degree in humanities can be as good as one in science or commerce," says Father Mathews, principal of St Xavier's College, Kolkata, adding: "Many companies are not restricting themselves to candidates with specialisation and would rather prefer good students from any field."

A changed outlook, coupled with a growing job market, is alluring good students to opt for humanities.

Says Ritika Raha, who is working in a news channel, "I had studied engineering and had worked in an architectural firm for a year. But I always wanted to do something creative. So I left my job and joined a small ad agency in Chennai and was working as a copywriter until I got a job offer from a leading news channel of our country."
There can be a wide range of career opportunities for humanities students ranging from a job in media, BPO sector, corporate houses, social work, civil service and many others including a career in academics.
With a growing number of NGOs mushrooming across the country, a career in social work may be good option. 

Says Trina Chakraborty, assistant manager YVA CRY,"For social work we generally prefer students who have a degree in Social development, Sociology, Political Science or Economics. Opportunities are blooming with both governmental and nongovernmental organisations joining the fray."Contrary to popular belief, you can earn decent amounts if you have the will to work hard.The initial salary can start from Rs 10,000 and can go up to Rs 30,000 or more.
The media industry has opened up a huge job market. Students of English, Mass Communication and other humanities subjects are flocking to this field that is both glamorous and can be paying if one is ready to grind it out.
Jobs in media include journalism — both print and broadcast, Public Relations, Corporate Communication and also in the advertising industry.

Jobs in media can be very rewarding but is often demanding. Says television journalist Vishnu Som,"This is the era of exclusive stories. A journalist should be constantly on his toes." 

Careers in Public Relations and Corporate Communication are also in demand.To be a successful PR person, it is imperative to be able to interact properly. He should have gift of the gab and superb communication skills. 

If you are creative and innovative you can also look for an ad agency as a copywriter or a visualiser. 

Starting salary in the media can range around Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000 per month and if you do well, the sky is the limit.
Careers in management are the most sought after in India today. Like students of science and commerce stream, humanities students can also venture into a career in management. "The probability of a humanities student succeeding in a MBA entrance exam is same as that of a student passing out of science or commerce,"says Kaushik Kapoor, director of Erudite Educational Centre, Kolkata. "Top B-schools today prefer students from diverse backgrounds. So if you are a good student with humanities background, you can crack a management entrance exam. While getting jobs, it is your performance in B-schools and your efficiency that count,"explains Kapoor.

Vishnupriya, senior HR manager with an NGO, says,"For example, to be a good HR professional it is essential to have good communications skills, networking ability and an ability to empathise. Therefore, irrespective of your stream, if you have these attributes, you can succeed."

After completing MBA, a student can work in fields related to banking, investment, communication, other finance sectors, sales and marketing. Salaries in these sectors are very competitive. After passing out of a top Bschool, you can start your career with a salary as high as Rs 50,000 per month and more.
If you are a humanities student who wishes to play a role in the administration of your country, there's the option of a career in civil service. You can work under the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and some other administrative services like Indian Revenue Service (IRS) etc.

Starting salary can be around Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 that can go up to around Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000. A civil servant also enjoys of perks like subsidised housing, office car, petrol cost etc.
Those with an academic bent of mind can resort to a career in teaching and research. Kaustav Bakshi, a lecturer of English in Haldia Government College, says,"I have always wanted to pursue a career in teaching even though I worked in the corporate sector for a year." 

Though many complain that remuneration is not as good as in many other sectors, the salaries have definitely seen a hike in recent years.You can also pursue higher studies.

Apart from the above mentioned fields you can also work in a call centre or in the BPO sector. If you possess good communication skills, you can also work as an event manager. You can also venture into the career of librarian. If you want a career in writing but are not interested in the media you can try out a career in technical writing or content writing or even a publishing house.

And if you want to make it on your own, try being an entrepreneur in your area of interest.That will fetch you maximum return, provided you know how to manage your own business. More on .............. Career In Humanities & Arts
update : 24-Dec-2006


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