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Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Counsellor - 24


Which way 

I am currently in class XII (PCM). My parents are suggesting I join a five-year integrated MBA programme. Please tell me if an integrated MBA has the same value as a regular MBA? Should I pursue BTech instead? 
   Avdesh Thakur

While integrated courses are fine, they are not of much value unless done from a top-notch institution. Hence it may be better to do your graduation first, particularly if you are a science student and anyway contemplating a BTech. Work for a while to gain some practical experience and then try for an MBA from a really good Bschool that offers excellent placement facilities. This is a better option than tying yourself down to a mediocre five-year course. A techno-management qualification is highly rated in the job market. 

Career in foreign languages 

I completed my BSc (Bio) in 2007. I want to do a full-time course in a foreign language and want to make my career in this. Which course should I opt for? 
   SDO Tel 

There are so many foreign languages. And the courses depend on which one you want to opt for. The kind of jobs available to you after learning a foreign language will largely depend on the specific language and how good your linguistic capabilities are. Your degree of fluency in the language and additional qualifications will determine the range of options open to you. Some jobs require a smattering acquaintance with the language while others demand a high level of proficiency. But remember that very few jobs except teaching offer you a full-time regular career unless you graft your language skills onto other professional qualifications in the fields of travel and tourism, exports, fashion industry, secretarial practice, public relations, mass communications, publishing, commerce and industry, to name a few. Otherwise, you will have to work on a freelance basis. Perhaps, this is the main reason why most professionals in this field have a second occupation to fall back on. Few organisations employ full-time interpreters or translators. 
   Nevertheless, some languages like French, Spanish, Chinese or Korean for instance, offer relatively good scope as these languages are in demand for commercial application as well. Language-centric job opportunities can be broadly divided into three categories: Interpreting, translating and teaching.

Bioinformatics career 

After completing MSc biochemistry, I am thinking of pursuing bioinformatics. Does it make sense? 
Netra Raman

Why not. The prospects in bioinformatics have been steadily increasing with the increasing use of IT in molecular biology. Career opportunities include sequence assembly sequence analysis, database design and maintenance, proteomics, pharmacogenomics, pharmacology that also includes clinical pharmacol, informatics development, computational chemistry, bioanalytics and analytics. 
   The work involved in the specific career areas are drug design utilising 3D structure modelling and computational chemistry also known as cheminformatics. 
   A postgraduate joining a private sector pharma company can expect a salary in the range of Rs 12,000 - 20,000 per-month. Those employed in government 
research labs start off at Rs 12,000 plus government allowances and benefits. There is also a great demand for bioinformaticians in foreign countries.


Lay off anxieties 

I have been working as a temporary staff for the last two years in an IT firm in NOIDA. People say that the economic slowdown in the US will jeopardise temporary jobs the most. If so, what should I do? 
   Suresh Mehta

Temporary staffers continue to find favour with India Inc, notwithstanding worries over any economic slowdown. And they are the most sought after in talent-hungry sectors such as communications, information technology and IT-enabled services. The TeamLease Annual Temp Salary Primer 2008 has found these three sectors ahead of others in hiring temporary staff in rewarding them. The survey covered temporary staff working across more than 200 profiles and 10 industry domains in 12 major locations in India. Interestingly, the communications industry, which was covered for the first time this year, moved in sync with the IT and ITeS sectors in terms of salaries and wage hikes for temporary staff. Metros like Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi emerged as the cities that offer best salaries and pay hikes. The survey revealed that qualification preceded experience this year. For example, for the post of a collection officer in Delhi, a postgraduate with no work experience can draw as much as a graduate with up to three years work-ex. This is 1% higher than that of graduate with up to five years work experience. However while this trend is most visible in the IT sector, experience still holds importance in the sales function.


Legal discipline 

Can you please tell me something about Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) practice? I am doing LLB from Agra. 
   Harinder Behal

There are just about 1,000 practicing patent professionals in the country. According to a NASSCOM report, 33% of the IP demand is from the Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) sector. According to a McKinsey report, the market demand for IP professionals is likely to touch 15,000 in the next three years. 
   The study and application of Intellectual Property Laws has gained further momentum due to the IT and entertainment revolution and globalisation of the business environment. The importance and goodwill of a brand in the modern scenario has driven the demand for registering trademarks and patents. Anyone pursuing law can opt for IPR as a specialisation during the final year of LLB. Practicing advocates and company secretaries can also practice as trademark agents. A practicing lawyer can also practice patenting. Nonlawyers need to acquire the IPR qualification to practice trademarks by giving a one-day exam and viva at the trademark office. Similarly, you need to take a oneday exam at the patent office to be eligible to practice patenting. 
   Patenting being a somewhat techno-legal area, you also need the basic skill of writing patents, which is honed only by experience. 
   You can either top up your Bachelor's in law with a degree in IP law, or if you have expertise in a given domain, that too can be topped up with a qualification in IP law.





Sunil Sharma


Dil Se Desi Group


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