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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Counseling for careers in Space Sciences, post retirement and Career Tips

Career Counseling

Options open

Students Corner: By Sunil Sharma, Moderator: Dil se Desi Group, Click to Join.

I have got an average score in class XII (64%). I’ve always dreamt of studying in the US. Will I be accepted in an US college for an undergraduate programme with such average scores?
Deepak .

As long as you cleared all the required subjects for admission to a college in the US, you can get into an average college straight out of high school even with not-so-great scores. It also helps to have extracurricular activities. I suggest you try for a good two-year community college. Besides being considerably less expensive than regular colleges and universities (in CA a college unit is US$ 20, while a four-year college costs around US$ 360 per-unit). And the low cost doesn’t imply low quality education either. Moreover, many of them don’t even ask for SAT scores. These colleges award associate degrees at the completion of two years of full-time study. You may perhaps be surprised to learn that community colleges enrol almost half of all undergraduates in the US. A great variety of subjects are offered in these colleges. And once you have a few credits under your belt, you are a transfer student. Then you can go to any college that will accept your college grades.

Find yourself
What careers will be open to me after doing a BA programme from DU? I do not qualify for an any honours course with my percentage. Please guide me.
   Reena Shanger

First of all, stop feeling sorry for yourself. Instead, start asking the right question, ‘what career will be good for you?’ To succeed and be happy at work, you must work out of passion. One of the worst things — in terms of careers — is to wake up in the morning and say, ‘I have to go to work.’ Such kind of an attitude is not good for your employer and it is certainly not good for you. Employers want their employees coming to work energised, charged and working out of enthusiasm and passion. They don’t want them to drag themselves in because it’s Monday and scooting out of the door because it’s Friday.
   But finding your passion isn’t always so simple. Still, the worst thing you can do is to your education because you feel you don’t know what you want to do. In the beginning, you can take what I will call the safe courses. Every programme requires English, general or specific electives, social science, etc that will apply to any curriculum. Put your foot in the door and just do it. Now, while you’re there, make an appointment with a good career counsellor. These are people who are trained or specialised in helping you develop your career goals. They will interview you, give you an interest test, discuss options, etc. Once you come to a decision that you feel is appropriate for you, start contacting people who are working in the field you think you’re interested in. Ask them if you can shadow them for a day so that you can get a better feel of the day-to-day operations. Ask them how they feel about their work, the ups and the downs etc. Usually people are open to discussing their trails and tribulations, failures, and successes within their field of expertise.
   However, be warned. Don’t speak with just one individual, because they may have an opinion that’s either too negatively or positively skewed. Get a variety of perspectives. Sooner or later you’ll find it. Just don’t panic and rush.
   One last thing: there are dream stealers out there. Sadly, people who are the first ones to steal your dreams away are those who love you the most, and these include your family and friends. They may say things like, ‘Why do you want to do that? Are you crazy?’ They may say hurtful things like, ‘Oh, you can’t do that.’ They may even try to push you in a different direction. This is not because they don’t love you, but they may be worried, or, in fear for you. They may be afraid that you’re making a mistake.
   Remember this, the only way an individual can steal your dreams away, is if you let them. Just make sure you have an appropriate counsellor, mentor or coach, and do your research. It’s going to be ok.

Space science
Students Corner: By Sunil Sharma, Moderator: Dil se Desi Group, Click to Join.

What kind of courses does one need to pursue to specialise in space sciences?

Space science is an umbrella term that covers all the scientific fields that are concerned with the study of the universe (excluding the earth and its atmosphere). Originally, all these fields were considered part of astronomy. However, in recent years the major sub-fields within astronomy, such as astrophysics, have grown so large that they’re now considered separate fields on their own. There are eight overall categories that can generally be described on their own — astrophysics, galactic science, stellar science, non-earth planetary science, biology of other planets, astronautics /space travel, space colonisation and space defence.
   However, space science should not be confused with space research and space exploration.
   The former relates to scientific studies carried out by using scientific equipment in space. Frequently, the term includes research in the upper atmosphere using sounding rockets and highaltitude balloons. While space exploration involves a great deal of space research, it additionally uses space technology to broaden its spectrum of research including earth science and materials science in its ambit.
   Understandably therefore, some of the varied academic programmes that produce space scientists are astrophysics, aerospace engineering and astronomy, remote sensing, GIS, satellite meteorology and global climate, atmospheric sciences and satellite communication.
   Some institutes offering these courses are, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), Dehradun, the Centre for Space Science & Technology Education in the Asia Pacific region (CSSTE-AP), affiliated to UN established at Dehradun conducts courses on remote sensing and GIS, satellite meteorology and global climate, atmospheric sciences, satellite communication and space sciences.

Students Corner: By Sunil Sharma, Moderator: Dil se Desi Group, Click to Join.

My father is a civil servant in Uttarakhand and will be retiring after two years. Can you tell me what kind of jobs options can he look for after his service is over?
   Prakash Mehra

Your concern is so touching. Senior IAS officers, like your father, no longer need to look for part-time government assignments post-retirement. Nor do they have to hunt for publishing houses to turn authors. Many former IAS officers have landed up with remarkable jobs post retirement. Such officers are joining organisations like Hyundai India, India Infrastructure Initiative (a joint venture between IFDC and Feedback Ventures), CII, TERI, etc.
   According to government rules, retired bureaucrats can take up a private sector job within one year of their retirement only after the government
investigates various aspects including whether the officers in the last three years of their career had any dealing with the concerned company. These officers get involved in assignments like urban development, transport, capacity building for infrastructure projects etc.
   They are hired at senior levels such as president, senior advisers and paid compensation as high as Rs 2 crore. So your father is likely to have good prospects even after his retirement.


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