New careers break convention

Everyone is asked as a child “What do you want to become when you grow up?” Earlier, the answer that invariably fetched a nod of approval was doctor, pilot, engineer, teacher or ‘father’s business’. It almost seemed like these, and perhaps selective government jobs, were the only careers worth pursuing. The competition was stiff, and those who didn’t make it, moved on to other lesser known, lesser accepted options. It wasn’t a matter of choice. It was just the way things were done.

But that was then. Today, reality has changed as has the common perspective. More options have opened up, and there are fields that are still surfacing as full fledged career options. Some of these may have been frowned upon earlier, but today society and the youth are accepting them wholeheartedly.

Students in their teens are actually casting the net in terms of how far they can drift in life or how close they can be to the shore. They now strive to identify their strengths as individuals, as opposed to judging themselves on how well they perform in exams. Increased awareness, high appetite for risk and the desire to pursue a passion are making students steer away from conventional courses.

Perhaps the best part is that families are now supporting their children, and going all out to help fulfill their dreams. How else could one explain the boom in the aviation industry, which has witnessed a remarkable transformation with the entry of private airlines and low cost carriers. A career in aviation offers job opportunities spread over a variety of sectors. It also promises an element of glamour, a fat pay check and a chance to see the world.

Today, parents are shelling out large sums of money to enroll their children both boys and girls in to good aviation academies. Aviation is just one example. India has come a long way from the two-profession syndrome of engineering and medicine. Careers in bartending, editing, fitness, food styling and the like, may be ‘offbeat’, but they are no longer unheard of.

Take animation for instance. A field that was not even a career choice until a decade ago, but which today classified as one of the most booming industries. India has been termed as the ‘next animation powerhouse’. International entertainment giants like Walt Disney, Imax and Sony are increasingly outsourcing cartoon characters and special effects to India. Other companies are outsourcing animation from India for commercials and computer games. A budding animator reveals, he was always interested in computer graphics and animation and wants to make a career out of it. Though his family was skeptical earlier, they warmed up to the idea eventually. Today, they have encouraged him to focus on what interests him and be the best he can.

Then there are those who choose music as their calling. A disc jockey, or DJ as he/she is commonly known, is the person who selects and plays prerecorded music for an audience. In fact, most professional DJs do much more than just playing music; they are responsible for mixing tunes, forming beats and creating an ambience in the club, since they are the ones who build up a party with their choice of music. Young women too seem to be reigning successfully here.

The evolution of the hotel industry as a career option is also similar, with many youngsters making bright careers in this field. It’s not looked down upon anymore, because people have realized that it’s a job that requires you to do lot more than clean dirty dishes. It’s about effective management and impeccable service, which is the need of the hour.

Aviation, hotel management, DJ’ing and animation have one common thread: the metamorphosis they have gone through. It seems like the road less traveled is fast becoming the popular and profitable choice