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Wed, 22 May 2019

Explore the Offbeat

Posted on Monday, September 18, 2017

Overseas education counsellors share how students aspiring to pursue a degree abroad can now combine academic goals with their interests with Anisha Sahijwala

POPULAR CHOICES
Sonam Moondhra, International education and career counsellor, Eduabroad Consulting

Interdisciplinary courses offer more transferable skills that allow adaptation and application to changing work scenarios.

Degrees with specialisation in animation are gaining popularity. The courses combine modules in storytelling, characterisation, computer graphics, film and video techniques, illustrations, software applications, etc.

Internet of Things is a new academic programme which is much in demand. The programme draws on disciplines of computer sciences, mechatronics, engineering, design and media. Modules of these courses include virtual reality, artificial intelligence, image processing, computer graphics, machine learning, graphical modelling, iCloud computing, machine communication, computational photography and capture.

Apart from these, we also see a number of students interested in pursuing a Master’s in smart cities and urban analytics. Modules of the course include statistics, software, data science, economics, demographic analysis, public policy, civil engineering, architecture, spatial analysis, urban modelling, transport, logistics, urban development, macro waste management etc. In the field of medicine, programmes in medicinal natural products and phytochemistry are gaining wider awareness. They combine modules from biology, chemistry, food science, pharmaceutics, herbal, phytopharmaceutical, health foods and clinical research.

 

DIVERSE DISCIPLINES
Namita Mehta, Partner,  The Red Pen

Studying abroad broadens your mind and helps you gain experiences that will aid your growth academically and personally. Indian applicants overseas most commonly pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) degrees at international universities both at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. But increasingly, students are looking for unique college experiences and exploring unconventional courses to follow their passion, hone their skills or discover new interests, which ultimately may lead to a fulfilling career.

As technology continues to revolutionise every aspect of life, programmes in AI (artificial intelligence) as well as big data and analytics are gaining significant attention. Blogs, films, social media and digital platforms are driving the demand for talented graphic designers, animators and video production specialists across industries and students are looking at courses like digital marketing, animation, graphic design, video editing and game designing, music recording and production.

In addition to courses, there is increasing interest in pursuing unconventional degrees which are offered at the postgraduate level. Some of them include degrees in art conservation, agriculture and wine-making, food science and nutrition, adventure education and sports management.

Students are also interested in pursuing interdisciplinary studies combining courses from different fields of study as combined majors. They can take an integrated approach to engineering and business, and understand technology innovation through programmes in management, entrepreneurship and technology. Pursuing multiple majors or courses outside your field of study and comfort zone can benefit students. Many employers view it favourably, appreciating an applicant who is more rounded and can demonstrate that they are strong in different subjects with a variety of skills. Further, if a student is undecided on what career path s/he is likely to take, developing interests and different skills is a good way to keep options open.

 

MATCHING INTEREST
Suchitra Surve, Director, Growth Centre Pvt Ltd

An increasing number of students going overseas are pursuing offbeat courses that match their interests and hobbies. While IT, management and engineering still form a popular choice, a number of students are now opting to pursue offbeat courses overseas. Some interesting albeit offbeat specialisations that students opt for include animation, carbon management, film-making, occupational therapy, personal culinary services, transport management and health informatics. Apart from these, a number of students also opt for conventional courses like visual communication and journalism to enter into lesser pursued paths such as photo journalism and online content curation. Studying abroad offers students a chance to choose their subject combinations, allowing them to explore offbeat areas of study.

 

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