Career Counselling Advice

Why Should We Study?

Why Should We Study?

Exams are coming closer, closer and closer. Some of you might be getting very tensed up. Some of you may be saying, “It is okay yaar, I will deal with it”. But in either case we will be having a lot of people who will be telling you study hard, study hard, study more. Actually I do not believe in that, you know. I do not think studying hard gets you results. I think studying smart gets you results. What do you mean by this thing called ‘study smart’? It means being able to know when to study. There are times when you need to study and there are times when you do not need to study. It means to know where to study. Oh my god, it makes so much difference where and how you study, you know that. And then comes the techniques, how to study. There are different ways of studying. What suits you should be the one that you should pick up. Once you do that then you become selective, what to study. After you have mastered this or while you are mastering it, there will be one question that you will need to ask yourself that it is why to study. Why study at all? Is it just to get that a bit extra marks, no, it is much more than that. So, what I am going to do is, I am going to take you through this process of when to study, where to study, how to study, what to study and why to study. If you understand these concepts, believe me, you will not only do much better in the exams, you will have true learning taking place. What goes in will remain permanently with you. Okay, best of luck.

Have you had days when you had question as to why should I study at all. Forget about whether I like maths, I hate biology or stuff like that, but why should I study at all. I hear these stories about these guys you know who dropped out of college and became multimillionaires and stuff like that. You are right, they do exist, but they are very small minority. It is like winning a lottery ticket. You cannot buy a lottery ticket and say I do not need to earn money now because I am going to win a lottery ticket, ritght. So 99% of people who are successful in this world, who had done something, they are people who have acquired knowledge. The first think to remember is when you have knowledge, your self esteem goes up and you will feel proud of yourself.

Imagine yourself sitting with a group of friends and they are talking about some new app or new gadget or some new technology that has come in and you feel like a stupid fool and you do not know anything, how do you feel. On the other hand, if you have read it up, if you have experimented, if you have tried it out, do not you feel nice. The same think will happen to you when you grow up. When you are out there in the big world and when somebody is talking something, somebody is negotiating with you, somebody is interviewing you, and you can talk very proudly and say, hey guys, I know this.
Why Should We Study?

There is another think that comes to your mind, why should I study all the subjects. I am going to be a software engineer, why should I study biology. I am going to be journalist, why should I study science. I can assure you, every subject that you are studying somewhere or the other it is going to be useful to you in life. Yes, after you come to 10 th you can start dropping subjects and start focusing and start going into whatever you feel like doing. But basically, I would like you to understand the significance that every subject will be useful to you regardless of which vocation or which profession you take up. It will also be useful to you outside your vocation. A lot of people do not realize that when you deal with outsiders, when you are purchasing something, when you are building a house, when you are negotiating for something, all the knowledge of these subjects is what comes into you.

The other think is, at this age if you start studying and if you make it into a habit, that something new comes in I want to learn this, I want to go ahead with that, I want to become proficient in this, it becomes a habit. When it becomes a habit, when you grow up, you will constantly be learning. You will be upgrading. You belong to a generation where change is going to be very fast. Every now and then new changes, new things are going to come up and if you are the type of person who loves acquiring knowledge, who has the thirst for it and who has built up that habit, you will realize that it is so easy throughout your life to keep picking up those changes. In your generation let me also tell you, your basic education may stop by the age of 20 or 22 or whatever it is, but there is lots to be learnt later. There is going to be a lot of certifications. There is going to be a lot of areas you find that you can upgrade yourself and you will go through that smoothly. So just make learning into a habit. Not for the sake of exams, not for the same of marks, but for the sake of gaining knowledge, which will be your greatest asset life long.

This is a transcript of a video talk by Dr. Ali Khwaja: Why Should We Study?

By Ali Khwaja


Career Tips: Flexibility – The Mantra For Success

Some of us are very good in Math, some in languages, others in science, and some in creative work. Each of these abilities opens doors for good careers. With globalization and progress of the Indian economy, many traditional careers that did not offer sufficient returns have now become very lucrative. Teachers giving on-line tuition to students abroad are earning more than 10-15 Dollars per hour. Designers are being absorbed in large companies on six figure salaries. Writers are finding very rewarding openings in technical writing, specialized publications, web-based portals etc.

While no one can predict which career will offer higher returns in future, one safe prediction would be to say that the most successful people in this generation are going to be those who develop the flexibility and adaptability to anticipate, accept and adapt to change. With rate of change increasing exponentially, one needs to remove mental blocks and be alert to whatever new is coming on the horizon, and change oneself accordingly.

For example, do you know what is a cyborg? Prof. Kevin Warwick, the first cyber-organic human can control computers through his mind, because he cut his nerves and inserted a micro-chip. Did you believe that humans and computers will get merged into one entity? It has already happened. Now visualize how life will change due to this, and where you will fit into the new ways.

By Ali Khwaja


Choosing Your Career


Why set Goals early? Narrowing down and identifying your career goals in advance actually helps you focus more clearly in exams and get better marks. Your goal can change with time and as you learn about more careers, but having a goal helps you focus and gives you motivation. This test has shown you where your aptitude (i.e. potential to develop the necessary skills) lies, now it is up to you to match your interest and your personality traits to your aptitude, and thus select a career which gives you maximum score on interest + aptitude. Then you will not only be successful, you will also enjoy your work for years and years.

Ensure you have looked into all the different options

  1. List out all possible careers open to you. Explore, search, keep adding to your list.
  2. Group these careers in similar fields (e.g. all to do with technology, all with biology, all people-oriented, all creative fields, etc.)
  3. Find out as much as you can about each one of them, and shortlist those you are interested in. Visualize yourself working for 50-60 years in that career and ask yourself whether you will enjoy the work.
  4. Get to know about the lifestyle in that profession, and how it suits your personality. (If necessary get first hand information from those who are already in that career.
  5. Make a list of careers in order of priority, keep it handy and refer to it time and again. Add and subtract from it if you find out something new.

Match with your own strengths and qualities:

  1. Think of all the positive attributes you have (e.g. good communicator, good with figures, concentration, physical stamina, memory, ability to get along with people), and match it to what we have written in your report.
  2. Then list out all your shortcomings (e.g. not good in spoken English, cannot speak in crowds, hate traveling, cannot see blood, scared of heights, etc.). Areas for improvement have been highlighted in the report.
  3. Start matching how these qualities will affect your work in each of the possible careers that you have listed out, and whether you can make any improvements starting now.

Some important pointers:

  • Level of entry in each field also varies depending on your qualification, ability etc. If you are sure of a career, even if you make a very small beginning at a lower entry level, you will eventually do well and rise up to high levels.
  • It is an era of specialization. It is not enough that you will be an MBA, an IT person, or an engineer. Explore which area of management/ IT/ engineering you will work in.
  • Choices in each field are very wide. For example Karnataka itself offers more than thirty streams of engineering, there are more than twenty five medical and paramedical choices, and dozens of specializations in management alone.
  • You can combine two talents to make a specialized career, and thus you will be unique from your competitors. E.g. you are good at computers and you are also a creative person: You can take up multimedia, computer graphics, web-page design, animation, visual media, to name just a few.

By Ali Khwaja


Your Future Is In Your Hands

Image Credit: Jason Rogers,,
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

Everyone talks about the increase in competition in getting admissions in good institutions, or getting jobs after graduation. But few people realize that opportunities have increased much more than competition. If your are obsessed with only getting into a long-established brand name like IIT or IIM, then indeed you face very high competition compared to earlier years. But if you are open to getting a good education in engineering or management, then you have a wide variety of choice that did not exist earlier. Moreover, if you are willing to explore beyond the traditional B.Tech or MBA, then the sky is the limit when it comes to career choices.

As a person who has closely observed and guided young people through the maze of career selection for over 30 years, I am happy that today there is a problem of plenty, and anyone selecting the right career for the right reasons can be assured not only of good earnings and position, but also of an enjoyable and fulfilling work like.

By Ali Khwaja


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Career Guidance

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Except where otherwise noted, the Content of the Website of Banjara Academy - the text, the audios, the videos, the images - contributed by Dr Ali Khwaja and his team of volunteers at Banjara Academy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.