Career Counselling

Dr. Ali Khwaja was invited as the chief guest by Divine Educational Society, Yeshwantpur, Bangalore to deliver a talk to students passing out of tenth class and the parents of the students. Other guest on the dais were, Prof. J.Ramakrisha, retired professor of Indian Institute of Science, Mr. Vittalcharya, retd principal of MES College and other college functionaries.

Date: 23 April 2011
Place: Divine Educational Society, Yeshwantpur
Topic: Career Counselling to Students passing out of 10th Class

Dr. Ali started his talk by saying that though many believed that the two year after tenth class was a form of child abuse, he would like to see how the two years can be spent meaningfully. He said while students study from 1 to 10 class have a straight and linear path, as they have no choices, the road starts branching out after they finish 10th. Now there are many choices and decisions based on sound principles at this stage will help the child to flourish. He said thought the two years will seem like hectic studies and lot of hard work, if the student have long term goals in mind then the short painful journey will be worth it when they get to the destination.

 After 10th, the students have three choices, one is to stop studying, the second is to join some diploma course and the third is to join PUC. He said diploma should be taken up in rare cases where the student is not good academically. Otherwise PUC is the choice because, PUC is the passport to higher education. Once the student has decided on PUC, then the choices need to be examined whether they want to choose Science, Arts or Commerce. He said do not decide the subjects and then see what it can lead to. Rather first decide why you want to study something and then choose the subjects. He advised students not to follow the herd mentality and choose a career because everyone is choosing it.

 He said now there are twenty times more opportunities and choices compared to twenty years back. Hence the student can choose the career path in a more refined manner. Then Ali threw it open to the students and their parents to ask questions.


Questions and Answers


Q: How to become a pilot?

A: There are two paths: one you could become a military pilot and the second you could become a commercial pilot. To become a military pilot, you need to take Science stream(Maths, Physics) in PUC, score 60% marks and then write the NDA exam. If you pass, you qualify to become a military officer. Depending on the rank you get you can train to become a Helicopter Pilot, Transport Plane Pilot or a Fighter Pilot. The most in demand is of course Fighter Pilot. If you get into NDA, the government takes care of all the expenses and even pays you a stipend. You have to serve the military for twenty years. For becoming a commercial pilot, you can join a flying school and get the basic Flying license. After that you have to upgrade to Jet and multi engine planes. The education is very expensive and banks do not give loans for this type of education. Also if you suffer any major illness at any time in your life, you can get grounded and your career can come to an end. Dr. Ali warned the students that while it is very well paying and glamorous, it is a very risky career.

 Q: How to become an IAS Officer

A: Whatever the career you choose, first visualize the nature of the job and the job environment and see whether it suits your personality. To become a bureaucrat, you need to write the UPSC exams. For this a degree from any University in any stream is the eligibility. The most popular choice for those who clear the UPSC is the IFS – Indian Foreign Service, then Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and then follows 15 other categories.

Q: How to become a Chartered Accountant(CA)?

A: The first misconception is that you need to have studied Commerce in PUC. This is not so. You can take whatever you want in PUC and still do CA. A degree is not essential to pursue CA. You have to write CPT, Common Proficiency Test after 10th Class. If you clear this in the first attempt, then you are CA material. If you do not clear this in two attempts, then give up the idea of being a CA. The CPT is conducted 3-4 times a year. After clearing CPT, then you have to clear your Intermediate and then Final Exams in CA. Then you have to do internship. You are called a ACA. After three years of working as an ACA, you qualify to become a FCA whereby you are allowed to practice independently. It takes at least three and half years after PUC to finish completing the CA exams.


Dr. Ali winded up his talk by again mentioning that it is important to know why you are choosing a particular stream of education. Choose the education stream only if you are interest in the kind of job that stream offers. Your interest should determine your choice and nothing else.

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Leading Banjara Academy's online email counselling team of volunteer-counsellors, I realize it is not an easy task reaching out to a person one has never met, never seen, without the added advantage of gestures, eye contact, a gentle reassuring touch, tone of voice and yet providing empathy, positive strokes, making the person feel heard and understood.

With the aid of only written words, it is quite a task building trust, making people open up and share and helping them cope and feel better. So when in many instances they write back saying thank you and that they feel so much better, the feeling one gets is priceless and incomparable - knowing one has done something right, something good!

Hats off to all the volunteeer-counsellors of Banjara Academy who have been carrying on this work silently, anonymously for the last couple of years. Truly commendable! - Ali Khwaja

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