At a time when there seems to be pause & shrink in job scenario, there still exist hope if we have a vision and follow the right path. While many jobs are shrinking or withering away, there are primarily -- three sectors healthcare, data science, and communications - where there will be a boom, feels Karan Verma - national best selling author, career mentor, and motivational speaker.
In an exclusive chat with Republic TV, Karan says "Firstly, let me congratulate all those who had terrific results from CBSE and I believe given the scenario, every good news, every positive news should be celebrated with a lot of hope. These are tough times. My empathies to all who have been playing the waiting game. Many of you have been waiting to write your NEEt exams, IIT JEE exams and it’s not easy. So, you know my message to all the students out there right now who are playing this waiting game – There are ways in which you can actually tide over this crisis because this too shall pass"
On the careers post COVID which are going to take off, Karan says: "You can plan yourself accordingly. Plan your next move accordingly. So, one of the sectors that is going to boom is the healthcare sector. You know for long the PCB students have suffered that either they do an MBBS or become a doctor or they don’t have many options. Well, guess what, things have changed. And they’ve changed for the better. The pharmaceutical sector is going to see a big boom. We are going to be manufacturing and making a lot of medicines. We are going to be needing a lot of medical advisors, a lot of bio-pharmacists. Bio-informatics is one branch that’s really going to pick up big because we’re going to have a lot of gene studies. Genetics is going to see a huge investment in R & D. So all the bio students out there, these are the careers you should have your eye on."
Another sector that can see a boom is Data Science. "Besides healthcare, the other sectors that are going to see a boom are data science. Data analytics right now, given the data consumption that we’re having sitting at our homes whether it’s the internet or the OTT platform, we need people to make sense of this data. So, data analytics, data science is another stream that you should have your eyes locked on. Machine learning and artificial intelligence- try and understand these guys- This is the age of automation. Most of the jobs that we have today, many of them are going to vanish in the next 10-15 years. We are going to have robotics take over. We are going to have robots doing stuff. And in that scenario, those who are well versed with these lines are going to reap rich dividends. So these are the careers you can have a look at."
He further observes; "There are some careers which you can give a skip or probable re-visit at a time. Say a Hotel Management or tourism industry. The travel industry has seen a slump. We can always revive. I am not saying kiss goodbye to your dreams. I am just saying that you can probably revisit these dreams later. Right now you have to have your eye where the money is because you have to sustain. Only if you survive, will you be able to thrive. So these are some of the careers you can have a look at"
On the skills required to stay afloat given the scenario, Karan says: "Back in the 90s and even in the early 2000s Indians got really rich dividends because of the coding skills they had acquired. One was coding and the other was the English Language. Because of the fact that we could converse in English and we were one of the largest English speaking audiences, we had so many BPOs mushrooming across the country and that’s why the early 2000s saw a huge boom in as far as employment is concerned."
"Well, right now the things we need to imbibe as skills: No 1 Data Science – We still have a lot of vacant jobs in data science. There are lots of online courses. I meet hundreds of students. Many of them are doing these online courses right now. And there are immediate positions waiting to be filled. If you look at various job portals also- network security is another thing because of the amount of data that is being used right now, be it because of the video calls and the fact that many states continue to be in some sort of a lockdown, the OTT platforms. We need people who are well-versed with network security, data encryption, data security, data analysis, data analytics. You know all these sound similar but all of them have different connotations. Coding – I am so happy to see that in the new education policy, coding is being made mandatory at a much lower class. You know that should have happened a long time back because given the scenario we will need to work with a lot of programmers even if we don’t do that 1st hand."
"Another set of skills that’s really going to come in handy, given the scenario is emotional intelligence. You know never before have we been tested the way we as a society, students as a community, and even professionals have been tested. The ones who can actually handle stress and actually bounce back are the ones who are perhaps going to survive this and eventually thrive this. SO I have always used this word. There are going to be two sets of people. One are going to be COVID-IOTS. The ones who will succumb to corona as a pressure. They are going to be listless, dispirited, and perhaps lose out on their job or perhaps suffer a setback as far as their career is concerned. The others are COVICTRIOUS The ones who are going to dig their heels in and ride over this tide and come out victorious. To come out victorious, you need to be very smart with your choices. You don’t need to be choosy right now and you need to welcome whatever is coming your way. So I want you all to be COVICTORIOUS in these times. You can only be COVICTORIOUS if sitting at home, you don’t waste time but imbibe the skills that are necessary. That’s what emotional intelligence is all about."
"Another skill which is absolutely evergreen that has made sense since the time of inception is communication. Communication skills are getting even more critical because of the cross-cultural scenario we are working in and communication has also had its share of challenges when the entire board meeting setup has changed. It has come to virtual meetings. How you can engage better in virtual meetings. We saw communication of so many teachers tested and they’ve done it brilliantly. They’ve answered the call of the day when they had resort to modern teaching methods and they had to address students over video calls. So flexibility, adaptability, communication- these are going to be some of the critical skills that we all the time to imbibe and hone."
"Now I’ll come to the most important segment which is - What is my advice to all students out there. You know despite all the negatives, despite the fact that you’ve waited too long, despite the fact there is gloomy uncertainty let me tell you – You’re still in a position where you can catapult and make it count. You’ve not lost out on anything. If anything, you have an opportunity to regroup, relearn, unlearn some of the things and come back stronger. You know, what’s going to be the biggest shame?? The biggest shame would be that post this pandemic, you get an opportunity and you’re not well equipped to make the best use of it. So my message is – dig your heels in, think strategically. Till now whenever I used to meet students. As an author, I meet hundreds of readers, as a public speaker I meet professionals and students, I used to tell them- follow and run in the direction of your dreams. Right now, I say this- be realistic, be practical, and keep an eye on your dreams. You are going to get a chance to weave in your dreams into this practical narrative. But for now, the challenge is to survive and you’re going to survive if you’re not too choosy. Pick up that sales job over a branding job right now even if you’re cut out for branding. Do a course wherever you’re getting one and visit hotel management 2 years later when the scenario is good. You know this is what strategic thinking is all about. Remember this guy- careers are not a 100-meter dash, they’re a marathon. So better run it like one and stop comparing yourself to others. Be like that horse which is running with his blinkers on and if you keep running without looking here and there, you’ll finally realize that you’re not a part of a rat race or a horse race. You are running your own course of greatness. So guys, hustle hard, stay positive, be filled with gratitude because all of us are lucky to be alive, lucky to be in good health and keep your eyes on the careers that are on the move. Hustle hard and win."