Job alternatives going mainstream

August 9th, 2008 - 11:12 am ICT by IANS  

By Shweta Srinivasan
New Delhi, Aug 9 (IANS) Animators, fitness instructors, shoe designers, there is no shortage of new age professions for those who do not want to tread the beaten path in today’s India. “I was average at academics; I cleared my class 10 boards with great difficulty. Mathematics was especially a sore point. So I took up commerce with entrepreneurship in 10+2. Got out of school and thought: now what?” says Kritika Singh, a graduate from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University here.

Most youngsters often are found grappling with similar situations. But the uncertainty, the anxiety, the qualms of not doing a ‘professional degree’ after school can now be addressed, because engineers are out, new age animators are in, doctors are out and fitness instructors are in.

The young can now opt for dynamic, creative and professionally satisfying careers in fields like animation, fitness, dance, music and even shoe design.

Most career consultants and guidance professionals in India feel that career aspirants should never look at how lucrative the job is and instead take up something that is of interest.

So how about converting your hobby into your career?

“I used to doodle in the back of notebooks at school; watching and drawing cartoons are my hobby. So in my second year of pursuing a bachelor of commerce from Delhi University, when I took up the year and a half long diploma course in 3D animation and visual effects from Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics (MAAC) to satisfy my hobby, it did not take me long to shift gears to animation completely,” Vikram Panjwani, a 20-year-old aspiring animator, told IANS. The course costs about Rs.120,000.

“The starting salary for an animator is Rs.20,000-25,000, and with the expertise, the income only grows”, says Atish D. Tripathi, a veteran in the field of animation.

“Animation is now full of potential; it is becoming the most in-demand specialisation in the industry. With creativity and determination one can go a long way,” he added.

After finishing school, Tripathi left his hometown in Uttar Pradesh to pursue a career in animation - a diploma and 10 years of experience later he earns Rs.100,000 a month.

Rachna Singh, a mass communication graduate and a fitness enthusiast, decided to pursue a career as a fitness trainer. She went through a three-month course in fitness from Reebok Instructor’s Alliance that has modules on floor aerobics, step aerobics, body conditioning, food, nutrition and so on, for a cost of Rs.25,000.

She then entered a Les Mills training programme on body combat from Fitness First, and now is a certified instructor with Reebok and Club 61 Shopprix Mall, Noida. She earns Rs.250-500 an hour.

Nisha Varma, a master trainer with Reebok and a private instructor, feels this course opens up a wide spectrum of career options to fitness enthusiasts and gym owners.

“Childhood obesity paves way for fitness instructors to join schools; five-star hotels are also on the lookout for body conditioning and gym instructors. Freelancing can pay up to Rs.1,000 or more an hour,” she says.

A mother, a homemaker, a professionally trained classical dancer and a dance teacher - 28-year-old Anuradha Venkatraman is enjoying every bit of it.

She has been awarded the prestigious Sahitya Kala Parishad scholarship and the Department of Culture scholarship from the Indian government. She teaches at Delhi Tamil Sangam, Ganesa Natyalaya and Dhruva Performing Arts.

“It’s not good income for an independent artiste. After teaching and a couple of sponsored performances I earn about Rs.25,000 a month, which just about covers costs, but the creative satisfaction is well worth it,” says the dancer.

Young jewellery designers and shoe designers are also on the rise. “The shoe designing industry may not seem glamorous initially, but international brands started with shoes. Take Jimmy Choo, Chanel for instance. India too is catching up,” says 23-year-old shoe designer Swati Mehrotra who already has an established designer shoe label.

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