Friday, 21 February 2014
It is being increasingly felt that both a #degree and #diploma should be given equal importance, writes Sonam Mathur
While society still holds a traditional degree in higher esteem over a diploma programme, times are changing and students have more options to choose from. Despite this conventional belief, some of the reputed institutes in the country, such as the IIMs and NID, are offering diploma programmes as well. According to Pradyumna Vyas, director, National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, "There is a social hierarchy when it comes to a degree vs diploma, which should be done away with. Both should be given equal weighting." He adds that NID is vying for the status of centre of excellence, which will allow it to offer more variety in different level courses for students.
But this does not imply a change in the curriculum, he adds that a diploma should not be undermined because a well-designed diploma curriculum plays a key factor in developing the skill-sets of an individual and is a value addition to one's qualification. Raj N Bakshi, director, The English and Foreign Languages University, Lucknow, says, "Whether a degree or a diploma, it's always the curriculum, course design and the quality of education provided by an institute that matters the most. There are several parameters to define quality education, among which the three that I feel are most important include the syllabus, faculty and a wellequipped library. There are many universities, which confer a degree but lack these essentials."
From the academic point of view, Swati Salunkhe, career counsellor, says, "In order to acquire a higher qualification like a Master's degree, an MPhil or a PhD, it is essential to take up a degree course at the Bachelor's level. But, as far as professional competence is concerned, whether you pursue a degree or a diploma, it doesn't make a difference. What matters is the reputation of the institute, faculty, how good the course structure is, the infrastructure and the ability of the institute to provide quality education."
She further explains, "Nowadays, students have the option to begin with a diploma and ease their way into a degree programme through a lateral entry, provided they secure first division grades. For example, a student with a diploma in computer engineering can get a lateral entry in the second year of a degree programme in computer engineering. But this depends on the reputation and recognition of the institute offering the diploma."
Overseas education, especially in the UK and US, is expensive and, hence, availability of scholarships is an important consideration for students. Elaborating on the availability of these scholarships for degree and diploma programmes abroad, Karan Gupta, education consultant, informs that more funding is available for degree courses as compared to diploma courses abroad. Universities are not keen on funding students who apply for diploma courses as the courses are of shorter duration and more specialised.
As far as the value of an overseas diploma is concerned, employers usually prefer those who have studied degree courses, but if a student is keen to work in a specialised industry such as fashion or hospitality, a diploma may be preferred over a degree. As far as the job market is concerned, Nikhil Goyal, a second year student at IIM Lucknow, and points out that those certified by reputed institutes are well-accepted.
"There are many institutes across the country, which offer diploma programmes that are coveted and are brand names in themselves. So, at the end of the day, apart from competency levels of the individual, it is the institution's For further news on degree and repute in the market diploma and click, visit on Courses http://wsmde.edu.in/ that matters."
Maithili University/Vishwavidyalaya, Darbhanga, Bihar.
Varanaseya Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi (UP) Jagatpuri, Delhi.
Commercial University Ltd., Daryaganj, Delhi.
United Nations University, Delhi.
Vocational University, Delhi.
ADR-Centric Juridical University, ADR House, 8J, Gopala Tower, 25 Rajendra Place, New Delhi - 110 008.
Indian Institute of Science and Engineering, New Delhi.
Badaganvi Sarkar World Open University Education Society, Gokak, Belgaum, Karnataka.
St. John’s University, Kishanattam, Kerala.
Kesarwani Vidyapith, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh.
Raja Arabic University, Nagpur, Maharashtra.
D.D.B. Sanskrit University, Putur, Trichi, Tamil Nadu.
Indian Institute of Alternative Medicine, Kolkatta.
Mahila Gram Vidyapith/Vishwavidyalaya, (Women’s University) Prayag, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh.
Gandhi Hindi Vidyapith, Prayag, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh.
National University of Electro Complex Homeopathy, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose University (Open University), Achaltal, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh.
Uttar Pradesh Vishwavidyalaya, Kosi Kalan, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh.
Maharana Pratap Shiksha Niketan Vishwavidyalaya, Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh.
Indraprastha Shiksha Parishad, Institutional Area,Khoda,Makanpur,Noida Phase-II, Uttar Pradesh.
Gurukul Vishwavidyala, Vridanvan, Uttar Pradesh.
* Bhartiya Shiksha Parishad, Lucknow, UP - the matter is subjudice before the District Judge - Lucknow
The Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has announced a Moratorium period for all education loans taken-up to 31.3.2009 and outstanding on 31.12.2013.
Government will take over the liability for outstanding interest as on 31.12.2013, but the borrower would have to pay interest for the period after 1.1.2014. Nearly 9 lakh students borrowers will benefit to the tune of approximately Rs2,600 crore.
Presenting the Interim Budget in the Lok Sabha, the Union Finance Minister Chidambaram said that a sum of Rs 2,600 crore will be provided in the current financial year itself and this amount will be transferred to the Canara Bank.
P. Chidambaram said that the Central scheme for interest subsidy was introduced in 2009-10 in respect of education loans disbursed after 1.4.2009. However, students who had borrowed before 31.3.2009 struggled to pay interest during the period of study and they deserved some relief.
P. Chidambaram informed that ten years ago, only a few thousand students- mostly the well-connected- got education loans. At the end of December 2013, Public Sector Banks had 25,70,254 student loan accounts and the amount outstanding was Rs. 57,700 crore.
Do you feel like you're stuck in your current job? Are you ready to move up? It's tough to climb the corporate ladder, but if you want a job that excites you and pays well, you'll likely have to make the climb at some point. If you want to get a promotion, you'll need to be a patient team player while also being an ambitious self-promoter. It's a difficult balance to strike, but these tips can help.
1.Work for a company that can give you room to grow. The type of company you work for can determine your potential for promotion. When applying for jobs, seek out companies with opportunity for advancement. You don't have to work for a huge corporation, although these usually offer plenty of promotion possibilities at any given time, but you do want to look for a company that has enough going on so that you can be assured you're not running into a dead end. Preferably this company will be doing well and growing, though many companies, especially very large ones, tend to grow in cycles.
2.Concentrate on just doing the best you possibly can in your current position. Excellent performance reviews aren't sufficient to get you a promotion, but they're necessary for it. So are good attendance, punctuality, and a willingness to go the extra mile when the company needs it. Showing up 5 minutes early and leaving 5 minutes after your shift can turn into a fortune of extra income over your lifetime when you are the one that gets the promotion.
3.Make sure people know you're doing a great job. You don't want to toot your own horn too much, but you can't always expect your merits to speak for themselves. Keep in good contact with your supervisor, and make sure he or she knows what you've been up to (assuming you've had some smashing successes). Don't be an attention grabber or "brown-nose," but make sure people know who you are and make sure you get credit where credit is due.
4.Be popular. In an ideal world, promotions would be based solely on merit. We don't live in an ideal world, though, and office politics will often play a role in who gets promoted and who doesn't. Use and develop your people skills. Be kind and helpful to your coworkers, supervisors, and underlings. Develop relationships with people you work with, play golf with the boss, and get to know people (other than your immediate supervisor) who make decisions in the company. Be present at company events and network with people from outside your department.
5.Make sure the right people know you want a promotion. Don't be afraid to tell your supervisor about your career goals--most good supervisors will ask you about them and try to be helpful. Continue to do a great job in your current position, and don't seem fed up with your current work, but let decision makers know if you really want a particular job.
6.Apply for jobs within the company. These days you can't just wait for a promotion to fall in your lap. That happens sometimes, but most promotions, especially at large companies, require you to go through the application and interview process, and usually you'll have to compete with candidates from outside the company.
Apply for the right positions. Don't just apply for any opportunity that pays a bit more than your current job. Look for opportunities that you are genuinely interested in and that you are qualified for. You don't have to have all the skills listed in the job description, and you probably won't, but you want to be able to make a good case that you'll be able to get up to speed quickly.
Take the application process seriously. Too often, internal candidates figure they've got the new job in the bag, but studies show that as few as 1/3 of internal candidates win the better jobs they seek. External candidates can be extremely competitive because they have no pretenses of security--they want the job, and they know they'll have to put their best foot forward to get it. In addition, companies sometimes want to bring in new people to bring new skills or perspectives to the organization. The lesson here: don't be complacent, and remember to "sell" yourself as you would if you were applying for any other job.
7.Seek out new skills. If you become the best customer service representative of all time, you're well on your way... to remaining a highly regarded customer service representative for the rest of your career. It's not enough to be great at your job; you also have to develop marketable skills that prepare you for more responsibility. When you gain skills and qualifications far beyond what your current job requires, your employer may see keeping you in that job as a waste of your talents.
Go to school. If you haven't earned a Bachelors degree, do it. If you have, consider earning a Masters or PhD, but only if one of these qualifications will help you achieve your career goals. Don't just go back to school for the heck of it. Instead think about what programs will help you climb the corporate ladder. Sometimes specialized professional designations or licenses can be far more important to getting a promotion than degrees, and sometimes you may just need to take some classes to improve your computer skills or accounting ability, for example. There are a wide range of education programs available that allow you to go to class in the evenings or on weekends, and there are also ample opportunities for accredited self-study and online learning. What's more, your employer may reimburse you for certain tuition expenses, so it may be possible for you to expand your knowledge at no cost to yourself.
Learn a second/third language. Due to the increasing globalization of the world in general, more and more companies will be looking for people that know multiple languages. Learning more than one language also means you don't need a translator, which opens up international posts (such as a manager for an entire continent, as opposed to a state or small country).
Take on temporary projects. Temporary projects can be a great way to broaden your skills and network with people from other areas of the company. Many people feel uncomfortable volunteering for these assignments because they can be challenging and can force you out of your comfort zone. That's the point.
Volunteer. If you're not getting new skills at work, consider volunteering your spare time to a non-profit organization. Large, well-recognized non-profits almost always offer a wealth of opportunities to learn new things, and smaller organizations may also have suitable projects you could work on. Successful non-profits typically look to fill volunteer positions with people who are qualified to do the job, but with a little persistence you should be able to find an opportunity that uses your existing skills and helps you build new skills. Your community involvement can also be a plus toward your getting your promotion.
8.Get a mentor. A strong relationship with a manager or someone higher up in your department can open a lot of doors for you. For one thing, you'll likely learn a lot about the organization and about the jobs you might want to get in the future. For another, you'll have an ally who will be willing to go to bat for you when you do decide to apply for a new opportunity. Finally, your mentor may groom you to succeed him or her when they move up or retire.
9.Groom a successor. It's a common paradox: you're so good at your job that you're indispensable, but you're so indispensable in your current position that the company would fall apart if you were to leave that position. The solution to this problem is to take another employee under your wing and train him or her so that they will be ready to fill your shoes if you get promoted. Some people are afraid that their understudy will take their job if they do this, but as long as you're a great employee and continue to develop your skills, the only way you'll lose your current job is by getting promoted. Training another employee (or several) also shows that you have management skills and that you care about helping other employees develop their skills.
10.Develop a new position. If you figure out a better way to do your existing job or see the need for a new position, don't be afraid to talk to management about creating this position. Since you're the one who saw the need and, presumably, you're best qualified for the position, this can help you take on new responsibilities, even if you don't get a big pay raise at first.
11.Seek employment elsewhere. If, for whatever reason, you seem to be at a dead end with your current employer, it's time to look for better opportunities elsewhere. This can be hard if you feel a loyalty to your employer, but you do need to do what is in the best interest of your career or you will become unhappy with your job. Recent surveys show that as many as 75 percent of employees are looking for new jobs at any given time, so you won't be alone.