Chandigarh, February 16: Kiran Chaudhary, 24, had glittery dreams when she decided to pursue a career in life sciences in 2009. The decision, made after much introspection, took her to the scientific study of living organisms.
However, little did she know that her hard work, dedication and five years of education would leave her with no job in hand and even her gold medal in academics would be of little help.
Like Kiran, there are scores of students whose educational qualifications in unconventional areas have forced them to fend for themselves as jobs in these fields in this region are either limited or just not there.
Left with no hope with their existing degrees and qualifications, these well-educated youngsters have been forced to either register for additional courses in similar fields in foreign universities or completely change their career line and opt for something else.
"It is rather disappointing. It is high time we took note of this situation as even students who score well enough to secure gold or silver medals end up working in some other industry as they are unable to find a job profile that suits their education and expertise," Ananda Singh, senior manager at Youth Power HR consultancy based here, told IANS.
Data collected by another HR company headquartered here shows that over 90 percent of students who take admission in courses like forensic science, biotechnology, life sciences and genetic engineering usually face a hard time in finding suitable job opportunities in this region.
"Most of the students who have suffered due to lack of jobs in these particular areas of study are now taking advanced courses or entirely different courses in countries like Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Apart from great discouragement for the students, it is an extra financial burden as their foreign education is not easy to fund," Harpreet Kaur, an overseas educational consultant, told IANS.
Kiran, who has a masters in biotechnology from a city-based private college, said: "Sadly there is no job opportunity available for a life science post-graduate in Chandigarh. We have to go to other cities like Delhi or Mumbai but that is also not practical as the limited number of job options there are taken up by the students who study in the local universities in those cities. Most of my batch mates are unemployed. We are forced to work in sectors totally unrelated to our education just because the city has nothing to offer." Dejected, Kiran has now applied for a masters in physiology in a Canadian college. Though this course is different from her past studies, she is left with no other option.
Manreet Kaur, a recent pass-out from the department of Forensic Science and Criminology at Panjab University (PU) here, told IANS: "It was a dream come true for me getting admission in PU. I opted for this course due to my interest and passion towards solving mysterious criminal cases. But as soon as I passed out, I found out that there are no jobs available."
A former PU student who has a masters in forensic science, requesting anonymity, told IANS: "Only a few available positions are of no use for fresh pass-outs like me as they demand a minimum five years of work experience. I have now decided to opt for an MBA from a foreign university. Though it is an expensive option and I have already done my masters I have to do it to secure a good future."
These youngsters feel that educational institutions in the region should not offer courses for which no jobs are available here. "Not everyone wants to go to another place or country to work," Prashant Singh, who is pursuing his post-graduation, pointed out.