It requires more than a degree to stand

A degree helps you in your career only to a limited extent because what matters most are your written and verbal communication skills, analytical ability, team spirit and aptitude, said an expert at a counselling session in Gurgaon last week. “Graduation is just a stepping stone. Beyond that it has no value,” said CS Sharma, associate professor, Shri Ram College of Commerce, who has also been the placement officer there for many years. Sharma was part of a panel of college representatives, including Tanvir Aejaz, head, department of political science, Ramjas College and NK Gupta, associate professor, department of commerce, Ramjas College, which threw light on factors that work (or don't work) in landing a job. “If you want to work in the corporate sector, any course will do,” said Sharma at the event held in Shri Ram School, DLF Phase 3. The companies want to make sure you have those four (aforementioned) traits and they'll train you for the work. “There are companies in Gurgaon which simply don't look at your course. They look at your personality,” said Sharma. If organisations need quantitative skills, they make applicants go through tests. “When it comes to numerical calculations and quick decision-making, they try to judge the candidate's problem-solving skills by giving him situations,” Sharma explained. Interestingly, the bachelor's degree that trains a graduate best for the workplace is not among the much sought-after industry-oriented or professional programmes. The demanding BSc (H) programme in physics can give you a good base for a variety of careers. “BSc physics graduates are preferred in investment banking, and stock markets. They have a large number of openings,” said Sharma. The mind “gets best developed” in a course like this, he said. He also gave participants useful advice on certain combinations of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. “If you score very well in maths honours, there are companies like Google that straightaway pick you up. Maths honours plus MBA is a fantastic combination, particularly MBA (finance)