What kind of courses are trending these days apart from the usual?

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In a world that is ever evolving and adapting, that values modern problems and solutions rather than following traditional methods, careers too are becoming more than plain vanilla – and so are the perspectives of students, parents and employers, making it a deadly mix ready for the new world, writes Akshay Chaturvedi, CEO & Founder, Leverage Edu, for Elets news Network (ENN).

Robert Frost wrote “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference” back in 1916. The world has shifted from Black and White TV to Colour TV, from cable network to Netflix and Amazon Prime, from dial-in internet to Wi-Fi and 4G, from having security guards outside houses to Smart Home systems.

Akshay Chaturvedi, CEO & Founder, Leverage Edu

Akshay Chaturvedi, CEO & Founder, Leverage Edu

To meet with the demands of this fast paced world, many colleges are now offering programs and professional courses that stray away from the traditionally structured courses and recruiters are looking for professionals who can meet these demands of the modern subject who seeks better and improved lifestyle. Courses are specifically being designed to cater to these new blooming industries that have taken shape due to the advancements in technology – and other changes in the way society functions (think, all on-demand apps around the world – be it transport, grocery, getting things done, or taking your pet out for a walk!).

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Here is a list of some unconventional courses and career prospects :

Flavour Chemistry:

With globalisation making the world a global village, there is an influx of diversity like never before, with people constantly on the lookout for new experiences, one such experience is that of food and trying different cuisines and flavours. Flavour chemistry is the artistic blend of different approved extracts and chemicals in order to achieve a desired flavour profile for a specific beverage or food product and to come up with new flavours and ways to improve the taste of already existing flavours. Work involves using the subtle use of aromas, tastes and aesthetics to add that factor of oomph to everyday food. This work involves mimicking or enhancing flavours of cooked foods by adding amino acids, fats and sugars to the processed food. The field is also closely related to chemistry as it involves mixing different ingredients in order to create and improvise flavours. Those who have pursued chemistry in their senior secondary are eligible for this course.

A List of colleges that offer this course:

  1. Indian Institute of Hospitality & Management, Mumbai: They offers the subject of flavour chemistry under its MSc in Food Science program.
  2. University of Reading, Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences: This University offers an undergraduate program which helps the student gain an in-depth knowledge about the science of food.

Podcast Production:

A Podcast developer helps execute the vision behind the podcast, alongside helping develop the podcast along with the entire crew. The podcast developer is involved in the entire completion of the project – design, strategising, background mix, advertisement inlets, analytics around listeners, creating new content ideas basis feedback loops, and more.

A few roles that the producer undertakes include:

  1. Creative Vision – wherein the producers help the person with the storytelling of the podcast and helps maintain the core idea behind the project, they also take creative decisions like who will tell the story and help maintain the overall concept.
  2. Overseeing the Production – The producer with her/his experience has enough insight to oversee the production and help deliver the results in the most cohesive way possible. If the concept is more complex it is easy to stray from the core of the topic but that’s where the producer steps in and helps maintain the idea behind the concept.
  3. Coordinate the Interviews (if that’s the format) – The producer also helps coordinate the interviews with the guest and helps identifying each person’s role in the overall picture of the podcast making sure content is “worthwhile and effective”.
  4. Editing & Post-Production –Includes work like editing the podcast so as to ensure quality content and that the podcast is able to deliver the intended message.

The following online resources (both paid and free) provide courses in Podcast Production:

  1. Music Radio Creative: They offer an online course in podcast production.
  1. Udemy, Inc: They offer a course in Professional Podcast production, editing and blueprint. The course is well-structured and helps by providing a step by step guide from recording to publishing and everything in the middle like editing, uploading etc.

Food Stylist:

In a world where food blogging is the rage, food bloggers require food stylists to make their food look “insta-worthy” and aesthetic enough to generate awe among the users and force them to stop everything and stare the picture. Yes, it’s all too real. If food excites you and so does design and aesthetics, this is the best career option out there! This job opportunity is gaining ground given social media buzz has such a stronghold and helps build prospective buyers and fans.

Some of the schools offering this course include:

  1. The French Culinary Institute: This 6 month program based in New York is led by Lisa Schoen, a Food Network food stylist.
  1. Classes taught by Jacqueline Buckner: Led by expert stylist the course is a private lesson that gives the person an insight into the craft with the professional helping the student build a 3 photograph portfolio and following up with the student for 3 months regarding marketing.

Artificial intelligence (AI) programmer:

Ever wondered how your phone is able to recognise your face? Or how do search engines know exactly what you’re looking for? Or how Siri recognises your voice? These are some of the basic advances made by AI programmers and you can be a part of that world. The world is constantly moving towards a more futuristic reality, one that is heavily centred around AI being at the back of just about everything. An AI programmer helps develop the operating software that helps in the functioning of AI programs and applications. They work closely with engineers, across robotics’ (at times) and technical aspects. Work also involves testing data and analysing the capability of changing and adaption. In certain projects, they program the technology in a way that enables robots to interact with each other or robots to interact with humans. Apart from that, there is also work on voice and facial recognition, video games, interactive applications and military weapons.

The following colleges offer programs around this course:

  1. Eastern Michigan University: The Eastern Michigan University offers AI programming under their Computer and Information Sciences, General (Robotics and Artificial Intelligence) course as well as Information Technology Management course.
  1. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology: Computer and Information Sciences, General (Robotics and Artificial Intelligence) is the course offered by South Dakota School for those aspiring to a career in AI programming.
  1. Harvard University: Computer and Information Sciences, General and Information Technology Management are two programs under which students at Harvard can study the AI Programming course.

But more than any of the above, what’s important is that students and parents are now open to non conventional paths, and have understood the importance of diverse exposure which brings out the best in students over time. In my own experience, at LeverageEdu, I see students realising their dreams in the field of Astrophysics, Criminal Psychology, Physical Therapy, Religious Studies, Masters in Architecture, Masters in Transport Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Life Sciences, Masters in Music, Masters in Photography, Healthcare Management, Microbiology, etc etc – and it is fulfilling for us as educationists to see this change!

There are countless opportunities awaiting every student of today, and they don’t have to emulate those undertaken by their parents or family. It’s time for students to chart out a path of infinite prospects that are tailor made to make their USP stand out, and suits ‘their skills’. It’s a path that will help them make a difference and stay abreast with the changing demands of the ever evolving world. It’s time to be the one who takes “the road less taken.” (Views expressed are a personal opinion.)

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