Economies and businesses have been in a constant state of flux and disruption, especially since the start of the 21st Century. Globalisation, technology, automation, and outsourcing are some of the factors that have contributed to this trend.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given new meaning to the term ‘disruption’! The world has literally changed from what it was merely 8-10 weeks ago. As the world looks towards a reopening and recovery, skill sets, ways of working, methods of collaboration, and urgent economic needs…everything will undergo a transformation and will require significant adjustments from everyone.
At SRM University, Andhra Pradesh we have always focused on imbibing skills sets in our students that can help them compete and contribute effectively in a dynamic world. This approach comprises of several distinct interventions that are embedded into what is taught and how it is taught, including:
The University follows a high technical qualification standard for students applying to either School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and School of Liberal Arts and Basic Sciences (SLABS). There is equal emphasis on the personal interview process also. This process looks for achievers and keen learners who display both a strong track record of achievement as well as a desire to grow through learning. Besides this, we maintain a standard of diversity in the batches, which serves as a source of learning as well as preparation for the diversity seen in real life.
Liberal Arts Education
All SEAS and SLABS courses have common emphasis on liberal arts education. This approach towards higher education consists of a focus on four primary areas: the natural sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. The approach towards teaching all subjects is a blended one wherein influences from one sphere are used in another. This is useful since real life problems do not come compartmentalised and their solutions usually draw upon other apparently unrelated areas. Eg. a production constraint in operations that needs to be optimised through the labour force will need to employ an understanding of psychology. Or take the example of biomechanics, which draws upon medicine, biology, and robotics. At SRM University, Andhra Pradesh our inter-disciplinary programs facilitate flexibility in learning, which ultimately leads to broad thinkers with depth in their chosen field. Our six foundation courses across all our undergraduate program enable critical thinking and encourage becoming a thought leader. More formally, our students can opt for Minors in completely unrelated areas to broaden their knowledge and explore personal interests.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I will remember. Involve me and I learn” – Benjamin Franklin.
Students have a real need and desire for applying their learning. At SRM University, Andhra Pradesh various initiatives such as industry-driven Undergraduate Research Opportunities (UROP), capstone projects, industry internships and a technology-enabled active learning environment enable our students to implement their learnings in real life settings. This enables them to prepare for complex problems right from the undergrad level.
Initiatives and modules such as FabLab, Next Tech Lab, and IDEA provide our students with a novel and hands-on learning experience. While the emphasis is on theory, the ultimate objective is problem solving abilities. Needless to say, the world is going to need more problem solvers and fewer theorizers in challenging times. Students also have an option in their 4th year to undertake certificate or diploma programs in India or abroad.
Besides this, several international collaborations provide our students with valuable opportunities to benefit from some of the premier institutions in the USA and other countries. In a world unified against a common threat, world-class international exposure will go a long way in preparing professionals for the challenges ahead.
These are only some of the specific initiatives at SRM University, Andhra Pradesh targeted at providing students with not just a degree, but an education. Making them not just job seekers, but real thinkers.
COVID-19 stifled activity across the globe in an unprecedented manner. Most industries in almost all countries have been massively impacted but education was disproportionately impacted as schools, colleges, and universities shut down and remain subject to severe restrictions even as reopening begins.
However, given the importance of continuity workarounds were soon found and we now see several courses from secondary school education to post-graduate programs moving online. This has not happened only as a fall-out of the pandemic. Two critical factors are contributing to the spread and popularity of online education:
Need: All full-time courses are time-bound and suspension beyond a few days is not sustainable. Besides, students in on-going programs would prefer to stick to their schedule and be prepared with their qualifications in time for the post-pandemic economic revival.
Availability of resources: With widespread acceptance of laptop, computer and tablet for study along with the affordable data access are acting as catalyst for their learning. Rise of video conferencing tools like Zoom, Google Meet, Webex, skype etc made it fairly easy to connect students to classes and peers. All these resources have empowered their learning
The move has come with challenges. Nonetheless, everyone seems to have adjusted quickly and quite well to the new normal. This is thanks to several advantages, of which the most significant is that it keeps people at home and safe. Besides this, 5 primary advantages are:
- Reach: Online education obviously has a much wide reach as the constraint of classroom capacity is removed. This helps content and instruction from the same faculty size reach more students. SRM AP has proactively joined what might be the world’s largest remote learning experiment, collaborating with Zoom Platform where they host online classes. At present, over 40-60 classes are being conducted online daily.
- Recall: Webcams used in online sessions keep a focus on the student and a check on attention. Besides this, recordings of the session are usually available to quickly recap what has happened and students can also take screenshots of sessions for future reference. At SRM AP various LMS platforms – GSuite Classroom, Moodle, etc. are being used by the faculty to share the reading materials with the students.
- Extending use of media: Online classes at SRM AP use high end media to ensure continuous engagement between faculty and students. To make a classroom engaging, faculty members have started adding YouTube videos related to topics, diffusing knowledge through storytelling.
- Promoting reskilling and retooling: With rising joblessness and underemployment, there are several potential students across the world right now. They are keen to reskill and retool in a downturn so that they are well-equipped for the revival. Online education provides such students with depth and breadth in choices. Wider recognition of online courses by employers has also helped.
- Encouraging self-discipline and responsibility: Students have responded with a high degree of self-discipline in attending live classes and shown the responsibility to complete assigned course work despite the lack of supervision. The benefit of this obviously extends far beyond the completion of the program. It creates a value system that can benefit the students for the rest of their lives in all spheres.
Given the nature of this pandemic, online education is now not a matter of choice. And just as well – barring a few minor inconveniences (which too will be overcome with time, some effort and practice), this medium offers several advantages pandemic or no pandemic.
“Evening is a time of real experimentation. You never want to look the same way,” said fashion guru Donna Karan. You think, the Queen of luxury fashion is talking about appearance and personal style presentation, when you have another kind of display on your mind. The one you have to make the next day. Many young students are bogged down by presentations, case studies, assignments and deadlines every day of their college life. But that’s all the more reason to let your hair down, experiment, rejuvenate, and live your life to the fullest in the evenings. SRM University AP campus is the sanctuary to do just that.
Evenings are the perfect time to take stock of your day. They offer you the breather to unwind, relax, and rejuvenate. They are also a precursor to the promise of the night, which brings with it a new dream. It is the beautiful cusp of a moment and at SRM University AP you can shape it exactly according to your interests. They say, some of the best evenings are unplanned, random, and spontaneous. We say, plan your evenings and make the most out of the avenues we have in store for you. Here are 6 fun, cool, exciting things you can do under the campus skies after 6 pm. And we assure you, the sky is limit for the creative, cultural and culinary satisfaction you can get on campus.
Walkabouts are in
Designed by Perkins + Will, American architecture firm, the name behind some of the visually stunning educational institutions around the world, SRM University AP is a sight to behold. The natural beauty is enhanced by eco-friendly spaces that create a soothing ambience perfect for leisurely strolls. Go for a walkabout exploring the hidden gems on campus or head for evening walks with friends and make memories to last.
Time for a Gym-jam
All fitness enthusiasts and beginners can band together in state of the art gymnasiums on campus. It’s time to throw your weight behind your overall wellness. Pushups, pull-ups, cardio, aerobics; you name it. Go for the workout of your choice and engage with fellow fitness fans. Then there are Yoga rooms to channel your energies, meditate and recuperate from the daily rigours. Sources for your physical and emotional wellbeing are thus covered on campus.
Display your sporting attitude
Don’t see yourself working out in the gym? No sweat. SRM University AP campus boasts of the best facilities for sports including badminton, basketball, volleyball, athletics, cricket, soccer, table tennis and more. Want to pick up a new game or want the best platform to showcase your sporting prowess? Dive into the avenues we have in store for you and be a good sport!
Mentoring – Extra innings
The residential campus of SRM University AP is home not only to students and scholars but to many of our experienced faculty members. You can pick the free time in the evenings to engage with them on topics of the curricular and beyond. Our approachable and affable faculty members have been the guiding force behind many transformative journeys. Now you get to have an extra helping of that mentorship while building lasting relationships too.
For Foodie two-shoes
Extra helpings remind us of all the delicious options you can devour on campus. The lip-smacking delights available at the night canteen will satiate all your culinary cravings in style. You can also hop over to the truck shop to get your supply of foodie goodies packed with chips, cookies, chocolates, cold drinks and ice creams. Now can there be a more mouthwatering prospect?
And we are only talking about student clubs that create exciting platforms for you to pursue your interests. Passion-photography society, drama club, dance club, music room, sessions of next tech lab, python in pyjamas, debate sessions, women in Machine Learning, movie screenings are just some of the engaging outlets you can enjoy. The Night League by the Gaming Club is a raging success amongst our shining Knights.
We told you life after 6 on campus is all fun and games with enough food for thought!
Learning business management is a complicated enough exercise with experts divided on whether management is science or art, or both. In the current era, the complications are compounded by the pace of change. Theories and frameworks are getting outdated rapidly, and textbooks can be obsolete by the time they reach the student’s desk from the printer. In this scenario, how does a student ensure that the business studies course is keeping him or her future-ready? The answer is not easy given the situation, but there are 5 universal aspects that few would dispute.
1. Practical experience
Many business studies courses are geared towards freshers with limited to no work experience. If the class itself offers no avenues for practical experience, then the student graduates with a skill handicap. Look for courses that provide hands-on business experience during studies. This can be in the form of industrial projects from real companies, internships, assistance on faculty research projects for companies, or even simple opportunities for interaction with the real business world. Being in actual situations, facing real problems of real people shapes your world view and the sooner you can gain this experience the better. For this, look for institutions that have tie-ups for such opportunities with their recruiters and other corporates.
2. Soft skills
Multiple surveys of companies show that one of the most significant handicaps campuses hire suffer from is poorly developed soft skills. This includes presentation skills, workplace etiquette, grooming, and general communication. All of these are essential requirements for workplace success and for moving into leadership roles. Some institutes have begun to focus on soft skills and developing the behavioural aspects of students. Conducting exercises and workshops on etiquette, grooming, communication, art, and team exercises are some of the means. Innovatively, some of this is being achieved through training in theatre or focus on the liberal arts.
3. People matter
In a networked and ever-changing business world, no one can function in a silo. Effective teamwork is essential in an era where multiple perspectives are needed to solve complex problems. And this means people need to be effective at working together. Empathy, accommodation, appreciating diversity, understanding and working with differences, and sensitivity are the critical skills that need to be developed for success and these are timeless. Institutes that build in teamwork and people dependencies into course work will help groom managers who can work effectively and efficiently with any group of co-workers. This is why many courses involve a large volume of team assignments, presentations, and projects.
4. Global perspective
Globalisation is a reality that no business, big or small, can ignore and this will only compound in the future as trade and people mobility go up in future. Even an entry-level business manager needs to be mindful, aware and prepared to work in a complex and interlinked world. How do you achieve this when many entry-level managers have not even stepped out of their city of birth? Developing the ability to work with different nationalities, being comfortable in foreign environments, and being able to blend into the unfamiliar is going to be must-have skills for the future and preparation needs to begin early. Courses that offer foreign language courses, cross-cultural collaboration opportunities, international exchange programs, diverse pool of international students, and opportunities to learn from visiting foreign faculty are one way to prepare for this business reality.
5. An entrepreneurial approach
Some theoretical concepts are timeless, while others whither away. However, new approaches to solving old problems and developing abilities to deal with new issues are always evolving. After all, many of the challenges and opportunities are seen today did not exist even 5 years ago. How would a graduate from then cope today and how will he/she deal tomorrow? The dynamism needed to face unique situations and problems come from developing an entrepreneurial mindset in students from an early stage. This mindset can be developed through a pedagogy that focuses on doing, experimenting, failing, learning, unlearning, and taking responsibility for one’s efforts. Courses that spoon-feed will soon disappear into the sands of time, as will the students who learned with such approaches.
Bear in mind that there is no course which will teach you all the skills you will need in the future. A course can provide you with timeless skills, some of which are listed above, and it can provide you with a mindset of flexibility, entrepreneurship, ownership, responsibility, and risk-taking. If you have these, then your skillset is indeed timeless.
At SRM University, AP the curriculum structure and pedagogy is designed to incorporate all of the above aspects. In addition to this, regular feedback from industry and recruiters is obtained to keep education relevant. Moreover, campus life, extracurricular activities, and the work involved in running the students clubs and societies provide students with exposure in all of these must-haves.
What is it?
Engineering Physics refers to the combined disciplines of physics, mathematics, and engineering. The field seeks ways to apply, design, and develop new solutions in engineering and holds promising career prospects for interested graduates of science or engineering.
Engineering Physics is unlike both traditional engineering or science disciplines – it does not restrict itself to one area. The focus is on applied physics covering highly specialised fields such as quantum physics, materials science, applied mechanics, electronics, nanotechnology, microfabrication, microelectronics, computing, photonics, nuclear engineering, biophysics, control theory, aerodynamics, energy, solid-state physics, and others.
The focus on coming up with integrated solutions sourced from multiple specialities ensures that the solutions are more optimal, effective, and efficient. The cross-functional focus also closes the gap between theoretical and practical sides of science and engineering.
Is it for me?
As stated, graduates of science or engineering can look to specialise in Engineering Physics. Scientists looking to move beyond theory, or engineers looking to create real solutions to tangible problems using theoretical rigour find this field exciting.
What kind of jobs can I get?
Qualified engineering physicists fit in into opportunities within high technology industries, some of which are in emergent domains. The roles span research and development, design, and analysis. The sector will depend on the engineering specialisation that is selected, i.e. mechanical, computer, nuclear, aerospace, etc.
Engineering Physics is well poised to grow as a segment specifically because of the many new sectors in which it has application as well as the technological progress in the last decade that has created entirely new industries. Some of the critical areas that will see job growth are discussed below.
The pressures of a growing global population and the need for sustainable agriculture are going to [belatedly] lead to science and engineering, playing a more significant role in how we grow crops. Agro Physics is an evolving field, and it involves the study of materials and processes in the sowing, harvesting, and processing of agricultural produce.
Artificial Intelligence or AI refers to machines that mimic human cognitive functions such as learning and problem-solving. This exciting field is growing by leaps and bounds and holds great promise in the automation of many processes besides an exponential growth in processing capacities.
Biomechanics involves the study of the structure, function and motion of the mechanical aspects of living systems. The field touches applications such as aerodynamics, orthopaedics, locomotion, pathology, oncology, among others.
Bionanotechnology refers to the combination of nanotechnology and biology. Here, biosystems within nature are used as inspiration for creating new nanodevices or nanoparticles. Nanomedicine is the open field that is looking to benefit from the progress made in Bionanotechnology, while agriculture is another sector that will see the application of new solutions.
A composite material is made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties that, when combined, produce a material with characteristics different from the individual components. The objective could be to make the composite lighter, stronger, harder, softer, resistant, flexible, rigid, etc. While composite materials have existed since ages (concrete and steel are composite materials!), limits in the development of new materials are constantly being pushed through progress in Engineering Physics.
Machine learning (ML)
ML is a subset of AI and refers to algorithms and statistical models that computer systems use to perform a task without any instructions input by human operators, relying on patterns and inference instead. ML is beginning to find application across many sectors including primarily Economics, Finance, Forensics, Medicine, Search Engines, etc.
The miniaturisation of various devices (think about the first cell phones and compare them with devices today) has led to the need for Microfabrication, which is the process of fabricating miniature structures of micrometre scales and smaller. Progress in material science, nanotechnology, and other fields have led to growth in possibilities in this field.
Nanotechnology is the manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale. Apart from medicine, Nanotechnology holds immense potential for multiple industrial sectors such as defence, textiles, food packaging, sports, construction, and energy. The fruits of the research conducted in this exciting field over the years are only just beginning to be realised.
The human neural system is an extremely complex arrangement linking the brain with the rest of the body. Neuroscience is still making tentative progress in understanding how this system works and this pace has quickened lately, thanks to the improvement in imaging systems. Neural engineering is a discipline within bioengineering that uses engineering to understand, repair, replace, or enhance these complex neural systems. Aspects such as Neuroimaging, Neuromechanics, Neuromodulation, Neurorobotics, and Neuroregeneration hold great promise for patients who have been resigned to living with neurological disorders.
Robotics is the right combination of Computer, Electronics and Mechanical Engineering with Physics. While Robots have existed since many decades now, the application across more sectors, the sophistication of the robotic systems, and their efficiency are being enhanced through the many technological developments. This will lead to productivity and efficiency gains across multiple sectors.
What are Nanomaterials?
Nanomaterials are substances or materials that are manufactured and used at a, as the name suggests a very small scale. ISO (2015) defines a nanomaterial as a ‘material with any external dimension in the nanoscale (size range from approximately 1 – 100 nm) or having an internal structure or surface structure in the nanoscale’.
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAOFpgocfrg
Why is it important?
Nanomaterials are the most recent and most exciting development in materials science. Nanoscale materials have unique optical, electronic, or mechanical properties. Thus, when compared to the same material which is not at the nanoscale, they show more optimal performance measured typically in strength, chemical reactivity or conductivity.
What are the industrial applications of nanomaterials?
The scope, unlike the size of nanomaterials, is massive:
• Better building insulation,
• More energy efficiency,
• Better batteries,
• Better cosmetics,
• Nimble automobiles, aircraft, ships, spacecraft
There is nothing nano about the potential for nanomaterials and nanotechnology. There is every possibility that this field will touch just about every industry that exists today and will even create new and unthought-of applications.
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fY0E4xRyfek
Who is the field relevant for?
Considering that we have only just begun to understand the scope of development and application of nanomaterials, the future for this field is bright.
The kind of backgrounds required for this field could include:
• Material Scientists, and
• Physics, Chemistry, and Biology graduates.
However, nanoscience is essentially interdisciplinary wherein science is applied to engineering and hence a holistic mindset/approach is needed.
What are the career prospects?
As mentioned, the industries requiring this expertise are extremely diverse. Currently, nanomaterials have seen significant adoption in sectors like:
• Sporting goods,
• Medical equipment,
• Military and
• Energy, among others.
According to the widely followed recruiter.com, salaries in the USA range between $45,000 and $73,000for nanotechnology engineering technicians. Estimates for India are not easily available since it is a nascent yet growing field, though fact remains that there are very few qualified professionals in this field. Needless to say, as use of nanomaterials expands, engineers with significant experience can see their salaries grow significantly in the coming years, more so since demand will outstrip the supply of candidates.
How do I get started?
The pathway starts from an undergraduate degree in engineering or sciences with a focus on specific courses in nanotechnology, nanomaterial, or nanoscience. Alternatively, with the growth of nanoscience in India, several universities, including SRM AP offer undergrad and masters courses with specialisation in nanotechnology. This can be coupled with the many options available at the PhD level.
What is Energy Storage?
Ever since humans mastered energy capture, energy storage and retrieval for use at a later point of time or place has been the key pursuit in power engineering. As per Wikipedia, “Energy storage is the capture of energy produced at one time for use at a later time. A device that stores energy is generally called an accumulator or battery.”
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JGMm8qDfxw
Why is it important?
Energy comes in multiple forms, which include radiation, chemical, gravitational, electrical, temperature, and kinetic. Energy storage technology converts energy from these forms into economically storable forms that are safe and accessible.
Energy storage systems are assuming greater importance with the increasing focus on sustainable energy (solar, wind, hydro) electric vehicles and the rapid rise in use of battery-powered electronic devices like smartphones, which has led to a surge in production of lithium-ion batteries. This makes energy storage one of the most promising upcoming sectors.
Insert video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljKFr_o24jo
What are the industries involved in Energy Storage?
When one thinks of Energy Storage, one immediately thinks of batteries. However, batteries are about storage and retrieval of chemical energy, but energy is of many different types. A hydroelectric dam, stores gravitational potential energy, ice storage tanks store ice frozen by cheaper energy at night to meet peak daytime demand for cooling, and fossil fuels such as coal and gasoline store ancient energy derived from sunlight, buried and overtime and then converted into these forms. Industry applications include power storage and distribution obviously, but also automobiles, real estate, mining, and telecom.
Video Link to‘Future of Energy Storage’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LAuDTNW5dw
Video Link to ‘Beyond Batteries’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3R7EzO3uBms
Who is the field relevant for?
The demand for energy storage systems is likely to grow exponentially globally as the world shifts towards renewable energy sources. This shift will mandate both grid level and unit level energy storage systems that are of viable size, cost, and energy efficiency. Significant research is currently being conducted on materials, engineering, and other optimisations.
The kind of backgrounds required for this field could include:
- Metallurgists for analysing the potential of viable materials,
- Chemical engineers and chemistry graduates,
- Electrical engineers
- Automobile engineers interested in electric vehicle development
However, energy storage is somewhat interdisciplinary, bringing together material science with expertise in energy storage using sectors.
What are the career prospects?
Estimates by Lux Research, independent research and advisory firm, suggest that the global industry for energy storage could be worth $100billion in the next few years.
Given the focus, demand, and growth, energy storage sector will generate significant jobs in the future. Moreover, due to the shortage of qualified professionals relative to demand, entry salary and salary growth prospects are positive.
Typical job roles are:
- Storage Systems Engineer
- R&D Engineer
- Reliability Engineers
- Modeling Technician
As per comparably.com, Energy Storage Engineer salaries average around USD110,000. Reliable estimates for India are difficult to make since it is still a niche area.
How do I get started?
The roadmap involves an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering or material sciences with a focus on specific courses in renewable energy and energy storage.
One of the key elements of holistic learning is gaining deep and wide exposure at an early stage. This helps students to gain both depth and breadth of knowledge, especially when it comes to international opportunities. SRM University, AP through its tie-ups with international universities of repute provides students with such exposure and also encourage its students to participate in events, conferences, competitions, and internships. One such internship is the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) Minor Research Project / Internship. JAIST is an intensive research institute and was established in 1990. The internship itself is funded by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), a government agency. Through this internship, JAIST works to create leaders capable of contributing to the making of a future world by contributing valuable in science and technology, through its most advanced education and research in an ideal academic environment.
Bennet Benny, a B.Sc. Physics, 2nd Year student at SRM University, AP won the Sakura Internship Program 2019 at JAIST recently. Under the guidance of Prof. Ranjit Thapa, Bennet had applied for the internship in March 2019 and his internship period was between 16th December and 24th December, 2019. Bennet’s focus under the supervision of Prof. Ryo Maezono of JAIST was on electronic structure calculations using DFT and QMC computational methods on one of the supercomputers located at JAIST. Before proceeding to Japan, Bennet was supported by SRM University, AP faculty who recommended books and reading material to familiarise himself with the complex topics that he was going to work on at JAIST.
For Bennet, the internship was an excellent opportunity to learn more deeply about quantum mechanics, which analyses properties of materials at the atomic and subatomic levels. At JAIST, he was joined by five other students from Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia and each of the interns was assigned a workplace with a PC at their disposal. For starters, they were then taught the basics of Linux commands and about parallel computing. These skills were later used to run the simulations of Density-functional Theory and Quantum Monte Carlo. The internship helped Bennet to get aware of computational physics, its advantages, uses and the latest research around it. He was especially thrilled about the opportunity to see and be given access to the supercomputers that are housed at JAIST.
More importantly, Bennet counts the opportunity to experience a new and unique culture and to meet and work with people from different nations as a huge source of learning. He got a chance to meet people from different nationalities such as Japan, Indonesia, and China through the course of his internship, which was also his first experience of travelling to a foreign country. Experiencing a new culture and gaining a new perception of education in Japan, he was able to gain the motivation and inspiration to work hard to pursue his higher education and research. Outside of the rigorous internship work, the students were given a guided tour of the beautiful city of Kanazawa, where they visited the Kanazawa castle and the Kenroku-en Gardens, which is known as one of the three perfect gardens of Japan.
Bennet feels the combined experience will be beneficial for his budding career. The opportunity has provided him with the chance to develop many skills that could help him to work in one of the research laboratories at SRM University, AP and also to start the pursuit of his research work. The internship allowed him to gain exposure in a new field and he now intends to implement this learning to his original goal of pursuing a Masters in High Energy Physics. He feels every student should grab all the opportunities that SRM University, AP presents and utilise it rather than dither at the thought of the challenges that come with it.
It is said that excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better than before. That means it is a journey, and there is no overnight success and no short cuts to excellence. Agniswar Paul’s pathway to excellence has found a new direction since he joined SRM University, AP. Agniswar is a 3rd-year Electronics Communication Engineering Undergrad student at SRM AP and has been working on research and developing technologies that can help people in meaningful ways.
Agniswar states that prior to joining SRM University, AP he had no exposure to technology or programming experience at all but had a vision in mind that he wanted to make himself capable enough to achieve his career goals. With this objective, he has been working relentlessly on building his skill sets through his course work and his experience at the Next Tech Lab. His focus is on using the Internet of Things (IoT) to develop solutions relevant to society. He regards the founders of Next Tech Lab Anshuman Pandey and Aditya as his mentors who have guided him continuously on the abilities he needs to develop to make the most of working at the Lab.
The first project Agniswar worked on was Plant Coin. In this exciting and socially relevant project, he helped develop a product wherein sensors detect whether a particular plant requires to be watered. When this point is triggered, 10 registered users simultaneously receive an SMS on their mobile phones. The person who waters the plant first gets reward points, thus gamifying the simple task of watering plants. The plan is to scale this to a level where people get more involved with caring for plants and trees, which would immensely benefit the environment.
His next stop was a project to help farmers. Almost 2/3rd of the Indian population is dependent on agriculture, and most of this workforce is marginalised farmers who can use all the help they can get from technology. Alongside 3 other Lab members, Agniswar initiated a project that would reduce the uncertainties around weather and water management for farmers, thus improving their ability to plan as well as meet untoward developments. Timely information about the weather and related matters was a vital element of this solution. Working on this project for 5 months led to getting the product ready, and they are writing a research paper on it. The article got accepted for publication in the IEEE Journal, one of the world’s largest technical professional organisation dedicated to advancing technology. The publication was not a modest achievement. IEEE has a very rigorous screening process with reviews by 10-15 members who score the submissions between -3 to 3. If the paper is accepted, then it is presented by the authors at a research conference. Agniswar’s team presented the paper at a conference in IIT Kanpur in July 2019, which he counts as excellent exposure.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Agniswar published a second paper, which was accepted in September 2019, for which he attended a research conference in November 2019 in Singapore. This paper wrote on the intelligence of robotics. Currently, he is working on his third research paper which involves combing IoT with augmented reality. The fusion of IoT & augmented reality promises to be immensely helpful for students who use equipment to run experiments.
Besides such projects, Agniswar has participated in 4 Hackathons so far, and his team has won every one of them. These were the Los Angeles Hacks, San Francisco Hacks, Developer Week, and Minerva.
Last semester Agniswar went to the University of California, Berkeley (one of the world’s most renowned technology school) and became a part of Robotics Lab. After a rigorous screening and interviewing process, he was accepted by the lab to work there for three months.
For students like Agniswar who was intent on pursuing research and real-life projects, SRM University, AP offers a conducive environment where students like him can push their limits, gain exposure, and have a real impact. This research focus and encouragement of students like Agniswar make SRM University, AP one of the most dynamic centres for learning for those who want to pursue excellence as a way of life and see their work have a meaningful impact.
What are my career options after completing my BA?
Find yourself asking: after BA, what next? You’re not the only one. In science-and-tech-obsessed India, a bachelors in arts or a BA is often portrayed as a “lesser” option. Some parents even dissuade their children from an education in the arts, despite the student’s keen interest in a subject like history, political science, or English literature. The common assumption is that job prospects after a BA are poor. So, is that true? Absolutely not! As you will see through this article, your career options after a BA are rich and promising, with high-paying jobs after BA a reality. Apart from debunking the myth that a BA is a bad career choice, we would also want to stress on the importance of choosing your Bachelor’s degree according to your interest area, rather than what people think is popular. This way, you lay the foundation for a long and rewarding career that actually sustains your interest!
But first, what do I study in a BA?
In India, a BA degree is either a Pass course, in which you study a mix of subjects or an honours degree which specializes in one subject, such as a BA (Honours) in Political Science. Again, a BA Pass degree is regarded as inferior to an Honours degree, but fresh thinking suggests a Pass or multidisciplinary Bachelors may actually be useful from a career point of view because it trains you in many subjects. A Bachelors in Arts degree covers subjects in Liberal Arts, such as
- Languages, such as Hindi, English, Sanskrit, French and more
- Social Sciences, such as Economics, Political science, History, Psychology
- Humanities, such as English literature, Maths, Philosophy, Statistics, Journalism, and Fine Arts
What are Maths and Economics doing in a Bachelor of Arts?
Fun fact: Economics and Maths are traditionally recorded as Liberal Arts rather than science disciplines! Many colleges still offer a BA, rather than a BSc, in Maths. Since economics is a science about society, and since Maths is closely linked with music and art – think about fields like beats, dimension, perspective, and geometry – both of these are considered Arts subjects!
Where should I enrol for my BA?
Enrolling at a good college for your BA is important because this will give you a competitive advantage. If you’re planning to apply to a BA, work hard and ensure you have a good score in Class 12th so you can get the college and subject of your choice. Some of the best colleges for a BA in India are:
- Lady Sri Ram College, University of Delhi. Best for English, Economics, Maths, Psychology, Statistics, and Journalism
- St Stephen’s College, University of Delhi. Best for English, Philosophy, History, and Political Science
- Presidency College, Kolkata. Best for Political Science
- Christ Church University, Bangalore. Best for English and Economics
- Fergusson College, Pune. Best for Economics
- Loyola College, Chennai. Best for English, Economics, and Statistics
- SRM University, Andhra Pradesh. Best for Interdisciplinary Bachelors. You can customize 6-7 courses across Arts and Science disciplines.
- Ambedkar University, New Delhi. Best for Psychology and Fine Arts
- MS University Baroda. Best for Fine Arts
- Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Best for BA in German, Spanish and other languages.
What are my career options after graduation in arts?
Like we’ve seen, the range of subjects covered under a BA degree are vast. Your career scope after a BA program will depend on your choice of subjects to a great extent. For example, A bachelors in English or communication will help you make a career in the media, while a BA in Statistics will prepare you for a career in insurance and risk management. However, one advantage of doing a BA is that your career choices are quite fluid; so, you can always for a career in advertising after a political science degree or pursue an MBA after an Honours in English. Based on whether you want to pursue advanced studies, or look for a job right after your BA, here are some career options:
Which is the best course after graduation in arts?
The best course is the one which most suits your interest and skills. Here are a few options you can choose from.
MA/ MPhil in your subject
In case you want to pursue a career in higher education and research, opt for a Master’s in your subject. You can be eligible to teach in a college after an MA if you qualify the National Eligibility Test (NET). You can further pursue an MPhil/ PhD from universities, such as University of Delhi, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, and SRM University, Amravati. Ever since the Sixth Pay Commission, educationists get very rewarding salaries.
Starting monthly salary for an ad-Hoc college professor: Rs 50,000 for a central university
Bachelors in Education
If you would like to teach at a school, you can pursue a Bachelors in Education, which is typically a two-year course. A B Ed qualifies you for school teaching, which is both lucrative and emotionally rewarding since you get to mentor the youth of tomorrow.
Starting monthly salary: Rs 25,000 upwards for pre-primary teachers; Rs 35,000 upwards for primary teachers
After your 3-year B. A degree, you can appear for the Common Law Aptitude Test (CLAT) which enables you to get into a Bachelors of Law (LLB) program. After specializing in civil, criminal, corporate, or intellectual property law, you can join either a district or high court as a lawyer, or even work for the legal department of a firm. Where: National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore; Symbiosis Law School, Indian Law College (ILS), Pune; MSU, Baroda
Starting monthly salary: Varies greatly, starting from Rs 20,000 for a lawyer at a districts court
Students often ask: can I do an MBA after a BA in English or History? Of course, you can! A graduate from any discipline can apply for an MBA after a BA. You will be required to take the CAT for the IIMs and other entrance exams for institutes such as the IIMs, and other exams for institutes like XLRI, Jamshedpur and Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. A great option for MBA after your BA is MICA (once known as the Mudra Institute Communications, Ahmedabad) which offers an MBA in Marketing and Advertising. In an MBA, you can specialize in options such as finance, marketing, human resources, foreign trade, and more. Depending on your specialization, you can work as a manager in various departments of Indian and multinational companies, such as American Express bank, tech giants like Google and Intel technologies, and consulting firms like KPMG and Deloitte. Choose a specialization allied with your strengths to get the most out of your MBA degree.
Starting monthly salary: Graduates from tier-1 colleges like IIM Ahmedabad and ISB can expect a monthly average salary of Rs 1,25,000.
Postgraduate courses and diplomas in journalism
Have a distinctive voice and want to make it heard? A master or postgraduate diploma in business journalism after your B. Com prepares from institutes such as the Asian College of Journalism (ACJ), Chennai, and Indian Institute of Mass Communications (IIMC), Delhi prepares you for a career in print, TV, or digital media! You can work as a reporter, writer, or editor with a newspaper, news agency, TV channel, or website, depending on your preference and specialization. Popular employers in India are the Times Group, the Indian Express, TV18, and NDTV.
Starting monthly salary: Reputable print and digital media outlets pay a starting salary ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs 40,000. For TV channels, the salary can go up to Rs 60,000.
Masters in Social Work
If you want to make a difference to the world around you, a Masters in Social Work is a good option. This course prepares you for a career with non-profits, in the corporate social responsibility arms of MNCs, healthcare, and counselling, depending on your stream of specialization. The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, as well as the Department of Social Work, University of Delhi offer very reputable Masters in Social Work (MSW) degrees.
Starting monthly salary: Rs 20,000 with small non-profits to Rs 50,000 and upwards for large non-profits, MNCs, hospitals, and governmental organizations.
What if I want to apply for a job after my BA?
You have many options here too. Some great options are listed below.
Government jobs after BA
Government jobs after a BA are a good option. A BA is especially useful in preparing you for the Indian Administrative Exams (IAS), and the Provincial Civil Services Exam (PCS) as many questions in the preliminary exams cover subjects such as Indian politics, history, and general knowledge. Most such competitive exams for the Central and state government require only a Bachelor’s degree, so they are always a good option.
Hot tip: Though subjects like political science and history are evergreen options for government exams, specializing in subjects like Sanskrit or Philosophy is also a good choice, since these subjects are high scoring.
Monthly salary range: Upwards of Rs 50,000 for IAS and PCS.
After your BA, you can take the NDA (If you are under 19) or CDS (between the ages of 19 and 24) recruitment exams to join the defence forces. Apart from numerous perks, the monthly salary ranges for the lieutenant rank in the army is upwards of Rs 50,000 (basic pay).
You can also take bank exams to join public sector banks, such as Bank of Baroda and Punjab National Bank, or the separate RBI exam for the Reserve Bank of India. The RBI exam is a great option, though quite competitive.
Starting monthly salary: upwards of Rs 38,000 for probationary officers (PO) in banks, Rs 68,000 for RBI Grade B officers (including basic pay and benefits)
Journalism is a great career option after a BA in English. You can join a newspaper, television channel, or digital outlet as a reporter right after your graduation; though without a postgraduate diploma in journalism, you may be required to take an editing and general knowledge test. Remember to brush up on your language skills and reading before taking such an exam!
Starting monthly pay: Rs 25,000 upwards
Writing for a website, blog, or business is a good option, especially if you are creative and good at secondary research. It helps if you establish a niche, such as education, lifestyle, business, or healthcare and specialize in it. You can work with businesses from Amazon to Myntra to Nykaa to Microsoft as a content writer. Often, you may be required to undertake a writing test.
Starting monthly salary: Depending on the size of the outfit, this can range from 15,000 to Rs 40,000 for Microsoft and Nykaa
Have a knack for coming up with catchy hashtags and memorable slogans? You have a good chance of joining an ad agency as a copywriter right after your BA. Most ad agencies, such as Leo Burnett, Ogilvy and Mather, and Dentsu will require you to take a copy test to evaluate your creativity and language skills.
Starting monthly pay: Rs 20,000 upwards
An executive with a multinational corporation
If you have a BA in subjects like Economics, Statistics, or Maths, you can join an MNC as an antry-level associate, consultant, or executive. Companies such as Price Waterhouse Cooper, JP Morgan, and McKinsey often hire freshers.
Starting monthly pay: Rs 30,000 upwards
Whether it be news agencies, NGOs, or corporates, all organizations require researchers who can collect, process, and archive data. You can join news organizations such as NDTV, NGOs such as CRY and Goonj, or MNCs like Gartner as a researcher right after your BA.
Starting monthly pay: Rs 15, 000 (for small non-profits) to Rs 20,000 upwards (for larger NGOs, media agencies, and MNCs)
Have a BA in French, Spanish, Japanese, Urdu, or Sanskrit? Or are you fluent in more than one language and have a flair for translation? You can work as a translator for a publishing house, a multinational corporation, travel agencies, and embassies. Fluency in foreign languages, especially those that are tough to master, such as Japanese, can be especially lucrative.
Starting monthly salary: Rs 20,000 (for publishing houses) to Rs 40,000 upwards (for large translation agencies and MNCs)
All large organizations and many smaller ones have public relations arms, so there is no shortage of PR and marketing jobs. A Bachelors in English or communications presents an additional advantage in getting a job in public relations, marketing, and sales. Though starting salaries in these fields may be low, the ramp up can be fast if you exhibit good language, communication, and sales skills.
Starting monthly salary: Rs 15,000 upwards for small organizations to Rs 30,00 and more for larger companies
Graphic designer or illustrator
In a world increasingly attuned to the visual medium, this option is perfect for those with a Bachelors in Fine Arts. Advertising agencies, production houses, design and branding studios, as well as media houses, often require illustrators, so brush up your portfolio!
Starting monthly salary: Rs 25,000 and upwards
With all these options around, a Bachelor in Arts can be a hidden advantage, especially since studying humanities and liberal arts subjects often hone your communications skills and emotional quotient, factors that go a long way in building a fruitful career.