We live in a highly competitive as well as organized society. Its ever-increasing needs can only be met by expert or specialized knowledge. The specialist is in very great demand today and has rare opportunities for self-advancement. This has created a variety of new openings for our young men and even women.
Formerly a clerk was a sort of a general assistant, an all-purpose hand in the office work. Now there has to be a stenographer, a typist, an accountant, a despatcher and even a computer expert. Division of labour has gone up.
Thus, the modern Youngman has a wide range of choice. The engineer or technician, the administrative officer, welfare or health-officer, the caretaker, personal assistant and the sundries. Today each one of these has a number of subordinate departments. A lawyer can specialise in income tax, or sales-tax, or company law or labour disputes in industrial or TADA courts, in Consumers Forum, or Lok-Adalat as he may be interested in.
Apart from these ‘white, collar’ jobs, confined to managerial departments, a young Indian today can, if he is adventurous and ambitious enough, to turn to the armed forces for a career. He can join the army, the navy, or the air forces. He can qualify to be an officer or an engineer, expert in electronic, computer or a medical practitioner or a Chartered Accountant. The need of military personnel to take over the duties formerly was monopolized by a handful section. The Universities provide opportunities for various training courses today.
If the candidate has a mechanical aptitude, he can train himself to be a technologist. Modern India has set a large number of centres for teaching the technical sciences. An Indian can be an expert in jute technology or in ceramics or pharmaceutical, in the different branches of electrical or chemical engineering; in railways, aeronautical, or motor or electronic engineering. There is a rush in our colleges for admission to the science classes where one gets the basic education that entitles one to go up to these technological institutes. With the programme for rapid industrialization before us, the demand is always growing.
Another wide range of selection is open to our commerce graduates. They can go up for higher accountancy like costing and auditing, banking and insurance and statistics. Each of these departments needs the services of trained experts.
The civil services attract the more brilliant Youngman and women of our universities. Today for most of these services recruitment is undertaken through the Public Service Commissions on the basis of competitive examinations. From the post office assistant to that of superior administrative officer—there is a wide field. Business Management is another lucrative line that attracts quite a few now.
Music and the theatricals as also cinematograph have always been professions that afforded opportunities of earning something more than mere livelihood to the talented few. But with the invention and improvement of photography, sound technical devices and the electronic media like TV and Radio, fresh openings have been created for Youngman and women. There is another department—that of sports—in which professionalism is beginning to offer opportunities for a career. Professionalism in sports will soon afford respectable livelihood to many promising young players and athletes.
Teaching, though financially not so attractive, continues to be popular. From the humble teacher in Primary schools to the learned lecturer at the University, a teacher always feels that he is building the nation. If there is less money in the profession, there is more respect. Here also there is greater scope for those who have taken special training in the art of teaching.
A new career is opening up in the diplomatic line. The country needs them. The foreign servicemen are mainly recruited through competitive exams. Apart from career as ambassadors in the international sphere of national diplomatic services, the UNO provides attractive scope for talented Young man and women.
A recent development is the increasing opportunities that women now have for useful occupations. Not only are they accepted and welcomed as teachers and office supervisors but they are finding other careers in increasing numbers. We have women lawyers and journalists, engineers, accountants, computer-experts and so on; women are in the political and diplomatic fields also.
We have had women as Vice-Chancellor and as Judges of High Court, even commercial pilots, military officers and project chiefs. Here our country is marching ahead of some of the most advanced nations of the West.
It is true that some professions, which used to be remunerative in the past have ceased to be so. Thus, priesthood is gradually ceasing to be attractive. Money-lending also is soon going to be a relic of past, though others seem to have a new lease of life, e.g., the profession of the astrologer or the religious preceptor. Hundreds of new openings are, however, being created so that, on the whole, we can say that the young people of today are much more happily placed in the job market than those of the past generation.
But the Report of the Mondal Commission, that recommends reservation of a large percentage of Govt. and semi-Govt. jobs for the scheduled castes and tribes, has now been largely accepted. As a result, scope for jobs with handsome salary is becoming more and more restricted for the upper caste boys and girls. However, career is more or less open to talent or merit in India still now.