Year of makeovers

courses and career revamped

28 December 2011, Wednesday

From CAT to GRE to Green Jobs, this year has been one of makeovers and unique career opportunities. Along with structural and functional changes, these tests have had something positive to offer. SANGEETA YADAV does a total recall of the changed formats and their impact on 2011

Is it true that the world of work is changing? If so, then how does one deal with this transformation? “Awareness and preparedness is the key to this challenge. This year, we have seen many major exams that have been revamped both structurally and functionally. It is a good change that has happened and it is also quite timely. Now, students have a lot to choose from and they can even wager their options. The job field is expanding and there are many institutes that have come up to help students sail through these changed formats,” Dr Aakash Jain from Success Simplified, a career consultant based out of New Delhi tells you about the job scene that was in 2011.

As explained by Jain, many top examinations have gone through a total make-over.
Get the CAT-ch?
In the second quarter of the year, we noticed one of the major makeovers that were due. The CAT had redone its pattern. “There were two significant changes to CAT that were introduced this year. The first change relates to the composition where there will be two sections instead of three. One section will focus on analytical and quantitative abilities. The other section will focus on verbal abilities and logical reasoning. The second change relates to the administration of the exam. Students cannot go back and forth between sections — there is a set time for each section and the student has to abide by the time-limit,” Dr Gurumurthy Kalyanaram, Dean, Amrita School of Business, Coimbatore, compares the old and new formats.
He elaborates that the paper has been divided into two sections to help students manage their time better. Earlier, students spent a lot of time on one section and lost out on the other parts. With two sections, candidates can concentrate on one section for a longer time. “After moving to the next section, students will not be allowed to go back to the previous one. This is a fair and equitable process, a different experience for everyone involved. Coaching centres will have to tailor their methods to suit the new system. The students also have less time now to get used to the new system and would have to go through more intense preparation,” Dr Kalyanaram adds.

NGRE revamp
The Education Testing Services (ETS) announced major changes to GRE Exam from 2011. “There have been some exciting changes that have been introduced. All the three sections have been revised (including verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing). There will be more questions on reading comprehension. This year also saw analogies and antonyms removed from GRE Verbal section all together. The grading scale has gone up from 130 to 170. Apart from these structural changes, the new GRE format was also a breather for students. According to the new rule, test takers will be allowed to use calculators issued by ETS and they can skip back and forth between exam questions. Additionally, no more computer adaptability for every question is required. There is yet another big plus — according to the latest rule book more questions on data analysis will be added,” Aakshat Ray from Career Launcher tells you about the GRE revamp.

Gate-way to success
The IITs and IISc have always tried to innovate and introduce new systems to test the basic knowledge of candidates in various fields. As a part of that innovation, this year many new changes have been made in the GATE exam format.
“In the revised format, there are 21 papers out of which six papers will be online. Last year, we had four online papers — Geology and Geo-Physics (GG), Aerospace Engineering (AE), Textile Engineering and Fabric Science (TF) and Mining Engineering. For the test, this year we have introduced two additional papers which will be conducted online — Architecture and Planning (AR) and Agricultural Engineering (AG). Moreover, there are two types of questions — multiple choice type (each question will have four choices for the answer) and numerical answer type (each question will have a number as the answer and choices will not be given),” Professor Jagdish Kumar, organising Chairman for GATE, tells you.
NNET worth
The National Educational Testing Bureau of University Grants Commission (UGC) conducts NET exam to ascertain the eligibility for lectureship and award Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) to Indian nationals. It is conducted for postgraduate candidates who wish to qualify for admission in PhD research or university level teaching jobs. For humanities students, it is administered by UGC and is referred to as UGC NET. For the science and engineering students, it is jointly conducted by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and UGC and is referred to as CSIR-UGC NET.
This year, the NET exams saw an increase in total number of centres and subjects that one could take the test in.
“This year, we have introduced many new subjects to the older list taking the total to 78. It widens the options that the students have. On the basis of the first half, the student will move to paper III,” says Professor Ved Prakash, chairman, UGC.
Main Concern
The civil services examination had announced changes in syllabus and pattern of the Preliminary Examination from 2011 onwards. According to the new rules, the preliminary examination shall now comprise two compulsory papers of 200 marks each and of two hours duration for each paper.
NGO green
Along with some of the key examinations that have seen a transition, there is a sudden spate of green jobs doing the round. This is by far the most positive trend that the job scene has witnessed.
Increase in global warming and climate change has opened up new avenues in green jobs that helps not only provide solution to these crises by bringing in greater efficiencies in use of energy, water and material but also lead economy to attain green and sustained growth.
“Increase in environment awareness and legislation has added to the demand of environmental litigation, lawyers and policy writers.
“Moreover, the growth of global carbon markets has also proliferated the need for carbon finance consultants, analysts, financiers, carbon accountants, business risk analysts and much more,” Udit Mittal, Managing Director of Unison International, tells you.
Number Game
• Nearly 58 million jobs are expected to be created in the five years from 2007 to 2012 with the non-agriculture sector boosting employment during that period, the Economic Survey tabled in Parliament
• India has witnessed actual average salary increase of 11 per cent in 2011 and is optimistic to see a double digit growth yet another year in 2012 at an average of 12 per cent across levels, according to global management consultancy Hay Group
• An employer survey conducted in December by the recruitment tendering platform MyHiringClub.com has concluded that the job market is expected to see increased hiring in sectors such as information technology in the January-March quarter of 2012
• IT industry association Nasscom predicts that the IT and BPO sectors alone will generate as many as 2.5 lakh jobs next year, most probably by March 2012
• The country’s fast growing power sector has the potential to create as many as six lakh jobs during the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2012-17)
• With 110 million mobile users in India, a career as mobile application programmer holds great opportunities in 2012
• With KPMG anticipating growth of 10 to 15 per cent by 2021, the education sector is providing lucrative career opportunities
• According to the UNEP reports, the wind sector is expected to generate around 1,50,000 to 2,50,000 jobs in India, while solar industry has the potential to create 1,17,000 to 2,35,000 jobs.

Toppers 2011
Medical
According to a Nielsen survey, the top five medical colleges for 2011 are:
• All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi
• Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi
• University College of Medical Science and Research Centre, New Delhi
• Christian Medical College, Vellore
• Armed Forces Medical College, Pune

Engineering
According to the DQ-CMR Top T-Schools Survey 2011, the top five engineering institutes are:
• IIT-Bombay
• IIT-Madras
• IIT-Delhi
• IIT-Kharagpur
• International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad

Management
According to The Best B-Schools Survey 2011 survey, the top five management institutes are:
• Indian Institute of Management— Ahmedabad
• Indian Institute of Management — Bangalore
• Indian School of Business, Hyderabad
• Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta
• XLRI, Jamshedpur

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