Back-to-school lessons that hold significance in adult life

The most fun phase of your life is when you are at school or studying in college. You may nod your head in disagreement but trust us – you will say “yes” to this as you grow older and realize your problems as a student were nothing as compared to the mammoth of situations you deal with as an adult.

For 10th and 12th class students, the next few months are tough. Pre-boards, practical tests, viva and then board exams – that’s how the timeline is for most of you. As far as the college-going students are concerned, you have either joined a new institute or are about to join.

Whatever the situation is, it is a new beginning or the start of a new life. It is rather exciting for students of all ages. This is the reason why we have decided to impart a few life lessons that will be handy to you once you become a part of the society as an adult.

There is nothing to feel demotivated or scared about it. Everyone grows up and everyone has to deal with various kinds of situations. So let us not keep you in the dark anymore. Here is a list of 5 lessons you must always remember even after you grow out of the student phase:

Read more

mobile-microlearning-career-opportynity

Career Opportunities For 12th Class Science Students With PCM

Life for 12th class Science (PCM) students in India is tough. The pressure to get into the best engineering college or enroll in a medical program is too much to bear. Parents are worried. Teachers expect too much. There are home assignments, practical tests and multiple projects to squeeze in one tiny academic year.

Students often get de-motivated or under confident because of the workload and the overwhelming attention they receive (from everyone else) for no rhyme or reason! Trust us: choosing the right course is not easy. And it is always nice to have some options handy – whether the others like it or not.

You never know which program turns out to be the most appropriate for you and that helps you to achieve your professional goals? So don’t get disheartened if you are not going to pursue the streams your peers are interested in or your parents prefer.

Moreover, the fascination with “engineering” and “medicine”, on the whole, has taken a dip among students in classes 11 & 12. Whether it is due to scarcity of job opportunities in the market or lack of interest—students are now looking beyond engineering and medical courses.

Please remember, it is all about you in the end. You are the one who has to study and sit for exams. So yes – we understand the stress that every Science student goes through. This is why we have decided to list down alternative career options that can be pursued by you.

Have a look:


Biotechnology

A combination of biology and technology, this field of study is widely applied in environmental, agricultural, chemical & energy and pharmaceutical studies. Popular courses you can opt for include Bachelor’s in Industrial Biotechnology, Bioinformatics or Diploma in Biotechnology.

You can be a forensic DNA analyst, microbiologist or a greenhouse and field technician—options are many! Hence, if you are really passionate about organism life, you should take up Biotechnology. A lot of students are now opting for this field because of the varied opportunities it offers.

Thankfully, we have a bucket full of universities that excel at this particular field of study. So make sure you choose the most convenient option.


Pharmacy

A Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy is a 4-year program and gives the students an opportunity in both public and private sectors. If you want to further specialize, you can also enroll yourself for a Master’s course and enable yourself to do the following job professions:

  • Drug Technician
  • Bio-Technology Industries
  • Drug Therapist
  • Pharmacist
  • Health Inspector
  • Research & Development
  • Pathologist
  • Research Officer
  • Scientist

There are many educational institutes in the country who offer exceptional programs in Pharmacy. Some of the most popular universities are J.S.S. College of Pharmacy, Delhi Institutes of Pharmaceutical Sciences & Research, Amrita School of Pharmacy and Banaras Hindu University.


Architecture

Love buildings, designs and other structures? Well, architecture is perfect for you. This field of study is not just about constructing buildings, it also takes care of structural integrity, ventilation, lighting, air conditioning system, electrical system and even fire safety!

The job of an architect is to create a multi-dimensional plan for buildings and structures. You can either work with the government or join a private agency. Opt for a Bachelor’s in Architecture Engineering or do a Diploma in Architecture Assistantship—opportunities are many!

Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology University (CEPT) in Ahmedabad is one of the best universities for Architectural studies. You might want to check it out some time!


Information Technology

Our lives revolve around technology. And this field is so dynamic that what was “in” thing last year has already evolved and moved on to the next level. So one has to constantly stay abreast of the new trends and software. So basically – the IT industry is a lot of fun!

A combination of telecommunication and computer equipment, IT includes controlling, gathering, retrieving and storing information after processing, along with manipulating and transmitting data and analytics.

After pursuing a degree in Information Technology, you can find a job as a Web Designer, Software Developer, Technology Engineer, Programmer, Quality Analyst and PHP Developer to name a few. Being a geek is cool these days. Plus, getting into this field will help you earn big bucks too – think about it!


Don’t forget to use Oust

Yeah! Amidst all the chaos, the bustle and noise and the stress – please remember to prepare for PCM on the app. We have a large question bank and you can make complete use of it. Finish the modules, improve your time management skills and of course, gain lots of confidence.

Download the app HERE.

 

Good luck!

The Mysteries Of Placements And How To Solve Them

Placements have kept many a graduates up way past their bedtimes. This is what they’ve been working hard for and this is what will make the four years of slogging count. But, they’re not easy. Like everything students have been through in college, placements and their procedures are enigmas to crack. But, unlike the other mysteries that accompany every college experience, you just have a single chance to get this right.

What exactly are placement procedures?

Every year, from January to Graduation, the placement fever takes over college campuses all across the subcontinent. Conversations surrounding everything else take a back seat and the one question on everybody’s mind is, “Who will make it this year?”

If we were to believe the maxims we’ve been taught all throughout our lifetimes, nothing is impossible. Just like a particularly hard question on an absurd differential equation, placements can be tackled in a systematic manner by keeping a few things in mind.

These are-

Placement Tests

These are most often the first step in the Selection process. They provide companies with an efficient way to check the technical knowledge of an applicant. They also are concise methods of eliminating applicants that are not suitable for the available position, on the primary level. These skills are often categorised into either ability tests or aptitude tests and both of these types are easily conquered with a simplified and diligent approach.

The only way to easily get past this formidable (seemingly?) barrier is practise.Take a month to regularly practise and you’ll be moving on to the harder stages of the placement procedure in no time. Apart from the more common ability and aptitude tests, certain companies also prefer testing an applicant’s preferences through means of Interest tests, handwriting through Graphology tests etc.

Sell yourself like a marketing executive

Before an actual interview, all applicants are represented by their respective resumes and curriculum vitaes. Take as much time as you want but, get it perfect. This is important because remember first impressions are always the last impressions. Clumsily formatted CVs with abundant spelling mistakes and typographic errors are likely to hinder all your chances of getting to the Interview round.  Research the companies you’re applying to and the job profiles you’re applying for.

Edit and customise your resume on the basis of these. Do not fall into the trap of complacency and get your CV reviewed by close friends, family and acquaintances well established in the professional spectrum. Once you’re completely sure about your CV, move onwards to your Facebook account.

With the advent of social networking, companies have begun scanning through the social media accounts of prospective employees. This provides the employers with a deeper insight into the life they lead outside of the Conference room they’re being interviewed in. Clean your Facebook account and remove everything that is questionable to your suitability as an employee. Also, be ready to be questioned on each and everything mentioned in your CV.

Know what to say

Once you’re done selling yourself, it’s time to come face to face with the Kraken. This is perhaps one of the most important steps in the Selection process and needs your undivided attention. Hence, we’ll divide this further into “what to say” and “how to say it. “What to say” deals with the kinds of questions you are likely to be asked. These can range     from simplified questions about your past work experiences, technical knowledge to convoluted questions about your future goals and ambitions.

The only way to be confident about what you’re saying is to be well prepared. Look up and write down the answers to some of the most frequently asked Interview questions. Ask friends and family to practice with you and research all probable counters and derivatives of the statements you’re making and the stances you’re taking. As far as questions based on academic prowess are concerned, know that companies are not looking for students that can solve complex questions as quickly as possible.

Instead, they’re looking for employees that are well versed with the basics of their respective fields and understand the real world applications of theoretical concepts.

Know how to say it

Once you’re done with worrying about what to say, the next step is to work on how to say it. Regardless of how smart you are or how structured your answers are, the confidence with which you present them is what matters the most. Work on it. Dress appropriately for the interview and don’t go overboard with the aesthetic, especially not on the cost of comfort. Work endlessly on your spoken english skills, your handshake and posture. Learn how to stand by your words and not fumble even under the most intense gazes. Also, learn how to accept a mistake with grace and humility.

With the pace of today’s world, an hour everyday for preparation is hard to come by. To-be-graduates have several other things on their to-do-lists and hence, diligence and perseverance are virtues that have been reduced down to mythical elements that invoke a unfamiliar nostalgia.

Oust, with it’s user friendly interface allows students an effective platform to practise and master skills necessary for placement tests in an easy and time-saving manner. The app has several interactive exercises that seek to reduce the plight of preparation to an enjoyable experience. Effectively planned sessions ensure that all the time a user spends in travelling on public transport, waiting in never-ending queues and other ludicrous pursuits does not go to waste and students can perform to the best of their abilities on the day that counts.

So, even though placement season is perhaps one of the scariest times for a to-be-graduate, it’s nothing but another battle that can be easily won with an efficient utilisation of time and the resources available.

Top 5 Employability Skills For Recent Graduates

Employability is perhaps one of the most ambiguous words out there. It is used in several contexts and is often interpreted as the ability of a student to bag a job right out of college. But with the growing number of applicants that are well versed in the traditional theoretical and practical knowledge they are presented with inside the classroom, it has come to mean something not entirely different but, broader in application and understanding.

Today, employability refers to a set of skills and achievements that ensure being hired but, also being successful in the long-run and profitable to the workplace and the chosen profession. It includes academic prowess but, also several personal attributes that can make an individual stand out from the prolific pool of applicants.

The Economic Policy Institute, a think tank based out of Washington DC in the United States, reported(1) that the unemployment rate for students that graduated in 2015 was a whopping 7.2% whereas 14.9% of the total number of graduates was underemployed i.e. working in positions that were below their skill level. These statistics are representative of the growing competition for jobs and how the slightest of skills can make the largest of differences.

Hence, these ‘employability’ skills can be detrimental to the vocational future of the students.

Several research organizations including the National Association of Colleges and Employers, a non-profit organization that links universities in the United States with employers, have delved deep into these employability skills that are absolutely essential for recent graduates.

These organizations collected data from over 260 of the largest employers in the United States and hence can be accredited to be a fair representation of the general opinion.  These lists most frequently include the following:

1. Ability to be a team player and collaborate

All workplaces are characterized by a number of employees working towards the fulfillment of organizational objectives. These employees come from various backgrounds and have eclectic interests. Hence, the ability of a new recruit to cooperate and coordinate his/her efforts with that of the team is of vital importance. Furthermore, new employees are often placed in groups and therefore the importance of  team spirit cannot be understated.

2. Time Management

We’ve all heard the maxim, “Time is money.” This is perhaps truer in the 21st century than at any other point of time in the history of the World.  Time Management is crucial for planning and prioritizing assignments. It also improves employee productivity and their decision-making skills. The ability to achieve more in a shorter span separates under-achieving graduates with the employable ones.

3. Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills are the skills we use to communicate with others.  They are imperative for the fulfilment of team objectives and also to maintain a positive workplace and social presence. Informal communication channels form an important part of a business and hence, being an able communicator with highly refined interpersonal skills goes a long way. The ability to communicate is also important for the influence an employee holds over the customers.

4. Technical Skills

These skills are important for higher employee productivity. These include the ability to scrutinize quantitative data, the ability to research and obtain information from varied sources, write and edit reports and proficiency in certain standard computer softwares and the technical knowledge related to the job.

5. Leadership

In the fluctuating economic environment within which most organizations operate, the ability to lead when the situation calls for it becomes what differentiates employable students from the rest of the student population. That is why companies often seek out empathetic, innovative and confident employees.

6. Spirit of Creative Inquiry

Gone are the days of  restricted competition and uninformed consumers. With the advent of the digital revolution and social networking, consumers are astutely aware of the range of products available and the startup bubble has spiked the market with innovative never-before-thought-of goods and services. As a result, creative inquiry and spirit of innovation have become the most important skills to have.

Companies need to think of singular products and services to differentiate themselves from the abundance of producers in the market. In such circumstances, employees that can think beyond predetermined norms and have an out-of-the-box outlook to their work reach the top of the employability standards.

These skills are essentially gained from everything students go through in their quotidian pursuits. Interacting with a diverse student body, being proactive in teams and extra-curricular societies, completing assignments in a timely manner and performing well in academics instills these skills in prospective employees. But, with the increasing competition, it is important to refine these skills to their optimum level.

Hence, Oust provides students a platform that under timed circumstances, allow them to nurture their time-management skills. With interactive games that aim at educating the masses through creative interactions, Oust provides its users ample opportunities to interact with friends and peers and in the process enhances their interpersonal skills.

The level of determination required to regularly interact with the creative interface and the variety of challenges available improve the students’ persevering abilities and forces them to find creative solutions at each stage.  Thus, making the users more employable!

oust get hired

Pick A Course That Really Matches Your Interests

Selecting a course of choice is one of the toughest decisions a student has to make in his or her academic life. And it is not just the course, it is also about from where you want to study and how you would like to go about it.

For a few “sorted” students, choosing a course is simple. What they want to do is something very specific – maybe, study medicine or engineering. For them, it is almost a job they have to take up as soon as they finish school.

But a majority of students tend to choose a course depending upon the grades they score in school – rather than do something that really interests them. To make matters worse – sometimes the pressure is so immense from both family and peers that it becomes impossible to feel confident about the decision.

So how does one choose a course that is perfect for them? It’s simple! Just go through the following points:

1. Note down your interests and skills

Ask yourself a lot of questions such as “What’s your personality like?” “Where do your interests lie?” “What is your Plan of Action for the next 3 years?”, etc. Draw up a list of work-related values and skills. A combination of answers will push you in the right direction and help you in figuring out the course that works best for you.

When you sit down to evaluate yourself, you will learn a lot about yourself and the outcome might surprise you! You could also take the help of a career counselor to help you take various assessment tests.

(Follow this Quora profile to get the best advice on education and career from our very own team member! :))

2. Ask yourself “3 Ws”:

Why that course?

Do yoU want to improve your career by extending your skill set? If the answer is yes, then you should choose a course that adds to your existing skills. Also, consider prospective careers & opportunities and try to gauge if you would really be interested in them.

What are you really interested in?

It is really important to sit down and think about what you want to study. Is it because you can see an exciting career ahead? Or is it something your parents want you to study? Are you sure you aren’t choosing that course because all your peers too have opted for it?

Where would you like to study?

Would you want to study while enjoying the comforts of your home? Or would you rather go out, move to a different city and live in a hostel where there are more opportunities for you to learn lessons the hard way?

3. Do your research

You need to sit down and narrow down all your options that are really worth it and of course, sound practical. Read student blogs or go to online forums to see what others have to say about the courses. Talk to your seniors and even take advice of your professors.

4. Prioritize!

You may find the perfect course, University and city! But please remember to take the final decision only after you have considered the costs such as tuition fee, accommodation and food expenses, travel rates, etc. You have get your finances in place first.

5. Career prospects

Studying overseas can be difficult, especially if you are undertaking the studies over an education loan. So think of it as an investment for your future and that also means your salary. Figure out where other international students have worked after graduation. Is there any active alumni network? Are there enough opportunities to meet industry leaders and entrepreneurs during your course?

6. Check out the curriculum

You might have picked up a field of engineering, but what if it requires you to study bio-medical or genetic engineering as well – something you aren’t comfortable with? So if you want to work on robots rather than human body parts, look minutely into the course content and subjects.

7. You can always change your mind

 NEVER think that if you have made a decision, you cannot undo it. Talk to the student counselors and see if there are options out there for you. Don’t spend next 4-5 years staring at the textbooks you have no interest in at all.

You need to remember just one thing: “Keep that passion alive!”

Is taking a gap year really worth it?

“Gap year” is that 1 year timeframe where students take a break after completing school to travel, take up a vocational course or even pick up an internship! This term, although popular in western countries, has the potential to invoke responses that range from “being indifferent” to “having a full-fledged battle in some households” – especially in India.

Usually a student takes a gap year for two reasons:

1) He or she is completely exhausted due to extensive school years.

2) He or she wants to take some time off to understand where their interests lie and plan the future accordingly.

And it is a fact that taking a gap year is not for everyone but it still might do wonders for some students. You will agree the debate on “whether or not should one take a gap year” has been going on for a long time which is why it is all the more necessary to analyse the pros and cons of the same.

Have a look:

 PROS

 1. Adds to the experience

Whatever you do in that gap year prepares you better for the University – both academically and socially. People who take a gap year always quip that their family and friends have noticed how much they have changed when they return! A gap year introduces you to so many ideas, cultures and people that it is impossible to stay the same.

 2. It’s a really long holiday

 It will definitely be your longest holiday ever because soon after that you will get sucked into the rigours of dealing with University and then work life!

3. Earning money is possible

You can have a working gap year. You can choose to work at a local school or a radio station to earn for accommodation and food wherever you are.

4. Acquire new skills in the process

Your skill set could range from speaking a new language or learning to rev up a dead car engine. It can be anything! By the way, this will also make your CV look more impressive!

5. Life away from home

There’s no doubt that you will become more independent while staying away from the comfort and luxuries of life! Battling home sickness becomes a lot easier when you are out there on your own – figuring out what you plan to do in the future.

6. Pushes you to meet new people

 Imagine the number of new people you will get to know and interact with in one year! If you are an introvert, then taking a gap year will only force you to come out of your comfort zone and socialize. After all, what’s the fun in being surrounded by the same set of faces and personalities?

7. Work on your aptitude

If you are not traveling or working somewhere in those 12 months, then utilize the time to get cracking on your competitive exams. Oust app offers a range of mental exercises that will enhance your verbal and logical reasoning and keep your mind agile.

To practice while on-the-move, download the app and finish modules diligently. Also, don’t forget to follow the official Facebook page as well.

 CONS

1. It’s expensive

 If you want to travel or be a part of an organized gap programme, then taking such a long off can be a super expensive affair! So get your finances in place.

2. Old friends would have moved on

 When you will come back to see your friends, there’s a high chance of them becoming your seniors at the University and having a different social circle altogether. That might make you feel isolated!

3. Getting back to studies is painful

 It is a little difficult to get into the serious study zone – especially after a 1 year-long break!

4. Being disorganized can be bad

 If you don’t plan those 12 months properly, you might just spend most of the gap year doing literally nothing and that’s not great for your CV.

5. Homesickness can always creep in

Yep. You might regret your decision to spend a year on road and away from family.

6. The break can be stressful!

Sorting out travel plans, scavenging for good internships or picking the right vocational course can be a frustrating process. And when your year doesn’t roll out to be how you wish – it is all the more stressful and of course, demotivating!

There’s no denying that spending time abroad will enhance your CV, make the young person learn valuable skills and ensure an experience of a life time. The advantages of a gap year can’t be touted enough! But a gap year is not for everyone and there are other things you must consider. So if you are thinking of taking a “break” – evaluate your situation before arriving at a decision.