New Delhi: The COVID pandemic has turned our world upside down in the last one year with layoffs and salary cuts becoming common place. In this situation, students and job aspirants are wondering which industries will survive in the future. Awaz, The Voice, spoke to Dr. Sanjib Kumar Acharya, who holds over 20 years of experience in ‘Career Growth and Advancement Training.’ He is an M.Phil. and PhD in International Studies from JNU, did further research on the subject at University of Toronto and Mac Gill University, Montreal, Canada, followed by an MBA in Marketing and HR from New Port University, California.
Which are the professional streams/industries doing well in the COVID pandemic?
COVID has changed the global work scenario; it has created more demand from certain sectors like microbiology, e-healthcare and telecommunications while reducing the same from others like travel and tourism. As we move into a phase where COVID vaccines have been developed and are being administered to the public, everything to do with biomedical sciences -- including chemistry, pharmaceuticals and genetics -- will flourish.
So will the supply-chain management and cold storage handling. As factories (of all kinds of goods) discovered during COVID that production was completely halted when even one manufacturing center was shut down or exports from one country stopped; they started studying supply chains harder to make those risk-free. Similarly, cold storage is required not just to keep food from rotting but also for precious medicines and vaccines.
It was also realized during COVID that when everything closed down, only food kept us alive. Therefore, corporate farming and agricultural marketing are coming up in a big way. The government is also focusing on this. Students can take up studies in any of these disciplines with confidence that these sectors are doing well.
Computers have penetrated deeper into our lives during Work From Home (WFH) in the Pandemic. What are the allied fields job-seekers can look into?
As formal office spaces were disbanded and everyone started WFH, the demand for better call connectivity and internet services went up. This has led to new avenues coming up in telecommunications. Software programmers are much in demand as are mobile application creators. Besides, all desk jobs -- like content development, digital marketing, website development, market research, accounting and financial planning -- are doing well.
Has the pandemic led to more people seeking out investment advisors?
Definitely. Before the pandemic started, people had loose money to spare, but as jobs were taken away and salary cuts became normal, people started thinking how to manage their earnings/savings and secure their future. This is where investment advisors, financial planners and the health insurance/life insurance sector steps in. This demand will only grow.
What about social sciences? Which disciplines are worth taking up in near future?
Definitely psychology and sociology.This pandemic has brought with itself a lot of uncertainty regarding life and death. Besides, lockdowns are extremely unnatural for humans and therefore, mental health issues are going up. Psychologists will be much needed in the coming days. Also, there is a requirement for sociologists to study human behaviour in these abnormal times. Scientists are now considering that after COVID, which is akin to a biological warfare, what if another unthought-of disease arrives or there is a nuclear war, how will humanity shape up in those times.
There is increasing talk about Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics and Machine Learning. Earlier, these were very little heard about…
Absolutely. Artificial Intelligence has given rise to the use of robots in the place of doctors and nurses where going into COVID wards is very risky. Drones have been used to sanitize large areas where sanitation workers could not have gone. Machine learning is providing us invaluable statistical information like how many people above 60 years of age might die of COVID globally. These are emerging fields which combine the knowledge of Computer Application, Mathematics, Statistics all types of engineering. Students can definitely look into these.
How is one supposed to pursue Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics or Machine Learning after standard XII?
The aspirant should have an aptitude for computers and mathematics. They can go for either Bachelors in Technology (B. Tech) in computer science, or Bachelors in Science (B.Sc.) or Bachelors in Computer Application (BCA) with Artificial Intelligence. An in-depth knowledge of computers and programming will become essential in future, considering which even the Ministry of Education in India (formerly MHRD) has made coding and learning PYTHON (a high-level programming language) a compulsory part of the National Education Policy 2020.