Every Indian student dreams of getting admission into a top college, but the stark reality is that these dreams seldom do not come true. With cut-offs for Delhi University soaring again, and entrance exams becoming more and more difficult to crack, their aspirations often come to naught.
However, there is now a way to level the playing field. Self-learning is the new trend that is fast shifting the focus of education from institutes and rote learning pedagogy to an online campus, with no high cut-offs or gruelling entrance exams. Several websites such as Coursera (https:http:www.coursera.org) and edX (https:http:www.edx.org) offer online courses (more than 3000 courses from top universities like Harvard, Stanford and Princeton) without any eligibility requirements. They offer a wide range of options ranging from quantum physics to calculus mathematics to even foreign languages. One can choose a self-paced course to study at one’s own pace. Also, the user can sit at home while taking a course from a professor from a world-class institution like MIT, Stanford, etc.
Apart from online courses, a student can enroll in an add-on programme covering subjects ranging from web designing to cookery. These programmes are skill-based and provide practical knowledge, allowing a student from even an average college, to compete with one from a top institute.Take the case of a student who dreamt of studying in Delhi University since he was a child, but owing to the steep cut offs, could not secure a seat, but he can still realise his dream through the School Of Open Learning (DU) (https:sol.du.ac.inSOLSiteHome.aspx). A student who got pushed into an engineering college against his will can still pursue his passion of cooking through the Delhi Institute of Hotel Management (http:www.dihm.net). An amateur photographer can join the DU Photographers’ Club (http:www.facebook.comdupcmail); an art enthusiast can become a part of the Triveni Kala Sangam (http:trivenikalasangam.com); a budding linguist can do a language course in French from Alliance Francaise de Delhi (http:delhi.afindia.org) or German from Max Mueller Bhavan (http:www.goethe.deinsinenned.ht ml) and many more. A variety of science courses can be pursued from top colleges in DU like Hindu, SGTB, Khalsa, Ramjas, etc., and if you are interested in commerce, then there are courses offered by JMC, Gargi, Ramjas, etc. That’s not all, there re Stock Market, Export-Import, Retail Manage ment, Writing and many more such courses available online and the list is endless.
The options don’t end here, there are several internship options offering valuable work experience, organisations such as AIESEC (http:www.aiesec.in), Intershala (http:www.intershala.com ), Letsintern (http:www.letsintern.com ) offer a huge selection of companies looking for interns in India and abroad. For example, in the modern world, internet has become a basic necessity and this has led to a surge in Digital Marketing.Doing an internship in Digital Marketing not only gives one experience, but also piques one’s interest. It revolves around social media, which is nowadays an essential part of people’s everyday routine. An intern will get to discover how it reduces the customer acquisition cost of a company, provides a level playing field for startups to challenge big companies and reaches people from all age groups. Digital Marketing acts like a rocket fuel for small and medium enterprises. For today’s youth, social media comes naturally, automatically making them experts in this field.
Entrepreneurship programmes such as TIE (http:www.tie.org ) and Startup Saturday will open your minds to new possibilities and innovative ideas. The very thought of owning one’s own business excites. An entrepreneur starts selling some product or service from scratch, he is his own boss and his success relies only on his own merit and hard work. With the current atmosphere among investors and the vast experience on offer, no won der a craze for startups has erupted and the wave has engulfed a large portion of the youth. Many institutes and companies give preference to those who have worked their way up from the grassroots level and have a background in entrepreneurism. A startup also empowers the country’s population and contributes to the GDP by creating jobs and offering competition to foreign companies.
For those who wish to give back to society, there are several NGO’s which employ interns, such as Bhumi, Pratham and many others. One can even do something simple like joining a Rotary Club, teaching underprivileged kids, etc. Acts of kindness cost nothing, but are priceless. Social work receives appreciation from institutions both abroad and in India, good deeds do not go unnoticed.
In today’s time, it’s not what college you’re from that matters, but what you accomplish during your time there, truly makes a difference.