Since the market is in a state of constant flux, students should not be too disappointed upon not receiving their desired jobs. Although a student may be successful in acquiring a job of his choice immediately after graduation, there is a huge chance that his understanding of different sectors will change – in technology rapidly and in some other fields perhaps gradually. Hence, students should be prepared to adapt themselves to exploit new opportunities that are always opening up. Before applying for a job, graduates should look at the recent market trends and exhibit an understanding that market-change is not necessarily a disadvantage. This is because it can comfort potential employers into believing in the flexibility of fresh employees and provide long term returns for the investment of the company.
There are multiple initiatives which exist within the educational systems for connecting graduates to the employment world. However, incorporating everything into a four-year honours degree is almost impossible. There is a belief that graduates should focus on getting themselves "job-ready" in courses where there are specific industries underpinning their coursework. Industrial collaborations certainly prepare graduates to be impactful employees because courses with significant industry involvement naturally introduce concepts beyond traditional educational elements. An example in the field of bio-pharmacy wherein there is significant input from local companies in the development of the curricula and the same companies also provide work-placement or internship opportunities to undergraduates. In such instances, graduates might feel that they can start reasonably "job-ready". In other cases, where there are no clearly identifiable industries which are directly associated with undergraduate education, graduates tend to think otherwise. In the long run, this should not manifest into a problem if critical thinking is combined with an eagerness to learn.
Even if a graduate wishes to join a highly distinguished global company, it may well be imperative to consider that a period working in a smaller company environment can be beneficial, allowing for a broader understanding of how a company operates. The employees may also gain experience working within flexible teams in which the importance of team-work can be highlighted. This will certainly prove to be an advantage upon entering into large-scale companies which often provides a chance to move between sections within the industry, thereby, making it a very rewarding and secure career environment. The vital aspect for a graduate lies in understanding the market completely, the type of jobs which exist there already and where the market is heading require in another two to five years. This will definitely assist them to assess their careers efficiently and improve their skill sets continuously.
Contribution of Astrophysics to the Evolution of Mankind
Constant enhancement and re-discovering dexterity can result in a significant contribution to the development of human knowledge. Addressing most of the unique challenges of the 21st century and beyond requires integrating disparate viewpoints and expertise, not separating them from one another. The universe in itself is a huge place and the time taken to travel almost anywhere is lengthy. The intent to travel to distant planets and ultimately seek opportunities to establish habitable colonies will surely increase. Astrophysics is the key to understanding and working towards exploring the universe. A robotic telescope as part of a collaborative project called TARA was installed with Fergusson College in Pune. The objective is to provide opportunities for inquisitive students to learn about astrophysical methods and to engage in research that seeks to uncover a few of the most fundamental questions about the origin of humans.
Working as an astrophysicist is an extremely rewarding and challenging career option. It involves meeting people from across the globe, working in large collaborations on cutting-edge problems and contributing to the development of human knowledge. The skills associated with learning Astrophysics can be applied to diverse fields such problem solving, critical thinking and big data which will definitely improve the employability aspect. The art of understanding life is changing rapidly and there is a growing possibility that life on earth is more diverse and resilient than previously conceived by humans. It could be amongst the most difficult questions to address. But with future technological advances, there is a possibility in beginning to probe more deeply and in an extensively informed way to search for the tell-tale signs of life that is similar to that on our home planet. Of course there is also the possibility that establishing lives on planets which are so diverse than life on earth could result in questioning the very fabric of nature. Therefore, it is essential to keep an open mind to discover innovative and ingenious methods in observing the universe. (As told to Ram Kumar)
Dr Niall Smith
A PhD holder in Astrophysics from University College, Dublin, he has more than 18 years experience as a lecturer at Cork Institute of Technology. He established the Blackrock Castle Observatory and currently holds the position of Head of the organisation. A member of the International Astronomical Union, he has also co-authored 27 papers and conference proceedings.