Demystifying Thick Data

What is Thick Data?

Thick Data is a combination of qualitative and quantitative data that provides insights into the daily lives of consumers. How are brands perceived? Why are they liked or disliked? What does the product stand for? Questions like these are answered with Thick Data analysis. Thick Data often leads to emotional and behavioral insights that brands can weave into their story for elevated impact. Thick Data Strategists gather this information by conducting online surveys, one-on-one customer interviews, via social media, using google analytics, ghost shopping, etc

How is it different from big data?

Big Data focuses on quantitative data with enormous data sets. It sifts through large data sets to identify specific patterns. It delivers numbers and relies on machine learning. If a pattern emerges, thick data tries and identifies the reasons for such a pattern.

We came across a Thick Data expert, Divya Ostwal and had a freewheeling conversation with her to understand all about Thick Data. Do read along.

Name: Divya Ostwaldivya_pic

Education: Advertising and Graphic Design
Current: Thick Data Strategist, KAN, Malmö, Sweden

Past:
Chief Creative Officer, VizioHub, Bangalore, India
Creative Director, Good Old, Malmö, Sweden

Passionate about: Narrative-photo-telling

As a Thick Data Strategist my role is a synthesis of logic and magic. I am a business-brand strategist, a google analyst, a conversion strategist and a story teller. I help brands understand their target audience and their behavior through qualitative and quantitative methods. I have worked in the digital advertising world for over a decade. I started my career in Bangalore, India and currently live in Malmö, Sweden.

During the years, I have worked with various verticals – service sectors, industrial, healthcare, hospitality, real estate, NGOs, educational institutes, tourism boards and lifestyle products amongst others. I spent the early years of my career as a strategic, visual designer and doubled up as marketer. During the later stint I cultivated the special ability to develop brands from insights; and strategy to concept to creative. I soon went on to become the first female Creative Director at a Malmö agency with a deep understanding for conversion centric creatives.

As a Thick Data strategist, I work extensively with a combination of qualitative findings and quantitative data patterns. I am a certified google analyst and enjoy data mining. In my projects, I believe it is a combination of user understanding and data patterns that create value for the brand.

My work process includes three phases: Attract – Engage – Convert
The red thread through this process being understanding consumers through qualitative methods and analyzing their behavior through quantities techniques.


Things I learnt on the job:

  • Applying logic to create magic
  • Taking equal responsibility for the client’s business goals
  • Collaborating to create success
  • Result driven communication
  • Agile planning and long-term focus

 

Career Options:

In my case, I could choose to be on the agency side and get a variety of brands to work with or alternatively work on the client side and focus on applying Thick Data to one brand.

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Top jobs that Indian’s prefer and Why

This is an article reproduced from the Indian Express. The original article was published on 30th September 2016 as is reproduced as is below. To view the original article visit – http://indianexpress.com/article/education/top-jobs-that-indians-prefer-and-why/

We are considered a young nations as around 5 million-plus youngsters graduate from various educational institutions annually. Most of them start looking for jobs shortly before and immediately after graduation. While only 5 per cent of graduates come from the top schools. Take a quick check on the job choices made by the other 95 per cent.

Government jobs 
Right on the top of the list are the government jobs. As per a recent report by Digital Classifieds in India 2020, there is a 48 per cent rise from last year in the number of people seeking government jobs.

The civil service of the Central Government is organised into four groups, viz. Group `A’ (which includes all-India Service) Group `B’, Group `C’ and Group `D’. Such classification broadly corresponds to the rank, status and the degree of the level of responsibility attached to the posts.

Group `A’ posts carry higher administrative and executive responsibilities and include senior management positions in the ministries/departments and field organisations. The middle and junior levels of Group `A’ alongwith Group `B’ constitute middle management.

Group `C’ posts perform supervisory as well as operative tasks and render clerical assistances in ministries and field organisations. Group `D’ posts are meant for carrying out routine duties.

The first job in the government category is the State Service Commission (SSC) jobs. The second in the list is Public Sector Bank (PSU) Probationary Officer jobs. The third preference will be a job in the railways.

The private sector – IT Industry
In the private sector, the number one job preferred by graduates is in the IT industry. Today, the dream of every graduate is to get a job in the IT industry because of the excellent pay and global HR practices. India is the world’s largest sourcing destination for the IT industry, accounting for approximately 67 per cent of the $124–130-billion market. The industry employs about a 10-million workforce.

 

Testing jobs are the most attractive career option for a B Sc graduates. A quality assurance testing engineer is responsible for effective testing of software systems to identify any issues and bugs that need to be rectified. Your work will involve mostly testing for functionality. ‘Functionality testing’ in the software industry, means testing the behaviour of a software feature under various situations (called ‘use cases’). You will need to help the programmer debug software by sharing your test results. It is a highly technical and important role.

If you are a BCA or someone with BSc Computer Science degree, there is also an interesting role in Remote Infrastructure Engineer. The remote infrastructure engineer/executive is responsible for efficient handling of all remote access systems of a particular company, as well as planning and designing remote access infrastructure. A good example is the bank ATM which is monitored remotely.

The pharma industry
The role of medical representatives is preferred in the pharma industry. When we visit clinics or hospitals, we often find people holding huge bags with samples of medicines. They are called medical representatives and are hired by pharmaceutical companies to market their products.

According to Indian regulations, most medicines (called prescription drugs) cannot be bought by a patient without a doctor’s prescriptions from a chemist shop. Medical representatives thus act like a link between pharma companies and doctors so that the company’s drugs can be prescribed. They visit healthcare professionals on a one-to-one basis and give presentations to them. They also give samples of some medicines.

The insurance industry
In the insurance industry, development officers is a very common career option for graduates — insurance agents are not employees of the insurance company and require continuous supervision, encouragement, and support. The insurance company employee who manages a group of Agents is called a development officer (by LIC, India’s largest life insurance company), or unit manager or agency manager (by private insurance companies).

Administrative Officers (AO) are assigned to specific departments like marketing, underwriting, claims, legal, depending on the requirement. They verify the risk proposal and underwrite if need be. They delegate work to assistants within the team and oversee their performance.

The civil aviation industry
In the aviation industry, cabin crew is viewed as a glamorous and well-paying job. The members of the cabin crew (an airhostess/or a flight attendant) are those responsible for the safety and comfort of passengers on board. They assist passengers during boarding. They are also first-aid trained and ensure that passengers get medical attention during times of need.

Ground staff – When a passenger reaches the airport she/he is often guided by people belonging to the airport or airline ground staff to the check-in counter. There other ground staff members seated behind the counter to issue boarding passes, check the baggage in and other duties. They manage the check-in process by checking passenger ID cards, allocating seats, weighing the baggage, tagging and transferring the baggage to be loaded on to the flight.

— T Muralidharan, founder and chairman of TMI Group

 

 

Career options in Finance

Finance or Financial Sector can be a lucrative career for people interested in numbers. It also offers a wide range of options for students to choose from. While following are the regular options for students from commerce degree, we will also look at some other not so popular options that one can choose from

career_finance

Masters of Economics – An Economist is required to study complex economic problems and come up with solutions. Analyzing the economy, predicting trends and setting up Macro and Micro level systems and policies to overcome the problems of the day is what is expected of an Economist. If you enjoy analyzing economic behavior, then you should check this course. After the 2 years masters course in Economics you can be placed in various government sectors and organizations like Budget analyst in various government departments, economic planning and analysis jobs in Defense and Railways and banks like RBI and SBI. Most of the government positions have their entrance exams like Indian Economical and Statistical Service Examination, which need to be cleared by the candidate. Apart from this private sectors and banks hire economic post grads as economic and investment consultants. Students can also get into academic research by joining MPhil or PhD programs.

Master of Statistics – A person with a degree in statistics is expected to analyze and come up with ways to implement complex theories to real life problems. A statistician is expected to collect real life data, analyze the same and come up with possible solution models. After masters in statistics a person can look for jobs in Banking, IT and Quality Control sectors. It is an exhaustive field and various sectors like Automobile, Pharmacy, Information Technology, Aviation, Data Sciences or any industry that deals with the demand and supply of consumer needs will be interested in statistical services.

Stock Brokering – If you have an appetite for taking risks and can work efficiently in stressful situations then this is a career that you can look for. One can work in the field of stocks and Capital Markets after completing graduation. There is an option for learning on the job, however specialization in economics, accounting and capital markets is preferred when it comes to working for higher positions. Apart from this there are certificate courses offered by BSE, NSE and Mumbai Stock Exchange Training Institute which will help a great deal in getting a grasp about the workings of stock markets.

Investment Banking – Investment Bankers are the people who advise their clients on mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures etc. They are the people who connect the clients with Capital to people who are in need of Capital. People with good analytical skills, research oriented and great communication skills can look at this as a lucrative career option. After MBA in finance from good institutes one can opt for working with investment banks. After a considerable amount of experience one can also start their own consulting or financial advisory firm.

These are just a few career options that are available under the large umbrella of Finance and Commerce. If you would like to know about a particular field or know about some field and wish to share the same, do let us know in comments below.

Stress – Common Causes and ways to Manage it -2

Rashmi Patwardhan is up with another post about stress- common causes and ways to manage it.

In the last segment I had talked about stress, anxiety and their symptoms. In this segment I will talk about what can cause possible stress and anxiety in students(adolescents) and how it can be managed.

COMMON CAUSES

  1. Peer Pressure – Dealing with the peer pressure is probably one of the most difficult part for a growing adolescent. This is the time in their life when their ideals, desires and understanding of their environment start changing. In a way, they are being introduced to the society. Therefore, acceptance among their peers is of crucial importance. This lack of acceptance from the peers can cause feelings of isolation and loneliness. Although peer pressure can always affect a young adult, it can be more frustrating for the teens.
  2. Academic Pressure – It is indeed sad that, in our society today, education is only seen as a means to earn money. Therefore social non conformity is discouraged and many times even looked down upon as useless, impractical and so on. This can seriously hamper and crush one’s dreams and aspirations leading to low self confidence, stress, anxiety and depression.
  3. Discord in the family – Any kind of discord between the family members can have varying degrees of effect on the child. Family is the primary form of support to any individual and if this support, love and care is lacking then the child can develop anxiety disorders or depression
  4. Bullying – Although in India ragging has decreased to a certain extent, bullying comes in so many forms. Contrary to the popular belief it is not necessary that only strangers or your seniors bully you. In a lot of cases it’s the friends who ended up bullying their friend in the name of fun.
  5. Physical Abuse – Beating a child is something which has been accepted and sadly it is considered normal. Hitting a child can have serious affects on the child’s mental and emotional health. Ofcourse depending on the situation and the individual there are definitely many more factors which can cause stress and anxiety. stress-management

MANAGING STRESS AND ANXIETY

Here are some tips to help manage anxiety if there is no way to consult a professional. Please remember that these are generic techniques which generally help in managing stress and anxiety. Therefore I would highly advise to get a consultation if none of these are working or barely working. Do not under any circumstances self diagnose. That will add to the stress and create fear. Following are some tips and techniques.

  1. A balanced lifestyle– This may seem very clichéd but in this world of race against the time, we have put our lifestyle completely off balance. Timely and healthy meals, exercising 5 times a week should help a lot with mild stress/anxiety.
  2. Enough Sleep –Another extremely underrated factor which we overlook is our sleep. For our brain and other organs to function properly, we need to rest our brain. Did you know that a person can die if he/she doesn’t sleep for 11 days? 8 hours of sleep should be sufficient.
  3. Stay Hydrated– the best way to know if you are hydrated or not, is to check the colour of your urine. Transparent, no coloured urine indicates that you are well hydrated.
  4. Meditation– When we think of meditation we think that we should sit and concentrate on a point or we should be able to completely clear our minds. If that is what you are comfortable with then go ahead. Here, any activity which gives you immense pleasure, where you forget the track of time or something which completely relaxes you can be termed as meditation. Therefore make sure you make time for such activities at least 3 times a week.
  5. Mindfulness– Be mindful of the thoughts which are running wild in your head. Be aware of yourself, mind and body alike. E.g. A person you do not like. Why is it that you don’t like this person? Why do they evoke negative responses or emotions in you? What can you do to manage this situation better etc. Once you start probing deeper, you will be in tune with your feelings and emotions.
  6. Surround yourself with positivity– Be around things and people which make you happy and feel good about yourself. Avoid toxic people as much as you can.

I do hope these tips and techniques have helped. Remember the trick is not to do everything at once but to try and inculcate small things which are possible to change and gradually go up the ladder.

My journey from being a commerce undergrad to a Chartered Accountant

 

The ultimate degree in the world of Finance is CA. Being a Chartered Accountant is a dream for many young commerce undergrads, however, a very small percentage of it gets to make this dream a reality. One of the many reasons for drop outs from CA courses is that not many know the extent of hard work and determination required to complete the course. For some, they do not have the temperament required. Wouldn’t it be great to have a clear picture about such courses before you get into it?

 

shruthi
CA Shruti Chiplunkar

Here is Shruti Chiplunkar, a CA who completed her course in 2016. She walks you through her journey of becoming a CA.

 

  1. Explain your journey from 12th to finally becoming a CA

I completed my Class 12 from Vidya Mandir College, Bengaluru in March 2011. I cleared my CPT in June 2011 and started preparing for the next level. Thereafter, I cleared my IPCE (Integrated Professional Competence Examination) in May 2012. I did my articleship with a CA firm in Bengaluru from August 2012-2015.I cleared my CA Final Group 2 in November 2015 and CA Final Group 1 in May 2016.

In these 5 years, there have been many happy and not-so-happy moments too. While the hectic class-work-study schedule takes a toll on our mind, the articleship period also helps us to foster new friendships, learn the way a business works and also prepares us to enter the corporate world.

2. What prompted you to take up CA course?

The Chartered Accountancy course is well known for its maintenance of high standards, both professionally and ethically. It also mandates us to do a 3-year articleship to be eligible for writing final exams. The reputation of the Institute, along with the study-as-you-work model interested me. Also, my keen interest in management and economics prompted me to take up this course.

3.  Any role models or inspirations?

Definitely! Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam is a powerhouse of inspiration. Remembering his quotes actually helped me motivate myself and overcome my failures.

My role model for all times is Ms. Uma Venkitraman, my Class 12  Business Studies teacher. She not only taught us commerce, she also taught us to look beyond the realms of bookish knowledge. She has been with me through my happy and sad moments. Whatever I am today, is only because of her.

4. How different was the actual study material than what you had expected?

I took up CA after my 12th and did not go the graduation way. So when I initially had a look at the study material for the Common Proficiency Test (CPT), I felt it was much tougher than the Class 12 syllabus. Also, when I joined the course in 2011, I had to actually get hold of the hard copies of the books to have an idea about the subject(s). But these days, it is all available on the ICAI website. I would advise students taking up the course to go through the online study material beforehand.

Moreover, I realised later that the Institute also conducts Management and Communication Skills Programmes for CA students – surely a wonderful way to connect with your peers and overcome communication obstacles. So, there is more to the course than the actual study material published.

5. Students wishing to take up CA should be ready for….?

Smartwork and Determination! If your hardwork is channelized through a consistent schedule, you can manage things smartly, in case of CA exams. The syllabus is not only very huge, it is also dynamic – The Companies Act 2013 has come into effect, GST will be implemented next year, there are various Rules, Court judgements etc. So it does take effort from our side to keep up-to-date with the latest changes.

Why I am stressing on determination is that, I am of a view that CA exams are a mind game – either you conquer the exam fear, or the exam fear will conquer you. There is no intermediate option. A single failure should not shatter one’s hopes. Definitely one can take some days off to introspect as to what went wrong with the exams, but the very important point is to accept it and strategize for the upcoming examinations. People can show us sympathy, or even encourage us, but the determination to achieve our goals must come from within  – and this holds good in every aspect of life.

On a lighter note, be ready to slog, folks!!

6.  What was your study schedule?

I started studying around 4 months before CA Final. Initially I started with a schedule of 5-6 hours a day, since it takes time to adjust to a new study pattern. I had made a schedule of preparation of all 8 subjects for the first 3 months. I gradually increased my study pattern from 6-8-10-12-13 hours a day before the exams began. The last one month was devoted only for revision and mock papers.

Since the syllabus is too vast, it is very important to revise and keep in touch with the subject; otherwise all the hardwork is of no use. It is also equally important to read the study material and manuals given by the ICAI. It is crucial for understanding the concepts.

I would take up two subjects in a day- one practial oriented and one theoretical; This helps in breaking the monotony and also freshening up the mind.

I can conclude by saying – there have been mentors, my wellwishers, there have also been people who criticized me; but my heartfelt thanks to all of them for building that Never-Say-Die attitude in me.

 

 

What is​ Stress and common symptoms associated with it

Everyone must have dealt with stress sometime or the other. Our guest blogger Rashmi Patwardhan talks about stress and the common symptoms associated with it.

Ever stalked fit people and their fitness routine on social media? Made a solemn promise to yourself that you would start your fitness regimen the moment you are done stalking them? I think all of us are guilty of doing this in one form or the other. With a quick google search even the laziest person can tell you what you should be doing to improve your health. Physical health i.e. , Obviously.

Health was and still is widely synonymous to Physical health and physical health only. Mental health is mostly met with hostility or reluctance in the least. Mental health is equally important if not more than physical health.
Contrary to popular belief, any person can suffer from anxiety and stress. It doesn’t have anything to do with the way you were raised. In fact a good portion of people experience anxiety and stress as a phase at least once in their lifetime. However, prevention is better than cure and thus students being aware of mental health become inevitable. More often than not, stress and anxiety is not seen as a problem at all; unless “it becomes too much to handle” Sometimes, even the realisation doesn’t occur till it is too late.

mental-1389919_960_720

So What is Stress?

Stress is your body’s reaction to a threat situation. Anxiety is the reaction to stress.

For e.g. you will be stressed if you are in a threatening situation; say you are being mugged. Your body releases a hormone called adrenaline. This hormone prepares your body for “flight or fight” reaction. i.e. either you will run away from the threatening situation or you will fight.
Ideally, when the stressful event passes your body relaxes and comes back to its normal state. Now anxiety is when there is no stressor (an event or a situation) but still you are fearful, worry excessively ultimately affecting your day to day routine and life. Both stress and anxiety, if left unchecked can manifest into physical illnesses. Therefore it is necessary to be mindful of how you are treating your body and mind.  Some of the common symptoms are as mentioned below.
Physical Symptoms

Irregular bowel movements

Irregular or missed periods

Fatigue

Headaches

Nausea

Heartburn or indigestion

Decreased libido

Trouble sleeping

Emotional Symptoms

More frequent or extreme pessimistic  attitude

Feelings or being overwhelmed

Isolation

Decrease or complete lack of desire for  activities once enjoyed

Feelings of sadness and/or depression

Cognitive Symptoms

Anxious thoughts or feelings

Chronic worrying

Repetitive thoughts
impaired concentration

Trouble with remembering things

Behavioural Symptoms

Change in eating habits

Changes in sleeping habits

Nail biting

Pacing

Frequent lying

Unusual desire for isolation

Trouble getting along with peers, co-workers

Abnormal failure or delay to complete everyday responsibilities

Here we have to remember that depending on the individual and the cause of stress and the situation, these symptoms may vary. It is not exactly a rule of thumb but even if you feel something is off and can’t place your finger on what has gone wrong but it is affecting you emotionally and /or physically then it is never too soon to consult a counsellor or a therapist.
I will talk about what can be possible stressors and how to deal with them in the next segment

Looking beyond MBBS

If a child is consistent in scoring 90% marks and shows some interest in Biology, the parents and society at large expects him or her to be a doctor. There is nothing wrong in dreaming about it, however, with only 50,000 seats available all over India for MBBS degree, not everybody’s dream can become a reality.

If you really wish to be in this noble profession, but might not get into MBBS, here are a few alternatives in healthcare careers that are equally lucrative.

beyond-mbbs
Career in Medicine

Skilling India and way to go about it

We are a nation obsessed with university degrees and higher education; however, as per research by Aspiring Minds National Employability Report 2015, 80% of them are unemployable! What we need is not cost intensive graduate and post graduate degrees that are not leading to employability but employable skills that can help youth achieve economic freedom while pursuing a career of their choice.

And now, here’s another scenario – Hiring unprofessional help had been a norm in India for decades. You could have the best of fixtures (electric and plumbing) but the fitter would be unskilled. You could get the best of paints but the applicators would be unprofessional. It was assumed that such jobs were to be done by unskilled and uneducated population of the country who could learn it on the fly. So we had the power of buying world class products but not enough skilled people to get it functioning or maintain it.

In both the scenarios what we see is a gap, in terms of education, understanding, and respectability of various jobs. Skills India is a step towards trying to bridge that gap. Skill India aims to teach employable skills in various sectors; thereby creating a workforce that is skilled and self-reliant. With world class training the workforce can then command reasonable pay that will automatically bring in respectability for the job.

Imagecredit - Financial Express skill india
Image Credit Financial Express

So what is Skill India?

Skill India is an initiative jointly undertaken by Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. Skill India aims to target two sets of audiences – Students who are early school leavers and second, enhancing skills of people already in the field.  It is trying to achieve a greater push to vocational training courses, thereby bringing it at par with traditional university degrees.

In their own words, the overall focus of this initiative is to help provide an engaging ecosystem to cater to skilling needs of citizens by publishing and sharing relevant information. The outcome of this collaboration should ideally lead to inclusive growth especially for those at the bottom of the pyramid (approximately 800 million citizens).  The portal attempts to disseminate reliable information and by providing an interface to enquire, explore, and access and engage with various affiliated and accredited training partners, infrastructure providers, understand skill options, opportunities, information on various providers, reliable and credible digital content.

Skill India Portal

The portal boasts of 249 training partners, 3222 training centers, 55,70,476 People trained, 23,88,009 people placed. This is an informative and single touch point website which includes Training partners who offer training for various skills, trainers who wish to teach the skills that they have acquired, Training Infra Providers who can offer the necessary infrastructure for training and job aggregators. They also have an option for searching internships that are available.

Skill India courses range from Agriculture to IT. Varied courses like Animation, Banking and Finance, Mutual Fund Agent, Soft Skills, Vermiculture, Nursing Aides, Computer Networking, Web developer, Video editor, Carpentry, Land Surveyor, CCTV technician, Tally, instrumentation and many such courses are covered under the ambit of Skill India.

Depending on the student’s skill sets and interests they could choose a training that will help them get employment while being low on investments. It can be seen as an extension of the earlier existing vocational courses that were primarily offered by ITI’s .  Education by way of such training can help India create a workforce that is talented and skilled as per their abilities, thereby reducing unemployment and dejection that the youth of today face.  Going further, advocating vocational training at school level itself will help students make an informed career choice. Read more about it here –

http://www.financialexpress.com/industry/jobs/why-skills-education-has-to-be-part-of-school-curriculum/159719/

An inspiration for educational reforms in India

In a fiercely competitive education system in India, have you ever wondered what happens to the dreams of students who are average scoring or worse, failures in our orthodox setting of examinations and educations? Are they adjudged as failures for life and cast aside?

Sonam Wangchuk, from Ladakh, was confronted with similar thoughts. As he looked around, he realized that the cultural and linguistic barriers  were making it even tougher for the children of Ladhak and surrounding areas to assimilate in the traditional educational system. But he didn’t just sit back, he decided to do something about it and thus was born SECMOL (The Student’s Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh)

SECMOL is an alternative educational system that emphasizes on experiential learnings. The children learn in a democratic way-  by electing students government which handles various portfolios and runs the school on their own. The students are responsible for solar powered buildings, food processing, creating school magazines, school radio programs etc.

The concept is similar to the concept of ‘Gurukul’ that was prevalent in India centuries ago. This modern day Gurukul equips the students to handle situations in life, solving real life problems and developing skills that will help them bloom to their full capacity.

Their work has been extremely inspiring and we really wish that such schools could come up all over India. These schools could be incubators of innovators and lateral thinkers, something that we need desperately, to revolutionize India. Do watch the video and be inspired!

Video about Sonam Wangchuksonam_wangchuk

 

 

 

Library and Information Science- A science of loving books

 

Book Lovers, listen up! What if we told you that there was a career in loving books? Too good to be true? But yes, it is possible. You can turn your passion into a satisfying career with a Degree in Library Sciences.

Library and Information Science is a course offered by most of the established Universities in India.  These courses help students gain insights and knowledge about collecting, cataloging, preserving, archiving and disseminating information.

We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Mr. D.V Patwardhan, an M.Lib with 44 years of rich work experience. He has worked in research institutes like NAL (National Aerospace Laboratory), manufacturing cum research companies like Kirloskar Electric Company and academic institutes like junior colleges and Engineering colleges. Here is an excerpt of his interview. We are sure this will be very informative for anyone thinking of choosing Library Sciences as a profession.

What are the courses available in Library Science?

Library Science is generally known as Library and Information Sciences. Today there are Diploma, Degree, and Masters Courses available. One can even go on to pursue M.Phil or PhD. in Library Sciences. Usually, when you start off, not many students know what they really want to do in life. M.Lib can be taken up by graduates of any stream. So, if you have an exposure to certain fields like Science or Commerce or Arts, you would be able to understand their needs and better serve your future clientele, especially if you wish to work in professional educational institutes or research institutes.

What is the duration of the course?

B.Lib and M.Lib courses are each of 1-year duration. Some Universities offer an integrated course of 2 years. Completion of B. Lib is mandatory in many of the Colleges if you wish to pursue M.Lib. Usually, there is an entrance test and selected candidates are given admission to M.Lib.

What are the traits, a person must possess if he wishes to pursue a career in Library and Information Science?

A person must be service oriented. He needs to take care of his clientele’s needs like a professional. A librarian acts as a custodian to the process of information exchange. He needs to be people-oriented as a big part of his job entails, interacting with clients and distributors, training his staff and engaging with the system, depending on the institution that he/she works with. Finally, he/she needs to have an innate love for books.

Librarian

What is the nature of a librarian’s job?

A librarian’s job entails selecting books as per the institutional needs and purchase them like a professional Purchase Manager. Process and Catalogue the books based on various classification schemes like Library of Congress or Dewey decimal classification etc. to achieve the ultimate aim of ease of information access. A librarian is also responsible for attending and hosting events related to academics and knowledge dissemination. Day to day work involves creating online databases, creating online public access catalogues, digital libraries of important papers, journals, articles, institute specific papers etc. Additional functions also include managing faculty and student’s book loan accounts, creating and maintaining library accounts, creating defaulter lists and maintaining payments and overdue accounts. In short, you can say that a librarian must be well versed with POSDCORB. As explained by management professionals Luther Gulick and Lyndall Urwick, the acronym stands for Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing, Coordinating, Reporting, and Budgeting.

What are the Career opportunities for Library and Information Science professionals?

Library and Information Science professionals are in demand in educational institutes, government research institutes, research-oriented industries, and manufacturing companies, government organizations like secretariat libraries, public libraries, university libraries etc.

In the times of online magazines, digital books and libraries, will the profession of a librarian be obsolete?

I don’t believe that. Computers can and have been a great help, but we cannot do away with a librarian. As I see it, the role will undergo changes and a bulk of repetitive, and time-consuming tasks will be taken over by the computer. A librarian will be free to do more of planning, budgeting and coordinating jobs. He will have to assume a greater role, in identifying the correct and rare sources of knowledge and ensuring that they are with the institution that he/she works for. The role will identify ways to ensure a great experience for their clientele and become more people-centric. The librarian who goes beyond efficient management of knowledge and takes upon himself to find new ways to inculcate the love of reading in the coming generation will be a successful one.