Do you feel uncertain of a career option? Do you lack the freedom to choose a subject that you really want to pursue? Do you always feel low on self-confidence? Are you constantly doubting yourself?A Q&A column by Nandini Raman, practising counsellor and trainer, to assuage your doubts.

I am 24 and a graduate in BSc applied computer science from Delhi University. I started preparing for government exams after college as it is a desirable job profile, but couldn’t clear any exams. My family and friends are advising me to go for a postgraduate course or take up a job in a good company. But I am confused about how to proceed. I don’t want to invest my next two years in a master’s course and with this degree it is hard to get a good job in a recognised company. I want to take up a job other than customer care. What would you suggest? — Deepali

Dear Deepali,

If you wouldn’t want to further your education in the same stream of your bachelor’s course (computer science), you should perhaps try out a different stream that can get you some exposure in a different industry than where you are currently working.

Where are you working now? What do you like to do (in terms of tasks of a job) and where (which kind of an industry) would you like to work? Have you given doing an MBA any serious thought? It can help bring about the required industry and job change that you are seeking!

Good luck.

I am a first-year student of MSc physics. I want to become an IAS officer. But, my family is not financially stable. So, I cannot quit my MSc. What should I do now? Please guide me. — Manjeet Kundu

Dear Manjeet,

I understand your dilemma. I think you will need to work extra hard and give it your ALL, right now.

Complete the MSc course. Should you not clear the IAS exam for any reason, you will be eligible to start working immediately and contribute financially to the family right away. However, prepare for the IAS exam simultaneously. Start burning the midnight oil and work hard and smart. You can sign up with any good, reputed online training course that will help and guide you (many are completely free). Dedicate time and energy every day, post your MSc commitment for the day. Be realistic about what you set out to achieve and work diligently. Be mindful and aware of not burning out.

I have completed my graduation in BSc non-medical with second division. I am now preparing for CAT. I often ponder about my bad performance in graduation and how it is going to affect my selection to an esteemed management college. How do I come out of this self-debilitating mindset? — Abhinav Ahuja

Dear Abhinav,

What has happened is done with and the truth is that nothing can be done about that now to make it right. Is that correct? Guilt is only a wasted emotion. So, remember what went wrong and ensure that you don’t repeat it, and in fact highlight what you have learnt from this entire episode. For whatever reasons, that seemed right at that time. Let it go! Now evaluate and identify your own potential and capabilities. Work hard and do brilliantly in the CAT so that you have some good institutes that you can apply to. Everyone gets a second chance in life, and you will have a chance too to prove your worth! Don’t let past failures bring you down. Instead, let them be a subtle reminder of the hard work that you need to put in to set the score right. Good luck!

I am a student of class XI (CBSE) with PCM stream. I want to continue my studies with math as major subject after class XII and I have great interest in subjects such as English and political science. Can you please let me know about liberal arts and the expenditure if I opt for it? — Aastha

Dear Aastha,

I am thrilled to receive your email. Always a joy to hear from students in classes XI and XII who are so serious and far-sighted about making an informed academic and career choice — at such a young age, unlike so many of us, who just ‘went with the flow’ and ended up either doing something by complete default and hated it or made a passionate career out of it by trial and error!

A liberal arts college is a college with an emphasis on undergraduate study in the liberal arts and sciences. It aims to impart a broad general knowledge and develop general intellectual capacities, in contrast to a professional, vocational, or technical curriculum.

Some prestigious liberal arts colleges in India are Ashoka University in Sonipat, Azim Premji University in Bengaluru, FLAME University in Pune; Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities in Sonipat, NMIMS Jyoti Dalal School of Liberal Arts in Mumbai, and Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts in Pune

I would like for you to look up each college online and check out the courses they offer and write to the admissions officer to understand the pre-requisites, qualifying and eligibility criteria with the overall costs. Best wishes for your board exams.

Disclaimer: This column is not a substitute for long-term therapy. It is merely a guiding voice. Some issues may need medical intervention.

The author is a practising counsellor and a trainer. She will answer questions sent to The subject line should be: ‘Off the edge’.

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