Most popular subjects Indian students choose, while studying abroadGrishma Nanavaty
As you plan for studying abroad, one of your pressing concerns would be which subject should you pursue. With a vast and varied range of options to pick from, it is a tough call to decide the one subject that would be your perfect fit. If you are from the science stream what would be your best options? Do not choose on the basis of the college you wish to attend but on what you think would be right for you. First, give yourself some time to introspect - think about your strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Then, identify your goals - ask yourself where you see yourself in the long and short term. Based on your answers narrow down your options to match your purpose. Here are some of the popular subjects that Indian students choose while studying abroad:
STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths or STEM is the most widely chosen area of study. According to the 2015-16 Open Doors statistics, the number of Indian students enrolling in STEM subjects in the US rose by 25% compared to the previous year with 36% in Engineering, and 34.9% in Maths and Computer Science from a total of 165,918 students admitted to US colleges. As per a HESA report, the STEM field draws the maximum number of Indian students to study in the UK, after the US. Several competitor countries in line include Germany, Canada and Australia who are trying to increase their international student base by offering various facilities and benefits. Some of the factors that attract students to STEM are:
• World-class academic infrastructure with advanced technology, sophisticated labs and a full stack of myriad resources at the student’s disposal.
• Highly qualified faculty in the league of Noble laureates, renowned scientists and ground-breaking pioneers. It’s a once in a life-time opportunity to have these stalwarts as mentors and teachers. You’ll be up for an enlightening journey throughout your course.
• Practical approach to learning which creates a spirit of inquisitiveness, interest and provides a solid foundation of concepts. Hands-on development is an integral part of the curriculum that makes students confident learners. You’ll be provoked to explore out of your comfort zone and dig deeper when you see a rock formation defying the laws of physics or discover a new application of thermodynamics.
• Opportunity to research in a wide and varied range of subjects. Colleges abroad encourage you to pursue your own ideas or dig further into existing work.
• OPT (Optional Practical Training) is one of the key motivators for STEM students as it allows you to participate in real world training in addition to opening promising avenues and career opportunities.
Business Studies: Business Management/Administration ranks second in the list of the most chosen subjects. Open Door Statistics 2015-16 records a 20% increase in the number of international students with India being the second largest provider of candidates right after China. HESA too accounts for the rising popularity of Business Studies among overseas students in the UK. More and more Indian students are gravitating to foreign destinations to acquire a strong foothold in business and management studies. India’s growing economy, prominent presence as one of the largest markets in the world and the technological advancements are attracting global players like Amazon, Facebook, as well as world leaders to tap into our vast potential. The increasing entrepreneurial aspirations in the Indian youth teamed with global education is reflected in the widely spreading trend of successful start-ups and innovative business models. Here’s a look at what you’ll gain to pursue Business Studies abroad:
• Broad curriculum that would allow you to delve deeper into the various dimensions of Business from decision making, organisational skills to delivery of service etc.
• Industry experts and top-notch leaders from various business verticals as part of the faculty. You’ll be attending lectures from domain experts like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg. Gaining insights from these change-makers will not only impart to you an understanding beyond the books but infuse you with a passion to make a difference.
• Extensive internship opportunities that would provide you a firm grounding on real life decision making, organisational capabilities, multi-tasking, presentation and collaboration in a global and diverse environment.
• A vast network of international peers, faculty and high ranking professionals from various industries. Your network will be a great resource in your future endeavours. You can always bank on your network to collaborate for partnership, to pool investments and spread your word on the international market.
Other Subjects: A number of other fields of study like Law, Social Sciences, Medicine and Nursing, Hospitality Management, Environmental Sciences, Creative Art and Design, Film Studies are becoming increasingly sought after study abroad options among Indian students. There’s a global consciousness to remain connected and build a community across nations. The purpose is to drive positive change in society at large in terms of environmental awareness, humanitarian justice, law and order and uniting through creative ventures. The young generation of learners are exploring niche subjects offered on an international platform to be active participants in the joint mission. Indian students are making a mark internationally with their out of the box thinking, immense creativity, socio-cultural awareness and initiative to contribute globally.
Whichever subject you choose to pursue in your study abroad program, it must suit your needs and help you to achieve your goals. Studying abroad is a transformational experience and sows the seeds of a rich harvest. Good luck!
Author is Partner, Lead Counselor Reachivy.com