Change is the only constant. After wracking my brains with thoughts on how to write this article and whether to write it or not, changing my opinions again and again about the importance of writing an article for a career counselling blog I could just agree with the above statement more than anything else at present. To be honest fiddling through the Google University and finding nothing worth straining my fingers for I finally decided to use my own brains for penning down the experience of a university graduate whose dearest aim since the time she gained her senses has been to crack the most prestigious and supposedly the most difficult exam in India.
Yes, her dream since her childhood days and even today is to have a lal batti government of India ambassador. She went to a prestigious Delhi school. Her parents and initially she too wanted to do Science in her plus 2. After much-failed efforts to convince the concerned teachers, she was put in Commerce being short of two marks for getting enrolled in the Science stream. God only knows how many blessings those teachers received from her and her parents at that time.
Well, being a friendly and open-minded child she accepted the once abhorred decision of her teachers and adapted well with Commerce stream scoring pretty respectable marks in class 12. She filled the college forms happily thinking to join the subject she had developed a good taste for in the previous two years, economics. Very soon she figured out the harsh reality that she could not get her dream course in any of her dream colleges (mainly the north campus colleges). To her list of dilemmas then was added another one but through a lucky trail of events she ended up in one of the best colleges in Delhi University.
Though she had economics as one of the subjects she did not have economics (Hons.) that she desired. She opted for B.A. (Programme) which as the name suggests is not an honors course but is a programming course that offers various humanities courses over a period of three years. She took it up after much consultation with seniors, friends, friends, friends and so on, with the aim of clearing the much-hyped CAT exam after the three years; join an MBA course in an institution like IIM.
The inspiration behind this thought was her cousin sister who had just passed out from IIM, Lucknow and looked super happy and was the star performer of her family at that moment. So, whatever the reasons were, the protagonist started her journey as a college student with a course which she not exactly liked in the beginning but realized that it was the course that opened so much of diversity of subjects and options in front of her. She read subjects ranging from mathematics to Human Rights, from English, Hindi to subjects like Conflict Resolution and Peace Building. The faculty, the peer group she got there was the best she could have asked for. But as we all know change is constant, there she was in the 3rd year again worried about what next. MBA was no more an option; the star cousin had also subsided by then.
Under the guidance and influence of the amazingly intellectual faculty, she formed her new aim, which was to join JNU as a master’s student. Her UPSC aim was still burning and she decided to give the entrance for the subject that she had never really thought of and studied extensively in the past 15 years of her formal education. The subject she now desired was Sociology. She gave the entrance but she did not make it to JNU, she felt sad, very sad thinking she was not good enough for sociology but very soon to her surprise she cleared the entrance of an even better institution as rated by many surveys.
This was Delhi School of Economics, which falls under Delhi University. Wow the name itself sounded so good. This she felt was her time as she now had the subject she wanted as it would be her choice for the upsc exam and she had the tag of the institution that has world-class faculty and brains. She was not keen as much to learn sociology as she was to acquire knowledge for the sake of the UPSC exam.
Well, then the course started. MA sociology course in DSE is dealt with quite extensively. There are 4 semesters in the two-year course and each semester has four papers thus making it a course with a total of 16 subjects to be done in the 2 year period. There are courses varying from sociological Theories in which Karl Marx, Weber, and Durkheim, the three main sociologists are done extensively to Sociology of India, Religion, Political Sociology, Economic Sociology, and Urban Sociology.
There are specific courses on Gender, Industry, and Society, Organization, Symbolism, Population and Society, Sociology of Development and others. The course requires dedicated hard work and sincere study of the subjects one opts for. In the 1st two semesters, all subjects are compulsory and are to be done by all students but in the last two semesters there are electives and one can choose them from within the department or from any course in the DU’s masters program depending on subjects availability and one’s interest.
After the 2 years spent reading sociology I surely without a doubt can say that it is a subject that one would really like to know for the love of it. It is a subject that opens up one’s horizons and ability to think and understand things and society in a better way. It is a subject that can allow you to be critical and question the given and the commonsensical. It allows one to see the larger realities of the very society we live in and the other societies, various strata of it and it gives one an empowered perspective to look at things and question them rather than simply absorb and accept them.
It has the power to convert you into a hardcore feminist with proper reasons; along with the power to understand the various prisms and specific differences between them. It has the ability to awaken in you a spirit of inquiry and humbleness to relate to the larger society and not just simply your individualistic world. It develops you not just intellectually but also as a human being as you start to give thought to the way different strata in the society are and if so then why and invokes the hidden passion in you to question that which once you thought was unquestionable.
Apart from development as a person this subject also opens up wide fields for you to choose your career path. Of course one of the bright paths is the path of upsc, along with opportunities in the social sector. With the increasing role of civil society, one can always think of using the sociological studies in this area for the welfare of the larger society. One can enter the corporate world too if one desires. One can think of pursuing the course further and do M.Phil and Ph.D. and such research works and makes teaching his/ her profession. It is a subject that basically evolves you as an informed and intellectual being who is able to look at things critically and have a perspective that is not dictated by society but is one’s own.
In the end, I would just like to say that the school kid mentioned in the first paragraph had the great two years of the learning experience with sociology and she doesn’t regret changing her streams and subjects so many times as it has only helped her widen her horizons to a great extent. She still has the burning desire to have her own ‘lal batti’ ambassador with the government of India plate on it. In an ever-changing world her childhood dream has been alive for a long time and studying sociology has only added fuel to her burning desire. So you too go ahead and explore it for your own self as experiences and paths may vary. So have faith in your own instincts and be confident of what you choose and make an unforgettable path with your footsteps on it. Good luck and godspeed!