We live in a highly complicated as well as organize society. Its ever-increasing needs can only be met by expert or specialized knowledge. The specialist is in very great demand today and has rare opportunities for self-advancement. This has created variety of new openings for our young men and women. Formerly a clerk was a sort of a general assistant who was useful for all types of office work. Now there has to be a stenographer, a typist, an accountant optometrist, etc. in a factory there is the lathe man, the mechanic, the technical expert. There was a time, when a college lecture could take classes in two or three subjects: now such a state of things is unthinkable. Thus the modern young man has a range of choice which has father could not dream of. The engineer, the administrative officer, and the clerk, – these were the profession which were open to our fathers. Today each one of these has a number of subordinate departments offering one a variety of specialized profession to choose from. A lawyer can specialize in income-tax, or sales-tax, or company law or labor disputes as he may be interested in. even a clerk can create an impression if he has special knowledge on correspondence or accounts or marketing.
Apart from these ‘white tie’ jobs confined to managerial departments a young Indian today can, if he is bold and adventurous, turn to the armed forces for a career. He can join the army, the navy, or the air forces. He can qualify to be an officer or an engineer. The need of military personnel to take over the duties formerly monopolized by European officers is perennial, and centers for military training are always on the look-out for the right type of men. The universities provide opportunities through various training courses that function under their auspices.
Or, if he has a mechanical aptitude, he can train himself to be a technologist. Modern India has set up a large number of centers for teaching the technical sciences. An Indian can be an expert in jute technology or in ceramics; in the different branches of electrical or chemical engineering; in railway aeronautical or motor engineering. There is a rush in our colleges for admission to the science classes where one get the basic education that entitles one to go up to these technological institutes. During the last ten years a large number of these institutes have opened by the government all over the country. The number is increasing for with the programmes for rapid industrialization before us, the demand is always growing.
Another wide range of selection is open to our commerce graduates. They can go up for higher accountancy and auditing, banking and insurance, cost accountancy and statistics. Each of these departments needs the services of trained experts. Our young men can qualify for the various examinations conducted by institutes of accountancy, banking, insurance etc. this explains why economics, they basic science for all these subjects, is the option of such a large number of students today.
The public services attract the more brilliant young men of our universities. Today for most of these services recruitment is undertaken through the public service commissions, and usually on the basis of competitive examinations. Form the post of office assistant to that of superior administrative officer-there is a wide field of choice, and candidates are always needed to compete for these.
Music and the theatricals have always been professions that afforded opportunities of earning something more than mere livelihood to the talented few. But with the invention and improvement of photography, sound synchronization and other technical devices, fresh openings have offered themselves to young men and women. There is another department – that of sports – in which professionalism is beginning of offer opportunities for a career. In spite of the unreasonable opposition of some, professionalism in sports will soon be offering a respectable livelihood to many robust young men.
Teaching, though financially not so attractive, continues to be popular. Form the humble teacher in basic schools to the learned lecturer at the university, a teacher always feels – or should feel-that he is building the nation. If there is less money in the profession, there in more inspiration, here also there is greater scope for those who have taken special training the art.
A new line is opening up the diplomatic line. The country needs ambassadors and representatives in the international sphere. Apart from the national diplomatic services, the UNO provides attractive scope for talented young men and women.
A recent development is the increasing opportunities that women now have for useful occupations. Not only are they accepted and welcomed as teachers and nurses but they are finding employment in the offices in increasing numbers. We have women lawyers and journalists, women in the political and diplomatic field. Recently we have had women as vice-chancellor and as judge of a high court. Here our country is marching ahead of some of the most advanced nation of the west.
It is true that some professions which used to be remunerative in the past have ceased to be so. Thus, priesthood is gradually ceasing to be attractive. Landlordism and money-lending also are soon going to be relics of past, though others, which ought to have gone out, seem to be putting forth a new lease of life, e.g. the profession of the astrologer or the religious preceptor. These will of course die out as they have done in the west with the spread of education and the growth of rationalism and men cease to believe in magic and mantras. But for each profession that has died out, or is about to do so, hundreds of new openings are being created so that, on the whole, we can say that young people of today are much more happily placed than those belonging to a past generation. That is one of the tangible fruits of independence that enjoy.