In pursuit of knowledge and employment

Rather than just concentrating on the degree one is pursuing, our readers urge all to do or pursue something that one is truly interested in. This, they say, will make studies/getting degrees a lot more fun, and job later on will be like a game that you enjoy

Without any doubt the majority of SEE-graduates will opt for higher education, most popularly +2. People recognise it as a credible option as they themselves have followed their career through it. However, there are lots of people who have failed a number of times to get a +2 degree. To be honest, back in my post-SLC days, if I had known that there were other options for higher education, I would definitely have chosen an applied degree in mechanical engineering. The first reason is that I did not do so well in terms of academic learning. Secondly, I have always been interested in machines — I have always been curious and fascinated about how machines around me work since childhood. Looking back, I can still recall one question I had in my mind: “How do cars and buses have electricity to run their headlights in load shedding hours?” Even today I hold the same enthusiasm towards machines. However, I am pursuing my college degree right now — back then I thought it would be suitable for my future but now I am starting to regret it.

— Luza Sayami


Academic degree gives us a ‘wow’ feeling till we start our search for a job. The day we apply for a job and get rejected due to inexperience, we wish we could have pursued an applied degree. And, we feel our hard work is nothing more than a sheet of paper. After completion of Major English degree, I am thinking why did I not take a training in communication skills that could help enhance my knowledge and skills, and find a job easily in this highly competitive market. Practice of public speaking could open doors for me to be an orator but I missed that opportunity following the path of course studying. Now, I am working as a teacher today but I don’t have those qualities that a teacher should possess. I could have done better if I had taken the applied degree.

— Sabi Sapkota, Kapan


If I were free, then I would choose an applied degree. Most students get good grades and they choose Science, and those who get a low grade choose Humanities. However, getting academic degrees do not guarantee you a job or employment. Actually we all are studying not only to get knowledge but to earn money as well. By getting an applied degree, we would be almost sure about job opportunities as well as earning money. So, I would prefer to pursue an applied degree.

— Rabin Joshi


I have heard seniors talk about pursuing major streams — Science or Management or Humanities after SEE. But I want to study a technical subject — Agriculture. Studying technical subjects would solve the problem of unemployment — technical hands cannot be unemployed. Pursuing a technical line would make people independent. S/He would not have to ask for employment from others as they would have the skills to start their own business, and provide job opportunities to other educated people. So I would choose a technical field whatever others tell to me to do.

— Bibas Jung Thapa, Hetaunda


The SEE-graduates who have scored good grades like A and B are probably thinking about taking up popular subjects like Management and Science. The rest of them must have decided on either Humanities or to discontinue their studies. I think courses offered by CTEVT could be an option. Being a technician is better than being unemployed after acquiring a Master’s degree. I think diploma courses offered by different institutions are a solution. Diploma courses as well as other trainings, not only give a degree but skills too. I think this is need of our country and demand of the present world. We are transforming into a federal structure, which requires a trained and skilled workforce to complete our development programmes. Our government should think about integrating diploma courses so that students think about applied degrees too.

If I were free to choose, I would definitely choose an applied degree. It is because I have seen so many academic degree holders filling forms for jobs that are not worth their degrees. I would choose diploma in civil engineering. There is a huge demand for engineers in Nepal because we are constructing highways, bridges, airports and many more. The most important thing is that I can stay in Nepal as many diploma courses can be continued to Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. I suggest parents, who are marrying off their daughters instead of letting them continue their studies, to let them take up diploma courses. I assure that if her husband leaves her, she will do her own job instead of asking help from you. I believe our need is skilled manpower and we should focus on that. We have enough degree holders, so now it’s time to generate skilled manpower who can actually contribute in reconstruction and nation building.

— Binod Shrestha, Tilganga, Kathmandu


All forms of higher education are important and necessary for our youth to make them suitable for the job market. However, based on South Asian culture, over population and very limited job opportunities, vocational education, training and experience often do not land a potential young individual in the specific skill-based job in which he/she is specifically trained for. This is unfortunate even though various kinds of skills are important. Importance given to academic knowledge has overshadowed the importance of vocational training and education, and related degrees and diplomas. A regular academic degree helps an individual to switch from one job to another based on his/her needs; but a vocational or skill-based training degree does not make an individual suitable for many jobs outside his/her discipline or faculty, thereby limiting job opportunities. When job openings become equal in both regular and vocational educational programmes, demand for both degrees will be equal for youth seeking employment.

— Saikat Kumar Basu


One’s career depends on what one desires for him/herself. So s/he has to choose the stream that is best for them and where their interest lies. In this case, one should not choose a path for the sake of others. An applied degree is a cherry on the top of our qualification. For instance, if we have a diploma in some technical subjects, the skills learnt could help us to be better in our job. When it comes to academic degree, it is limited to sheets of paper as ‘degree’ which we need to show in order to get a job. Degree does not sell you, but your qualification does. One’s qualification is viewed in comparison to one’s ‘degree’ — people celebrate academic degrees. This is why students are pressurised to choose the academic field regardless of their interests. For me, I think it would be fruitful to choose an applied degree rather than an academic one — I do not believe in studying for a piece of paper called degree but want to enhance my skills and be qualified.

— Kailash Sapkota, Lokanthali, Bhaktapur


The knowledge from academic degrees would not be of any use without application. So I desire to pursue an applied degree to be a free translator as my passion asks for it. With the knowledge of several languages, I can be a free translator to be hired by a special person — it is little but I will be satisfied in it.

— Sneha Baral


Is the knowledge we are gaining being applied in our everyday life? The answer is no. Whatever we are studying is just being limited to our studies only. Still students and people are being judged on the basis of the academic degree rather than that of an applied one. If we want to get any job, interviewers ask us about our academic degrees and want to see the certificates. We are still being judged on the basis of academic degrees and the marks we secure. Priority is given more to academic degrees than applied degrees. That is what society seeks while our knowledge remains in the pages we study — we don’t apply what we have learnt in our lives. It is the same with countries abroad. If you want to study in a foreign country, we are asked about our academic certificates. It is the bitter truth of our life. Since priority is still given to academic degrees rather than applied degrees, I would choose an academic degree rather than an applied degree in the upcoming days.

— Suja Baral, Pokhara


If I were to choose between academic or applied degree, I would definitely pursue academic degree. Academic degree is an important part of one’s career life. This degree that focuses on knowledge helps improve one’s skills and knowledge in a particular subject. When you receive such a level of qualification, you can easily apply the knowledge to various institutes of your subject choice and be an adequate manpower there.

— Tulip Gyawali, Minbhawan,   Kathmandu


In our country I do not think that students have right to choose subjects. We only choose what would be best for our future rather than that we are interested in. We choose those options which make it easy for us to move ahead in life. But I believe that we should choose that stream and subjects that would be beneficial and applicable in future rather than just being limited to certificates.

— Merina Singh


I want to choose Science after SEE. It is because my parents have told me to choose Science. I have heard it is a good subject — I have seen toppers studying Science. My seniors also say that I can choose anything I like in the future if I study Science.

— Jenny


I prefer an academic degree to an applied degree. The applied degree prepares students for employment in a particular field or occupation, whereas the academic degree prepares students to plan and carry out quality research to advance knowledge. Applied degrees focus on jobs and employment but academic degrees also focus on students’ potential and ability.

You should never enter a door that opens before you knock. This is the case with applied degrees — you are already welcomed to a job. But in the academic degree you need to follow your potential, which is important to understand. Though, the applied degree is better in its own way, I would choose to pursue an academic degree due to its wonderful platform and contribution to the field of education.

— Bhumika Dahal


Let us be realistic! At the time of enrolling in a college after SEE, you are still a kid and without much knowledge. So, your parents are pretty much in control of which stream and college to enrol in — the child may have 30 per cent say on this. And pursuing a diploma straight after SEE unless it is pursued simultaneously in your extra time would be obscure. However, the three streams — Science, Management, and Humanities are quite tangible and easier to pick one among them after SEE. Anyone can have a brief idea about them, which makes it easier to choose one. So, I would definitely choose an academic degree.

— Sloke Shrestha, Chabahil, Kathmandu


Though my parents dream of me becoming a Science student, I want to take up Management. I want to become a Chartered Accountant — this is where my interest lies. So, take the subject that you know you are interested in. It does not matter whether it is applied or theoretical.

— Mohit Sharma


Today’s world is fast and very competitive. And this competition is with us rather than others. The major weakness with today’s generation is that they are easily influenced by their environment and friends and they fail to believe in themselves. It is important to think about our capabilities and have confidence on self. I had my dreams and my parents allowed me to pursue it. And I believe both academic and applied degrees equally hold their own importance and value. As Nepal is a developing country, I believe the quantity of technical students should grow massively to serve different aspects of the country. Hopefully, this would upgrade the career of students who are pursuing technical subjects. Therefore I prefer applied technology.

— Dipshana Ghimire


I would like to opt for an applied degree as it will help me in the work I are interested in. If we study a stream which has no connection with our work or interest, then that degree will be limited to a paper with no utility. So firstly we should focus on our aim and then choose a stream according to that. Our subject should match our practical work, then our studies will be fun and in the future work will be like game.

— Raju Atal


In today’s 21 Century, education is a must. In the absence of education, s/he is like a person who is unable to see. To achieve this, I would go for an academic degree. This does not mean that an applied degree has no value. But, I believe, in this competitive world, one must be a strong competitor to compete with many competitors. I do not think an applied degree is enough to enhance one’s level of knowledge. Tomorrow when you want to show your talent in the international arena, when you want to be ‘someone’ who is widely recognised, there comes the importance of academic degree. Choosing an academic degree does not merely mean going out of your interest field. For example, if you’re interested in forestry, instead of doing a diploma course, it is better to study Science in +2 than join the course in Bachelor’s level. This will make it easier to understand the subject. I know Science is not an easy subject. But difficult roads only lead to beautiful destinations. So, I prioritise academic degree for a bright future.

— Shristi Adhikari, Tanahun


In today’s competitive world, an academic degree with an applied degree is very essential. To maintain a balance between this, theoretical education is the run-up in real life. I have developed a great interest to develop soft skills and leadership skills in me so that it can be fruitful in my career. There will be favourable circumstances to effectively and efficiently use the technical skills and knowledge. It also help develop the level of confidence and materialise the local opportunities into practice and earning.

— Kamal Aryal, Pokhara


I believe a student must focus on choosing the right stream of their choice and interest rather than following someone else’s footsteps, or listening to other’s advice. In recent times along with the three streams — Science, Management and Humanities, diploma courses are on offer but, not many people know about it. If I were truly free to choose, I would choose the kind of education/skill that I desire. And I would definitely go for an applied degree because what I feel is that academic degrees are more confined to theoretical knowledge, whereas in applied degrees, you get a chance to focus on both the theoretical as well as practical knowledge. Applied degrees are more focused in providing practical knowledge to students and make them ready for employment. When it comes to Nepal, it is tough for a graduate to get a job and start their career after graduating from a college or university as many degree holders lack practical experience, while many of the jobs want people with practical experience along with theoretical knowledge. If you want to excel in life, it is better to enhance your skill, talent and knowledge both practically as well as theoretically.

— Tejaswi Pahari, Jawalakhel


I would choose an applied degree if I were truly free as I believe it would make me free. Within a short period of time, I would learn the skills and knowledge that would be fruitful for my life. I would also get the time to think which academic degree to choose to make my future good in the long run.

— Saugat


The second phase of the civic elections is here. Voting is our right. As a citizen of the country with the right to vote, how do/would you vote? Would you vote for a person and his/her abilities? Or would you vote for a person with regard to his/her party or ideologies? Why?

­Send your replies in not more than 200 words by Friday, June 30, 2:00 pm to Features, The Himalayan Times, e-mail: