5 Unconventional career choices
With varied opportunities, there are wider career options available in the world over. Conventional jobs like that of doctors, engineers, teachers will continue to flourish, but with the changing global dynamics and creation of new verticals, there are quite a number of unconventional career options which might seem difficult to begin with but will be rewarding in the long run.
Let’s look at 5 of different unconventional ones:
- Sommelier/Wine Taster: The food and wine industry is witnessing a massive upheaval. There is a need for experts in different cuisines and liquor. New positions in different categories are opening up in this industry. And sommelier is one of them. A sommelier or a wine taster is a trained professional, specialising in all aspects of wine and its services. The role is at par with that of the executive chef or chef de cuisine. Becoming a professional certified sommelier requires experience, training, formal education. In India, a qualified sommelier can start off between Rs. 10-20,000 and go up to Rs. 50,000 with a few years of experience. With global experience, sommeliers can earn up to Rs. 1 lakh or more in India. The pay scale abroad is usually higher. France boasts of the best schools. Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and University du Vin de Suze la Rousse in the Rhone Valley are highly recommended. The Culinary Institute of America or the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers in Toronto also offer programmes. Professional courses in wine studies by WSET, an education body, are offered throughout the world by approved programme providers.
- Image Consultant: Akin to personal stylists, Image consultants have a broader role to play. Image consultants are professionals who help clients to make changes in their appearance, fine-tune their communication skills and behaviour. Most of these image consultants work as freelancers and thus the money they get paid varies according to their clients. There is no such particular degree to attain to be an image consultant but in India now, few training programmes are available. Having a mass communication/PR degree can be of help. Additional courses in marketing and finance can help independent consultants effectively promote their services to clients and operate a budget. A consultant can earn as much as Rs 1-2 lakh per client.
- Ethical hacking: Ethical hackers help a company or individual to help identify potential threats on a computer or network. An ethical hacker attempts to bypass system security and search for any weak points that could be exploited by malicious hackers. This information is then used by the organization to improve the system security, in an effort to minimize or eliminate any potential attacks. This field requires degree in BSc or BE or BTech. Experienced hackers are paid handsomely by companies.
- Food Stylist: The drool-worthy photographs of an enticing menu often make foodies salivate merely at the sight of those photos. Food stylisation is a specialisation of commercial photography, aimed at producing attractive photographs of food for a variety of uses including in advertisements, magazines, packaging, menus or cookbooks. Professional food photography is a collaborative effort, usually involving an art director, a photographer, a food stylist, a prop stylist and their assistants. There is no actual degree for food styling and most aspiring food stylists start their careers as professional chefs, or with a culinary arts degree. Experienced food stylists can give computer engineers a run for their money with regard to salary.
- Game designers: Game designers work with a team to design and develop video and computer games. They design characters, levels, puzzles, art and animation. They may also write code, using various computer programming languages. Depending on their career duties, they may also be responsible for project management tasks and testing early versions of video games. As the video game industry grows, more universities are creating curricula to support careers in video game design. These courses are usually offered within the computer science or media departments.
There are many such careers which are quite revolutionary in its own sphere, but creating ripples with job satisfaction, good pay package and great peace of mind.