by Piyush Kumar, PhD
From the very beginning of Science career, we are made of aware of IIT-JEE and Medical entrance exams (now NEET), and several among us get admission in coaching classes, even from Class V/ VII; so we see people get really serious when career is concerned. And the moment we think of coaching classes, a city called Kota in Rajasthan comes to our mind. It has become a hub for producing future Engineers and Doctors. This development led to the development of Kota, generating employment/self-employment to thousands of people through shops, restaurants, hostels, etc.
Biotechnology is a new concept in the world of biology, and especially new for our parents’ generation, but not new enough that one cannot find career possibilities. The subject is heavily based on other branch of Biosciences or Life sciences but a Biotechnologist thinks, brainstorms and executes, i.e. how to increase production in terms of quantity and quality of Biological products so that more and more human lives are positive affected. This concept makes them a Scientist, thinktank, and Manager of a company/institute among other several designations in Biotech industry at the same time.
Biotechnology or Life Sciences?
The case of choosing Biotechnology as a career is different from engineering and medical; a large number of students join BSc or MSc Biotech or Life Sciences because they could not get through any other medical entrance exams. So this brings a paradigm shift and students get stuck looking for‘quick’ career options, which are few in Biotechnology. In my own experience, when parents ask questions about biotechnology, I feel they somehow came to know that biotechnology has a huge potential, but they have no idea what biotechnology is! People who really know about the basics and scope of biotechnology, with good counselling skills are few and at this time, experienced faculty, or professionals from industry, and/or individual coaches and coaching institutes can help understand Biotechnology as a career prospect. Amongst, only coaching institutes are easily available to pre-college and college students as a guide for this field. The probable why biotech-coaching institutesare becoming integral to students are discussed:
Most Indian students aspire to join a private tuition or a private coaching institute because of herd mentality and societal expectations. This herd mentality has been propagated by the private coaching institutes as well as high expectations of the parents in general. Such institutes generate a mindset where you start believing that a student who has not joined a coaching program won’t be successful in the future. Results: Because of the growing competition everyone wants to secure a seat in a good university or institution. This led to fighting for scarce resources. Student must always see who ‘produces’ top and consistent results before joining any coaching class.In coaching classes, one is always competing with peers and getting pushed to do his/her best.
Lack of experienced faculty/Proper Subject knowledge
Traditional courses such as Zoology and Botany have lost their shine and students are preferring biotech courses to the traditional ones. Proper guidance is vital. Not all schools and colleges have or can afford good teachers but still they are running these courses just to earn extra money. This left no option with students butto find good teachers. Coaching classes, in view of stiff competition among themselves, hire best talents as tutors at any cost. Also, with time these individuals or coaching have become experienced about the syllabi and entrance exam patterns and thus teache what is required for a student for the‘best’ results. In tuition, one gets relatively more personal care.A tutor can be replaced any time if teaching quality is not acceptable to students. Thus tutors works harder than school teachers.
Lack of books and study material
Some colleges cannot afford to purchase every or even basic books of Biotechnology and thus student run here and there to ‘make notes’ and for photocopy of books shared by studentsfrom other colleges/libraries. This happens especially at the time of exams when they realize how vastthe curriculum is and how badly they need all notes, concepts or study material at one place. In India only one or two publications provides tailor made books for Biotechnology and life science entrances.Coaching classes gives the readymade plans and everything is taken care of. All a student has to do focus on study.
Lack of proper time table
Self study is the best habit to score in any exam but sticking to a time table is a big problem for students nowadays. While studying in a batch of students in classrooms, students are left with no option but to listen to tutor for the time frame. This led to consistency in study and proper time table.Thus both students and parents prefer coaching classes as several colleges fail to conduct lectures on a regular basis.
Zeal to learn more – Some Students who wants to excel or want to become a topper at any cost wants to try out different resources so that they can differentiate between good and bad, or they can get all or best out of available resources. Coaching seems the only alternative in such a case
This can be the reason for students living in remote areas that lack infrastructure. They opt for coaching to find better study resources and guidance for future options, and this has been proven right for some when they get selected for good institutes after their 6 months to 1 year coaching in such classes.
One of the best advantages of coaching is the interaction or networking with an enormous group of career-hungry people, which gives an edge over others in this competitive academic environment.
Coaching classes provide proper revisions and practice to create a solid foundation for examinations. Mock tests taken in these coaching classes are very helpful for assessment. These tests can give ample practice as they teach how to respond promptly to tricky questions and manage time. They also provide exra hours for doubt sessions which greatly attracts students.
Information about upcoming exams
It is a very tricky affair to track the notifications from exam and college bodies regarding their entrance tests. Coaching institutes provide one-stop-solution and keep informing students about upcoming entrances so that students can apply in time.
In India Biotechnology is still spreading, the students are opting for Bioscience as career but the opportunities are limited after graduation; this has led to stiff competition that starts from an early stage of career building and extra efforts need to be taken at every step. It should be noted that these classes come with a hefty price tag, which can cause a financial burden on parents. Also, if one is not able to cope up with the teaching style of the faculty, this can lead to severe problems academically, emotionally and mentally. So choosing a coaching class can be tricky else it can waste time, effort and money unnecessarily.
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