CAREER OPTIONS | The Road Less Taken by Sampurnaa Dutta


~~By Sampurnaa Dutta

Carving out a niche for oneself in one's chosen profession is a goal each of us has cherished. The devil, however, lies in the decision that needs to be made regarding which of the existing avenues should one explore. While a large number of people choose to opt for the tried and tested careers, quite a few are venturing into previously uncharted fields promising lucrative opportunities.

If you wish to pursue a profession that doesn't entail a nine to five work schedule in a tiny cubicle, set your worries aside! In this article, I talk about offbeat career options that could give you the right mix of fun and fulfilment, while you take home the moolah you have always wished to earn.

  1. Tea Tasting

Take home a handsome salary package while tantalizing your gustatory senses. That's the tea industry for you! Tea leaves serve the taste buds as much as they serve India's economy and its export revenue, where several people get jobs in the tea plantation industry. Though basic education usually qualifies one for a career in tea management, a degree in Agricultural Science, Botany, Food Sciences, or Horticulture and/or other allied fields does provide an added advantage. Being a tea lover is an inherent trait that cannot be inculcated or acquired on the job.


A career in the tea industry requires one to love an outdoor life, be physically fit and self reliant. Tea tasters need to have taste buds alive so as to differentiate the contents of taste giving alkaloids in the tea samples. This requires them to refrain from habits like drinking alcohol and smoking. Leadership traits and the ability to efficiently deal with labourers gives an edge to plantation managers.


  • The Department of Tea Husbandry and Technology in Assam Agricultural University
  • Indian Institute of Plantation Management, Bangalore
  • The Tea Research Association, Kolkata
  • Dipras Institute of Professional Studies, Kolkata
  • Darjeeling Tea Research and Management Association
  • Assam Darjeeling Tea Research Centre
  • UPASI Tea Research Institute, Tamil Nadu
  • Birla Institute of Futuristic Studies, Kolkata
  • Department of Tea Management, University of North Bengal 
  1. Dance Therapist

If putting on your dancing shoes and grooving to music is your passion, it's time to turn professional.  Dance therapy is the therapeutic use of the physical activity of dance and movement of the body to empower the functions of the body, mind, and soul. It focuses on the importance of the relationship between emotion and movement.


Obtaining a Masters degree is a must for an aspiring dance therapist. Prior knowledge and experience is different dance forms is an essential prerequisite to obtain a Bachelors degree, which is a minimum requirement for eligibility. One can pursue a Bachelors degree in any field. However, a liberal arts background better fits the bill. In addition to dancing, a dance therapist must understand non-verbal behaviour, movements, body language, gesture and emotional expression.


  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
  • Women's Christian College, Chennai in association with The East West Centre for Counselling and Training
  • Creative Movement Therapy Association of India, New Delhi
  • Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, Pune
  • SHRISTI Centre of Performing Arts and Institute of Dance Therapy, Delhi
  1. Pet Grooming 

If you love furry friends and can never have enough of them, why not make a career out it? Pet Grooming is an upcoming profession which involves beautifying animals by taking care of their appearance and hygiene. The services provided to animals include teeth brushing, nail clipping, trimming or filing, ear cleaning, anal sac cleaning, conditioning, shampoo, bath, blow drying, perfuming and finishing.


 Pet groomers need to be extremely fond of animals and know how to keep them calm. Keeping in mind the nature of the work, familiarity with different breeds of dogs and cats is essential. They must be proficient with a variety of combs, brushes, electric clippers and grooming shears.


  • Whiskers and Tails Franchise & Pet Grooming Academy, Mumbai
  • Fuzzy Wuzzy Professional Pet Grooming School, Bangalore
  • Scoopy Scrub, Delhi
  1. Game Designer

Dream of building your own games while deftly handling the console? It's time to turn your passion into a profession! Game design is a subset of game development and is the process of designing the content and rules of a game. Game designers are responsible for designing the game play, environment, storyline, and characters.


Video game design schools offer several different types of degrees – certificates, diplomas, associate degrees and graduate level programmes. A passion for gaming is what counts most in the gaming industry. Besides this, innovation and creativity while being up to date with fast evolving technology is an absolute necessity. A career in this field involves long working hours and stiff competition for higher positions. Hence, one must have a penchant for working hard and develop a sense of logic and the ability to conduct research.


  • Zee Institute of Creative Arts, Mumbai
  • Asian Institute of Gaming and Animation, Bangalore
  • iPixio Animation College, Bangalore
  • The Indian Institute of Digital Arts and Animation, Kolkata
  • Global Institute of Gaming and Animation, Chennai

Put your heart into what you are passionate about and the world is your oyster. This is a generation filled with oodles of talent, unbridled energy and exceptional creativity. A zeal to learn and a commitment to grow will yield outstanding outcomes where sky is absolutely NOT the limit.

(The writer is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Science and Technology Meghalaya. She can be reached at