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Top paying career options in India

By Kamiya Jani,
December 22, 2006 11:35 IST
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The Indian job scene is booming. And with the age of pre-placement offers setting in, the day has come when you can get a high paying job even before you step out of college.

Moneycontrol gives you a lowdown on the career options that'll pay you the best.

The most sought after Master in Business Administration is one of the top-paying careers today. And if you're a student from an 'A' grade institution such as the Indian Institutes of Management, easily expect Rs 750,000 to Rs 800,000 per annum as a fresher.

Varda Pendse, director of Cerebrus Consultants says that the entry-level salary is expected to go up even more. Also salaries differ according to the industry. "Today, the finance sector offers huge sums and has crossed the earlier darling of MBAs - the FMCG sector."

Software engineers come a close second thanks to the IT boom. But then most other disciplines of engineering fall short. "Talking about the salary for mechanical, chemical or electronic engineers, generally its the information technology sector that commands the most and in case of others it is generally 20 per cent lower than the salaries offered by IT sector," says Pendse.

Course option

College Grade/
Nature of employer

Salary per year
(in Rs lakh)

Masters of Business

A Grade

B Grade

Rs 7.5 to Rs 8

Rs 5.5 to Rs 6

Software Engineer

A Grade

B Grade

Rs 4.5 to Rs 5

Rs 3.5 to Rs 4

Mechanical, Electronics,
Chemical Engineer                  


Rs 3.5 to Rs 4

Chartered Accountants          

CA firms

Rs 2 to Rs 2.5    


Consultancy firms

Rs 2 to Rs 5      



Rs 2 to Rs 4



Rs 1.5 to Rs 4  



Rs 2 to Rs 3      



Rs 1.2 to Rs 2    



Rs 1 to Rs 1.2    

Public Relations               


Rs 1 to Rs 3      



Rs 2.5 to Rs 3    

Next to that would be chartered accountants who are also in big demand due to limited supply. Asserts Pendse, "If a student has passed out in the first attempt, he can easily get a salary of about Rs 750,000 - 800,000 per annum comparable with MBAs."

For nobler professions like doctors and dentistry, where personalised service is important, it's your skill that determines your income. Opines Pendse, "For professions as these, experience is like an investment. The more experienced you are, the more you get paid."

Today journalism is the buzzword. It's a discipline that promises glamour and power and there are several institutions offering courses in mass communication. So if you've got the nose for news you can create brand equity for yourself, which can easily translate into a pay packet of your choice.

That apart fashion designing, merchandising are yet some of the other creative fields that most of the younger lot opt for. Says Pendse, "Creative fields as these are still unorganised and are more individualistic. Famous designers recruit fresh graduates and pay them a salary that could be as low as Rs 3,000 per month.

"But an experience with them, is an investment in itself.

However, if you join as a merchandiser in any retail outlet like Pantaloon or Globus, expect a remuneration of about Rs 250,000 to Rs 300,000 per annum.

Parveen Shaikh, head psychologist, YoungBuzz India Ltd, says, "If you branch out on your own later on, you could earn anything between Rs 1,000 to Rs 500,000 or more for a single dress."

Of course, if you become a marquee designer and are lucky enough to go international, you could for a single creation, quite literally ask for the moon.

Advises Pendse, "While money is important, do not give more importance to compensation than your interest. Know your strengths and competency before joining any place. Also, while the salary may be unattractive today, it could reach a new high tomorrow.

"For instance in the broking industry if you're employed with Sharekhan or Indiabulls the starting salary is no doubt low but in the long term it may grow three levels higher compared to anywhere else. Higher level of respect and designation are two other important things, you need to look for."

So what are the ideal factors to consider?

Before you make a choice analyse what is it that you would like to do, in short your area of interest.

According to Shaikh ideally, make a choice of career on the basis of the following:

Step 1: Assess your true abilities, interest and personality either yourself or by visiting a career-counselling centre.

Step 2: Based on your interests make a primary list of careers. See to it that these careers are in sync with your personality and abilities

Step 3: Now explore all the careers in your primary list. Get to know more about the job profiles, requirements, prospects, how to develop your career, a typical day in the life of the professional among others.

Step 4: Once you're done with the above, pick the one that suits you the most.

For more strategies, click here

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