Love the thrill of watching a butterfly flutter by? The excitement of discovering the name of a tree species? Understanding how living beings evolve? If you're a wildlife lover, here are four career options you can explore.

Marine biologist

What to study: BSc in marine biology or a related field such as oceanography, marine science, or earth science, followed by a Masters.

What the job entails: Marine biologists study animal, plant, and microscopic life in oceans. But this does not mean they're always into deep-sea diving! They work with samples in research laboratories for any discoveries, and also prepare reports worthy of publication.

Benefits: In addition to closely observing all kinds of marine creatures, they could be a changemaker. Apparently, a little more than three-fourth of all life on our planet is found under the ocean surface. And since they are also indicators of the changes around us - such as pollution and climate change - marine biologists could be the one to announce this to the world, nudging citizens to be responsible and protect our world.

Challenges: While not always, field work - in oceans - can be physically demanding, due to being in water for a long while, lugging heavy equipment, etc. The location could be remote, affecting one's social life for long periods of time.

Wildlife photographer/ filmmaker

What to study: For both photography and filmmaking, there are degree and short-term courses offered both in India and abroad.

What the job entails: As is evident from the job title, one photographs or shoots films about wildlife. It also involves team work, constant learning, being aware, fit, resilient, quick to adapt, among others.

Benefits: Watching wildlife, learning about them, and enlightening the layperson. Though it is not a 9-to-5 job, it has the potential to be lucrative. Professionals can even be part of wildlife magazines or television channels. And, there is recognition. going by the growing number of awards presented to wildlife photographers and filmmakers globally. But, do they match the reward of watching Nature up-close?

Challenges: While the technicalities of shooting a picture or film/ documentary can be learnt through professional courses offered across the globe, certain aspects are learnt on the job. For instance, patience and acceptance. Nature is what it is one has no control over timing the blooming of a flower or a tiger snagging its prey. Sometimes no matter how much one is prepared, the result may not be what one wants.

Wildlife rehabilitator

What to study: While a degree in biology or ecology is seen as necessary, the subjects covered could include ornithology, mammalogy, animal behaviour, etc.

What the job entails: Wildlife rehabilitators care for and treat injured, orphaned, or displaced wildlife. Their aim is to ensure that the animals are healthy and prepared appropriately to finally return to the wild.

Benefits: In addition to saving and protecting wildlife, they play a huge role in rescuing animals during natural disasters and also educating people about wildlife. Their role helps reduce human-wildlife conflicts, and create a sense of responsibility among people towards wildlife.

Challenges: In this line of work, it is not possible to save every animal one rescues. It is important to understand that sometimes, an animal's life is beyond one's control.

(Natural History) Museum curator

What to study: Masters in biology, ecology, museum studies, etc. Some museums may require doctoral studies in related fields, in addition to work experience.

What the job entails: As with most other jobs, this one too spans a wide range of responsibilities. However, what is particularly vital is that the curator possesses the wisdom and necessary skills to gather, understand, and put together a dynamic collection of relevant specimens that can be viewed on a regular basis or specifically presented in highly stimulating and themed exhibitions.

Benefits: The greatest take away from the job could be the pleasure of learning. and working with a rare and an incredible variety of specimens, some of which could go back even centuries. And, of course, the opportunities to interact with curious visitors who may share the curators joy in natural history.

Challenges: If the museums are small, one is likely to take on several responsibilities, as mentioned earlier. This, of course may mean longer working hours but a richer learning experience too. Since many of the specimens will be very old and fragile, extra care is required in handling them.

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I want to become Photographer

I am in Std XI. As I have chosen photography as my career, could you please tell me the best photography institutions in Mumbai and other cities, and about different types of photography like fashion photography, wildlife photography etc.?

Photographers communicate information, ideas and feelings through films, videos and still photographs. Depending on their specialization, their work may vary. For example, a portrait photographer takes pictures of individuals or small groups for functions like weddings, parties, social activities. An advertising photographer obtains work from an advertising agency and often specializes in one subject such as food, cars, etc. Advertising photography is probably the best paid and most competitive branch. Cinematographers use camera, lighting and related equipment to create the desired visual "mood" or "feel" for a film. Fashion photographers specialize in fashion, cosmetics and accessories. Wildlife photographers capture the animal kingdom and plant life in its most natural and habitual form. Photojournalists take photographs of an event, person or issue, accurately and informatively. They work for newspapers and magazines. The paparazzi fall into this category.

Some of the institutes are:

Fergusson College, University of Pune,

National Academy of Photography, Kolkata,

‘National Institute of Photography, Mumbai,

Academy for Photographic Excellence (Apex), New Delhi,

Sri  Aurobindo Centre for Arts & Communication (SACAC).

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I want to pursue wildlife photography


I am a student of Std XII (Science) and I want to pursue wildlife photography. What courses should I take up and which institutions provide such courses?

To be a good wildlife photographer, it is essential to love and care for animals. Start observing your surroundings first and shoot common animals and birds. At this stage, a professional camera is not required. Later you can work for travel and geographic magazines, calendars, etc. as you travel around capturing waterfalls, landscapes, wildlife and other interesting shades of nature.

Wildlife photography is a specialized branch of photography. First you can join a basic photography course and build knowledge from there. Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad offers BFA (Photography). Other institutes include Xavier's Institute of Communication, Mumbai; Delhi School of Photography, New Delhi; Bharati Vidyapeeth, Pune and National Institute of Photography, Mumbai.

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What is the career in photography?

With the boom in advertising, media and fashion industry, photography, from a mere hobby, is emerging as a lucrative career choice. Travel and travel documentary photography is one of the most thrilling forms of photography. It offers a chance to travel to less-known places, meet indigenous people, and document their historical and cultural significance.

A pretty picture

 To begin with, you must pick a niche or an area of interest. However, if your interest is not commercially viable, you may have to take an other assignments to pay the bills. Most travel photographers like to strike a balance between assignments that align with their interests and those that are financially lucrative. Once your networks are in place and you ave developed a name for yourself, you may find it necessary to work on assignments that do not interest you.

What are the job prospects?

Careers in photography branch out in different directions. Travel and travel documentary photography hold a plethora of opportunities, as people are interested in travel, especially to less-explored places. This particular branch of photography is similar to photo journalism and focusses on telling stories through images.

Travel magazines, channels and photo-sharing websites recruit travel photographers on a freelance or full-time basis. Most photographers prefer to work as freelancers so that they can take or multiple assignments.

Travel photographers can also freelance for resorts and government tourism departments.

While the world has come to a halt currently because of the coronavirus pandemic, the interest in travel and photography is expected to revive after normalcy returns.

What to study?

One doesn’t need a specific degree to work as a photographer. However, many photography schools in India and abroad offer short-term courses and diplomas in different areas of photography.


  • Uddan School of Photography in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata: One-year and two-year diploma programmes in Commercial Photography.

  • Light and Life Academy in Udhagamandalam Tamil Nadu: Diploma in Travel and Nature Photography.

  • Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communication, Delhi: Foundation in Photography (two months) and PG Diploma in Professional Photography (16 months).


  • New York Institute of Photography, the U.S.: Online courses – The Complete Course in Professional Photography, Digital Photography: Photoshop for Photographers, Marketing for Photographers, and the Video Making and Storytelling and The Fundamentals of Digital Photography.

  • Goldsmiths University, the U.K.: Master of Arts (M.A.) Photography and Urban Cultures; and M.A. Photography: The Image and Electronic Arts.

  • Speos International Photo School, Paris and London: Courses in Studio Photography and CGI, Sports photography, Photojournalism, and Fashion Photography.

Required skills

  • Passion for photography

  • Knowledge of cameras and angles

  • Creativity of come up with different camera angles and photo ideas

  • Excellent communication skills

  • Ability to tell a story through the photos

  • Patience to wait for the perfect shot

  • Stamina to cope with hectic schedules, travel to remote places and long days

  • Familiarity with digital editing tools

  • Interpersonal and marketing skills

  • Editing skills


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