I am a CBSE class 10 student. I’ve an interest in Ayurveda and would like to pursue it. However, my father feels it does not have much career scope. What should I do?

Ayurveda has gained prominence as an alternative medical option to traditional medicine. The philosophy behind alternative medicine is not merely to treat the problem but prevention along with healing of the body, mind and spirit and holistic wellbeing.

A Bachelor in Ayurvedic Medical Sciences (or BAMS) is a five-year degree in India where you learn the basic concepts and philosophies of Ayurvedic tradition, as well as clinical practices and traditional treatments. When you study Ayurveda, you will learn a variety of topics, from meditation to mind–body connect to nutrition to abhyanga (or massage for well-being) to specialised therapy sessions for injuries and ailments to learning how to customise diets according to each patient’s unique requirements.

Demand for Ayurvedic practitioners, therapists and dietary consultants is on the rise. Jobs at ayurvedic clinics, clinical research positions and teaching positions are typically offered if you have specialised in this field. Ayurveda has recently gained popularity across the globe. Pursuing such a degree would enable you to start a career in holistic medicine.

The Rosenberg European Academy of Ayurveda in Germany has made this an organised discipline of medical studies. Founded in 1993, it is one of the oldest campuses in Europe to offer such studies. It has a professionally driven course of four years, which prepares students with intensive training and knowledge to become certified practitioners of Ayurveda. If you graduate from Rosenberg, your diploma is recognised and valid across Europe.

Other institutions can be found in the UK and Italy. The College of Ayurveda in the UK is the only institute that offers a similar course to that of BAMS in India. This institution has a professional accreditation from the British Complementary Medicines Association, enabling students to carry their diplomas across the world and be recognised across multiple countries.

Across the Atlantic, the California College of Ayurveda is the largest school of ayurvedic medicine in the world. Students have a unique opportunity here to complement their studies with real-world internships to get practical training and hands-on experience.

Another option in the US is Everglades University, which offers a BSc (Bachelor of Science) with a specialisation in alternative medicine. Although not a direct Ayurvedic course, it covers Ayurveda as one of its topics and will give you a well-rounded knowledge of a variety of alternative medicines. Such a course could be useful if you are interested more in alternative medicine as a whole and not only Ayurveda.

There exist various educational institutes that specialise in each of these fields. Be sure to check the credibility and accreditation of the institute as there are lots of unregulated schools, which should be avoided. In high school it is advisable you study biology, physics and chemistry to be able to get admission to college. It is also not uncommon for colleges to offer dual degree programmes wherein a person can study alternative medicine along with another heath science subject.

Sanjeev Verma is an international education counsellor.

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