What subjects should I choose for my undergrad if I want to pursue virology as a career in the future? And what are the prospects?

Our understanding of viruses is driven by virology – the study of viruses. Everything from common infections such as the cold to chicken pox to yes, Covid-19. These viruses are researched and examined closely by virologists – medical professionals whose job it is to oversee the diagnosis, management and prevention of infection. Virologists straddle both the world of research and practice – they may be both a scientist and a physician. The breadth of responsibilities and roles virologists take up is vast – they are responsible for diagnosing viral infections and also investigating the pharmacological response of viruses to antiviral drugs, and the subsequent evolution of drug resistance. They give expert advice to colleagues on hospital wards and to veterinarians, as well as to the government and organisations such as the WHO and UN. Virologists also work in public health and health protection medicine and may be required to give advice on immunisation and vaccine use. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in virology, your studies will need to be related to health sciences, usually included in programmes like biomedical sciences, microbiology or biology. A specialisation is usually done at the master’s level, since most bachelor’s level programmes will not go in-depth enough to provide you with the skills and tools to become a virologist.

My daughter wants to pursue a data analysis course. Could you give me more information on it?

Data Analytics (DA) is the process of examining raw data with the aid of specialised software to reach meaningful conclusions required for decision-making. To take informed decisions managers need to have data that is analysed in a meaningful manner. DA can be used to optimise business decisions, improve performance, and reduce cost by identifying more efficient ways of conducting business. A postgraduate degree in DA is a natural choice for students. It focuses on data operations and advanced analytics apart from system architecture. It provides in-depth knowledge of transforming raw unstructured data into a usable asset by applying programming skills and tools. One closely related, equally important course is Business Analytics. Here the focus would be on transforming data into specific competitive insights for business advantage. This course equips you with technical and business skills and such people are usually the link between the IT section and the rest of the company.