Career After 12th Arts and Humanities

Arts is the most versatile stream that students can opt for during their High school or Class 11 and Class 12. It is the stream that deals with a variety of subjects, disciplines and domains and thereby offers the students a number of course options and career opportunities in the future. However, there is also a common misconception among the students and parents that only those students who are academically not that bright and are unable to secure admission to the Science or the Commerce stream.

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Disciplines After 12th Arts / Humanities

The bias against the Arts Stream

This is a completely baseless and misplaced prejudice and doesn’t hold true when it comes real world situation. Arts stream also has equal challenges and offers good opportunities to the students be it for further studies or career. In fact, for certain professional exams like UPSC Civil Services, the Arts stream subjects that you study during your high-school will help you build a strong foundation that can help you crack the exams in the future.

Key Sub-Domains

Arts stream is the stream of opportunities. It is one stream in which students have the opportunity to pick the domain that appeal most to them. So, let’s look at some of the key sub-domains of the arts stream.


Humanities is a vast field and defining it within a few words is very difficult. In general, humanities deal with the study and understanding of the ‘human condition’. This includes unearthing the historical background, understanding the reasons behind the evolution of human behaviour, socio-cultural, economic and political systems in the human society. This domain covers a vast array of subjects and the key among them include:

  • History
  • Languages
  • Literature
  • Law
  • Philosophy
  • Religion
  • Performing Arts
  • Anthropology
  • Communication
  • Sociology
  • Psychology

·Fine Arts

By definition, Fine Arts refer to an art form that is practiced solely for its aesthetic value and beauty. Fine Arts is a general umbrella term that includes Visual Arts, Performing Arts and Literary Arts. As a study stream, it refers to the development of creative skills and thought-process in all the three sub-domains mentioned above.

Visual Arts

As the name suggests, visual arts is the field that is associated with development of visual art forms. It covers learning about the famous artists and their works and understanding their motivation. In addition to these, it also involves developing one’s creative skills to create their own pieces of visual art i.e. drawing, painting, sculptures and others. The key sub-domains within visual arts stream include:

  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Sculpture
  • Photography
  • Conceptual arts
  • Architecture
  • Weaving
  • Fabrics

Performing Arts

Performing Arts is also a sub-domain of the fine arts and involves development of performing arts skills in a student. The study of performing arts covers domains such as music, acting, dancing and theatre. Students will be involved in learning about the key techniques and skills required for performing arts. The key study domains within the performing arts stream include:

  • Music
  • Theatre
  • Dance
  • Singing
  • Acting
  • Comedy
  • Direction
  • Choreography
  • Editing
  • Martial art

Literary Arts

As the name suggests, the literary arts deals with development of literary art works i.e. books and novels. Writing and story-telling are the key skills one focuses upon while studying literary arts. Nowadays, it also involves script writing for movies, advertisement and creative copy writing for ATL and BTL marketing campaigns. The key specializations and domains in literary arts domain include:

  • Poetry
  • Novel
  • Short stories
  • Epics
  • writing

Scope of further studies in the Arts stream

Among the many factors that students need to consider while picking a stream after Class 10th; one of the most crucial one has to be the scope of further study. While the science and commerce streams have their key subjects as common; the case is quite different when it comes to the Arts stream. For the Arts stream, the plethora of options available for further studies makes it important for the students to pick the right subjects during the high-school level itself. For instance, a someone looking forward to build their career in Cartography, it is important for them to select Geography as one of the electives during high-school. In addition to this, the Arts stream also offers a host courses and training programmes to the students. The key among them are mentioned below:

· Bachelor’s Degree Courses

Bachelor of Arts / B.A is most popular undergraduate level course that is available to the students after completion of their high school. The course is offered in a variety of subjects which students can choose as per the career path they want to pursue. Generally, during the first year of the course, students have to pick three key subjects and during the final year, one core subject has to be picked for specialization. The popular Bachelor’s degree courses available for Arts stream students include:

  • B.A in History
  • B.A in Geography
  • B.A in Political Science
  • B.A in Public Administration
  • B.A in English Literature
  • B.A in Economics
· Technical Courses

Just because you picked the Arts stream doesn’t mean that you don’t get to tech oriented courses. There are a few technical courses also available for the Arts stream students at the undergraduate level which can put you on the path to building a bright career in technical domain. The key among them include:

· Law Courses

If legal services and law is something that interests you, Law courses at undergraduate level would be an ideal choice for you as an Arts student. Generally, the eligibility to join an LLB programme is a graduate degree; however, nowadays students can opt for a 5 year integrated programmes in law. The key among them include:

  • B.A + L.L.B – Bachelor of Arts & Bachelor of Legislative Law
  • BBA + L.L.B – Bachelor of Business Administration & Bachelor of Legislative Law
· Management Courses

Management has been the buzzword as far as career planning and growth is concerned. For Arts stream students as well, there are a host of management programmes available after completion of Class 12. These include bachelor degree level programmes, integrated five year programmes and even short-term certification programmes. However, the most popular among them are:

· Fashion Design / Design Courses

Designing is a big career domain for the arts students, especially for the students who specialize in visual arts stream. Therefore, several undergraduate level courses in design stream are available to the students of the Arts stream. Apart from the full-time three-year gradation courses in design, students can also take up certification and diploma courses as well which are offered by different institutes. The popular among them include:

  • Bachelor of Textile Design
  • Bachelor of Design (Accessory)
  • Bachelor of Fashion Communication
  • Bachelor of Interior Designing
  • Bachelor of Product Design
  • Furniture and Interior Design course
  • Bachelor of Design (Leather)
  • Bachelor of Fashion Design and Technology
· Performing Arts Courses

For those students who are interested in performing arts and want to build their career in it, there are a host of performing arts courses available after Class 12 Arts. These courses have been specifically designed to help gain the necessary knowledge and develop the essential skills. The most popular course in this domain is Bachelor in Performing Arts or BPA. Apart from these, short-term diploma and certificate level courses specific to respective performing arts is also provided by different institutes i.e. Certificate in Acting, Diploma in Script writing and Diploma in Dance, etc.

How to pick the right subjects / sub-domain?

When it comes to the arts stream, the majority of the students opt for Humanities subjects along with a few electives from fine arts sub-domain. High-school is a foundation course, and therefore, students are introduced to a variety of subjects that fall under the arts stream during this period. However, when it comes to selection of the subjects or sub-domain, students must keep the following things in mind:

  • Interest:Students must first consider their interest and passion towards a subject or a sub-domain before making a decision. Being a creative and research based stream, your interest will pay a pivotal role when it comes to higher studies in college and even for the career decisions after that.
  • Strengths:Along with identifying your interest areas, you must also take into account your strengths and weaknesses. These will help you to take the correct decision as far as selection of the sub-domains and subjects, is concerned.
  • Scope of further studies:Another very important factor that you must consider is the academic scope and career scope. Every subject and sub-domain in the arts stream is vast in nature and covers a diverse array of topics and concepts. Therefore, it is important for one to understand the scope of further studies in the subject or the domain that they are picking.

Career Scope for Arts stream students

Now, let’s come to the more important aspects i.e. career and job opportunities for Arts stream students. Thanks to the diverse nature of the stream, students from the Arts background have plenty of career options and job opportunities. The most popular career choice for the Arts stream students is to take up the teaching profession in the field or subject of their specialization. Similarly, they can also explore other career options depending upon the further study option that they opt for. These include business managers, lawyers, musicians, dancers, artists, actor, businessman, economist, statistician, architects, fashion designers, writers, historian and archaeologist.

Apart from the aforementioned career options, many students from the arts stream also choose government jobs in different departments and ministries. The UPSC civil services exam which is the qualifying exam for IAS, IPS, IFS and other high-level bureaucrats is also a preferred career option among the Arts stream students. Alternatively, they can also appear for for Banking sector recruitment exams, SSC / Staff Selection Commission Exams or State PCS exams to join the bureaucracy.

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