‘What after Class 10? Which stream to opt for? Should you consider professional courses or stick to more traditional options?’ These are a few questions that haunt students who have appeared for the Board Exams and are waiting for the results. The answer to this question decides their future as far as further studies and professional life after that is concerned. Therefore, it is natural for Class 10 students to be concerned about it.
Deciding ‘what you are going to do after Class 10’ often turns out to be one of the most important decisions of your life. For the first time, you stand at a crossroad where the decision you make will have major implications on the rest of your life. If you are not clear about the career you want to build or do not have the necessary guidance, deciding what to do after Class 10 will surely be a daunting task. And if you make a wrong choice after Class 10, you will have to live with it for the rest of your life.
It will help you learn Decision Making
This phase will also give you the first taste of adulthood and introduce you to a very important life skill i.e. Decision Making. As the term suggests, decision making is all about taking the right decision or making an informed choice, after evaluating all the pros and cons associated with it. And the career direction post class 10 is the first major decision that you will encounter in your life, but it will surely not be the last one. In fact, decision making is a sought-after skill for every career option and will matter the most once you enter the job market, irrespective of the industry or domain. Therefore, the sooner you learn the art and science of decision making based on logical reasoning, the better it will be for you. And career decision post class 10 is the right place to start this life learning.
It will give you the right to choose
Until now, all the major life decision, even your own name was decided by your parents. Therefore, ‘What to do after Class 10?’will the first major decision that you have to take in your life. And with so many career choices and opportunities before you, at first, you might feel intimidated by them. But, upon closer examination, you will understand that choices are good and they empower you to pick the career option that you think is the best for your future.
The biggest decision post class 10 is picking the right stream. Picking the right stream is extremely important as everything that happens thereafter will depend on it. At times, students follow the herd mentality and pick the stream which their friends opt for or the one that their parents suggest. This is a wrong and dangerous practice and will lead to flawed career decisions. Many students pick the stream without actually understanding what lies in store for them after joining it. Therefore, proper understanding and knowledge of the stream you opt for and the future career options they offer, is very important. Following are the different streams that are available after Class 10.
1. Science – The Usual Favourite
Science is easily the most attractive stream and the one that almost every parent wants their child to opt for. The Science stream offers you many lucrative career options such as engineering, medical, IT and computer science and even research in a variety of domains. The biggest advantage of opting for science stream for Class 10 students is that it allows them to shift streams (Arts or Commerce) later on in their academic career. Simply put, a Science student can opt for any subject from Arts or Commerce stream, if they are not comfortable with courses or specialization offered in it at the graduation level. On the contrary, Arts or Commerce students do not enjoy this option and are not allowed to pick science subjects for under graduate courses.
As far as your Class 11th and 12thare concerned, you will have to deal with foundational science subjects i.e. Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics along with a few electives such as Computer Science, IT and Electronics. In addition to these, you will also have a compulsory language subject, depending upon the teaching medium you opt for. The teaching pedagogy will involve classroom teaching as well as practical training in laboratories. If you are interested in Engineering you can opt for PCM or Physics + Chemistry + Mathematics as core subjects, otherwise, you can pick PCMB or Physics + Chemistry + Mathematics + Biology, if medicine is the career that interests you.
2. Commerce – Best for Business
Commerce is the second most popular stream among the Class 10 students as a career choice. If numbers, finances and economics are your forte, you must opt for Commerce Stream. As far as future career options are concerned, Commerce stream can lead you to some of the most lucrative and high paying jobs such as Chartered Accountants, Company Secretaries, Accountants, Investment Banking and Financial Advisors; although you will have to opt for professional courses in these respective domains post your Class 12.
As a Commerce student, you will have Business Economics, Accountancy, Business Study and Business Law as your core subjects. In addition to this, you will also get foundational training in accounting, auditing, income tax, marketing and general business economics as part of the commerce stream. Just as the Science stream, students from Commerce also have a compulsory language subject.
3. Arts / Humanities – Opportunities galore
Humanities or what is popularly known as the Arts stream is traditionally the least preferred option among Class 10 students but this perception is changing with time. Today, Arts stream has emerged as the widest study stream among all three, offering some interesting, off-beat and exciting career opportunities. Traditionally, the Arts stream was limited to students who were interested in academic research but this perception has changed in the last decade. Today, Arts students have a plethora of career options and most of them are equally lucrative and satisfying as the ones available through Science or Commerce streams. An Arts student can opt for career options like Journalism, Literature, Social Work, Teaching and many others.
As far as subjects are concerned, Arts students have a variety of subjects to choose from which include sociology, history, literature, psychology, political science, philosophy, economics etc. Along with one compulsory language option, Arts students also have the choice to opt for a second language as well.
4. What’s more
In the last decade, India’s education sector has diversified, giving you many unique choices and options post Class 10. There are several short-term certification courses, diploma courses, vocational courses and even some professional courses that you can opt for after completing your Class 10. However, as a class 10 student, you might not be fully aware of all the opportunities that are on offer and the challenges that come along with them. Therefore, you must consult a career counsellor, who will help you understand all the aspects related to these new-age career options and help make an informed choice.
Now that we have gone through why this decision is so important in your life and what each of the streams holds for you in future, it’s time for you to take the right decision. Still wondering how can you take such a major decision on your own? If yes, you are right in doing so! Deciding what to do after Class 10 is a crucial decision and should never be taken in haste. To simplify this process, you can follow a few simple guidelines that are provided below:
1. Assess Interests & Passion
Ever seen a working professional crib about their job or the daily grind? Trust me; you don’t want that once you start working. To avoid this, you must follow your interests and passions. And the first step in this process is identifying which subject, topic or career option excites you. You can do something for a lifetime and still be happy and satisfied with it, only if you truly enjoy it. Therefore, irrespective of which stream you pick, make sure that you find the subjects covered under it interesting.
2. Analyse your Strengths & Weaknesses
After assessing your interests, the second step for you is to assess your skills and abilities. If you choose a stream merely on the basis of your interest but do not have the right skills and abilities to deal with the subjects that it covers, it will pose a big problem in future. For instance, you might be interested in elementary science but the science subjects that are taught at Class 12 level are much detailed and difficult. Or if you are good with basic arithmetic and opt for PCM combo in Class 12 where Mathematics is of a much-advanced level, you will not be able to cope with it. Therefore, you must do a thorough analysis of your skills and abilities, determine your strengths and weaknesses and pick a stream that is in accordance with your strengths.
3. Identify the Right Career Choice
Once you start identifying the things that you are interested in or passionate about, you will realize that the list of long and varied. Not everything that you like or are interested in can be transformed into a great main-stream career choice. For instance, you might love kite flying and may be one of the best kite flyers in the school, but building a career in it that too a lucrative one, might not be a great idea. Therefore, you need to identify which of your interest areas can offer you good opportunities, in which you can build a lasting career. You can take help of professional career counsellors who can help you analyse your skills and help you choose the right career option.
4. Seek Help from Others
If even after the first three steps, if you still feel you are confused and undecided about the stream you should opt for after Class 10; consider getting the right exposure from a parent, professional counsellor or a senior. Today, there are many other career options and opportunities that await you post class 10, but you might be familiar with them. Professional counsellors or parents might be able to guide you in the right direction and help you make the right career choice.