Charting Your Future

Charting Your Future

The results have come. Whether your marks were higher or lower than what you expected, you may be having a hundred thoughts running through your mind on what should be your next step towards your career choice. The good news is that there is a vast arena of choices ahead of you. And if you have been lucky enough (?) to have scored well in the SSLC exam, the choices are so wide, they can be mind boggling. You know that your decision now will affect your entire life. You know that you cannot undo the next step that you take. And you may be feeling scared of your ability to take that crucial decision.

For the lucky ones there is always Mom or Dad to rely on. If they can sit with you, analyze carefully, evaluate all the pros and cons, and help you take the decision, it is really heartwarming. If, on the other hand, they leave it to you and say that they will support whatever you decide, it increases your burden. Even worse is if they are compelling you to take up something that you either don’t like, or are not confident of handling. Perhaps this is the first time in your life that you are facing such a dilemma. Take it up as a challenge, and you will be able to look back with pride that you took life in your own control.

After school are the choices of taking up science, arts, commerce, or even a technical diploma course. If you opt for science, do you want to take up biology, electronics, or computer science? In commerce too you need to decide whether you will study, Math, Statistics, History, Economics, etc. If you have settled for arts, should you go for English, journalism, psychology, sociology, communicative English, history, political science (the list seems unending)? Maybe you don’t even know what some of these subjects lead you on to, or what you have to study in them.

For taking the above decision, you need to look beyond your PUC or even your degree. Try and fix up your long term goals. Decide what you would be doing as a vocation once you have finished with your studies. Your education will be over in a few years, but your career will stretch to almost half a century. Once you have a goal, it becomes easier to decide what your immediate step should be.

Some students take up PCMB in PUC only “to keep all options open.” This is the worst reason for taking up this choice. Take it up if you enjoy Science and Math, and are fairly good at it. Whatever you take up, it should not be because there are many job opportunities in it. Keep in mind that you need just one career – but make sure it suits your temperament, your talent, and your interests.

Should you stick to the traditional line of engineering through CET, or can you dare to be different and take up a diploma in advertising? If you are the adventurous type, do have dreams – but keep in mind the famous saying of Henry David Thoreau:

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

Ensure that your dreams are backed up by your skills, your potential, and your hard work. Then nothing is impossible. And the time to take some of the crucial decisions is now.

Would you like a few tips that may help you to take the right decisions? Here they are:

  • First list out all the possible careers that seem to even vaguely interest you. It doesn’t matter how much you know about them -- if anything interests you, add it to the list.
  • Then start talking to people, reading up books, or browse through the net to find out whatever information you can get about each of them. If possible, talk to people already working in those careers and get a first hand impression from them. It is not difficult to get people to talk to you, if you tell them that you are a student and you would like to know more in order to take the vital decision of your career.
  • i.The next step would be to narrow your choices to fewer alternatives after seriously considering all the information you have collected. For these alternatives, chart out the path to reach there. For example, if you have decided to be a software professional, the choices may be:

1. PUC with PCMC or PCME, get through CET, study four years in a good engineering college, and come out with a degree in computer or IT engineering.

2. PUC with maths as one of your subjects, a three year degree (preferably with computer science as one of your subjects) and then a three year MCA (Master of Computer Applications).

3. Enroll for a private diploma in a reputed computer training institute, and learn the latest languages and applications, maybe e-commerce.

These are only three of many possible options to become a software professional. After you have listed all the alternative paths, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are the subjects I have to take at each stage to ensure that I am qualified?
  • Which are the good colleges/institutes reputed in these fields?
  • What is the minimum qualifying percentage expected, and what is the number of years of study?
  • How much will the course cost, and how tough it is (particularly, which are the tough subjects, and can I get through them)?

It will also help if you browse through the books of the course you wish to choose, just to see how welcoming or daunting they appear to be. If possible, talk to students who are already into that particular course and they will tell you what to be prepared for.

By the time you have finished the above exercises, you will automatically find your confidence level rising. You will know that you are not taking blind decisions, or leaving things to fate. The enthusiasm and the self confidence with which you will handle the course will be much higher.

Don’t wait for the last moment to go through this routine, you will be too tensed up to do a fair job of it. Begin as early as possible, and work your way through. Remember that it is a question of your whole life.


Just being interested in a career doesn’t automatically make you good at it. There is also a thing called aptitude, which is the potential for you to develop the skills required in any particular type of work. You need to check your aptitude before you take the final decision.


After your SSLC, you have the following options:


PUC/ISC (+2)

Other courses




Polytechnics (3 year)





Computers (pvt. courses)




Paramedical -- e.g. optometry, speech




Teaching - D.Ed, Montessory, Spl. Ed.



PCB Home Sc

Dip Commercial Practice (DCP)





Art (BFA or pvt. Courses)



Maths (MECA)

Hotel -- diploma, catering

Distant Education:


Political Science

Travel -- ticketing, IATA

NIOS 12th std.



Vocational courses



Private PUC







Direct BA (18 yrs)






Vocational diplomas


Political Science



































Economics, etc.





Career Guidance

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