Career guidance tips: How to plan the year after class 10 and class 12

Have you made your New Year resolutions? Have you done your shopping and made your plans for celebrating in style? Then it is time to plan the year ahead in the most important area of your life – your studies and your career.

Many brilliant students miss out the best opportunities in life only because they do not plan in advance, or because they are not aware of the vast choices ahead of them. Begin this year by checking out what avenues are open to you and what you need to do to avail the best openings. To help you through this process, here are a few tips and pieces of information. Keep in mind that the lists given here are only representative, and if you explore systematically, you will find many more alternatives that may be of interest to you.

After 10nth standard:

If you are in 10th standard, you have the following alternatives when you complete this academic year:
  • PUC with science (optional subjects being Physics, Chemistry, Math and a choice of one among the following: biology, electronics, computer science. Girls also have the option of choosing Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Home Science). Similarly PUC in Commerce and Arts also has different combinations of subjects in different colleges.
  • Those who are completing their ICSE or CBSE also need to decide whether they will continue in the same streams or move on to PUC.
  • Three year government recognized diploma in various streams of engineering, or in Commercial Practice, Apparel Design. Also two year Diploma in Education (D.Ed.) Many other private job-oriented diploma courses are also available.
  • Two year ITI courses or entry into army/air force for a few selected branches.

There is very little time after the declaration of 10th standard results for you to apply for the subsequent courses. And very soon you will be so deeply involved in preparing for your Board exams that you may not have time to systematically sort out your preferences. It is ideal if you could complete the process in the next few weeks and then you will not have to face last minute tension.

After class 12:

This is the most crucial phase. A wrong decision at this juncture can land you in a field you do not have aptitude for, and then you will neither do well in studies, nor will you have any motivation. Each one of us is built differently, and you should make the choice of your under-graduate study based more on your interest and strengths, rather than on what everyone else is rushing for, or is most in demand.

Your choices include the following:
  • A few government recognized diploma programs such as business administration, library science etc. Job oriented technical diploma programs such as those offered by NTTF etc.
  • Those who have taken up PCMB find all avenues open. Those who have dropped Biology cannot opt for medical and life sciences, while those who have dropped Math cannot opt for engineering and technology.
  • Entering military service through National Defence Academy (NDA) for which exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. You are made an officer cadet and are trained and given a degree. As an officer through NDA you can also opt to study technical courses like engineering while you continue in service. Similarly, those selected for the flying branch in Indian Air Force are trained as fighter, transport or helicopter pilots at government cost while being paid their salary.
  • Entering military service through National Defence Academy (NDA) for which exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. You are made an officer cadet and are trained and given a degree. As an officer through NDA you can also opt to study technical courses like engineering while you continue in service. Similarly, those selected for the flying branch in Indian Air Force are trained as fighter, transport or helicopter pilots at government cost while being paid their salary.
  • Three year degree courses in arts, science, computer applications, commerce, management and various other fields. Admission to these courses is relatively easy, and many average colleges continue giving admissions long after professional courses have closed their entry.

By Ali Khwaja

Career Guidance

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