10th standard is a defining moment for every Indian student. The board exams have for long been helmed as the base on which a student’s career path starts developing. And the first step is deciding which stream to choose.
The Three Major Streams After Class 10
A field dealing with Business, Finance, Trade, Economics and Commerce.
A field dealing primarily with Medical or Engineering subjects
The most versatile of them all, Arts as a stream offers various opportunities in the fields of Psychology, History, Political Science, Geography, Languages, Journalism and many more.
Before we start discussing the streams, let us briefly discuss an important aspect of this process that we tend to overlook. The decision-making process is much more than looking at what the market loves at the moment, jumping on the bandwagon.
Let us have a look at the two most common troubles students face during their decision-making process:
#Number 1. Failing to judge one’s own aptitude and interest
If you aren’t sure about your interest, take online aptitude tests or talk to a career/education counsellor. But never make the mistake of picking a stream up just because it’s famous or your friend chose it.
The concept is simple. If you find science tough, you’ll have a hard time with it if chosen. If accountancy and economics never caught your interest before, they sure won’t become interesting all of a sudden in class 11th and 12th. If remembering facts pertaining to history or political science made you run before, it’s going to be the same forward too.
Thus, play with your strengths by first understanding your aptitude and then finding the subjects which enhance it.
#Number 2. Getting confused by the options and not spending enough time on research
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the options and the flood of information about each of them, but one can make it easier to sort by following a few simple steps.
- Be clear about your aptitude, strengths and interest (as stated in the point above)
- Next, look at the streams, their subjects, the overall difficulty levels and lastly the career opportunities they provide.
Once you have both these factors listed and merged, your way ahead will seem a lot more clear.
Let us now discuss the courses, their aspects and the career options they offer.
Commerce is the way to go if numbers, economics, business models and data analysis stimulates your interest. This stream is offered by all the boards of the country, namely CBSE, ICSE, IB and state boards.
The major subjects taught in the 11th and 12th standard to commerce students are:
- Business studies
- Computer science/Information practices
The optional subjects offered vary from board to board. However, it is advised to keep Math as an optional as this will give you an upper hand for higher studies in Economics, statistics, CA and CS.
Various Professional Courses Available After Commerce
- Traditional courses like B.Com, B.A., Economics, CA and CS, and ICWA are the most tried and tested options.
- Management courses like BBA, BMS, BHM and integrated courses like BBA+MBA are preferred for their format which prepares the student for management courses in PG and/or careers in the same field
- Law courses could be pursued in an integrated format by commerce students. L.L.B paired with B.B.A, B.Com, and B.A. forms an integrated course of 5 years.
- Some technical courses like B. Architecture and BCA have now become available for commerce students. Mathematics is a requirement for them.
- Fashion designing and interior designing
- Other degrees in social work, languages, journalism, animation, retail, hotel management etc
- Courses in the education sector
Science is the most preferred stream after 10th as the career options post that are many and coveted both nationally and internationally.
The two main options in it are Medical and Non-medical. Similar to commerce, it is offered by all the major boards in India.
The subjects that are taught in 11th and 12th standard to Science students are:
- Computer science
These are some of the major subjects while others like physical education and economics has also been introduced by many schools in recent times.
Medical stream requires you to take up biology as an optional while non-medical asks for math and computer science. However, it isn’t important to choose just one of them, a student can also opt to take up both biology and math to expand their chances.
The professional courses in science are also divided into the medical and non-medical groups.
Various Professional Courses available after Non-Medical Stream
There are a number of engineering courses one could opt for, but be sure to choose math (if is an option for you) if you want access to this field. Some of the engineering courses are
- Mechanical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Computer Science Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Information Technology Engineering
- Electronics & Communication Engineering
- Aeronautical Engineering
- Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering
- Marine/Naval Engineering
- Biotechnology Engineering
These are few of the many B.E. or Diploma courses. You could search for one suiting your aptitude and interest as this field is a magnet for innovative approaches.
Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.)
Apart from Engineering, the students with Math as a subject could also opt for Bachelors in Science (B.Sc.) degree. The different subjects one could opt for in B.Sc. are
- Computer science
- Hotel Management
Similar to engineering, B.Sc. also could be done in many more subjects, which you can research and choose according to your interest.
Apart from these subjects, the students with science as their stream (both medical and non-medical) could also go for other unconventional courses for their masters. Unconventional in the sense, subjects which are not related to core science.
The integrated Management and Law courses (which we mentioned in the Commerce section above) are also open to science students.
So are the courses in Architecture, Pharmacy, and designing (fashion and others). Students could also opt for traditional commerce courses in the future if they so wish to.
Various Professional Courses available after Medical Stream
- Bachelors in Ayurveda or Unani or Homeopathy
- Bachelors in veterinary sciences
- Bachelors in nursing
Apart from these, medical students could also opt for the B.Sc. courses mentioned above in the engineering section. Similarly, the Law, Management, Designing and basic commerce courses are also open for students who opt for Biology in +2.
We now come to the stream with the most diverse range of subjects, Humanities which is also known as Arts. This stream is known for its variety of subjects which provide a student with an even bigger variety of professions to pursue.
The subjects that are taught in 11th and 12th standard to Humanities/ Arts students are:
- Political science
- English, Hindi, or Sanskrit
- Computer science
Students have to choose 4 subjects on top of English (which is compulsory) and any modern Indian language.
Various Professional Courses Available After Humanities/Arts
Bachelor of Arts in
- Performing arts
Many more such subjects are offered by universities all across the country in the B.A. courses. For further studies, the student can opt for a Masters degree in their chosen subject.
Similar to commerce and science, students studying Arts can also opt for Law courses in an integrated format, namely B.A.+L.L.B and BBA+L.L.B
Courses like BBA, BMS, BHM and integrated management are open to students of Humanities.
Degrees in Performing Arts, Designing, Education, Social Work etc are also an option.
The subjects taught in humanities form a good base for Government exams like IAS, various other UPSC, SSC and Banking exams.
This is a plus point which attracts students with an aptitude and interest for such competitive exams.
Students from the arts stream can make their career in both the government as well as the private sector.
Some of the many career options open for Arts Students
- Corporate professionals (with economics or management)
- Painter, Dancer, Actor, Artist
- Government officials
- Businessmen etc.
We have now discussed the streams, their components, the higher education and career options for each. At the end of the day, it depends on the student and their decision making abilities.
It might seem daunting, so don’t hesitate in asking for help from your parents, teachers, and counselors. Although don’t just enter any stream because someone else holds a high opinion of it, remember to understand your actual interest and aptitude.
Don’t set lofty aims for your future self, learn from your past performances and keep your career aim in sight when choosing a stream. A robust base will help you give the platform from where you can start building your dream career/life into a reality.