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Career options after Class 10th : An Overview


Over 16 lacs students have appeared for CBSE Class 10th board examinations this year, results of which are likely to be announced in June. This is the time when students feel nervous and anxious which is quite natural as Class 10th or Matriculation is the stepping stone of one’s career. It serves as a base on which academic and professional careers are built upon. One must draw a concrete plan for further studies at this critical juncture which will in turn determine the course of one’s professional life. One of the most crucial questions that arises among students at this point is, “What after Class 10th?” Numerous options are available these days for students to get ahead in studies, also promising better career prospects. Each option has its own potential and advantages. For example, choosing Commerce stream in +2 will help you build a good career in sectors like- Chartered Accountancy, Company Secretary, Stock Broking & Investment Analyst and so on. Similarly Science stream also offers excellent job opportunities. Thus, choosing the right stream after matriculation becomes one of the most important decisions of one’s life. However, There is a lot of external pressure and expectations coursing lot of confusion. Choice should be made on what one likes and what one is good at. A student should take this decision wisely keeping in mind his/her capability. One’s choice, aptitude and the marks obtained in matriculation should be the criteria to select a stream. It is important to note that though marks are a reflection of one’s capabilities, but they should not be the sole reason for choosing a stream. This article would try to focus on the criteria for choosing right stream after class 10th so that students are in a better position to take better career decision. The process of choosing the stream correctly is an art. Here are some basic steps that students should follow before arriving at a conclusion and choosing a stream.
1. Aptitude & Interest: This is the first step in choosing a stream. It involves identifying one’s interest and understanding one’s aptitude, strengths and personality. Many students do not give adequate importance to this step. However, selecting a stream based on your interest and aptitude makes learning an enjoyable and smooth affair. You must be realist while making a choice regarding streams after 10th. If you are good at Economics, choosing Commerce and not Science will be beneficial for you. Your genuine interest in the stream will make learning process fun and you will find your professional life to be exciting. Performing a task that is your passion will ensure that you never feel bored, and in fact you will be able to work better, in such a situation. However, just knowing details about your aptitude and strengths won’t be of any use, until you follow the second step.
2. Exploring and knowing the streams inside out: Knowing about your aptitude, personality and strength is not enough. You also ought to know details about the stream that suits you the most. While exploring a stream you should find out details like important subjects, education boards, career paths available, scope and difficulty level. Take for example Science Stream- list important details such as subjects present, groups within the stream (Mathematics and Biology groups, in the case of science stream), level of difficulty, types of examinations (practical as well as written, competitive exams,etc) and so on. You may take help of your teachers or senior students, who are pursuing that particular stream.
3. Research the career prospects: Your passion about a course should not be the only criteria for your stream selection. Equally important is to find out the career prospects associated with a particular course. You can do this through online research, consulting your teachers, career counsellors, taking help of your seniors, making field trips, etc. If the career prospects are not so bright, it is better to drop the idea of pursuing that course and its related stream. In this case, you should choose another interest, find a matching course, again do the research part and may proceed with the appropriate stream after matriculation.
Every student has a unique set of qualities, skills, strengths and weaknesses and hence it’s very important to take unique decision for every student. Let us now look at the major streams that are available after class 10th. Each of these leads to different career scopes. Let us analyze them individually.
Commerce: With the rapid growth in economy, careers in finance and accounts have gained tremendous popularity and thus commerce stream has emerged as one of the most popular choices among students in India. The core subjects taught in commerce stream are Economics, Accountancy and Business Study. Students can take optional subjects like Mathematics, Informatics Practices, Physical Education, etc along with the major subjects. In commerce stream the student has to select 6 subjects including one compulsory language. This stream leads to a lucrative career with handsome pay package and respected jobs like charted accountant, company secretary, business management, banking, accountants and financial advisor, etc.
Science: Science is the most popular stream for Indian students. It acts as an platform for hundreds of disciplines like Medicine, Computer Science, Defense, Engineering, and Agricultural Science, Plant Pathology, Evolutionary Biology and so on. Science Streams can be broadly classified into two categories. – a) Engineering (PCM) and b) Medical (PCB).
a) Engineering (PCM) or Non Medical Line : For those of you who are interested in engineering or non-medical line can select science subjects with PCM (physics, chemistry and mathematics) as their major subjects and 2 other subjects of their choice. Maths in class 11th and 12th paves your way to engineering colleges like IITs, NITs and other prestigious institutes across the country. There has been a trend in the country where a lot of parents force their children into non-medical stream, thinking that the engineering will be the best career option for them. It seems that doing engineering these days has become a fashion and everyone seems to be joining this bandwagon without analyzing their capabilities. However, it should be noted that there are other career options also that provide an opportunity for equal career growth and social prestige as engineering does. What is more important is to analyze your capabilities and act accordingly, rather that following a bunch of like-minded people.
b) Medical (PCB): This stream of science provides an excellent career opportunity for those who are interested in life-sciences as well as those who are really motivated about discovering something new for human life. Choosing major subjects as PCB (physics, chemistry and biology) gives you an opportunity to advance in medical field. This field requires in a lot of sincerity and hard work. After taking PCB in +2 you can appear for various competitive exams and choose from a lot of courses on the basis of your interest and percentage. At graduation level you can opt for MBBS, BDS, nursing, course in biotechnology, veterinary studies, forensic sciences as well as other courses related to human body as well as human surroundings.
The stream of Arts or Humanities offers the widest scope of career with exciting opportunities. Subjects such as History, Geography, Sociology, Political Science, Psychology, Anthropology, Human Resources, Journalism, Literature, Religion, Performing Arts and much more constitute this stream. Students have to also choose two language subjects among which English is a compulsory language subject. Hindi and Sanskrit are optional language subjects, students have to choose one out of them.
This stream is a great ocean of knowledge benefitting students in all possible ways. There are wide options for art students to start their career. It also opens the door for coveted civil services exams for becoming an IAS, IPS, IFS officer. This stream requires academic discipline along with an analytical, critical and speculative study of human condition based on various methodologies.
Some other career options after
10th are :
Diploma Courses : Diploma courses are good options for students looking for quick jobs after matriculation. Cost effectiveness, jobs within short time duration, scope for higher education and career, etc are some of the advantages of diploma courses. Diploma holders are also recruited as Junior Engineer in railways, central/state departments or PSU. Growing work experience makes it easier for promotions to higher job designations. These courses offer more emphasis of practical sessions rather than theory. It is quite suitable for students to prove their competency for industrial jobs. Duration of diploma courses is three years. They also act as a gateway to engineering courses, giving you the opportunity to join to 2nd year of engineering course, and thereby saving one academic year. Competition level for diploma to degree is less fierce than 12th to Engineering course. These Polytechnic Courses can be in various subjects.
Some of the main courses are:
Diploma in Automobile Engineering
Diploma in Agricultural Engineering
Diploma in Architecture Assistantship
Diploma in Biomedical Biotechnology
Diploma in Business Administration
Diploma in Civil Engineering
Diploma in Chemical Engineering
Diploma in Computer Engineering
Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering
Diploma in Apparel Design
Diploma in Ceramic Technology
Diploma in Electrical Engineering
Diploma in Electronics & Communication Engineering
Diploma in Electrical & Telecommunication Engineering
Diploma in Fashion Design
Diploma in Leather Technology
Diploma in Garment Technology
Diploma in Handloom Technology
Diploma in Information Technology
Diploma in Interior Decoration
Diploma in Instrumentation Technology
Diploma in Production & Industrial Engineering
Diploma in Leather Technology
Diploma in Library and Information Science
Diploma in Mechanical Engineering
Diploma in Mechatronics
Diploma in Marine Engineering
Diploma in Mechanical Engineering
Diploma in Medical Lab Technology
Diploma in Plastic Technology
Diploma in Textile Technology (Knitting/Weaving/Spinning)
Diploma in Textile Design
Diploma in Textile Processing
Diploma in Electrical and Electronics Engineering
Diploma in Electronics & Communication Engineering
Diploma in Computer Science and Engineering
ITI Courses : ITI or Industrial Training Institute Courses have become one of the most sought after courses after matriculation in our country as they offer promising career. ITI covers Training programs in more than 130 different specializations. The courses are designed in a way to impart basic skills in the trade specified. The minimum periods for various ITI Courses range from six months to two years. Upon completion of the training, trainees write the All India Trade Test and successful candidates then receive the National Trade Certificate.
Some of the top ITI courses are:
Architectural Draughtsmanship
Baker and Confectioner
Computer Operator and Programming Assistant
Electrician Interior Decoration and Designing
Mechanic (Diesel)
Mechanic Computer Hardware
Mechanical fitters
Mechanic (Motor Vehicle)
Network Technician
Defence Services: After matriculation, students can join Indian Army with the post of soldiers through written tests like Indian Army Soldier Technical (M.E.R.) Examination, Indian Army Soldier Clerks Examination, Indian Army Soldier General Duty (N.E.R.) Examination etc. Indian Navy also offers job opportunities like Dock Yard Apprentices, Sailors, etc to students.
Staff Selection Commission (SSC): SSC conducts clerk grade examination for those students who successfully pass 10th.
(The author is a career counsellor and life skills trainer. Email:
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