The Ultimate Blueprint for Career Guidance in India

11 Min Read. |

Importance of Career Guidance

“Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it.”

-Katherine Whitehorn, British journalist, writer, and columnist.

Your career will ideally span for around 40 years, and it is where you will spend most of your time. So it is wise to pick a career that you like. The right career will help you achieve your goals, and help you grow and progress in life. By choosing a course after 12th in an area that you find interesting, you can discover a happy and fulfilling career. The way to the right career path can be achieved through career guidance.

The foundation for a successful career

The number of different career options available today is huge, and this fact is both a pro and a con. A vast number of career choices opens up many opportunities for students to explore. On the flip side, it can be daunting and confusing to pick the right one, considering this choice is made when you are just 15 or 16 years old. We have prepared this career guidance article (which can be considered as a blueprint for career guidance after 12th and also for career guidance after 10th) precisely to tackle this con. Choosing the wrong course can lead to years of study that can end up being wasted when you change your career stream.

The Silver Lining for Today’s Students

Not only are there many course options today, but there are also many different modes of studying available for students. There are traditional universities, training centres, and online courses. Students interested in pursuing a course that is not available in India can easily do so today because many international education organisations assist students from start to finish and provide career guidance after 12th on moving abroad to study.

Adults are also more broad-minded and open to their children pursuing non-traditional courses. Students who are passionate about a hobby can pursue a career in it as there are formal educational centres (Delhi College of Photography for students interested in photography, Shankar Mahadevan Academy for students interested in music, etc.) for almost every hobby. It is, however, good to meet professionals for career guidance after 12th, before making any decision.
Tips for Career Guidance
The first step we want to provide in our blueprint to career guidance after 12th (which can be applied to career guidance after 10th as well) is selecting your path after your finals. After you pass out of 10th or 12th, there are three ways forward:

Progress in your current stream by studying further
Change streams by studying further
Progress in your career stream by working (part-time or full-time)

Path after class 12th

The path you choose should be selected after considering the following important factors –

Your field or area of interest – It can include science, mathematics, art, drawing, music, etc.
Your passion or hobby – Pursuing a career in a field that you are already passionate about is always rewarding.
Your personality – Every student is different, and your personality may be the perfect fit for one field but not for another. A career in medicine and engineering requires discipline, merchant navy requires patience, and aviation requires mettle. Identifying your personality and temperament will give you a clue as to which career will help you stay happy.
Your skills – Skills can be learned or innate, and students at an early age can develop and identify skills they have that make them good at certain tasks. Pursuing a career that requires a skill that you are already good at will help you progress faster. For example, if you have a way with numbers, accounting can be a field worth considering.
Course curriculum – Many times, students pick a course without understanding the syllabus that will be covered and the subjects they will learn. It’s important to note that the subjects you learn will become your area of expertise and open the doors for your career. Make it a point to check the course curriculum, which can easily be accessed online today, and find out if it is in the area that interests you.
Future prospects – the changing work landscape creates new opportunities, but also sometimes makes some redundant. It is important to plan for your future. Perform some research to learn the future of the field you are choosing, and if there is scope continued growth.
Finances – Finances can also impact the course or college you select after 12th. Fortunately, there are many scholarship options and financial aids that you can use to overcome any financial issues. You can also consider taking up an alternate course that is cheaper, beginning your career, and then pursuing a higher degree. For example, start with a diploma course (this guide will give you Useful Tips on the Best Ways to Get a Diploma in Digital Marketing) and then pursue a master’s degree.

Your Guide to Career Guidance After 12th

Engineering
Engineering is the best career choice for science students who are inclined towards technology or machines. While a few years ago engineering seemed to become saturated, the growth in technology has opened up many new streams and career options in the field of engineering, like automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, etc., making engineering a very lucrative career option.

Engineering as a Career option

A valid question to ask yourself is if you’re interested in mathematics, computing and/or science because every engineering stream will require expertise in one or all of these subjects. The next important decision will be to decide which field of engineering you are interested in. There are core streams like aeronautical engineering, mechatronics, and petrochemical engineering that delve into a specific area of engineering. There are also broader, general engineering courses like mechanical engineering and computer science (cybersecurity is a hot topic today, and if you’re interested you should read this article: What is Ethical Hacking? Is it a Right Career Choice in 2020?) that is good for students who aren’t sure of which core domain they want to choose. You can consider a masters degree to specialise after choosing a general course. Meeting with working engineers and career guidance professionals will help you decide if you are uncertain.

Depending on the college and city you plan to study in, you can attend one or more of the following exams after 12th:

Competitive Exams After 12th in Engineering stream

Medical Science
Like Engineering, Medical Science is an extremely popular and lucrative field for education in India. This includes many different areas of medicine and biology, like MBBS, Pharmacology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Genetics, etc. you can venture into a practice-based field, like complete MBBS and work as a doctor, or into a research-based field, like complete pharmacology and research new drugs and medicines.

Medical Science as a Career option

The medical field is no longer limited, and the areas of study and growth are numerous. It’s important to take sufficient time to find out what area of medicine interests you the most, because unlike engineering, changing career paths after opting for a medical science stream can be hard (but not impossible). Medical science also requires hard work and dedication (more than most fields).

Depending on the college and city you plan to study in, you can attend one or more of the following exams after 12th:

NEET.
NEET MDS.
FMGE.
JIPMER PG.
AIIMS PG.
PGIMER Entrance Exam.
Indian Army BSc Nursing.

These links should help with different exam and career options in medical science:

Pre Medical Entrance Exams in India
List of Medical Exams in India

Meeting with working medical professionals and career guidance counsellors will help you decide if you are uncertain about which course to pursue.
Commerce
For students not particularly interested in science, but with an aptitude for and interest in mathematics, commerce is a great way forward after 12th. There are many different options in the field of commerce, like accounting, auditing, analytics, tax affairs, law, management, economics, etc. Each of these courses will guide you towards a particular career domain, so choosing the right one at this juncture is important.

Similar to science streams, you can consider studying further after completing your commerce undergrad course. For students who successfully get through a course in commerce, options like Chartered Accountancy, Macro Economics, Company Secretary, Business Administration, etc. are very lucrative and rewarding. It’s easier to change career paths after completing commerce, mainly because commerce subjects provide business knowledge that can be applied to streams outside of regular commerce fields. Meeting with working professionals and career guidance counsellors will help you decide if you are uncertain about which course to pursue.

Depending on the college and city you plan to study in, you can attend one or more of the following exams after 12th:

List of Entrance Exams for Commerce Students after class 12th
Arts
Students who are interested in subjects like history, language, sociology, geography, psychology, and political science, Arts is a great course to take up. You can acquire a bachelor’s degree or diploma in one of the following:

Humanities & Social Sciences
Fine/Visual/Performing Arts
Design and Animation
Legislative Law
Hospitality & Travel
Journalism & Mass Communication
Accounting and Commerce
IT and Software
Fashion Design

Careers in engineering and medicine are not the only reliable options available today. The landscape is evolving and a career in a field like fashion designing can be as rewarding and high-paying as engineering. It’s advisable to research the different subjects available and pick one that interests you the most. Meeting with working professionals and career guidance counsellors will help you decide if you are uncertain about which course to pursue.

Working Professional

Depending on the college and city you plan to study in, you can attend one or more of the following exams after 12th:

 Entrance exams after 12th

Vocational Courses
While Engineering, Medicine, Commerce and Arts are the courses most students are usually advised to pursue, there are many vocational courses that you can consider. Here are some options:

Sound Engineer / Audio Technician – Sound engineering can be taken up as an engineering course, after engineering, or directly after 12th. It involves setting up and managing audio equipment for live shows, studio recordings, and radio broadcasts. For any student interested in music and sound, this can be a very interesting field.
Game Design – Students passionate about playing video games can turn their passion into a career with a course in game design. Games design requires software and/or animation knowledge, and students can take up courses for these right after 12th.
Aviation – Students interested in flying can choose a career between Commercial Airline Pilot or Military Aviation, and pilot jobs like a cabin crew. The options in Commercial Aviation are-
Passenger airlines
Cargo planes
International air services
Air taxi charter operations
The options in Military Aviation are:
The Indian Air Force
Aviation arms of the Navy and Army
The options in cabin crew are:
Flight Attendants
You can learn more about the courses and way forward in aviation here: Career as a Pilot | Aviation
Marine / Merchant Navy – If you’re interested in sailing but not looking to become a marine engineer, you can get into the Deck Department of the merchant navy right after 12th. The merchant navy has two verticals – Engineering and the Deck Department, and while the former requires an engineering degree, the latter can be pursued right after 12th, with interested candidates starting as a Deck Cadet on a ship. Students keen on learning more about the diverse roles in the merchant navy should read this article – A Guide to Merchant Navy Officer Ranks.
Photography and Videography – For students who prefer to work outdoors and have a creative mind, photography and videography are two extremely lucrative fields. It is also much easier to start a career in photography and/or videography today because there are formal educational centres for both that teach you the technical aspects of the camera, and the creative aspects of shooting.

Taking up a short term vocational course is a good idea when you are not sure about how to proceed with your career. You can use this time to learn and also meet career guidance counsellors to plan your future, especially if you’ve just finished 10th and are looking for career guidance after 10th. You can also consider spending your time on online tasks like blogging, which can turn out to be lucrative like it did for these bloggers – Top 21 Indian Blogger Earnings that Will Amaze You.
The Way Forward
Once you have determined the area that interests you, the next step is identifying the top colleges that teach a course in that stream and the entrance exam you need to pass to get in. There are many tier 1, 2 and 3 colleges all over India today, and depending on your financial status and the provided course curriculum, you should select the best one for you. Ideally, it is advisable to select up to 5 different colleges and attend the different entrance exams that give you the option to pick from all 5. Keeping backup options is always smart.

In parting, we would like to say that most students at this juncture are confused and that is OK. This exactly is why there are counsellors for career guidance after 10th and 12th. Meeting these professionals will give you a better understanding of the current job market, options available, and they also help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. A quick search online will give you a list of the top career guidance counsellors near you, and we advise you to seek their help if you are unsure about the right career path for you.

This is a very interesting Ted Talk every student must watch: Three Questions to unlock your authentic career: Ashley Stahl at TEDxBerkeley.

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