What After 10+ 2

Col Shiv Choudhary

As students reach the pivotal milestone of completing 10+2 education, they find themselves standing at the crossroads of their academic journey, pondering the crucial question: “what to do next?”. The choices made can lead to successful academic and professional journey ahead or repentance for the whole life. The key to making the right choice is self-reflection, research, and guidance from professionals. A lot goes in the mind of parents seeing an array of options to choose from, each holding its own set of opportunities and challenges. Parents want to make best choices for their children to thrive professionally and personally in line with their child’s interests, strengths, long terms goals, passions and aspirations. Indeed, navigating the post-10+2 landscape for beginning a professional growth is a very difficult task. Thus, ‘what after 10+ 2 becomes a buzz word which requires all the cautions, deliberations, and a clear vision.
Education is a costly affair. Parents’ dream and finances involved play a significant role in decision-making. Parents may be influenced by societal expectations, peer pressure, or cultural norms when making decision at the cost of child’s interests, strengths and long term goal. Children’s happiness and well-being is very important for parents as different options may impact their children’s mental health, self-esteem, overall satisfaction, and emotional and psychological growth. They may seek validation from others or feel pressure to ensure their child follows a conventional path to success. Ever existing generation gap may also lead to differences in perspectives, values, and career aspirations. Parents’ fear of failure can lead to anxiety, indecision, and overprotectiveness as well.
Differences in opinion can lead to misunderstandings, arguments, choosing wrong course, and hindering decision-making. Parents may struggle to access career counselling services or mentorship opportunities to help their children due to lack of knowledge, or professional cost. Choosing the wrong course after Class 10+ 2 can impact individuals’ career progression, and overall well-being. Wrong choice will result into wastage of time, money, feelings of apathy, boredom, disillusionment, disconnection, academic probation, dropout rates, or course changes.
Pursuing a bachelor’s degree whether it’s engineering, medicine, business administration, or any other field offers in-depth knowledge and enhances job prospects. Vocational courses provide specialized training in specific trades. Depending on career interests, there may be industry-recognized certification programs like PMP, digital marketing Google Ads, HubSpot, programming languages, or CFA which can enhance skills and make one more marketable.
Consideration of certain factors like long-term career goals, duration of curriculum, encumbered requirements, trends, job stability, resilience to economic fluctuations, technological disruptions, ease of adaptability, promising opportunities, and envisioning life is very crucial before taking a final call. Personal preferences, desired work-life balance, location, work culture, travel, retirement returns, flexibility, family life, continuous learning and networking with professionals cannot be ignored.
A specialised stream, degree or diploma are important but may not matter always. What matters is your hunger, skill, determination, adaptability and a cherishing dream to be fulfilled. MS Dhoni, Amir Khan, Virat Kohli, Neeraj Chopra, Abvinav Bindra, Edmund Hillary, Ronaldinho, and Usain Bolt , and our great late President Dr APJ Kalam have/ had a few common traits in them. Sundar Pichai and Elon Musk are pursuing different professions than what their academic degrees are. All of them reached the pinnacle because they never stopped or give in before surmounting challenges.
For best subjects options after completing 10+2 with PCM, one can choose from mechanical, electrical, civil, computer, electronics and communication, aerospace, chemical, biomedical, and automobile engineering, BCA, B.Sc, BA, architecture, aerospace, biotechnology, environmental science, nanotechnology, marine, geology, petroleum, mathematical, industrial, designing, construction, and infra.
Those having passed 10+2, with PCB, can explore agricultural research, animal science, alternative medicines, botany, biotechnology, biochemistry, biomedical, dentistry, dietetics, environment science, emergency service, ecology, genetics, life science, medicine, microbiology, nutrition, nursing, occupational therapy, optometry, paramedics, pharmacy, physiotherapy, research, speech therapy, and related fields.
Some of the best options after 10+2 with arts could be anthropology, BA in history, literature, philosophy, sociology, fine art, painting, sculpture, photography, graphic design, psychology, political science, economics, geography, or cultural studies, history, mass communication, journalism, communication, advertising, languages, literature, or foreign languages, education, curriculum development, psychology, law, social work, archaeology and heritage management, cultural, development, environmental and gender studies, library, info science, musicology, philosophy and ethics, performing arts, tourism and hospitality management, fashion design, merchandising, and rural development.
After completing 10+2 with a commerce background, sone can pursue accountancy, auditing, actuarial science, business studies, banking, corporate law, cost analysis, corporate finance, data analysts, economics, entrepreneurship, finance, investment, taxation, estate planning, HRM, HRD, risk management, international business, marketing, public administration, retail management, and supply chain management..
Various other competitive career options falling under UPSC, SSC, management, legal, state level PSCs and services (JEE, NEET, CLAT, CDS, NDA, CAT, SSC, IIMs etc ) are also there for stable employment and career advancement opportunities in top-tier colleges and universities. Trends show a shrinking nature of government jobs.
Currently, the top across stream options after 10+2 are architecture, agriculture, astronomy, biotechnology, business management, computer science, counselling, clinical psychology, cyber security, economics, environmental science, entrepreneurship, international business, law, finance, hospitality and tourism, medicine, marketing, media, mathematics, psychology, physics, social work, sports science, and urban planning.
The current employers influence future options. Such sectors include IT, manufacturing and services. As per survey, the top employers in India in 2022 included TCS, Infosys, Wipro, HCL Technologies, RIL, SBI, Railways, ICICI etc. Future top employers in India could be speculative and shifting. However, one can look at google, amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook (now meta), cloud computing, AI, and other cutting-edge technologies, e-commerce (flipkart, amazon) SCM, marketing, healthcare, and technology, renewable energy, finance and fintech, telecom, and education.
Skill development short courses/ diploma in digital marketing, graphic design, coding, or language proficiency can open up new career paths. Culinary arts, automobile, or healthcare are in today. An entrepreneurship to pursue own passion, innovate, and create value for a successful enterprise are excellent ideas. Taking a break is not a bad idea when unsure to decide.
Likely highest-paying future jobs can be speculative due to rapidly evolving technologies and economic landscapes. However, based on current trends and anticipated future developments, few fields like AI, aviation, AR and VR, architect, biomedical and biotechnology engineering, blockchain, cybersecurity and cryptocurrency analyst, data scientist, drones, genetic, nanotechnology, neurotechnology, remote control technologies, healthcare care chain and specialist, renewable energy, robotics, smart city planner, space exploration, quantum computing, urban agriculture specialist, electric automobiles, and 3D printing technicians cannot be ignored.
Some areas could potentially face extinction or significant transformation in the near future due to shifts in technology, changes in societal priorities, or advancements in interdisciplinary approaches. The shrinking areas are certain humanities disciplines, non-digital art forms, non-electronic music, manual labour trades, obsolete technologies and stand-alone philosophy departments, purely theoretical mathematics, print journalism, specific historical periods, and traditional agriculture.
There are some less crowded fields too like career in writing and advertising which require command over language, highly specialized knowledge, and power to influence people. Blogging, and script, creative and content editing, are some of the trendy options that fall in this category. Wedding, wildlife and fashion photographer, are some of the options persistent in this category.
What professions and education would future hold for the young generation? Predicting the exact “best futuristic education or professions” can be challenging as the job market is constantly evolving due to technological advancements, societal changes, and economic shifts. However, several emerging fields and roles in the areas of AI, machine learning due to increasing integration and automation, data science across industries, digital, health technology, and natural language processing, show promise for the future too.
The concern, challenges and anxiety of parents and students about making vital professional and life changing decisions are understandable. Addressing these challenges requires open mind, research and a collaborative approach between stake holders. Parents in consultation with teachers and experts where needed, can empower their children to explore their interests, pursue their passions, and make informed decisions about their careers by providing guidance, and unconditional support. Children’s well-being, long term goals, happiness, work life balance, continuous learning, and potential for personal growth must be central to any such decision.
While many professions hold promise for the future, it’s essential to adapt to changing trends, acquire relevant skills, and continue upskilling to remain competitive in the evolving job market. One must remember that higher education opportunities both in India and abroad are overwhelming and diverse. The details information, notifications and application portals can be looked into websites. The mantra is ‘listen to your heart’ and explore.
(The author is a motivational speaker and knowledge enhancer).