Passing out of school and entering college is one of the most essential steps in your life. It is the turning point of your career.
The global pandemic has made everyone worry about their future and students are no exception.
If you have just passed 12th or have entered your 12th standard, there must be some confusion in your mind.
And the biggest confusion is “What to do after 12th?”.
To clear this confusion, I have written this article to guide you through this process.
For your convenience, this article is divided into different career paths so that you can make a rational choice in the end.
Most of the students are enrolled in streams like arts, science, commerce, etc. but not all career opportunities strictly come from what you study in school.
Therefore, it is important to know all the alternatives to choose the best for yourself.
Different Careers and Courses after 12th
The career path you choose is based on your stream and your interests. You might know some of the conventional career choices.
But there are several other career opportunities that you might not have heard about e.g. digital marketing. Therefore, it’s your turn to know about them
1. Basic Sciences (Bachelor of Science)
Basic sciences include sciences and mathematics, and therefore, a preferred choice for academicians who want to go ahead in the science field.
Duration: The duration B.Sc degree is usually three years, but it can be four years in some colleges or degree programs.
Some of the courses after 12th Science are mentioned below.
i) BSc Zoology /Botany /Microbiology /Biology
Biology has different branches and if you love biology and have interests in life sciences, then you should consider pursuing BSc in the mentioned branches. The duration of BSc is three years
ii) BSc Chemistry
If chemistry is your favorite subject and you want to make a career out of it, then you should pursue BSc Chemistry.
Opportunities in BSc Chemistry include research, teaching, laboratory work, chemist, etc.
iii) BSc Mathematics
Interested in maths and want to go ahead in the field? Pursue BSc Mathematics and excel in the field of calculus and numbers.
iv) BSc Physics
Physics is a subject that has a lot of scope when it comes to research. If theorems and experiments of physics make you want to know more about them, then it is something you should pursue.
v) BSc Computer Science
Computer Science opens the door to the programming world. If you know/want to learn programming and computers interest you, then you should go for it.
vi) BSc Animation
Animation is developing with the popularity of anime, cartoons, and movies. Therefore, if you have skills like sketching and drawing, then you should consider BSc Animation.
vii) BSc Fashion Designing
BSc Fashion Designing is quite similar to BDes (Bachelor in Designing) but it exclusively focuses on fashion designing and various aspects related to it.
viii) BSc Biotechnology
This is a career option for you if you are interested in biotechnology. The usual duration of the course is three years.
ix) BSc Hospitality/Hotel Management
Bachelor of Science in hospitality/hotel management is for those who want to go ahead in the field of hospitality/tourism/hotel management. The degree is for three years. Know more about the eligibility and opportunity in BSc Hospitality here.
x) BSc Information Technology(IT)
Information technology is an emerging field with lots of opportunities for aspirants in fields like digital marketing, cloud computing, etc.
If you are interested in Information Technology, you can pursue the degree and know more about it here.
xi) BSc Nutrition/Dietetics
The popularization of physical fitness has led to the spike of career opportunities in the nutrition field too. If you are interested in the field, you can pursue degrees like B.Sc Home Science, B.Sc nutrition and dietetics, and other related degrees.
You can get certified as a dietitian and you can also enter the food industry which has got ample opportunities waiting for you.
xii) BSc Agriculture
If your interest is inclined towards agriculture, you can pursue BSc Agriculture and make a career in the field.
You can enter into the agriculture sector after pursuing the degree. Some preferred professions in agriculture include- Agriculture Officer, Soil Scientist, Farm Manager, Plant Pathologist, etc.
xiii) BSc Home Science/Community Science
Home Science/Community Science is for those who want to study family resource management, human development, foods and nutrition, and textiles in a one-degree program.
You can become an interior decorator, work with NGOs, become a professor, become a textiles expert, etc.
xiv) BSc Aviation
You can pursue this degree if you want to become a Pilot, Aviation Line Technician, etc. the duration of the course is three years.
Arts is one of the most diversified fields and you can enter into an array of careers in this field. From sociology to fine arts, and humanities to journalism, you can become anything you want.
Many students opt for arts from high school itself while others realize it later and decide to pursue a degree only after completing 12th arts.
After graduating from a B.A degree, you can do masters or even give the Union Public Service Commission(UPSC) examinations (SSC, IAS, PCS, etc.).
The various degrees that you can pursue in the arts field are mentioned below-
If you want to build a career by studying various aspects of human culture and civilization, then you should consider humanities. Humanities deal with subjects like literature, philosophy, anthropology, demographics, etc.
Career in humanities
Humanities offer a range of career options like a teacher, editor, linguist, human resource specialist, etc. You are also eligible to give civil services examinations and other government job examinations.
Some universities give admission based on 12th percentage while other universities conduct their own entrance examinations.
After humanities, you can pursue careers like writing, teaching, archaeology, and the list goes on.
If you have a knack for designing and want to make a career out of it, you should give entrance exams mentioned below to enroll for a degree in Designing.
National Institute of Designing (NID) entrance exam
NID offers an undergraduate degree (duration four years) in Bachelors of Designing(B.Des) in eight different disciplines-
- Animation Film Design
- Ceramic and Glass Design
- Exhibition Designing
- Film and Video Communication
- Furniture and Interior Design
- Graphic Design
- Product Design
- Textile Design
National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) entrance exam
NIFT also offers undergraduate courses in various disciplines. Once you qualify for the exam and the interview, you can enroll in the following courses B.Des. courses-
- Fashion Design
- Leather Design
- Accessory Design
- Textile Design
- Knitwear Design
- Fashion Communication
- Apparel Production
Apart from that, there are various other degrees that you can pursue in the designing field. Some of them are-
BTech Fashion Technology
B.A (Hons) Fashion Design
B.A (Hons) Jewelry Design
B.A (Hons) Communication Design
B.A (Hons) Fashion Styling and Image
Undergraduate Common Entrance Examination for Designing (UCEED)
IIT Bombay organizes the UCEED examination for enrolment in the Bachelor of designing. To know more about the exam procedure and other details refer to the official website.
Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) Examination
If you are inclined towards footwear designing, then you should go for the FDDI entrance examination to pursue a career in this field.
To know more about the examination procedure, check the FDDI official website.
Career in designing
After completing your degree, you can become a fashion designer, interior decorator, graphic designer, jewelry designer, footwear designer, etc.
BA in Psychology deals with understanding the human psyche. If you want to study human behavior and it's different aspects, then you should consider pursuing this degree.
iv) Fine Arts
Bachelor of Fine Arts deals with subjects like literature, performance, music, painting, sculpting, etc. If you have a knack for fine arts, then you can consider pursuing it.
If you are curious about how the judiciary works and how different bills are passed and amended, then you should consider pursuing a career in Law.
You can pursue degrees like-
- Bachelor of Legislative Law or Legum Baccalaureus (LLB) (Duration- 3 to 5 years)
- Bachelor of Arts LLB (B.A LLB) (Duration- 5 years)
- Bachelor of Business Administration LLB (BBA LLB) (Duration- 5 years)
- Bachelors of Science LLB (BSc LLB) (Duration- 5 years)
- Bachelor of Legal Science LLB (BLS LLB) (Duration- 5 years)
Here is a list of top law universities and colleges in India (by NIRF- National Institutional Ranking Framework)
You can get admission to the national law universities as well as esteemed private law universities after giving the following exams.
CLAT (Common Law Admission Test)
CLAT entrance examination is conducted for admission to the national law universities as well as other private universities.
LSAT (Law School Admission Test India)
LSAT is a common entrance examination for top private law universities and colleges in India. You are eligible for the examination after you complete your 12th.
Know more about LSAT here.
AILET (All India Law Entrance Test)
AILET test is exclusively for the National Law University, Delhi. If you want admission only in NLU Delhi, then you should give this entrance examination.
Apart from the above-mentioned exams, other colleges and universities also conduct examinations like Symbiosis Law Admission Test (SLAT), Banaras Hindu University BA LLB test (BHU BLAT), and Maharashtra Common Entrance Test-Law(MH-CET).
After completing a law degree, you can make your career in litigation, law firms, judiciary, legal journalism, civil services, legal advisor, etc.
iv) Mass communication
Students are switching to mass communication due to their interests and increasing career opportunities in mass communication.
Degrees in mass communication
At the undergraduate level, students pursue the following degrees around the country. The duration of these degrees is three years.
- BA Journalism
- BA Journalism and Mass Communication (BJMC)
- BA Hons Multimedia and Mass Communication (BMMMC)
- Bachelor of Mass Media (BMM)
- BA Hons in Hindi Journalism and Mass Communication (BHJMC)
- BA Film Making and Mass Communication
You can give entrance examinations to get admission in reputed institutes like the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMI), etc.
After completing a degree in journalism or mass media, you can become a reporter, journalist, editor, writer, news anchor, etc.
The medical field is preferred by students who love science, especially biology. Medical personnel play an important role in society by helping people in need.
Therefore, if you want to help humans in need, then you should go into this career line.
You can become a doctor, a paramedic, a lab technician, and the list goes on. Here are degree you can pursue in medical-
You have to give NEET-UG (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) entrance exam and qualify for MBBS (Bachelor of Surgery, Bachelor of Medicine).
More than 1.5 million students give the exam to get admission in government or private medical colleges.
You can only pursue medicine if you have biology as a subject (along with physics, chemistry, or maths) in your 12th standard.
There is a tough competition, but with good preparation, you can make it. But, keep in mind that the unemployment rate in MBBS is
ii) BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery) (duration- 5 years)
If you are interested in dental sciences and want to become a dentist, then you should consider pursuing BDS.
The admission in BDS is based on the NEET-UG exam score.
iii) BAMS (duration- 5 and a half years)
Ayurveda is India’s legacy. If you want to become an ayurvedic doctor, then you have to pursue BAMS (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery).
The admission is based on your NEET-UG score.
iv) BHMS (duration- 5 and a half years)
BHMS (Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery) is for those who want to pursue a career in Homeopathy. Top colleges give admission based on the NEET score.
Those who complete a BHMS degree can find job opportunities in a research institute, public hospitals, nursing homes, healthcare communities, and the list goes on.
Know more about BHMS degree, entrance examination, and career options click here.
v) BUMS (duration- 5 and a half years)
If you want to pursue a degree in Unani Medicine, then you should consider pursuing a BUMS (Bachelor of Unani Medicine and Surgery) degree.
The admission is given based on the NEET score and some other entrance exams. To know more, click here.
vi) Bachelor in Pharmacy (B. Pharma)
B. Pharma is an option for you if you are interested in chemistry and biology. In this degree, you would know about different drugs and can even develop new medicines.
To know more about it click here to find out.
vi) BVSc (Bachelor of Veterinary Science)
It is a five-year degree program for those who want to become a veterinarian and help the animals medically.
If you have passed 12th with science as your subject, you are eligible to pursue B.VSc.
Different colleges take different entrance exams. Some colleges also give admission based on the NEET (National Entrance cum Eligibility Test) score.
vii) Paramedical courses
A paramedic is someone who is trained to give emergency treatment to people before they are taken to the hospital. The role of a paramedic is crucial at the time of emergency and helping people who are in dire need.
If you want to pursue a career in this field, then click here to know more about the courses you can pursue.
viii) Medical Laboratory Technician
Medical Laboratory Technicians are trained people that know how to handle various equipment and carry out tests in the laboratory.
It is a profession you can pursue if you love to experiment and conduct various tests every day.
ix) BSc Nursing
If you want to become a nurse and enter the medical field, then you can pursue this degree. After you complete your degree, you can enter an array of hospitals, organizations, NGOs, etc. here is a list of Top nursing colleges in India
Commerce graduates deal with things related to finances, accounting, financial information, etc. If you are interested in studying finance, accounting, etc. and want to pursue a career in this field, then you should consider an undergraduate degree in Commerce.
People usually opt commerce stream to pursue BCom/ BBA and enter into the financial field and become CS (company secretary) or CA (chartered accountant) and other relevant professions.
Note- If you are from the science stream and you want to pursue a career in commerce, you are eligible for doing so after completing 12th commerce.
- Bachelor of Commerce- B Com/ B Com Hons >> Duration: 3 years
- Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) >> Duration: 3 years
- CS (company secretary) >> Duration: 3 years
- CA (chartered accountant) >> Duration: 5 years
- Bachelor in Economics >> Duration: 3 years
- Cost and Management Accountant >> Duration: 3 to 4 years
- Certified Financial Planner >> Duration: 2 years
In the commerce field, various entrance exams take place every year. Some colleges give admission on merit basis but the reputed colleges give admissions based on an entrance exam.
If you want to know-it-all about the entrance examination in the commerce stream, check this out.
If you choose the commerce line, you can become the following-
- Chartered Accountant
- Company Secretary
- Loans Executive
- Venture Capitalist
Human Resource Manager, and several other things you aren’t aware of. To know more, check this out.
Engineering is exclusively for those students that had mathematics as one of the subjects in the 12th standard.
It includes branches like mechanical, civil, electrical, electronics and communication, and various other emerging fields.
At the national level, there is an IITJEE (Indian Institute of Technology- Joint Entrance Examination that takes place in the form of exam 1 and exam 2.
Exam 1 is for students who want to pursue B.Tech(Bachelor of Technology) or B.E(Bachelor of engineering)
Note- B. Tech and BE both come under engineering. The difference between the two is that the former is focussed more into the practical side of engineering while the latter is focussed into the theoretical side of engineering)
Exam 2 is for those students who want to pursue degrees like B.Arch and B.Plan.
Some emerging branches in engineering include- Biomedical Engineering, Textile Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering, Marine Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Automobile Engineering, Oil & Petroleum Engineering, etc.
You can also pursue BCA (Bachelor in Computer Application) which is a highly sought degree and beneficial for those who want to pursue digital marketing, data science(to be discussed at the end of the article).
The unemployment rate in the engineering field (according to India Today) is 80%.
6. Military / Defense
If you are patriotic and want to pursue a career by serving the nation, you have ample options too. The defense field is indeed an exhilarating, respectable, and financially secure field. Most people join the defense to learn discipline and work ethic.
i) NDA (National Defense Academy)
One way a person can join defense is by giving NDA right after the 12th board exams. It happens twice a year and this year, the expected exam date is 6th September.
NDA isn’t an easy exam, the students have to go through a written exam and then there is an SSB interview.
Maths is a mandatory subject and the age limit is only 19. Female students can’t give the examination.
ii) ANM (Auxiliary nurse midwife)
For those females who want to enter the army have to give an entrance exam called MNS exam. The degree offered is B.Sc Nursing and is of 4 years.
One thing you need to make sure before going into the defense field is your fitness and health. Apart from the entrance exam, physical fitness texts are common for any position and you should be mentally and physically strong enough to take any position.
7. Foreign Languages
Foreign language as a career is developing fast with the increasing globalization. If you are a polyglot, it is even better.
Foreign language learning programs have helped in strengthening the relationship between any two countries. Language learning is the best way to get familiar with a country’s culture and imbibe it.
Some really popular foreign languages in which you can make your career are- French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian, etc.
Degrees and entrance
Several popular universities offer undergraduate(Bachelor of Arts) degrees in different languages.
EFLU is the only Central University in India solely dedicated to providing degrees in various foreign languages.
Most universities give admissions either based on the 12th percentage or conduct their entrance examination.
After pursuing a degree in Foreign Languages, you can become a teacher, lecturer, translator, ambassador, and so on.
Other emerging courses after 12th
If you don't want to pursue a conventional career and want to look for something better and ‘away from the crowd' career, then don't worry, there are still lots of opportunities waiting for you. Some of these new opportunities are listed here.
Cloud computing deals with computer resources and describes the accessible data over the internet by many people at the same time. It is developing fastly and if you have a knack for technology and computers, you should go for it.
Digital marketing is all about using the internet for marketing. With the development of websites and social media, it has prospered and there are ample opportunities for the youth here.
Artificial intelligence is the future. It is a step towards development and sustainability. Therefore, learning and diving deep into artificial intelligence can take you a long way.
Big data deals with all the ways that analyze and extract a huge volume of data that is hard to handle.
It is the perfect amalgamation of statistics, algorithms, and domain knowledge. It deals with analyzing and studying data and restructuring it in a meaningful way.
With the increasing demand of data scientists, IIT Madras has recently launched an online degree in Data Science.
With the development of social media and digital marketing, graphic designing has become more popular than ever. Be it making a digital portrait or a poster for an ad campaign, everything revolves around graphic designing.
If you have soft skills like designing and know how to use sophisticated software, then you can make a good career out of it.
These are the list of best courses you can do after 12th. The decisions you make today will eventually affect your tomorrow. Therefore, decide your future deliberately and choose your career wisely.
Don’t forget, no career is ‘superior’ or ‘inferior’ and never compare your potential with others. Always try to give your best and improve with time.
The pandemic has shown all of us unexpected consequences while teaching each one of us adaptability and patience,
Lift your spirit and don’t focus on the clouds but admire their silver linings.