By Class 10, you have had enough time to know the subjects that you score well in and enjoy studying versus those that you dislike. It is important at this stage in your decision making to be conscious and aware about your strengths and weaknesses.
As you breathe a sigh of relief after completing your Class 10 Board Exams, you are at a crossroads of an important decision – which subject stream to choose in Class 11 that will lead to a successful career. This can be a difficult time for students who are yet to learn about their career ambitions or how to reach them. But, you can be rest assured, there is help.
Only a small fraction of students knows exactly what they want from their careers and which subject stream they need to select in order to succeed. A majority of students need support to help them decide their next step. Another small number takes decisions based on what their peers and parents think would be good for them. In order to help you make the right decision today to succeed tomorrow, here are five simple things that you can do.
Step 1: Become self-aware
By Class 10, you have had enough time to know the subjects that you score well in and enjoy studying versus those that you dislike. It is important at this stage in your decision making to be conscious and aware about your strengths and weaknesses. A good place to start is by making a list of:
- Subjects you would like to continue
- Subjects you would like to discontinue and
- Subjects you are confused or unsure of
For subjects you are confused about, you should ask yourself questions like:
- Do I really like Mathematics?
- Am I good at it and could I be better if I had the right guidance and coaching?
- Am I willing to spend time practicing Math, to improve my grades in class 11?
Step 2: Take a Career Test
A Career Test is a great starting point. Verified Career Tests are scientifically designed to help you get insight into your personality, motivations, interests and areas of strength that would help you succeed in a potential career. They often include variables such as academic performance to give you a complete roadmap of what subjects you can choose today for a successful career in the future. Once you have done the assessment, you can get one-on-one counselling with a professional to help you plan your next steps.
Here is a quick overview of the subject stream options that most schools offer in India:
The Science stream consists of Physics, Chemistry as the core subjects and Mathematics and Biology as optional subjects. Science students can also choose electives from other streams such as Economics from Commerce, Psychology from Humanities. The Science stream offers many lucrative traditional career options such as Medicine, Engineering & Technology and Pure Sciences. Students who choose Science in school can opt for Commerce and Humanities Stream for undergraduate studies if they wish to move out of the Sciences.
The Commerce stream consists of Business Studies, Economics, Accounts as core subjects and Mathematics is optional. Commerce students can choose electives from the Humanities stream and not from the Science stream. Commerce with Mathematics tends to be a popular choice among students interested in careers in Finance, Accounting, Investment Banking and Entrepreneurship among others. Students who choose Commerce cannot choose Science Stream for undergraduate studies in India. They can however, opt for Humanities subjects.
HUMANITIES / ARTS STREAM
The Humanities or Arts Stream consists of Social Science subjects such as History, Geography, Psychology, Sociology, and Political Science as core subjects. Electives include Mathematics, Economics and Marketing. Humanities students can choose careers in Mass Communication, Journalism, Writing, Film Making and Community Service & Teaching among others. Students who choose Humanities cannot choose Science and Commerce streams for undergraduate studies in India. However, if the student has Economics and Math, they can opt to study Economics or Commerce in college.
Step 3: Learn about new subjects
You already have information about subjects such as – Science, Social Studies and Mathematics. Class 11 brings with it the option to choose many new subjects that you have not done earlier such as Psychology, Sociology, Economics, Biotechnology, and Marketing. Find out subject options available at your school and try to learn more about them to gauge your interest. It helps to speak to seniors who know the coursework to help you know more.
Step 4: Think about your long term career goals
This is a tough but important step. Think about your future and work backwards to where you are today. You should ask yourself – What is important to you? Are you someone who likes structure and working independently or are you someone who likes to work as part of a team? Do you like routine or do you prefer flexibility? These are important questions that help you understand the kind of career you should choose and then decide the best Subject stream that would lead you there.
Step 5: Take an active approach to decision making
Take an active approach towards decision-making by researching on your own, meeting and talking to peers, parents and teachers. You should look for Webinars, Projects and Internships that can help you learn more. Most importantly, remember there is no right stream or one-size-fits-all. The idea is to spend time to understand yourself and be honest about the decision you make. Success in any field comes with hard work – if you are willing to give it your best, you will be successful no matter what.
Parents play a key role in helping children make this crucial decision, to know more about how you as parents can guide your child.
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