Career Options after 10th and 12th Class
Post-result time is the most taxing period for many students, when, they must make prudent decisions about their career.
IndiaEducation has always endeavored to provide the best possible counseling services to the students through its dedicated career counseling and Question and Answer section. At this juncture we thought to provide you the views and guidance of an eminent career counsellor.
Pervin Malhotra is India's top career counsellor. Her immensely popular career query columns in the print and electronic media reach an estimated audience of 50 million. She is the Executive Director, Career Guidance India (CARING).
Her guidance has helped shape many futures. In this interview, she talks about how to select a particular career, the most important skills a student should possess. She clears up the perennial dilemma of college over subject or subject over college and much more.
Ques 1. In our education system, marks are very important. If I don’t get good marks in say, mathematics, but want to work as a media planner, how do I judge my skills?
A career in Media Planning does require a considerable amount of number crunching and mathematical skills, but I believe that if you are very keen and focused on your goal, you will work hard to overcome the obstacles in your path. Your passion can compensate for your lack of qualification to some extent.
Ques 2. One skill needed in every/almost all professions?
Communication, though it’s importance varies. For example, in a profession like that of a research scientist, you may not be required to communicate as much as customer-facing professions like sales or marketing, but even a researcher is required to communicate his findings to his peers and share the benefits of his findings with people. For medical practitioners, communicating with patients, and understanding their problems is important.
Ques 3. Now, with class 10 and class 12 results coming out soon, what would you suggest to a 16-year old, who is on the verge of choosing a career & does not know himself too well? The decision s/he takes might be influenced by his/her peers, or someone whose sense of judgment s/he trusts, but it may not necessarily be right for him/her?
True, for a 16-year old decisions about choosing a career after 12th are largely influenced by his/her peers. But, there are over 3,500 professions, and what may be right for one person, might not be right for someone else. It helps to be aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses. What s/he can do is make a list of his interests, likes and dislikes, ask questions like “do I like to study a particular subject? Do I like sports more than studies? Would I like to take part in extra-curricular activities?” Then, on the basis of that list, he/she should try finding careers related to likes and aptitude. For example, if someone likes to write, s/he can enrol for a course related to that, like mass communication. Apart from this, there are some self-assessment tools available in the market, but the important thing to keep in mind about these tools is to ensure that the test is a bonafide one and that the norms are duly validated. We at Career Guidance India (CARING), have an excellent, tried and tested tool that can help students assess their own aptitude and career interests.
Also, in case a student is not sure about what s/he wants, it helps to choose a stream that will keep the maximum number of options open. For example, dropping a subject like mathematics directly closes options like engineering, BBS, BCom (Hon), BBE, MCA etc.
Ques 4. College over subject or subject over college, what would you suggest? Continuing, would you recommend that a student drop a year?
Ans 4. Your college tenure will stretch over 3-4 years. In case you are not sure about which specific career to choose, join a good college, keep your eyes and ears open, and explore your options during that time. But, in case a student is very sure about his career, it should always be subject over college. That’s what will take him to his desired goal.
Personally, I would never recommend someone to drop a year. One year is a long time. One might start off with enthusiasm, but sustaining that enthusiasm and zeal throughout the year is very tough. It would start with simple things like waking up late, wasting time on the internet, task stretching, and before you realize, the year is up! Also, I believe that the young should be with the young. I would rather suggest that the student enroll for some course and keep preparing side-by-side.
Ques 5. Parents have apprehensions about taking a loan for an offbeat career. They’d rather “waste” money on a course that is more “socially accepted”. What are your views?
I will take an extreme example. Please draw the analogy. Not many have deep enough pockets for education in the field of, say, motor sports. But, if you have a keen interest in motor sports, you can look at related fields like sports journalism, test drive cars and bikes, write about cars, become an automotive photographer, design cars, remodel cars and do umpteen other things related to your passion. So, before taking a plunge into a particular field, try to find the viability of that field and compare it with your strengths, availability of funds etc.
Ques 6. In quite a few universities, there is sports quota and admission on the basis of academics. Do you feel the two should be clubbed together?
I don’t know about clubbing them together, but life is not about academics alone. A healthy balance should be maintained; it should not be that students turn out to be nerds, or, for that matter, start ignoring education entirely. While clubbing the two, due consideration should be given to both, extra curricular activities and marks. It should not be that someone who is very good in a particular sport and gets 55% marks gets admitted to a college with 90% cut-off.
Ques 7. Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE)-how will it change the entire higher education system, according to you? Will it bring the standards down? Will it help in churning out well-rounded students?
If implemented properly, I think Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation would produce students with all-rounded skills. Some stress is good, and with CCE, the stress would be distributed evenly. You would not have students wasting term-time and then spending sleepless nights during exams. With an emphasis on extra curricular activities, you would have better balanced students. It is a myth that mixing extra-curricular activities with assignments and projects would increase stress levels. Life is all about multitasking, balancing one thing with other. If implemented in an unbiased manner, and in spirit, I believe CCE will produce well-developed students.
IndiaEducation has also written an article on 'Choosing a Career After Class 10 & Class 12' which will act as a guiding tool for students after class 10 and class 12.