The High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) examination will soon be over, and young people will soon face the hard call of deciding which stream to choose in Class 11 that will lead to a meaningful academic career. This can be a difficult time for students who have not yet discovered their career goals or the best way to pursue them. Although students have many alternatives, it is necessary that they select the appropriate course or stream. Keeping this in mind, Mokokchung Times has delved into the matter today to help students make informed career choices.
The majority of students struggle to select the appropriate stream in class 11. The students’ entire career may depend on their choice of stream, which affects more than just the courses they will study in classes 11 and 12 for the next two years.
According to Dhurba, mathematics teacher at Queen Mary Higher Secondary School and the founder of Seshat Tutorials in Mokokchung, 6 out of every 10 students change their minds about their career choices after completing their 12th grade. Choosing the incorrect stream after grade 10 is a common cause for that, he said.
Dhurba cautions students that if they do not select their stream carefully, they risk changing their minds and dropping out of the course. He made note of how crucial it is to choose the right stream.
He also notes that selecting a stream is the first significant step in building a child’s future, adding that it is the first time a child has the chance to make a significant decision about his or her life. The future of a child rests on this choice, Dhurba observed.
Mistakes made while choosing streams
Dhurba believes that most parents or children make the following mistakes when deciding on a career path:
1. Deciding streams based on the marks scored in 10th grade
Although subjects that score well are not always directly proportional to one’s interest, he stated that choosing subjects that inspire one to put in more time and challenge one to learn more without making one feel fatigued is a wise choice.
However, he pointed out that the most typical response we hear when we ask parents or kids is that they will determine which stream to select only after they know how much they scored in their HSLC exam – which also suggests that they haven’t made a professional decision yet.
2. Lack of proper research
Dhurba claimed that there weren’t many professional possibilities 20-25 years ago but the scenario is quite different now. He says that there are currently many career options available in India (about 250). He says that the majority of parents and students, however, are unaware of these new career alternatives and that they don’t conduct adequate research to know what career options they have. He says, “Things have changed.”
3. Ignore their interests and follow others
Dhurba points out that one of the most frequent errors is that most students choose a stream based on recommendations from their peers without knowing their own true interests. He says, “They don’t have an objective. Many students choose a stream or even a school based only on the choices of their friends, disregarding their own abilities or interests in favour of following their friends.”
4. Follow their parents’ dream
In most cases, he says, it is found that youngsters end up following their parents’ dreams without recognizing their own interests. He acknowledges that parents naturally want the best for their kids. Nonetheless, he believes that parents forcing their career choices on their children are also not a very wise decision. “What if a parent forces her child to study science, but after two years the child fails? What good have you done then?” he asks.
5. Ignore the need for professional consultation
Parents and students often overlook the value of professional counsel when choosing a suitable course. He says, “They don’t take it too seriously and believe they alone can make the best career decision.” He claims that this is not the proper way to choose a career and advises that it is crucial to get professional help, either from professors or career counsellors, and further added, “They will direct the learner in the appropriate path and assist in helping to make the right career choice.”
Before making a decision, Dhurba considers first learning about their interests and aptitude, assessing their strengths and weaknesses, and learning about the various streams and career opportunities – pros and cons of the stream. He opines that parents and their children should have a friendly and constructive discussion about career options and adds that one should analyse every aspect before selecting a suitable stream. He also says that one should also conduct a budget analysis, noting that budget constraints can sometimes thwart students’ dreams.
Speaking of the confusing situation where many young people who pass the HSLC regret selecting the wrong stream and frequently hold themselves responsible, Dhurba instils the idea that different career paths can be used interchangeably. According to Dhurba, a student who studied science in the 12th grade can switch to the arts (humanities) or commerce stream. Dhurba claimed that there are a number of courses, including BBA and CA, etc., that may be taken in place of hard-core mathematics in commerce.
He also mentions the availability of short-term course options. However, he cautions, if one has already chosen the incorrect stream, one should proceed with the utmost caution. He says that a mistake shouldn’t be made twice. He says, “As the Japanese philosophy for a happy and reasonable life states: Do what you love. Do what you are good at. Do what you can be paid for. Do what the world needs.”
Concentrate on something you can accomplish with professionalism and passion, he advises, adding that whatever you do should make you feel happy, comfortable, and satisfied.
Lists of streams after 10th and its prospects
The lists of streams after the 10th and their prospects are summarized further by Dhurba. He claims that the science stream is the most popular of all and that the primary topics that are part of the Science group include physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, and computer science. He noted that this may potentially change based on the school. Regarding the Science stream, he says, “It opens the doors to a plethora of career prospects: doctor, engineer, professor, biotechnologist, microbiologist, chemist, data analyst, game designer or developer, nurse, nutritionist, robotics, animation, cyber security, physiotherapist, and many more.” “One can even join the Indian Navy or Indian Air Force, for example,” he adds.
Also, speaking of the Commerce stream, he adds that the Commerce group concentrates on topics connected to business, finance, economics, and trade. Economics, accounting, business studies, computers, mathematics, and other major subjects are covered. This, he says, is ideal for pupils who have a knack for banking, marketing, or accounting-associated positions.
Dhurba also lists a few potential career prospects in this stream, such as those for Chartered Accountant, Corporate Secretary, Financial Analyst, Banker, Accountant, Risk Management Analyst, Investment Consultant, Auditor, Stock Broker, and many others.
Meanwhile, Dhurba notes that in the Arts and Humanities stream, one can indulge in a number of disciplines such as geography, history, language, psychology, sociology, literature, and political science. He also says that humanities, whose key courses are included in the UPSC exam syllabus, will be the best track for IAS aspirants after the 10th grade. He also lists several potential career prospects in this stream, including historian, public relations manager, archaeologist, anthropologist, journalist, social worker, data linguist, and expert in foreign languages, content writer, counsellors, sports psychologist, civil servant, and many others.
Dhurba suggests that in addition to the three main streams, students can enrol in professional courses like polytechnic diploma courses, paramedical courses, ITI courses, X-ray technician courses, interior design courses, beautician courses, diploma courses in hotel management and catering management, and many more. The duration of these courses can be in the range of 3 months to 1 year.
He wraps up by stating that each stream has its own advantages and disadvantages and that the possibilities for the major streams are limitless and urges readers to consider their own interests and skills. He suggests seeking advice from professionals and notes that it is best to consider what one really wants to do with their life.
“Never give up on your dreams,” urges Dhurba, recipient of the PGT Queen Mary Higher Secondary School’s 2021 Teachers State Award.
‘Students should not use grades to define their goals or careers’
Similar to Dhurba’s viewpoints, Alemrenla Jamir, an educator, human development analyst, and co-founder of Wellness 10:31 Fitness and Counselling Center, states that there were no education counsellors earlier to help students choose a path in accordance with their potential. However, she adds that children can now find the perfect career route owing to the resources that are easily accessible.
“Now, to survive in the survival arena, it is wise for one to choose a career that matches one’s skills and passion,” she opines.
Alemren says that there are nine types of intelligence, namely, visual-spatial, linguistic-verbal, logical-mathematical, body-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic, and existential intelligence, according to American cognitive psychologist Howard Gardner.
She explains that we tend to develop two or three types of intelligence with a dominant type, which also helps in the development of skills, and states that there are some children who already know what they want to be or which field they would like to pursue. She does, however, say that there are some students who are clueless, confused, and discouraged and can wind up making the wrong decision.
Also, she states, “Students should not use grades to define their goals or careers,” adding that even top students risk being stuck in a career bottleneck if they make the wrong choices. Before picking a stream, Alemren says, “one has to ask themselves: What am I excellent at? What piques my interest?” The educator also emphasizes that today’s demands do not depend on one’s level of education but on what one can do.
In a nutshell, she argues that if a kid is interested in science and is a naturalist who enjoys gardening, farming, or the outdoors, they can choose the science stream and pursue horticulture or agricultural studies.
Additionally, she stresses that someone who is passionate about music or is talented with musical instruments can also choose a college that teaches music as a subject, which can later help in pursuing a degree in music. Students who are linguistically verbal can choose streams that will later help them choose careers that require talking and writing, she mentions.
Besides that, the educator mentions that for students who are interested in languages and want to explore employment abroad, learning English and one of the foreign languages, such as French, Spanish, Chinese, or Korean, will also add weight to building a career, depending on where one wants to work (there are colleges that offer foreign languages or through digital training).
Alemren also says that there are some students who may not be great at academics but excel at understanding people, and people like them. She recommends those children pursue careers in hospitality or management since these fields are rewarding.
Furthermore, Alemren suggests that kids who are skilled with numbers or are analytical by temperament and are interested in science or math should select the commerce or science stream.
She emphasizes that the science stream offers a wide range of job opportunities, just like all other streams do. She encourages pupils to explore nursing with a specialized area as a career when they complete grade 12 and points out that nurses from Asia and India are in high demand in European nations due to their warmth and compassion.
Meanwhile, Alemren contends that we tend to preserve a standing in education by seeking a higher degree or graduate degree. There are no big or small chores, according to her. “We are all pursuing careers to make a living at the end of the day,” she remarks.
To her, professionalism is more important than having a ton of degrees and being stuck in one’s job.
“If a student is passionate about their studies or is hard working in everything they do, then no matter what, they will still progress,” she says. She also advises students having trouble choosing a career to take an aptitude test, which is offered for free online, or to speak with professional counsellors who could help them identify their core strengths and narrow down their choices.