After 10th: The Best Career Options for Students in India

What are the career options after 10th, the high school or senior secondary school? Which stream should you opt for in 11th or higher secondary schools?

What are the career options in different streams?

You like Humanities, but my parents want you to take science, what should you do then?

This guide covers everything that you have in your mind if you have just passed your 10th or are about to pass. (Good luck with the results though.)

Why this guide?

As much as this decision holds the status of being your first professional decision in life, it is also a very crucial one. This is definitely not an easy call, especially at such an early age of 15-16.

Even your parents might not have a clear idea about all the pros and cons in each option at hand and they might go feel comfortable going with the popular opinions. Hence, it is a wise step to seek career advice starting at this stage as the stream you choose is one key factor in shaping your future options.

Every option not only opens many new doors for your future, but it may as well close some, which is not a surprising fact as this is where your foundation for any field is created.

Based on several diverse resources and from my own experience, I have listed here the various possibilities you have after 10th based on your current choice.

This guide is thus the best bet you have right now.

A personal tip is to keep all biases aside, whatsoever, while going through this article and then making your mind as to which road suits you best based on your aptitude and liking.

career options after 10th

Before you proceed with all available career options after 10th, see What should I do after class 10?

Career Options after 10th in Science

If you opt for science, physics and chemistry will come as mandatory courses, and an option between biology and mathematics will arise in the name of PCB or PCM respectively.

PCB: Physics, Chemistry & Biology.

PCM: Physics, Chemistry & Mathematics.

If you aspire to have a career in medical field, PCB should be your first choice as a career option after 10th whereas if you’re looking for a future in engineering then PCM is the one for you. As prescribed in our current education system, you’ll have to take 5 subjects compulsorily among which one will be a language subject (mostly English or some other language depending on your board of education) and the other could be physical education, computer science or any other subject based on availability in your school (institution).

If you’re not sure on which line you wish to continue, CBSE provides an option of PCMB, which keeps both medical and engineering options open for you and you can decide anytime till your 12th.

Huge merit in opting for science is that, you can always continue in other streams such as commerce or humanities after your 12th while the reverse might not be possible.

Also, the option remains most liked by parents as it seems to provide an assurance of a future job, but you should remember the difference between a job and a career and make your choice accordingly.

Career Options after 10th in Commerce

If you’re enthusiastic about finance, trade or business then you have come to the right path. Commerce comprises mandatory subjects as Accounting, Business Studies and Economics, one compulsory language subject (often English as stated earlier) and an optional in which choosing Maths often proves pretty useful to the students.

In most Indian schools, the cut-off for Commerce falls right below the sciences but the reverse happens after 12th. If you wish to continue family business in future or aspire to become an entrepreneur yourself then thus stream is meant for you. It not only offers knowledge about taxing, auditing, accounting, etc. but about general enterprise economics as well. Taking Maths as the optional subject ensures you don’t fall behind when it comes to playing with numbers, which is one key requirement to climb further in the field.

The stream holds several high paying professions like Accountants, Chartered Accountants, Investment Bankers, Financial Advisors, etc. but as stated above, if you’ve chosen commerce based on your merit then you’ll have to put in extra efforts to get into a top-notch institute after 12th which can bring you to graduate courses such as B.Com., BBA, CFA, CA, and many more.

Career Options after 10th in Humanities

Aka Arts, which seemed to be the least preferred choice by students at some time is recently emerging as a gateway to numerous career options. The stream is composed of wide variety of subjects including History, Geography, Political Science, Sociology, Psychology, Economics and several more. From these one has to choose 3 majors, along which one language and one optional course have to be chosen.

The variety of career options available here is immense, ranging from the traditionally respected civil services to recent wide choices of mass media communication, journalism, literature, human psychology, human resources, social service, sociology, economics and the list goes on. While making a choice, do keep in mind what you wish to pursue after 12th and if the area falls in the off-beat arena of career options then most likely your best choice would be Arts.

Some Unconventional Alternatives

In the past several years, career options available after 10th have undergone through some diverse transformations giving the students some options which were unheard of before. They become eligible for professional courses such as Vocational courses, Diploma courses, or other short-term certifications.

Another option is to go on the lines of polytechnic courses and jump to second year of the technical education ladder through entrance exams as the courses in polytechnic and ITI cover almost all the syllabus of Engineering colleges in India.

The options in this list cover a good wide band of employment choices, but you should be aware that these options often remain unknown to most of the students in this boat, hence it is necessary to seek career advice and understand the various aspects while making a call for your future.

More advises

Gone through the list, you must now have some idea of what surprises each stream might offer you, but still, making a choice remains a tough call. The reason being, for deciding upon an option to land, you not only need to be highly familiar with all the available alternatives but also be familiar with yourself. Your interests, skills, passion, strengths, weaknesses and many more factors need to be looked at before you settle for something.

For example, science streams demand a good understanding of the subjects whereas the humanity courses need you to memorize stuff. If you’re familiar with your pluses and minuses, then making a choice is not very difficult.

Another situation arises when you may have obtained a good percentage of marks in your 10th and must be ready to opt for one of the sciences, at this moment just sit down and ask yourself whether you really wish to learn the courses offered or the decision is based on your merit only. If you find some other field more interesting and assuring than this, go for it.

Students often make a choice based solely on their merits, which gets reflected in their 12th board results or later while running in the professional race. Though the diversification against merit has been on a rise these past few years, owing to the increased awareness among both students and their parents, it is necessary to weigh your passion and interests and choose accordingly.

I hope you found something to help you out with your decision, but the end call remains with you. Don’t get a load of anything; you can always change your stream after a few months of trying in one (in 11th) or even after completing your 12th; with some effort, you can always reshape your career lines.