Clearing the higher secondary examination is one of the most significant milestones in the life of a student. It is at this stage, that they graduate from their student life to be transitioned into their professional life.
The academic years do not end here, but the choice for the next course determines where a student is headed towards their career. This is why career guidance at this threshold becomes almost imperative.
A whole new gamut of opportunities open up at this phase, and often, a student feels overwhelmed about the options. There are numerous degrees, diplomas, courses, certifications available at this juncture, but a career guidance help to choose the right one.
Some courses are more traditional; some are fancier, some sound more promising, while some may seem more relevant. What should a student choose and what must be the criteria for making that choice?
When a student seeks career guidance, they are provided with a list of courses to choose from.
However, a career guide must help the student to choose a course or stream which would be perfect for their future as well. Otherwise, it is of no use.
List of courses are available everywhere, but the dilemma of choosing one over the other is the tricky part. Considering some factors can make it a little easier to make that choice.
Necessarily, there are three such factors which must be kept in mind when choosing the next course:
- What was the stream selected in the 11th and 12th standards? While courses such as LLB, or Web Designing or BBA may not require specific background and are stream neutral (unless otherwise specified by the provider of the course), courses such as Engineering and medical sciences require students to have studied PCM or PCB in their 12th.
- What are the career interests of the student? There is no point in pursuing a degree in B.Pharma (Bachelor in Pharmaceuticals) if, eventually, the student wants to build a career in animation. Yes, interests have indeed changed as exposure and awareness increases, but the innate knack and aptitude remain similar throughout. Hence, if a student is not sure what he wants to pursue later in life and knows that arts subjects do not interest him, he should go for a more traditional Bachelor’s degree in a science subject. And vice versa. Also, if Mathematics as a subject seems interesting, then pursuing a course in statistics or accounting may be a good option.
- Return on Investment: Students are often not aware of this vital parameter based on which all decisions are taken across the world. If a course requires an investment, what would be the return on such investment? Remember that return on investment is not always calculated in monetary terms, nor is the investment. A course requires money as well as an investment of effort. Thus the career that is provided by the course should be able to reap the results of that effort and money. Salary and satisfaction derived from the job would be the return on investment.
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Typically, the courses available post higher secondary are divided into three main subgroups – courses after science, courses after arts and courses after commerce (that is, they are based on the streams chosen in the 12th).
Courses after Science:
- Bachelor of Science
- Bachelor of Computer Applications
- Bachelor of Pharma
- Bachelor of Architecture
Courses after Arts :
- Bachelor of Arts (Humanities, Social Sciences, Performing)
- BA LLB
- Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication
- Bachelor of Mass Media
Courses after Commerce :
- Bachelor in Commerce
- Chartered accountancy
- Company Secretary
- Cost Management and Accounting
However, these courses are not strictly to be pursued in the said subgroups only. For example, someone who had arts in 12th can also pursue Chartered Accountancy, and someone from a science background can also choose to do graduation in mass communication.
Also, it is an indicative list and not an exhaustive one. There are courses, such as Bachelor of Hotel Management, and Bachelor of Business Management.
These courses do not necessarily need a specific background or stream but are very lucrative in terms of career opportunities.
A list of other such courses which are job oriented and does not depend on a stream of education before graduation are as follows:
- Air Hostess training
- Animation and film making
- Fashion designing
- Interior designing
- Advanced editing
- Textile designing
- Tourism management
- Aviation and hospitality management
In addition to the above, a student can also prepare for government exams and/or the NDA entrance exam for the National Defence Academy. For the Airforce and Naval wing, they need students with Physics and Mathematics in the 10+2 exam.
Since there are so many options, as a student you might find yourself facing multiple questions when you stand at this crucial crossroads of life. “What course should I take up?” “What career can I pursue this course?” “What profession would I never be able to continue if I choose this course?” “Which colleges provide this course?” “What is the course fee? Would I get placed after this course?”
Thanks to the internet, many of the answers to the questions above are not difficult to find. But the internet provides data, which must be analyzed and processed upon by the students themselves and an informed decision taken.
Having selected a course, the next pertinent question that comes up is, “which college is the best?” What must a student consider while choosing a college or an institution from where to pursue the course of his choice?
The courses may be numerous, but the list of colleges is unending. Even after having considered the cut-off score, the college fees, and the location of the college, a student is left with hundreds of names. Here is a list of some other very important factors which every student must look into before taking this big decision :
A) Reliability of the institution: It is not difficult to find an engineering college at every nook and corner of a big city. But who is the founder of the institution, who runs the college, is there a regulatory body that recognizes the courses offered, who are the members of the governing body of the college or university? A college should have a background of trust, which it has built over years of providing quality education.
B) Placement records: Does the institution take care of placements after a technical course? What percentage of students have been getting placed year on year through the campus placements? Who are the recruiters? Does the college have tie-ups with any business organization? What is the average package (not highest) offered through campus placement? Most colleges declare only the highest package, which does not portray a true picture of placements. Good institutions, always mention the average package offered along with the highest package.
C) Accreditation: Is the college or university accredited or recognized by any of the educational governing bodies such as UGC or AICTE? It makes the course more credible and accepted in the industry.
D) International exposure: In the age of globalization, any course must be so designed that it is valid in the international arena. Does the college of choice have any tie-ups with a foreign governing body or institution through mentorship or exchange programs?
E) Curriculum: The course curriculum must include an emphasis on hands-on knowledge as much as theoretical knowledge. Most colleges conduct courses through books. But workshops, seminars, real-time projects, industry speakers, lab exposures are essential for a recruitment ready program that caters to the needs of hiring organizations.
Why choose BMU?
BMU is a renowned name in the field of education. With its cutting edge technology, BMU believes in imparting a culture of learning that helps a student grow into ethical, responsible world leaders who are innovative, research-oriented as well as entrepreneurial.
The college is mentored by the Imperial College London, a 108-year-old university. The design of courses, student exchange, faculty training, research activities is facilitated jointly by the university, this ensuring a benchmark with the global standards.
At BMU, the focus is on the overall “competency” development of a student. While technical knowledge is vital, a student is never industry-ready without honing his practical skills. Just like a pilot before flying a real flight, goes through several simulations, similarly, at BMU, 45% of the curriculum emphasizes experiential learning, which includes internships, working laboratories, and workshops.
The courses here are so designed that students go through life like situations through workshops, group activities, industry exposure, and transition smoothly into an organization. Problem-solving, conflict resolution, dealing with ambiguity, out of the box thinking are attributes which are nurtured in BMU as ultimately these qualities help a student to succeed in his career.
Swimming lessons cannot be provided in the classroom. With that principle, the classes in BMU are synchronized with the workplace to provide an environment of learning, problem-solving, innovation, engaging and at the same, ensuring that the entire process enjoyable.
The relevance of education is in its application in today’s world of rapidly changing ideas and fast-moving preferences. A student must adapt to this global environment and be proficient in keeping himself relevant through the pursuit of continuous learning. At BMU, the effort is to create such thinking minds while inculcating good citizenry and social etiquette.
The “outside-in” approach of BMU’s curriculum design helps to customize the theoretical concepts with practical inputs from the industry. This approach has attracted several top players of the industry to hire students who have been taught and trained in the BMU.
The choice made by students after their higher secondary education makes a big difference in building their careers. Hence appropriate career guidance from a professional with the involvement of parents and students is required at this time. A decision is useful only if it results in a good career for the student. Hence all the factors must be given due weight and wise consideration.