Visions of a career path for most of the students are mostly guided by childhood dreams. “I will grow up to become a fashion designer, a teacher, an actor, a doctor, etc”. However, these childhood fancies, for most, disappear as they grow up and not many actually give their career much thought.
The process of chalking out a definitive career plan initiates in class 10. Family, teachers and friends can’t stop talking about the need to choose a path after class 10th and it is time you too start deciding. Now, for someone who hasn’t even started thinking about his career yet, how would he pick up an option which is going to be there with him for the next few years or a career that may stay with him for the rest of his life? Stream choice can seem like a daunting question but actually it is not that hard if one is aware of their options, invest their time in some much-required research and self-introspection.
After giving the 10th board examinations, students are predominantly made to make a choice between Commerce, Science, and Humanities. So let us look at what each one offers:
Commerce is a field which explores the worlds of business, finance and trade. Students learn how businesses operate, how goods and services are exchanged, how the economies of the world work, how financial transactions take place, principles of international trade and so much more. Commerce careers are indispensable to our lives which makes it a lucrative field to explore. While you have an option to drop mathematics, numbers form the base for this stream and hence most people recommend learning mathematics with commerce in high school. A stronghold over calculations and the ability to deal with large amounts of data are must-haves for success in this stream. Commerce comes with its own set of myths. It is believed that commerce is good for average students who cannot get into science or it is only suitable for students from business families. These myths are only based on the stereotypical order of superiority of streams and are totally false, a far cry from reality. Commerce comes with numerous choice of career options too and is not only meant for the kids coming from a business background. Thus, good mental ability and a love for numbers is desired for commerce.
Science refers to the study of the physical and natural world. From understanding how the laws of thermodynamics work, nature and reaction of molecules with one another to learning about the complex structure of a simple leaf, a science student will read about the many mysteries of the world around us. While some notions about science are absolutely true like one must be good at academics to excel in sciences, others notions like one must pursue science if they are good with academics and have a high IQ, in general, is completely baseless. Science really needs a strong commitment, because most careers in science take a few extra years to materialize, not to mention the entrance exams in which lakhs of students compete for a handful of seats after class 12th. It is not impossible to be successful in this area if one truly loves science and has a keenness to explore with an undeterred focus on academics. Hence an innate curiosity and keenness to explore, high logical thinking ability and most importantly, dedication to long hours of study are essential to be successful in this stream.
Humanities as a domain have been widely misunderstood and disregarded in the past, but as we complete the second decade of the twenty-first century, things are changing for the better. It is no longer considered an option for academically weak students. In fact, more and more students are looking to opt for humanities for a wide range of subjects and career options it provides. It truly provides the liberty of exploring a wide range of subjects concerning the society. It covers areas related to human society, relationships, cultures, and systems. It polishes the personality of an individual and develops essential life skills like excellent communication skills which is why employers are increasingly hiring people from humanities backgrounds. A study in humanities offers a deeper understanding of how the world and society operate and how human society, laws, and norms have changed, developed and evolved over time. From the study of the legal rights of citizens, how people interact in group settings, everything similar to this provides a sound understanding of the overall society, comes under the purview of humanities. While science discusses factuality and technical aspects of the universe, commerce is based on skill and practice, liberal arts provides one with freedom and empowers individuals by educating them about the things that matter, it feeds them with knowledge which leads to the social development of the society. Development of infrastructure and trade does define the development of a nation, but it is only the development of the mindset which leads to the actual advancement of a nation. Students having a curiosity to study world affairs, social issues, historical events, and society must explore the field of humanities.
While this article aims at providing a close insight at all the fields to help make a more informed and smart choice, it is always better to talk to people from various fields about their career and life. Learning about the practical aspects of careers from the people who are already working in the field, opens up the eyes and mind to the actual reality of the area and other less explored, unconventional careers which may not be based on academics. Moreover, students could opt for career counselling from experts and professionals. At last, it should not be forgotten that every stream could be easy or difficult depending upon your abilities and interests, so self-introspection is perhaps the most crucial thing which should be done while making a life-changing choice like this.