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Joining college? What you must know...

Andrea Gogri | June 26, 2006

Class X results have been declared and you are wondering: do I take up arts, science, commerce or a vocational course?

Well, you are not alone. Thousands of students share the same feeling as you. However, do not make haste and take the wrong decision.

In the past, students took up arts, science or commerce based on their Class X results. For instance, if you got good marks you would take up science. If you scored poorly, you took arts.

Today, however, the trend is to take up a subject that interests you as there are career opportunities in every field.

You can even opt for vocational training, a diploma in engineering and technology and other technical and certificate courses directly after Class X.

This article is a basic introduction to what you can expect in each stream:


The arts field has traditionally been thought of as meant for students with no interest in studying, or those who got poor results. On the contrary, Arts offers a varied range of opportunities and career avenues.

Subjects offered

The compulsory subject in Arts are English and one second language, ie French, Sanskrit or Hindi.

Optional subjects include political science, psychology, economics, history, literature, etc.

Understanding the essence of each subject will get you started in the right direction.

Srividya Subramanian, a career counsellor at Youngbuzz, says, "Subjects like English literature, psychology, economics, foreign languages and history are in demand. Students could consider opting for these subjects right after Class X."


Are you creative? Do you write well? Is your verbal communication good? Do you have good research and analytical abilities? Does understanding and working with people invigorate you?

If yes, then Arts could be your calling. Depending on the subjects you choose, this stream essentially requires a liking for human nature, languages, a quest to know about ancient facts and cultures, the study and analysis of people, their surroundings, delving into research on past civilisations, their growth, thought processes and social evolution.

Work opportunities

Arts opens avenues to psychology, archaeology, hotel management, law, advertising, mass communication, travel and tourism, fashion designing, social work, teaching, philosophy and so forth.


Science has traditionally been considered the domain of those with brains. This is true to an extent. But, besides brains, you will have to put in rigorous hours of study and hard work.

Subjects offered

The compulsory subjects are English, a second language, physics and chemistry. You have the choice of taking up biology and a vocational subject or mathematics and a vocational subjects or biology and a mathematics without any vocational subject.

Srividya advises, "Take up Physics-Chemistry-Mathematics if you want to pursue engineering after Class XII. If medicine is your calling, do Physics-Chemistry-Biology. If you want to pursue any of the technology courses like Biotechnology, Nanatechnology or any B Tech course, Physics-Chemistry-Mathematics-Biology should be your choice of subjects."


Do you have strong analytical skills? Are you objective, systematic and innovative in your thinking? Are you capable of putting in long hours of study? Above all, are you persevering?

Science essentially requires a liking for the subject and all that the field has to offer. You must also have a strong sense of logic, as you will be dealing with facts and figures throughout your career.

Work opportunities

You can pursue fields such as medicine, engineering, architecture, dentistry, pharmacy, agricultural sciences, computer science, merchant navy, genetics, nutrition and dietetics, astronomy and so forth. Fields like nanotechnology and biotechnology also offer good scope.


If you are good with numbers, ratios and everything related to economics, money and mathematics, the commerce stream could very well be your degree to a lucrative career.


You will study subjects like economics, organisation of commerce, book-keeping and accountancy, secretarial practice, mathematics & statistics, etc. Srividya says, "If you wish to pursue management in the future, you could opt for mathematics instead of secretarial practice."


Do you solve mathematical problems in your sleep and arrive at possible solutions in your dreams? Do you like understanding a problem or a situation with lots of numbers and data instead of long pages of description in English? Are you analytical and precise? 

Work opportunities

From becoming a chartered accountanct to a chartered financial analyst to an economist, banker, stockbroker and foreign exchange dealer, there are a host of careers you can choose from as a commerce graduate.

Quick tip: Talk to older students in these streams and understand the subjects better.

Part II: Finished Class X? A plan of action

The author Andrea Gogri works for YoungBuzz India, a career guidance and people development company. For more information contact


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Number of User Comments: 1

Sub: Value added courses for students

I had gone thru the article for students. It was quite interesting. In connection I would like to add up, like now-a-days there are lot ...

Posted by S.Vinodkumaar


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