“What to study after 12th standard?” probably the most mysterious and critical question for many students in India. Especially to those students from rural areas and their parents. Though internet and this information era has revolutionized India’s accessibility to various resources, many are still lagging behind when it comes to our decision making process on education after schooling.
In a nutshell of what are the commonly done mistakes and the right solution for them?
The Big Five Mistakes after 12th standard and the Solutions:
1. Do not fall Prey to Sales ‘Gimmicks’
Perhaps they are in Thousands minimum, who will target you to sell their business. Yes, I am telling about the private educational institutions! They try to reach you in every possible media you access like TV, Internet, News Papers, etc. Highlighting their institutions’ record of placement, infrastructure, facilities and a ‘guaranteed future’ for your Son / Daughter. The strategic way they have to make you buy their college seats is Educational Expo / Counselling Event, which typically hosted by various institutions under one roof. Believe me, most of them are stalled sales and marketing center for those institutions, where they typically do is brainwash you to enroll for any of the program to their institution / their affiliated institutions. Hardly they try to assess your children’s interest or capability. They just throw some statistics and show a glamorous future to you, and make you believe that your kid also can do that.
How to Identify and Safeguard you children? This is so simple. When someone invites you for a career counselling, please visit them, because you could learn something from them, but keep your decision so rational. Check how they counsel you, the more they listen to your interests they are good; on contrast if they talk more about their courses or some other courses more, then they are trying to do a sale. Never commit, or go for a spot admission anywhere in a counselling center; always compare, analyse and decide. Interact with current students and passed out students as much as possible, once you shortlist a few institutions. Decide accordingly. The most important thing, if any institution promises your kid a placement, kindly do not believe blindly. Shoot them with some questions on placements like what kind of profiles do they offer placements? what companies have hired resources before? Tell them that you knew someone from that company and check their reaction! Because more novice you are, the more they try to exploit you.
2. All Do, So I Do:
This is the second major factor which influences the students today to make a call on a course after 12th std. They simple choose some course because many in his/her circle would have opted for it. (ex: Engineering) Also, if some of their friends decide to do some course they may also choose the same. Many parents too conclude with this logic and do the same mistake.
Why this is wrong? How to overcome this?
Hmmm… This is a bit complex to rectify immediately, but easy to understand. Just because someone or a majority chooses a field of study, there is no guarantee that your Kid can also do the same course with high interest level. Many parents think about the salary what others earn and they want their kid to go for the same course! Listen Please, your kid and that particular person are not photocopies! When it comes to talents, your kid must be unique and he/she must go for a courses which provides them with opportunities to exhibit their talents and improvise them better. So ensure to say a strict NO to “All do so I do”
3. Scope for earning:
Again I am explaining about the money part! Obviously it is truth that we are studying to make a way of living and earning, no doubt about it. Yet, we need to look at this in a certain perspective. Remember this saying “Learn anything, there is no assurance of good future, but Master anything you like, there is assurance of a good future”
How to over come this? So it not what choice you make will make you earn better, it is what you excel that will do it. For example, there are software engineers who earn in Lakhs per month and also there are software engineers who struggle even to get jobs. So scope of earning is there in all fields, all it matters is how you are mastering the subject. Choose those fields in which you can deliver your best, rather choosing some field which shows off higher pay package, you may fail to deliver there.
4. Always Listen to Experts or Parents!
Not needed always, when the experts or parents know a little about your strengths and weaknesses, abilities and skill sets of your academics and personality. Any career suggestion given to you by any person who understood you a little, is not a wise suggestion. They may be a good resource person who can provide you all the information which you may not aware of, but they cannot make a right decision on your career.
How to over come this? This is the toughest thing for students to convince their parents or some well-wisher who guides them. But students need to be clear about their own profile or strengths, weakness, area of improvement, interests, skills, special talents, passion etc. ‘believe you are grown up’ capable of taking a decision. Most importantly try to express yourself freely and talk to your parents, because they are the ones who is going to invest money and hope in you. Give them a clear picture of what you think and discuss the future plans with them. Accordingly choose a course related to your interest. Note: Try collecting resources before you go for discussions with them.
5. I have no plan or idea about what next!
This is a major category too. Students will have no idea about themselves also the parents. These are the segment, who are washed out by the sales forces of institutions. Hardly they could realize this, because of lack of awareness about career planning. Village students, first generation degree holders’ family, students from poor economy, etc are mostly condition driven students. The choice of their career will always be followed by various factors like affordability, travel, lifestyle,etc. Passion or Interest becomes the last priority for them. Sometimes, students from affluent family background also falls into this category.
How to over come this? Those who are affected by various other factors like affordability, they need to just keep aside the issues and think about their interests / passion. More importantly, you should have done a long term plan right after 10th or before; to get some scholarships or make use of quota scheme if applicable. This would have helped you to go for what you like to study. Fine, now what if such long term planning is not done? Then it is totally subject to your situation, but try to go for a course which you can understand, at least based on you academic marks / subject interest. Last but not least, those who are from affluent family but has no plan, well you make your choice as you wish, because education has gone so commercial, you are less prone to suffer even if you make a wrong decision. 🙂 Bit harsh, but the reality.
Hope this is useful and give you some perspective to take over the thinking process better. Please feel free to share your feedback on this. If you find it useful, please share with your friends and students you know.