Career Options after 12th Science PCM except Engineering

Engineering Colleges have been springing up like wild mushrooms in India in the last one decade. The number of colleges has gone up from around 1500 in 2006-7 to over 3500 in 2016-17. So, the statistic is the testimony to the fact that a large number of students join engineering streams after Class XII/Intermediate. I feel that many students join engineering due to the lack of insight into vast multitudes of career opportunities except engineering or medical. Well, I will jot down the various career options after 12th Science PCM except engineering, with synoptic overviews. I would refrain from all technology and applied sciences related branches.

Basically, I would classify the choices into 2 groups:

  1. Streams for which PCM has significance
  2. Open Streams
  3. Streams for which PCM is important

The following career choices demand students with PCM background.

  1. Pure Sciences Streams
  2. B.Sc: Bachelor of Science is a 3-year program with honours in one of the subjects, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Geology, Economics, Physical Science or Forensic Science. There are several state run universities and colleges which intake students based on the marks secured in the class 12 board exams. Some reputed universities like Banaras Hindu University conduct their own entrance exams and the admission is solely based on ranks. Some colleges also offer Bachelor of Arts (Economics Honours).
  3. Integrated B.Sc.+M.Sc. or B.S.+M.S.: NISER and the 7 IISERs are reputed national research institutes. NEST is a compulsory test for admission into 5 years integrated M.Sc. Course of NISER. It is a very competitive exam and admits only 100 students every year. However, the selection procedure for IISERs is through 3 channels: Central/State board exam, JEE Advanced ranks and KVPY. All admitted students to IISERs and NISER receive a monthly stipend and also some additional grants for academics and research
  4. B.Sc.+B.Ed: This degree program is most suitable for students who want to pursue a career in teaching. While this option is available in many state run colleges and universities, regional B.Ed.s are recognised institutes in India which admit students based on the cumulative score from an entrance exam (60%) as well as board (40%).
  5. B.S.(Research): Unlike B.Sc., this is 4 years undergraduate program and is offered by IISc Bangalore.
  6. B.Stat/B.Math: Indian Statistical Institute is a reputed institute in India which admit students based on performance in the entrance test. This is a fair chance for students who are really exceptional in Mathematics, but not in Physics or Chemistry. I have seen students failing to get admits to IIT despite scoring way above the cut-off score as they failed to secure the minimum cut-off in subjects like Chemistry.
  7. 2. Business Management: One can pursue Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Bachelor of Business Communication (BBC), Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.) and Bachelor of Marketing and Communication degrees for a career in business management. B.Com (Hons) is a sought after undergraduate programme in many Delhi University colleges. Having Mathematics at 10+2 level is definitely an advantage. After graduation, one can pursue a career as a Charted Accountant or join an industry. One can also go for a higher degree like MBA or M.Com. or Certified Public Accounting (CPA).
  8. 3. Bachelor in Fashion Technology: NIFT and NID offer B.F.Tech. B.F.Tech is only meant for students with PCM background. After graduation, students can pursue a career in a reputed garment or apparel industry in various fields like supply chain management, operations etc.
  9. 4. Architecture:Arch./B.Plan. are 5-year programmes. Admission to NITs is based on the Paper-II of JEE (Mains). However, NATA is a national level entrance exam conducted for admission into undergraduate level programme in Architecture in other institutes barring NITs.
  10. 5. Defence: One can get into the Defence after qualifying the NDA exam. For Air Force and Naval Wings, Physics and Mathematics as core subjects in the 10+2 level are an essential requirement.
  11. Commercial Pilot: Commercial Pilot is a high paying job. The candidate must have cleared 10+2 Science stream schooling with Physics and Mathematics as the main subjects to get an admission into the aviation training institutes.
  12. Merchant Navy: B.Sc. in Nautical Science and B.Sc. in Marine Catering are some of the degrees required to join merchant navy. The admission to these courses is based on rank in IMU CET. The eligibility criterion demands students with Physics and Mathematics as core subjects in their Class XII or equivalent.
  13. Open Streams

The following career options don’t actually need PCM background as they are open to students of all streams with certain eligibility criteria.

  1. Legal Services: CLAT is an All India Level exam for admission into the coveted law schools of India. One can pursue LLB or BBA+LLB or B.Sc. +LLB (Integrated Law).
  2. Hotel Management: With the sprawling and ever growing tourism and hotel industry, this is not a bad option. There are several Institutes of Hotel Management (IHMs) which offer B.Sc. in Hospitality and Hotel Administration, Diploma in Food and Beverage Service etc. Admission to these institutes is based on rank in NCHMCT JEE, a common entrance exam. The only requirement would be the English language as a core subject of study in Senior Secondary or equivalent.
  3. Bachelor of Design: NIFT, NID and several other institutes offer B.Des. undergraduate programmes with options in textile designing, jewellery designing, graphic design and visual communication etc.
  4. Performing Arts: One can get into Bachelor in Performing Arts (Music/Dance/Instrument) degree programs offered by colleges operating in affiliation with some universities if one has Diploma or prior experience with performing arts.
  5. 5. Journalism and Mass Communication: Bachelor in Journalism and Mass Media and other related degrees give an insight into the public relations, advertising strategies and account planning of various organisations.
  6. Aviation Industry: One can pursue a career as a stewardess or cabin crew after certain certificate training courses like Air Hostess Management, Aviation Management/Hospitality, Aviation Customer Service etc.
  7. Animation and Multimedia: Animation and Multimedia are the new vogue in the town. Visual Effects (VFX), Game Design, Sound Engineering and other post-production industries have been growing constantly in the last one decade. This is quite fascinating and one can also do freelancing.
  8. Film and Media: Film and Media offer broad range of options like Radio Jockey, Event Manager, acting, modelling etc. One can join an acting school or modelling agency or schools like National Institute of Event Management for a career of interest.

I have tried my best to list important choices. There are several diploma and certificate programs which one can pursue. Nevertheless, in India, it is quite common that students pursuing one-degree end up with something really radical. However, I believe having a plan is sometimes good. If you plan to get into civil services or banking, then joining a course which requires less effort so that you get ample time to prepare for these exams may be a wise decision. There are reservations in many government institutes for students who are exceptional in sports. So, they can pursue their education and passion simultaneously. The only thing I can insist is to follow your passion. As Steve Jobs said, “If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” There is high chance that you end up with a satisfying career.

Keep reading and do voice your opinions and queries through comments.


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