I am a class XII science (physics, chemistry and maths) student. After completing my Plus Two, what are my study options other than engineering?— Sidhant Agarwal, Kolkata
You have numerous higher education study options. If you are a creative individual passionate about technology/products, design — especially product/industrial design — is a discipline you could shortlist. You could also consider a career in statistics and data analytics if you have a nose for numbers. Ethical hacking is another new-age career in high demand. A career in architecture requires you to have aesthetic sensitivity, critical thinking skills, a knack for efficient use of space, and an eye for detail. If life in the defence services excites you, you could register for the entrance examinations of the National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakvasla, Combined Defence Service Examination (CDS), and Short Service Commission (Technical).
I have recently completed my Plus Two. I wish to explore a study programme which combines dance, political science, art, psychology and entrepreneurship. What are my options? — Syra Chaturvedi, Gurgaon
You should consider signing up for an undergrad degree in liberal arts. It will give you the liberty to choose and combine subjects of your choice which could range from legal studies to entrepreneurship, travel and tourism to journalism, history to psychology, English, music, economics, etc. Most liberal arts programmes give you the liberty to choose a combination of major and minor subjects in sync with your interests and capabilities. Among universities in India offering liberal arts undergraduate programmes are Ashoka University, Sonipat; Flame University, Pune; Symbiosis University of Liberal Arts, Pune; IIT-HSEE, Madras; Cluster Innovation Centre (CIC), Delhi University; Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities, Sonipat; Christ Deemed University, Bangalore and Madras Christian College, Chennai.
I have completed Plus Two with an average of 70 percent. I am aware this average score is way below the high admission cut-offs demanded by top-ranked colleges of Delhi University. Please advise. — Priyanshu Trivedi, Dehradun
You can achieve your career goals despite your ‘low’ class XII average score. Entrance exams which determine admission into a host of professional education institutions give you another chance to prove yourself. Admission into schools of management, law, hotel management, design, engineering, mass communication, fine arts, architecture and medicine is determined by performance in public entrance exams which you are qualified to write.
Additionally, you can broaden your search to tier-II universities such as the Savitribai Phule Pune University; Ambedkar University, New Delhi; Panjab University, Chandigarh; Christ (Deemed University), Bangalore; Symbiosis International University, Pune; University of Calcutta and Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi, for whom a 70 percent average may be good enough. You can also apply to newly-promoted private universities.
Moreover, research and shortlist new-age and skill-based careers such as graphic design, ethical hacking, fashion styling/image consulting, content writing, blogging, social media management, apps development and film-direction.
For the past two years, I have written the NEET exam but each time I have fallen short of qualifying. My favourite subject is biology. What options do I have other than studying medicine? — Aariya Mathur, Delhi
You can sign up for study programmes in life sciences which include botany, zoology, microbiology, marine biology, immunology, genetics, physiology, biochemistry, environmental science, bioinformatics, fishery science and biochemistry. You could also sign up for optometry, public health administration, occupational therapy, radiology, physiotherapy, nursing, clinical research, lab technician, nursing, and health and nutrition study programmes. Alternative branches of medicine — dentistry, ayurveda, homeopathy and unani — also offer lucrative career options, as also the mental health and fitness industry.
I am scheduled to write the CA (chartered accountancy) exam this year. But I feel I am not cut out for this profession. I love helping and interacting with people, but fail to understand how I can translate this into a viable career. Please advise. — Chinmay Kumar, Ranchi
You can make a career out of helping people. Among a few career options likely to interest you are: psychologist, social worker, medicine, teacher/mentor, defence and civil services, and entrepreneurship. Whatever you do, make sure you have a good feeling about it and that you have the skills and aptitude to succeed in your chosen vocation.
(Responses by Mindler Education Pvt. Ltd, a Gurgaon-based online career counseling company)