Career options after 12 science – Colleges, courses and more


Most teenagers are not sure what career they would like to pursue after they finish their tenth standard. So, they do their HSC in science in the belief that at the end of it, they will be able to decide better, because a wider choice will be available to them which is true because only a science student can change track and opt for commerce or humanities.  The reverse is not possible – an arts or commerce student cannot opt for science-based subjects in the undergraduate course. One needs to study beyond a higher secondary school level for a good career so let us see what all courses are available. Here are some career options after 12 science.

At the outset let us get the most obvious ones out of the way! Kids who want either of these knew they did and have been preparing to enter these courses. These courses are the B Tech(engineering) and MBBS (Medicine).  For engineering – and architecture courses of Government run and private institutions, there is an all India entrance exam called JEE Main conducted about a month after the HSC Exams. The JEE(Advanced) is held later. This second entrance exam improves chances of admission into elite institutions like the IITs.  Private engineering colleges, which are also of good repute, have their own entrance exams whose dates are advertised well before time. Those aspiring to be architects must appear for the NATA (National Aptitude Test in Architecture).

For medicine, Biology in HSC is a prerequisite. Taking the all India medical entrance exam NEET and having a good score is compulsory. Though private institutions have their own entrance exams, NEET scores are also required. MBBS and BDS (dental) are the popular courses in Medicine.  Ayurvedic Medicine, Unani, and Homeopathy are other streams of medicine which are quite popular and come under the NEET umbrella.

What else can I do – Career options after 12 science

1. BSc. (Hons)

If you have a deep interest in any of the core subjects – Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Biology, Botany, Zoology etc. and would like to continue studying any of them, this is the course for you. There are integrated graduate and master’s programs available at Institutes like IISER.  Courses like these open the doors to academics and research.

The Best place for Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics are the IISc Bangalore, IISER (7 locations). The entrance for these two is based on HSC marks. JEE, and KVPY – the last makes you eligible for a fellowship which among other things, offers generous grants up to the pre PHD level. The goal is to attract students interested in pursuing scientific study and research. Then there is NISER (National Institute of Science Education and Research) Orissa, which has its admission test called NEST. St. Xavier’s and Presidency University of Kolkata is considered the next best.

Top-ranked colleges are St. Stephens, Miranda House (New Delhi), Loyola college (Chennai), Christ University (Bangalore), Hansraj College (Delhi), Fergusson College (Pune), Madras Christian College and others.  The IITs have also got Bachelor of Science programs.

If you had Physics Chemistry and Mathematics as your subjects in HSC these courses are available:

2. B.Sc. Computer Science

 This familiarizes you with the mathematical and theoretical foundations of computers. It is considered rather obsolete in the fast-paced world of computers today. But it will be over in three years and is a better choice than a BE in computer engineering, although some would prefer a BE degree to a BSc. Career prospects include systems assistant, software consultant, operations manager, research analyst and teacher. Some good colleges are Loyola college, Chennai, Christ University, Bangalore, St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, Amity University. Amity has tie-ups with Oracle, IBM etc.

3. BCA

 Computer Applications – concentrates on programming languages and if you are inclined to programming, this would be a good course. A minimum of 40-50% in HSC is required in most colleges for admission. Admission tests are held. Some good institutes for this course are IIFA Lancaster Degree college, Bangalore, SRM University, Chennai, Institute of Management studies, Noida, Madras Christian College, Chennai and Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies and Research (Pune). Companies like IBM, Google, Yahoo, TCS, Oracle, HCL, Dell, Wipro, Mahindra Infotech, government institutions and armed forces also take these graduates.

4. B.Sc. Electronics

gives you skills in designing electrical, electronic and computer systems which include communication and automation. The syllabus includes Engineering materials, digital and analog electronics, data structure, maths, statistics, network analysis etc. Career opportunities are in the design, production, testing and quality control of systems. This course is available in many science colleges under the state universities in the country. The best colleges are Zakir Hussain College, New Delhi, Shri Guru Gobind Singh College, Chandigarh, Andhra University, Annamalai University (TN), Fergusson College etc.

5. B.Pharm.

prepares you for a career in the health industry as a pharmacist, drug inspector, drug technician etc. The pharmaceutical industry is booming today with drug delivery systems becoming more targeted and effective. Your elective could have been mathematics or biology for this. According to pharma wiki, a site dedicated to the pharma industry, Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Manipal, University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chandigarh, Jamia Hamdar, New Delhi, Poona College of Pharmacy, Pune etc. are some good institutes for the course.

If Biology or other life sciences were your electives, these are some options for you:

1. B.V. Sc.

For those who would like to dedicate their lives to the care of animals, this course teaches you to deal with livestock, their wellbeing, vaccinations, prevention of the spread of diseases among them etc.

The best veterinary colleges in India are:

Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Uttar Pradesh, The Bombay Veterinary Science College, College of Veterinary Sciences, Hisar, Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University, Andhra Pradesh and others.

2. B Sc. Nursing

If you are inclined towards serving people, Nursing could be your calling. You will be educated in medical theory and practices as required. You can then join medical colleges or institutions as nursing staff. The course is of four years duration, and there is the option of a two-year course after taking the diploma in General Nursing & Midwifery (GNM). Another diploma available is the Auxiliary Nursing Midwifery. The top two institutions for nursing are AIIMS and JIPMER, Christian Medical College, Vellore, AFMC Pune, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, Pt, Bhagwat Dayal Sharma PG Institute of Medical Sciences, Rohtak, PD Hinduja College of Nursing, Mumbai etc. If you are looking at teaching Nursing, a PhD would be in order.

3. B Sc. Anthropology

If you have an interest in the history of mankind, evolution, social and cultural patterns over the ages, this is the course for you. It scientifically approaches various aspects of human development. It involves several field visits. Delhi University (DU), Dr. Hari Singh Gour University, Sagar, MP, BJB Autonomous College, Bhubaneswar, Amity University, NOIDA are some of the colleges. It prepares you to be a town planner, curator or a tour guide. Private enterprises, community organizations, independent research institutes, the media apart from global organizations like UNESCO, WHO, CDC etc. also employ anthropologists.  Research is also a career option.

4. B Sc. Physiotherapy/ Occupational Therapy

Though these are two distinct courses, for the sake of convenience, they have been clubbed together. An in-depth education in anatomy, particularly the muscular and skeletal systems prepares one to become a physiotherapist. They treat and rehabilitate neurological and orthopedic disorders with the help of manual and other treatments like hydrotherapy, infra-red waves etc. Some of the good colleges are Apollo Physiotherapy College, Hyderabad, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Madras Medical College, Chennai, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh etc.

Rehabilitating patients with mental and physical difficulties or disabilities is the work of an occupational therapist. There are about 25 institutions only in the country offering this course. The bachelor’s in occupational therapy (BOT) is a four and a half year programme. There are general subjects like anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology and pathology besides the options for specialization which are many – paediatrics, adult rehab, hand therapy, ergonomics, vision rehab etc. A higher degree like an MSc. or PhD, will fetch a better-salaried job. One could become an occupational therapist, rehab therapist, speech and language therapist, etc.

5. B Sc. Biomedical Science

 A career in the pharmaceutical industry, as a clinical researcher within and outside it can be the happy outcome of this course. Though nascent as yet in our country, this course offers a wide spectrum of medically related subjects like genetics, biotechnology, microbiology, medical lab techniques and pharmacological studies are taught for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of various human diseases. Many institutes offer this course, the noted ones being Ambedkar Centre for Biomedical Research, DU, Acharya Narendra Dev College, DU, Symbiosis School of Biomedical Sciences, Pune, Sri Ramachandra University College of Biomedical Sciences, Chennai etc.

6. B.Sc. Biochemistry/ Microbiology

Once again, though they are clubbed together, two distinct careers can be chalked from these courses. Biochemistry studies the relation between biology and chemistry, the chemistry of biology so to speak or decoding biological processes in the language of chemistry. Understanding diseases, finding cures and conducting trials for them are the different aspects of biochemistry. Some of the good colleges for biochemistry are the IISERS for both Biochemistry and Microbiology. Other than that, St. Xavier’s College Mumbai, Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed College for Women, Chennai, Ethiraj College for Women, KC College of Arts Science and Commerce, Mumbai and others.

Microbiology is the study of organisms too small for the naked eye to see. There are many branches such as food microbiology (the subject has application in the food industry, research, in the formulation of vitamins and supplements etc.), There is also the study of disease-causing microbes, soil microbiology, industrial microbiology, energy from microbes and other branches of microbiology.  MIET College of Arts and Science Trichy, BPHE Society’s Ahmednagar College, Maharashtra, Fergusson College, Pune, Madras Christian College, Chennai, Kristu Jayanti College of Management and Technology, Bengaluru, Ethiraj College for Women, Chennai, are some of the good colleges.

7. Agriculture

Undergraduate courses are available at State agricultural universities. Admission is based on an entrance exam conducted by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). It is being felt that agriculture is the future for our youngsters since it directly affects the future of development. Agriculture in its avatar of agribusiness, can be very remunerative for entrepreneurs and provide employment for hundreds of people. The top institutes for this course are Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute, New Delhi, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, IGNOU School of Agriculture, New Delhi, Punjab Agricultural University, College of Agriculture Engineering and Technology, Ludhiana and others. There are institutes in Anand, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Dehradun, Ranchi, Noida (Amity), Bhopal, Jabalpur Gwalior, Bhubaneswar, Tirupati, Hyderabad and other places.

8. Bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management

Science is a prerequisite to get into this course.  An entrance exam is conducted in April every year by the National Council of Hotel Management and Catering Technology for most institutes. The degree may variously be known as Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Business Administration – all in Hotel Management. Diplomas and certificate courses are also available. The hospitality industry provides a good avenue for decent earnings and exposure to the nuances of better living. Food production, food and beverage service, housekeeping and front office operations are the areas of study here. Tourism and hospitality are burgeoning in all countries and one can always go abroad to brush up on one’s skills. The top institutes for this course are the Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition (IHM) Mumbai and other branches like Delhi, Hyderabad, Bhopal and Chennai. There are newer institutions like Oberoi Centre of Learning & Technology, New Delhi and the Rizvi College of Hotel Management, Mumbai and many others.

Apart from these, what else?

1. Armed Forces

 You can join the Army Navy or Airforce as you wish through the NDA&NA (National Defence Academy and Naval Academy) or the TES (Technical Entry Scheme) exams conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB). For joining the army, Higher secondary certificate in any subjects is fine, with Airforce and Navy, one needs to have studied Maths and Physics. For TES, Maths, Physics and Chemistry are compulsory subjects that should have been taken in HSC. One can also join the Indian Navy through the eligibility exam conducted by the UPSC twice a year. The NDA&NA route seems to be open only to male candidates. Women can join the Army and Airforce but only after the age of 19.

The evaluation procedure consists of standardized personality tests, intelligence tests and interviews conducted over a period of five days.  The SSB picks candidates with “officer like qualities”. A medical examination follows a successful selection.

2. Merchant Navy

It is is a rewarding career in more ways than one. One can earn much more than a shore job, one gets to see the world and during it all, gets trained to become an officer responsible for the cargo and personnel of a multimillion-dollar ship. The courses available are:

BSc. Nautical Science 3 years or a Diploma of 1 year in Nautical Science – For Deck officer post

There are about six reputed institutes offering this course:

Academy of Maritime Education and Training, Karnataka

Vels University, Chennai

HIMT College, Chennai

GMK Institute of Marine Science and Technology, Chennai

Coimbatore Marine College, Coimbatore

Maharashtra Academy of Naval Education, Pune

A minimum aggregate score of 60% in Physics Chemistry and Maths in HSC is the eligibility. One also must be physically fit with no vision problems. There is an entrance test, followed by medical exam, panel interview, other psychometric tests and pre-sea training. Selected candidates can then join the course.

3. BA Economics

It can help you gain a foothold in investment firms, PSUs, NGOs etc. A post graduate degree in Economics would be given more consideration.

4. BA

in other subjects of humanities discipline like history, languages, political science, psychology, and sociology can help establish careers in archaeology, counseling, librarian, social worker, sociologist etc. Lady Sriram College for Women, New Delhi, Loyola College, Chennai, Christ University, Bangalore, St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, Miranda House, New Delhi, and many others that make up the top 40 or 50 colleges are available for all the streams of instruction.

5. LLB 

If your powers of comprehension are strong and you are not put off by extensive reading matter, and if you like to think logically, a career in law may suit you. India offers a five-year law course BA LLB in it National Law Universities spread across the country, some of which are highly reputable.  Aspirants would have to clear the CLAT (Common Law Admission Test) while private autonomous institutes and the National Law School of Delhi have their own entrance exams. Integrated courses are also available. Employment opportunities are available in large and mid-tier law firms, banks, think tanks, NGOs etc. Corporates also need legal help. The post of a Company Secretary is a distinguished position.  As a lawyer you could aspire to be a public prosecutor, advocate general etc. or get into judicial service.  Teaching is also an option.

6. BBA

 Bachelor of Business Administration -This popular course in Business Management requires mathematics at HSC level. The reputed colleges that are university affiliated are DU (Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, Keshav Mahavidyalaya, Deen Dayal Upadhyay College etc.), Mumbai University (HR College, Jai Hind College, Mithibai College), Symbiosis University, NMIMS University, Mumbai, Christ University, Bangalore. The best autonomous colleges for BBA are IIM Indore and St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. IIM offers a five-year integrated program.

7. BMM

Bachelor of Mass Media is the study of mass media. It prepares the student for a career in media communication, both print and film.  Now the current scenario of digital social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram among others, communication has gone beyond just advertising and branding. Visual marketplaces have emerged with communication becoming more targeted and connected. Specialization is available in journalism or advertising, with careers in Audio and video journalism, PR, advertising, cinema, newspaper journalism etc. The top colleges for this are St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, Sophia College for women, Mumbai, Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune, Lady Shriram College for women, New Delhi, Christ University, Bangalore, Manipal Institute of Communication, Manipal and Amity School of Communication, Noida.

8. Bachelor of Commerce

Here students are taught business principles with courses in finance, accounting, marketing etc.   All the subjects are business oriented. Shri Ram College of Commerce, Lady Shri Ram College for women, Hindu College, Hans Raj College all in Delhi, Christ University and St. Joseph’s College of Commerce, Bangalore, Loyola College and Madras Christian College of Chennai are the reputed institutions. There are about 60 odd reputed colleges like these for Commerce.

9. Chartered Accountancy

 A five-year course conducted by the Indian Chartered Accountants Institute (ICAI) prepares you to conduct auditing, cost accounting, tax management and other financial works. You become a private advisor to companies and individuals in these matters. The following stages are outlined before you become a CA.

  1. CPT – Clearing the Common Proficiency Test for which you are eligible after clearing your class ten exams. You can register then but take the exam only after class 12.
  2. Enroll for the Accounting Technician Course (ATC). Register for IPCC (Integrated Professional Competence Course) This program has seven subjects, with the examination held in 2 groups. Simultaneously, undergo 35 hours of Orientation Programme and 100 hours of ITT (Information Technology Training)
  3. Complete Articleship of 3 years under a certified CA. This provides valuable knowledge on how accountancy is handled by an experienced Chartered Accountant.
  4. FC – Final Course – During the last six months of the articleship, you can appear for the Final Course exam. Once this is cleared, you will be awarded the designation of a Chartered Accountant.

Career in Chartered Accountancy

The CA course is a self-study course and it is not mandatory to attend coaching classes. However, there are many options to help you in your CA programme. The regional branches of ICAI, coaching classes, degree colleges like Loyola College and others provide the coaching.

10. Education/ Teaching – B.Ed.

 If you are interested in pursuing a career in teaching, then a B.Ed. is mandatory for teaching secondary and higher secondary classes. You will learn how to teach Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.  A postgraduate M.Ed. course can also be pursued. There is an integrated four-year professional degree course B El. Ed for teaching elementary classes, which in addition to subject matter and pedagogy, imparts communication skills as well. Some noted colleges offering B. Ed. are KJ Somaiya Comprehensive College of Education, Training and Research, Mumbai, Bombay Teachers Training College, Mumbai, Lady Irwin College, Delhi, SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai, and many other state universities. This course can be done through distance education also.  Some of these universities are Annamalai University, TN, Bangalore University, Jamia Millia Islamia Institute of Post Graduate Studies and Research, Universities of Kerala and Madras, Maharishi Dayanand University, Patna University, Mother Teresa University, SNDT University and Madurai Kamaraj University.

11. Design 

 National Institute of Design (NID), India’s premier design institute, offers bachelors and masters programmes in Industrial Design, Communication Design, Textile Apparel and Lifestyle Design, IT Experiential (to do with customer satisfaction) Design and Interdisciplinary Design (when the design finds application in more than one discipline). There are other Institutes one can target which offer Careers can be the following: Graphic designer, Interior designer, multimedia artist, fashion designer, art director, Advertising and promotions manager etc.

The Institutes are many depending on the field of study chosen. For Industrial Design, NID is tops followed by IIT Mumbai’s Industrial Design Centre (IDC). IITs of Delhi and Guwahati, as well as IISc, have their Design departments too which are highly respected. Srishti School of Design, MAEER’s MIT Institute of Design, DSK International School of Design and Raffles Millennium International are reputed private institutions. It is important to note that a portfolio of your work is considered for admission in most of these institutes.

Graphic Designer as a Career Option

For Lifestyle Design, Pearl Academy (Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur), Atharva School of Fashion and Arts, JD Institute of Fashion Technology, the Indian Institute of Fashion Technology at Bangalore, National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi, IIFA Lancaster Design College Bangalore are some reputed ones.

For Communication (Graphic) Design, again the NID – Ahmedabad, the IDC, IIT Mumbai, Pearl Academy, Srishti, MAEER’s are the reputed institutes.

So, that was the gist of career options after Class 12 Science. There are many more available career options after 12 science like vocational courses which can get you to start earning quickly. The world is an oyster of course, but with hard work and perseverance, your grades and choice will get you what you want and the best part about taking science is that there are ample opportunities. You can opt for whatever course you wish to!