Every year, once Class X results are out, no matter which board, students have to decide what stream to take. This, for most students, is not an easy task because most of them do not know what it is they want to do. This statement is in no way critical of students. Rather, it is a stark reality of life. Even this author remembers that it was not until the last moment that he decided that he wanted to go down the field of science. But I digress here.
What is reasonably clear for most students though is what they don’t want to do. The number of children who are clear they don’t want to go down the path of maths and science keeps on increasing every year. Quite a few of this number are browbeaten down this path and, more often than not, this has led to a troubled life for the student.
To be fair to parents, there was a rationale for this thought process which was primarily
- It is easier to find decent paying jobs in these fields
- The opportunities in other fields seemed severely limited
- There is a lack of glamor in these kind of streams
Hence it was felt that people going to the Arts / Humanities streams would be considered as ‘losers’
However, this is no longer the case. There are many fields in the humanities which are not only extremely remunerative, but are also ‘exciting’
A few Alternatives
In this article we are going to do a quick coverage of few such fields. The number of fields will be few and the coverage will be superficial in the interests of brevity, but we are happy to enter into a dialogue with parents and students who are interested in exploring further down this path.
Economics has arguably been the one exception to the ‘Only the science stream has decent paying jobs’ mantra. There are some very prestigious colleges in economics all around the country. There is a caveat here though that economics does involve working with numbers i.e. Maths cannot be escaped.
The legal profession is one of the most expensive to engage. If we require the services of a lawyer, we will find its costs rivalling costs of medical health. The moral of the story is that it is a highly paying profession. Earlier, law was an option you exercised after graduation. However, over the last 10 to 15 years, several good schools which offer a five year dual graduation program after class 12 have emerged. Getting into these colleges is a bit tough, but students from a good college will easily get jobs which will pay them Rs. 5 – 6 lakhs per annum.
The fast paced life we lead these days has resulted in many people of all ages seeking counselling to deal with all aspects of life, be it professional or personal. As a result, good clinical psychologists can command extremely high rates for counselling sessions.
People who study this subject normally would look to work with NGOs who offer pretty decent salaries for employees.
Home sciences had been a branch which had attracted girls who were not particularly interested in a professional career in a conventional sense. However, the courses taught there as well as the techniques can be put to good use especially for people who are interested in starting their own small industry.
While a couple of streams like Nutritional Science and Dietetics need a science background, there are a few others like Human Development and Family Resource Management which don’t.
In a world which is rapidly growing smaller, it is more important than ever to understand the language spoken not only by people of other states, but also people of different countries. The demand for interpreters and translators in languages like Mandarin, Japanese, German and French languages (among others) has always been high. Such jobs can also provide a decent income to people wishing to make a career out of this knowledge.
Fine arts is the study and making of visual works of art like painting, photography and film making. It also includes other streams like dancing, music, pottery, sculpture, drama etc.
There are many alternatives in today’s world that are as mainstream as Medicine / Engineering / Chartered Accountancy used to be in a time not long past. So do not fret yourself and / or your children as the case may be about wanting to take a career which involves the ‘Arts / Humanities’ stream