Career Options after 12th: What to do after 12th? [2024]

Ask any student of Class 12 about their future goals, ‘What next after 12th?’ and you are more than likely to get utterly confusing answers. It’s not because they are ambitionless or have no idea about what to do in the future; it is because they do not know the right steps or educational qualifications they need to pursue their dream.

Most students believe that the Class 12 board results are the wind beneath their wings! They are, but only if the students know how to take advantage of the several directions and paths that are open to them – they can fly wherever they want. 

Since, a student has a plethora of diploma, certificate, and degree courses to choose from; it can be confusing, overwhelming and limitless. The best advice in such cases is to go and pursue the course that interests and inspires you to achieve your best. 

Conventional undergraduate streams (BA, BSc and BCom) are still in good demand, but you can also choose other courses as well, depending upon your personal choice and interest. Globalization has opened great career options after 12th for all fields alike.

The degrees that were not so much in demand ten years back are now generating a huge number of jobs every day with the advent of modern technology and a changed outlook.  The answer to I have no idea what to do after 12th’ is easily available if students research enough about their available options!

Read about: Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in India

Few Tough Questions for Class 12 Students Looking to Join a Course

1) Do you wish to pursue this course now or later?

2) Should you choose a course that your friends are studying or will you pick your career path?

3) Does this course have any relevance these days?

4) What are the jobs and pay packages available after pursuing these courses?

5) Which exams will you have to appear in to study this course?

6) What about campus placement?

‘I have no idea what to do after 12th’ is a frequent question freshly graduate students keep asking themselves.  Traditionally, students who have cleared their 10+2 examinations can choose from the following three streams of education: Science, Commerce and Arts. Let us look at some of the most popular choices with students: 

Career Options for Science Students

If you are wondering what should I do after 12th science, you must read this article. Class 12th students usually study Physics and Chemistry with either Mathematics or Biology (Botany and Zoology). Some of the educational prospects that they can explore are:

B.Sc.: It’s also called Bachelor of Science. Both PCM and PCB students can choose to enrol in this three-year programme. 

You can choose to do a Pass or Honours course. There are several career opportunities for students as scientists, researchers and academicians. 

Read: Top 10 Online Courses with High Salary

Options with PCM

B.Tech: Bachelor of Technology is a popular course for PCM students. You have the choice of becoming an engineer in different fields such as computer software engineer, electronics and communication, automobile engineer, aerospace engineer, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, and more. It is one of the most popular courses across India. 

BCA: Bachelor of Computer Application means you are studying computer science for the four-year programme. As a career option, it is perfect for candidates looking to establish careers in the world of digital and data. 

After completing your BCA, you can get professional qualifications in the field of Data Science, Machine Learning, and Big Data. Other options that you can choose are web development, graphic designing, and .website administration

Both B.Tech and BCA students today have the opportunity to explore the world of Data Science. Students can use the knowledge of computer languages, programming and mathematics, to help manage data and unearth the trends that the data hides. Businesses and governments, across the world, are turning to such scientists to create policies that will better outputs—an IBM listing where states that jobs for Data Scientists are expected to grow to approximately 2,720,000. Given the huge demand, it is a lucrative field for PCM candidates to know about. 

B.Arch: A Bachelor’s degree in Architecture is a five-year graduation course which gives them knowledge of the science behind building construction. Combining PCM with engineering drawing or computer science is highly recommended for Class 12 students. All candidates also need to pass NATA (National Aptitude Test in Architecture) to get admission in the recognised colleges. 

You can combine architecture with interior design to create buildings and interiors that others will love to copy! 

Aviation: Did you know that a degree in science is imperative to becoming a pilot? An aviation career is one of the best career options after 12th for people who have a passion for flying. This line of work combines science, math, and technology with exposure to different areas, cities, and even other countries. The work of a pilot is not simple; it involves several duties that must be carried out to ensure the safe takeoff and landing of the aircraft. For this, in-depth knowledge of science and technology is essential.

Read more: 12 Top Career Options After Computer Engineering

Options With PCB

MBBS: Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery is the most popular education option for students studying PCB. The five-and-a-half-year course readies students for the rigorous demands of a doctor surgeon. The specializations you can choose from are many, and it is considered one of the most rewarding opportunities. Many doctors shift from the field to focus on research and create path-breaking treatment options.  

You can pursue MBBS from any medical colleges approved by MCI (Medical Council of India).    

BDS: Students will have to undergo a five-year Bachelor in Dental Surgery course to become a dentist. It is the first choice of many students who want to become doctors minus the pressure of a surgeon or doctor of medicine. Students who complete the course can choose to become dental surgeons. 

You will be a certified doctor after the course and have the choice to start your practice or join a hospital. 

B.Pharma: A Bachelors in Pharmacy is another lucrative course for PCB students. It’s basically a four-year course, and you can start practicing as a chemist after completion. Candidates with a B.Pharma degree are preferred for Medical companies as Medical Representative (MR) with a good salary package and other perks. 

You can also join research labs across the world looking to create breakthrough treatment for many diseases and infections.

B.Sc-Nursing: It’s a four-year course and is approved by the Indian Nursing Council. You can get admission into the B.Sc-Nursing course by cracking any of the entrance examinations conducted by various states for their respective colleges. 

Just completed your 12th in science and curious about your future? Navigate through the career options after 12th science to find a path that aligns with your interests and aspirations.

Paramedics: There are several other Paramedical courses as well that students can pursue after 10+2. Paramedical courses are specialized courses that relatively take sub-specialization at a particular domain. Paramedical professionals are equally in demand like doctors. Some of the popular paramedical courses are ECG technology, anesthesia, lab technician, and others. These courses require a minimum of four years of full-time study and practice. 

Considering the overall medical scenario in India, medical professionals like doctors, paramedics, and nursing staff are in huge demand. The WHO had recommended an ideal doctor to patient ratio at 1: 1000, but in India, the figure comes down to 1:1700. Therefore, the country still needs a lot of doctors and medical professionals. 

B.Sc in Biochemistry: If your mind is bombarded with questions like what should I do after 12th, Biochemistry can be an excellent option. It is an exciting career option that many students have recently been exploring. In an effort to comprehend the chemistry of living things, biochemistry blends biology and chemistry. Biochemists research complex biological systems in medicine, agriculture, veterinary science, and environmental science.

Biochemists evaluate new research hypotheses, create new goods, and create new procedures using scientific methodologies. Most biochemists work in research labs for commercial, public, academic, or governmental organisations. A degree in biochemistry has become one of the most interesting paths that have immense potential to grow even more in the future.

B.Sc in Biotechnology: Confused about what next after 12th? Biotechnology might be your perfect career. Biotechnology is the utilisation of living things to create goods that are suitable for the market. Biotechnology combines knowledge from biochemistry, chemistry, microbiology, and chemical engineering and is a rapidly growing discipline.

Pharmaceutical medications, food, agricultural chemicals, and environmental protection are the main areas of concentration for the biotechnology sector. Biotechnologists often conduct a variety of research and development activities in a laboratory setting. Although many big scientific firms now have biotechnology sections, the majority of biotechnologists still work for small, creative biotechnology businesses. A career in biotechnology, too, is very much in demand these days.

Top Entrance Examinations for 10+2 Students (PCM & PCB Stream)

Engineering Entrance Exams: Mostly, all states conduct their independent engineering entrance exams. A candidate has to pass one of those entrance exams to get a seat at a college in that state. 

JEE Main: It gives you entry into the country’s top engineering colleges; 25 IIITs, 31 NITs and 28 CFTIs. Once you crack JEE MAIN, you are eligible to apply to any of these colleges spread across India depending upon your performance at the entrance exam.

JEE Advanced: Formerly, IIT JEE, this entrance exam is exclusively for your entry into the country’s top 23 IITs through a single entrance exam. You will be allotted an IIT campus depending upon your performance at the entrance exam.  

NEET UG: It’s essential to qualify NEET with good marks to get admission into an excellent medical college spread across India. You must be a 10+2 (PCB) passed candidate with 50% marks and below 25 years of age to apply for NEET 2020.

Career Options for Commerce Students

Class 12th students who study commerce will cover Economics, Accounts, Business Studies and Mathematics. 

B.Com: This is one of the most favourite graduation courses for commerce candidates who have completed their 10+2. Bachelor of Commerce is a three-year course with plenty of subjects like Financial Accountancy, Economics, Business Organisation, Business Statistics and others. The course material may vary across universities. But what after Check out the Best career options after B.Com

You have the freedom to choose either BCom (Program) or BCom (Hons) depending upon your 10+2 marks. More or less, both courses are similar, but BCom (Hons) has a higher value given that the subjects are more complex.  

BBA: Candidates who are more interested in management can opt for Bachelor of Business Administration. The course is considered the right step in the direction of students looking to join a Masters in Management program. BBM offers a good career option for students as they get to know a lot about the dynamics of management and other issues related to business administration. Some institutes conduct entrance exams, while for others Class 12th marks are sufficient. 

CA – Accountancy is a tough course, and many students are willing to work hard to become certified Chartered Accountants or Cost Accountants. After 10+2, you can study a Fundamental Course of either Chartered Accountancy (Approved by ICAI, New Delhi) or Cost Accounting (Approved by ICWAI, Kolkata). 

Once you pass the fundamental course, then you become eligible to take admission into their intermediate courses as per your interest. 

CS: Company Secretary is a course for students who are interested in pursuing in studying the taxations from a financial and investment viewpoint. Students will gain knowledge about company affairs and all its relevant legal aspects. You are expected to clear the Company Secretaryship Course approved by ICSI, New Delhi.

You should opt for this course if you are interested in accounts and have the knack to help companies plan their finances, taxes and more.

Also Read: Career Options For Commerce Students

Financial Administration: This course focuses on a more in-depth examination of finances, including budgeting, capital structuring, and capital management. CFP (certified financial planner), CFA (Chartered financial analyst), FRM (financial risk manager), and CPA are among the many credentials available (Certified public accountant).

A Bachelor’s degree in Economics: A three-year bachelor’s degree programme in economics examines the creation, exchange, and consumption of goods and services. A Bachelor of Economics is available to students who want to succeed in the banking and finance sector as well as other important business sectors.

Mass Communications and journalism: Following a 12th-grade commerce education, the majority of employment options are in the financial and commercial sectors. Students who want to work in media companies or closely linked content generation and distribution industries should take this course. The three-year curriculum allows you to learn new skills and explore potential career paths in industries including event management, public relations, corporate communication, and media.

BCom Travel and Tourism Management: A 3-year full-time undergraduate programme leading to the Bachelor of Commerce in Tourist and Travel Management emphasises the financial and economic management of the travel and tourism industry.

Corporate accounting, tourism marketing, hotel management, business communication, economics, financial management, revenue management, and other topics are covered in-depth in this course.

Career Options for Class 12 (Arts Stream)

Students who studied 10+2 in Arts also have a wide range of subject combinations to choose from. However, they need to make the correct choice of subject combination at the BA level. There are a lot of good colleges in India with advanced faculties in Arts. So, determining career goals first before filling out the admission form is important. 

Usually, students go for BA and BA (Hons). Over the last few years, they have several other undergraduate courses as well that they can consider for their higher studies. BFA, BSW, BJMC, and BLib are some other career options. 

BA or BA (Hons): Bachelor of Arts is still the most favorite subject for candidates who passed their 10+2 exams with Arts stream. Candidates can get admission to BA in their favorite subjects either through direct admission or through marks obtained at the entrance exams conducted by colleges.

You can choose from subjects ranging from Mathematics to English, Political Science, History. Geography, Philosophy and more. 

BJMC: Bachelors in Journalism and Mass Communication is an undergraduate course in journalism, and is perfect for candidates aspiring to join the media industry in the future. Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication (BJMC) is a three-year degree course.

Some of the popular Government-run journalism colleges across India are; IIMC (New Delhi), Delhi College (New Delhi), FTII (Pune), BHU (Varanasi), Jamia Milia University (Aligarh) and others. Several other private colleges impart degree courses in Journalism as well throughout India.

If you are creative and believe in the power of writing and journalism, then this is the right option for you. 

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA): Creative candidates who enjoy painting and drawing can opt for this course. It is highly effective for students who want to make a career into visual arts. It can be a stepping stone for careers in interior designing of homes, cars, hotels, government buildings and more. 

For some reputed Arts Colleges, you may still need to pass their respective entrance exam with the minimum cut-off marks. 

The Bachelor of Design (BDes): A Bachelor of Design, sometimes known as the BDesign, is a well-known undergrad design degree. Several disciplines, including fashion design, interior design, accessory design, textile design, and many more, provide a four-year full-time curriculum leading to the B.Des degree.

Graphic design, multimedia design, visual effects design, visual communication, and game design are just a few of the design specialisations that the BDes degree offers now. Students who have completed Class 12 or an exam for an equivalent qualification are eligible for the BDes programme.

Additionally, there is no restriction on stream, so students can enrol in the course whether they like to study science, business, the arts, or humanities.

Bachelor’s in Animation: A specialised BA degree that enables you to pursue an animation career is the BA in animation. Animation is a fast-evolving kind of media with several communicative uses. During the three-year BA in an animation degree programme, you will learn all there is to know about 2D and 3D animation, including the technologies involved. This degree will prepare you for a successful career in the print, television, film, and gaming industries, which have a high need for 2D and 3D artists. It’s possible that you’ll decide to become a graphic designer.

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology: The BA in Psychology degree programme is for you if you want to study more about human psychology. The show focuses on the mind and the influences that both internal and external forces have on it.

The degree includes coursework in human biology, social psychology, behaviour, human development, and cognitive process, among other topics. Completing a three-year BA in psychology programme, you can become qualified for positions such as a psychologist, counsellor, sports psychologist, career counsellor, researcher, social worker, and behaviour analyser.

Owing to the growing awareness of mental health and the current lifestyle of most people, a psychologist will always be in need. It is surely one of the most in-demand career paths in the present times.

Bachelor’s of Hotel Management: Bachelor’s of Hotel Management is one of the greatest post-secondary employment options. Bachelor’s in Hotel Management is a 3-4-year degree programme that teaches students about hospitality. This course includes topics such as event management,  tourism,  and the food and beverage business. Throughout the course, students are schooled in communication, negotiating, interpersonal, and customer service skills. After the 12th, this is one of the most popular courses.

Know more: Best Software Development Courses for Beginners

Other Undergraduate Courses

There are several other undergraduate courses as well that you can study after 10+2. Admission to these courses is usually via entrance exam marks. 

Law: Students can also take admission into BA/ BCom (LLB) after passing +2. It’s a 5-year integrated course. 

You need to pass the CLAT entrance exam to get admission in India’s 23 national law Universities.

Animation and Graphic Designing: With the advancement in graphics and web designing, the demand for IT professionals is also rising day by day. Opt for a diploma or degree course in graphic designing and Animation from any government-approved institutes or colleges. 

Travel and Tourism: BA in travel and tourism is a three-year degree course for students who love travelling and have relentless interest in knowing the past and meeting new people.

At upGrad, we have mentored thousands of students from across the globe for different courses and careers. Checkout our degree courses offered by upGrad in association with top universities for motivated students like you looking for state-of-the-art BBA courses after completing their 12th.


Honestly speaking, there are plenty of choices in degree courses that students who have cleared their Class 12 examination. They must choose a degree course in a subject in which they are personally interested.

After all, it’s the subject with which they will have to live for a lifetime. Additionally, all your future career options or post-graduation subject schemes will also directly or indirectly depend upon your graduation. So, it’s better to take a judicious decision on this matter after considering all pros and cons of the available options. 

How do I choose a course that is best suited for me?

Think about the subjects you liked studying uptil 12th grade. Look up the kind of degrees you can pursue with those subjects in mind, and see if anything sparks an interest. You might also want to research further and get information about the job opportunities each degree offers. Research is a key stepstone when deciding what to pursue, since it helps you widen your knowledge, options, and understanding of your own fortes. It is highly possible that you stumble upon a unique intersection between your interests and come up with a new career path you want to pursue.

What should I look for in a university or college when applying for my preferred course?

You must definitely consider each university’s course structure for your preferred degree. It is possible that there are nuanced differences between every college, in terms of any extra curricular activities or additional elective courses that are mandatory. It is also important to make sure that you are aware of the student community and culture within the college of your choice. If your personal ideology does not match with that of the institution, it might not be a good fit for your learning. Moreover, you could consider the location, placement quality, teaching faculty, and infrastructure when deciding which college to go to.

When is a good time to start preparing for the entrance exams?

It is advised that you start your preparation well in advance, for instance at the beginning of 12th grade. Some students prefer to start even sooner. You must consider the syllabus you need to cover, and assess the time it will take you to study all of it. Then, make a decision as to when you want to start preparing for the exam. If you wish to appear for more than one exam, you will need more time to prepare yourself. Also keep in mind that you will need to balance other academic and non-academic pursuits as well. So, give yourself enough time so that you don’t feel pressured nearer to the exam.

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