Career options after 10th: Which stream to choose?

  • ACIO
  • November 24, 2023

Did you know that between 2018-19, 2,400 students dropped out of 23 IITs? Following similar lines, 6 out of every 10 students change their minds about career choices after completing their 12th.

What could be the possible reason for the same?

Lack of interest, finding a new passion or fewer career opportunities?


Studies have shown that 51% of students are not confident in their career choices once they enrol in colleges and universities after completing their class 12.

One of the most common reasons for the same is the lack of awareness while making a choice, that is, during class 10th.

Undeniably, class 10th is a pivotal year in every student’s life. Some of them may have a clear idea about what courses to choose, while others may find themselves at career crossroads with uncertainty about their stream choice. The most common question during this time is- Science, Commerce or Arts? Which stream would be fruitful to pursue after class 10th? 

The worry is shared by most of the students of class 10th on the verge of making a choice.

It is important to understand that each stream offers different career options, but your primary focus should be on selecting the stream your interest lies in

The stats show that out of 20,93,978 students who had appeared for CBSE Class 10 Board Examination 2022, only 12% knew about which stream to choose.

Therefore, it goes without question that making the right career choices is essential to progress towards a bright future, and if you make a poor decision, you will be forced to live with the repercussions for the rest of your life.

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But finding the right stream, there are many things that you must take into consideration before making the choice that will decide your future.

How to decide Career after 10th:

1. Identifying Interests:

It is important for the students to have an awareness of their own interests, aptitude and strengths before making a decision that can potentially impact their coming life.

2. Analysing Opportunities:

Once after identifying your interests, the next step is to analyse the opportunities the field provides and whether you find yourself suitable for the role. For example, if you wish you pursue a career in language, you must know the career options available for you in it, such as that linguistics, translator, writer, interpreter, etc.

3. Understanding the Scope & Demand of the Field:

Another important thing to take into consideration is the scope and demand of the field. Knowing them beforehand would allow you better opportunities and an overall edge. This will help you in preparing ahead of time and thus give you a goal-oriented head start.

Here are some of the most common mistakes the students make when making their choice after 10th:

1. Peer Pressure:

Thinking of choosing the field that your friends have chosen?


When deciding on which field to choose for studying, your and only your opinion matters. Making a choice based on what your friends have chosen and giving in to peer pressure may give you the companionship of your friends but would certainly cost you your potential career.

2. Choosing What’s ‘Trending’:

Many a time, it is observed that the students often plan on following the trend, be it by their parents, cousins or others and simply choose what’s trending without giving much thought. This often results in confused individuals with unsatisfied job roles. For example, one should not choose to study engineering if their parents want to, or their cousin is getting a good salary package, or simply because everyone is doing it.

3. Just Looking at the End Goal: 

The destination may look good, but the journey is always hard. It is noticed that the students get allured with the end goal and are not prepared for the struggle it requires. For example, the students may aspire to  become a researcher but may not know the hard work and patience it requires to become. Such scenarios often result in frustration among the students and can cause many years to go down the drain.

So the question is not what are the courses you can pursue but what are the right streams for you? And how to make a choice?

Streams After the 10th:

Though the choice and potentials vary for all the students, here are some of the most common streams the students can choose once after the class 10th:

Science after 10th: 

  • Science is the most favourable and preferred stream for students and parents probably because it presents many lucrative career options, including engineering, medical, IT, and even research roles.
  • One of the biggest advantages of opting for the science stream is that you can easily switch from science to commerce or arts, but not the other way around.
  • Science develops critical thinking and problem-solving skills that unlock doors to many well-respected and highly-paid job opportunities.
  • The stream encourages creativity and analytical thinking qualities among students.
  • Along with theoretical knowledge, the stream requires you to gain practical experience in laboratories as well.
  • Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology are the core subjects of the Science stream.

Who should choose the Science stream after the 10th?

  • If you have a fascination for technology and a knack for numbers, then science would be an excellent choice for you.
  • Students opting for engineering can study Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. You must develop critical thinking, conceptual learning, and analytical skills for engineering.
  • Options like IT, Computer Science, Merchant Navy, Defence Services, etc., are also available for PCM students.
  • Students who don’t like maths and want to pursue the medical field should choose Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. For PCB, you need to develop strong memorisation and learning skills.
  • Medicine, Dentistry, Physiotherapy, Agriculture, Biotechnology, Nutrition & Dietetics are some options available in the medical field.
  • Some students who are uncertain about what to pursue – engineering or medicine, can choose the combination of PCMB (Physics + Chemistry + Maths + Biology).

Fields in Science after 10th:


Engineering requires students to develop critical thinking, conceptual learning, and analytical skills. Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics (PCM), are the core subjects of engineering.

B.E. (Bachelor of Engineering) & B. Tech. (Bachelor of Technology) are two of the most popular engineering courses. For Indians and NRI students, India boasts the world’s best and most renowned engineering institutes: IITs, NITs, IIITs & CFTIs that open a plethora of job opportunities for students worldwide.

To gain admission to these institutes, students are required to qualify the national level entrance exam JEE (Joint Entrance Exam) which is conducted in two stages: JEE Main & JEE Advanced.

Qualifying JEE Main is mandatory for JEE Advanced which is obligatory to gain admission to IITs. Due to the limited number of seats available, competition is fierce. However, for Indian expatriates in the Gulf & other foreign nations, NRI quota is applicable (except in IIT). A total of 5000 (3900 in UG & 1300 PG) seats are reserved for NRI students which accounts for approximately 15% of the total seats.

Apart from engineering, options like Computer Science, IT, Defence Services, Merchant Navy, etc. are also available for PCM students.


Medical science requires strong memorization and learning skills. Physics, Chemistry, and Biology (PCB), are the core subjects of medical science.

Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) & Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) are the most popular career choices for medical aspirants. For Indians and NRI students, India boasts the world’s prominent medical institutes like AIIMS, JIPMER, etc., that open a plethora of career opportunities for students worldwide.

In order to pursue MBBS from a prestigious medical institute in India, students are required to qualify for the national-level entrance exam NEET (National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test).

Here again, due to the limited number of seats available, competition is fierce. However, for Indian expatriates in Gulf & other foreign nations, NRI quota or reserved seats for Non-Resident Indian students in some government / private medical colleges/ deemed universities and JIPMER Puducherry (for the MBBS program) is applicable.

Physiotherapy, Psychology, Pharmacy, Agriculture, Biotechnology, Nutrition & Dietetics are some of the options available in the medical field.

Surely for NRI students, there’s an advantage to the NRI quota. However, they still need to crack competitive exams like JEE & NEET, which have extremely high difficulty levels & cut-throat competition levels. Keeping the exams’ competitiveness in mind, experts recommend that aspirants start their preparation early and prepare diligently under the guidance of proficient academic experts.

Commerce after 10th:

  • The second-most-popular and best stream for business-oriented students, commerce offers a variety of high-paying career options such as MBA, Chartered Accountant, Company Secretary, Investment Banking, Financial Advisors, etc.
  • To opt for the commerce stream, you must acquainted yourself with Finances, Accountancy, and Economics.
  • Business Economics, Accountancy, Business Study, and Business Law are the subjects of the commerce stream.

Who should choose the Commerce stream after 10th? 

  • If you are good with numbers and data and are interested in finance and economics, then you should choose commerce.
  • If you want to build your career in business or economics, then commerce is the right stream for you.

Arts / Humanities:

  • Once considered a ‘least-preferred’ career choice, Arts and Humanities are now emerging as one of the most sought-after career streams for students.
  • The rising popularity can be attributed to the variety of unique, off-beat, and exciting employment opportunities provided by this stream.
  • Mass Media, Journalism, Humanities, Literature, Languages, Social Service, History, Politics, Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology, Human Resources, Design, Teaching, etc., are some high-paying career options the Arts stream presents.
  • Sociology, History, Psychology, Literature, Political Science, Economics, Geography, Philosophy, etc., are some core subjects in the Arts stream.

Who should choose the Arts stream after 10th? 

  • Students interested in academic research, humanity, and possessing creative thinking skills should opt for Arts / Humanities stream after 10th.

Apart from these academic fields, the students can also look out for other fine career options available after 10th.

Career options after 10th:

1. Polytechnic: 

Students can also opt for polytechnic courses like Mechanical, Chemical, Civil, Computer, Automobile, etc. Polytechnic colleges offer diploma courses for one, two, and three years. Also, with a Polytechnic diploma, students can get admissions directly in the second year of technical degree courses via entrance exam as both Polytechnic and engineering have the same subjects. The Major advantage of opting for Polytechnic courses is that they are cost-effective and equip students for jobs quickly.

2. ITI (Industrial Training Institutes): 

ITI courses are excellent options for students who want to complete any technical degree for early employment. ITI certificates are offered in more than 100 courses (technical & non-technical) with course duration ranging from six months to two years. Computer Hardware & Network Maintenance, Civil, Mechanical, and Electrical are some of the top ITI courses. After ITI, you can seek employment in the public and private sectors or start your own business.

3. Paramedical: 

The paramedical field is related to the healthcare industry and provides excellent job opportunities. DMLT (Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology), DOT (Diploma in Ophthalmic Technology), & DOA (Diploma in Ophthalmic Assistant) are some of the core paramedical courses. You can become an X-Ray Technician, Nursing Assistance, Dialysis Technician, Ophthalmic Technician, etc.

4. Vocational courses:

Short-term, job-centric courses include Software Development, Fire and Safety, Fashion Designing, Jewellery Designing, Cyber Laws, Medical Imaging, Travel & Tourism, etc., and the duration ranges from 1 to 2 years.

How to choose the right career after 10th?

  • You must analyse your strengths, weaknesses, abilities, skills, and interests to make the right career choices after 10th.
  • Don’t make decisions under peer/parent pressure and influence
  • Choose what fascinates you and what you are good at. Analyse your strengths and make your decision based on them.
  • Don’t compare yourself with others, don’t choose commerce just because your friends opt for it or your father wants you to study it; if you have an interest in science and want to become an engineer, go for it.

To conclude, you must be aware of your skills and shortcomings and intelligently pick a stream so that you do not have any regrets afterwards. Science is a stream that offers a plethora of opportunities for both personal and professional growth. Your learning won’t be limited to just books, and unravelling the world’s secrets is enlightening and invigorating. However, the decision is entirely yours to make.

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  1. After 10 th which line is better medical engineering commerce students 80 percent nos confusion

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    1. Thank you for connecting with us!
      Choosing a stream depends on one’s interests and choices. There are ample options in every stream. Before choosing any course, collect proper information, such as career options, colleges, etc.
      Remember that whatever stream you prefer, give your 100% to it, and you will surely be successful!
      Hope this will help you! All the best for your future endeavours!

  2. i got 94% in my 2024 board exam but i took arts stream . Am i’m doing right ??

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    1. Greetings from ALLEN Overseas!
      Choosing any stream depends on one’s interests. If you are interested in the Arts Stream and want to make your career in that, then you could definitely go with it!
      We wish you all the best for your endeavours!

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