Careers after Senior Secondary/Matriculation Education
After completing senior secondary education students often find themselves at the cross roads. Most of the school leavers find themselves devoid of adequate information and, more often than not, land up in a career for which they have no aptitude and repent throughout their life for having made a wrong choice. In many cases the parents or the guardians are also not fully conversant with the opportunities available after schooling. This series of two articles aims at enumerating various opportunities which are available to the students after 10+2.
There are two competitive examinations conducted every year by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for which minimum educational qualification is 10+2 pass or equivalent examination. First examination is Special Class Railway Apprenticeship Examination which is conducted once every year by the UPSC. The candidates in the age group of 17 to 21 years on August 1st the year of examination are eligible. All candidates with 12th class or equivalent with 1st division (any subjects) are eligible; candidates having second division with Mathematics, Physics or Chemistry as one of the subjects are also eligible to compete. The examination is held every year generally in the month of July and every candidate is tested in seven subjects including English, Mathematics (2 papers), Physics, Chemistry, General Knowledge and Psychological Test.
Second important competitive examination conducted every year by the UPSC is the National Defence Academy Examination. This examination is generally conducted twice every year during the months of May and November and the candidates are tested in Mathematics and General Ability tests. The test on General Ability includes questions on reasoning, intelligence, General Knowledge and English. All unmarried male candidates with 10+2 pass are eligible for Army, Navy and Airforce, while for the Executive Branch course at Naval Academy, the candidate should be 10+2 examination pass with Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. All those who pass the examination are then required to undergo a Services Selection Board (SSB) interview and a detailed medical examination before joining as Cadets at the National Defence Academy (NDA), Kharakvasla (Pune). After 3 years at NDA and one year in the Military, Naval or Airforce academies, the cadets are commissioned into the services as Second Lieutenant/Acting Sub-Lieutenant/Pilot Officer respectively.
Staff Selection Commission
Staff Selection Commission (SSC) also holds a couple of competitive examinations. The first in the series is the stenographers (Grade-D) competitive examination. The required age group is 18 to 25 years and the minimum academic qualification required is Matriculation or equivalent examination. The examination is generally held once in a year by the SSC through its six Regional Directorates at Delhi, Allahabad, Calcutta, Guwahati, Bombay and Madras and two Deputy Regional Directorates at Raipur and Bangalore. The candidates are tested in two subjects, namely General Awareness and Test of Stenography. The successful candidates are inducted as Stenographers.
The second competitive examination conducted by the SSC is the Clerks Grade Examination, in which all persons with the minimum academic qualification of Matriculation or equivalent are elgible. The examination is conducted jointly through six Regional Directors and two Deputy Regional Directors of the SSC. The examination is conducted once in a year at over 50 centres spread all over the country. The age limit for this examination is also 18 to 25 years. The candidates are tested in two subjects, namely General Awareness and Aptitude Test, and Mathematical Ability.
Tourism and hotel industry also offers many opportunities to the school leavers. There are a number of Hotel Management Catering and Nutrition Institutes in the country including at New Delhi, Bombay, Madras, Calcutta, Bhubaneshwar, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Jaipur, Srinagar, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Bhopal and Goa. In addition there are several private institutes of Hotel Management. Most of these institutes offer Diploma in Hotel Management, with specialisations in Front Office, Food and Beverages, House Keeping, Catering etc. Diploma course is generally of 3-year duration. The minimum educational qualification required is 10 +2 with at least 50 per cent marks in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics.
Employment in Defence Services
In addition to the NDA examination discussed earlier, there are several other opportunities to the male school leavers with 10+2/Matriculation qualifications in all the three branches of defence services, which are as under:
(a) Indian Army: For recruitment into army, a revised system of Common Entrance Examination has been introduced recently. This examination aims at recruiting personnel in the other ranks namely Soldier (General Duty), Soldier Technical, Soldier (Clerk/Store Keeper) and Soldier (Nursing Assistant). There are certain physical standards prescribed and the male individuals having these standards of physique, and who are Matriculates can take the examination, as and when the vacancies are notified by the nearest Zonal/Branch Recruiting Office (ZRO/BRO). The examination is conducted in four parts and Part-I is compulsory for all entries and part II, III and IV are obligatory for Soldier (Technical), Soldier (Clerk/Store Keeper) and Soldier (Nursing Assistant).
(b) Indian Airforce: Indian Airforce also conducts an entrance examination for recruitment of Airmen in technical trades. After the examination, a zone wise common merit list is prepared and on the basis of merit, the candidates are called upon to join. Age limits for this examination is 16 to 19 years and educational qualification is either 10+2 with Mathematics and Physics or Matriculation or equivalent examination with 60 per cent marks and Science and Mathematics as compulsory subjects. The persons who pass the written examination are expected to possess prescribed physical standards. Initial engagement is for years which may be extended upto 55 years of age.
(c) Indian Navy: Indian Navy provides varied opportunities to the bright school levers. A person having 10+2 qualification with 70 per cent marks in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics with English as one of thesubjects upto at least Matriculation Examination can be inducted as an engineer. The successful candidates are enrolled as cadets who undergo an initial six-month orientation training at Naval Academy Goa, followed by 4-year engineering course at Naval Engineering College, Lonavala. After 3 years at the Engineering College the cadets are promoted as Midshipmen and on successful completion of the 4-year course, they are given the rank of Acting Sub-Lieutenant and are also awarded a B.Tech Degree by the Jawahar Lal Nehru University, Delhi. Further information can be obtained from the Directorate of Manpower Planning and Recruitment, (R & R) Section, Naval Headquarters, Room No. 8, C-Wing, Sena Bhawan, New Delhi-110 011.
In addition, Indian Navy also offers opportunities for recruitment as Artificer Apprentices for all those who possess matric or equivalent qualification with minimum of 45 per cent marks. Selection is again made on the basis of a competitive examination and the candidates are tested in Mathematics, English and Science at all the recruiting offices. The successful candidates are required to undergo an interview and medical examination. Successful candidates are then required to undergo training for 3 years and additional practical trainingof 6 months on board in any of the ships of Indian Navy. After successful training they are promoted as Artificer IVth class and are responsible for the maintenance of mechanical and electrical machinery on the ships.
(d) Coast Guard: Coast Guard is an Armed Force created for protection and regulation of coastal activities in India. It offers opportunities to the School leavers as General Duty Pilot/Navigators and Yantriks/Technical Sailors. A person with 10+2 qualifications and a current commercial pilot licencee between the age of 19-25 years may join as pilot/navigator. Shortlisted candidates are called for written test/interview before final selection is made. The minimum qualification for recruitment to the post of Yantriks or Coast Guard is Matriculation and Diploma in Mechanical/Electrical/Electronics/Aeronautical Engineering with atleast 45 per cent marks. Short-listed candidates are called for test and interview at the convenient centres.
(e) Merchant Navy: Merchant Navy also offers attractive openings. The opening to this important career is through a two-year Navigation Course on T.S. Rajendra (a training Ship) Bombay, and 4-year Marine Engineering Course at DMET Calcutta. An entrance examination is conducted every year by the government for admission to the above courses. The candidates are tested in English, Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry. The eligibility is 12th pass under 10+2 or equivalent examination with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. The detailed information on careers in merchant navy may be had from the Directorate General of Shipping, Jahaz Bhawan, Walchand Hirachand Marg, Ballard Estate, Bombay-400 038, or from the Controller, DGs Entrance Examination, Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan, S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, Munshi Nagar, Dadabhai Road, Andheri (West) Bombay-400 058.
(f) Protective Services: There are many protective services in the form of paramilitary forces under the government of India and even the State governments, under which a school leaver may seek career. These services include Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Central Industrial Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Railway Protection Force, State Police Department, State Forest Department, Fire Services Department of the States etc.A matriculate/10+2 candidate may join as a Constable, Guard, Navik or even Assistant Sub-Inspector. The vacancies are notified by the concerned agencies from time to time.
Careers in Financial Institutions
There are many financial institutions like Commercial Banks, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Regional Rural Banks (RRBs), Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and General Insurance Corporation (GIC), which regularly recruit personnel for positions like clerks, clerical assistants or assistants. Educational qualification for most of these positions is 10+2/Higher Secondary/Matriculation with good division. The Commercial Banks carry out the recruitment for the posts of clerks/stenos and typists. For recruitment to the post of typists/stenos/additional typing or/and shorthand skills are required by the candidates, besides required educational qualifications. The age limits are 18 years to 26 years. The recruitment is done for all public sector banks through several branches of Banking Services Recruitment Board (BSRB).
Similarly, RBI conducts examination for recruitment of clerks, which comprises of a written test and interview. The vacancies are notified in all leading national and regional dailies as and when such vacancies arise. The educational qualifications range from a good Matriculation degree to 10+2.
Engineering and Technical Courses
There are many Engineering and Technical courses which equip the school leavers with technical and engineering skills to enable them to pursue careers in these lines. First and foremost is the admission to an Engineering College for a graduate degree course. Duration of the course is 4 years and the candidates with 10+2 qualifications with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics are eligible to seek admission to Bachelor of Engineering courses in Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Electronics, Computer, Aeronautics, Agriculture or Industrial Engineering. Admission to various Engineering Colleges, Regional Engineering Colleges, Indian Institutes of Technology, and privately run Institutes is generally based on the merit obtained in the entrance test. Minimum age generally is 17 years but may vary slightly from institution to institution.
In addition to the degree courses in Engineering, 3-year Diploma courses are also offered by various polytechics controlled and run by State Directorates of Technical Education and Training in almost every State. The qualifications required in this case range from 10th standard to 10+2 with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics and the admission is generally granted strictly as per the merit of marks obtained in the academic examination. There are certain non-engineering trades like ceramics, printing, production and chemical technology which are of lesser duration.
In addition to these courses several other courses in many trades are offered by the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and several ITIs are there in every State. There are several engineering and non-engineering trades offered by ITIs and other such institutions both in government and private sector. The educational qualification required ranges from Middle standard to Matriculation examination. The period of training is 1 to 2 years and the candidates are awarded a certificate in the field concerned and are then eligible to take up various technical trades in the government as well as private sectors.
MBBS is the most sought after career in the field of medical sciences. It is a degree course for which minimum required qualification is 10+2, with atleast 50 per cent marks and having subjects like English, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Minimum age limit is generally 17 years. The admission to various medical colleges is held by way of competitive examinations conducted by different colleges separately in which the candidates are tested in all the above mentioned subjects. Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE) New Delhi also conducts an all-India entrance examination every year. Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) Pune also offers degree courses in medical science and the selected candidates are awarded the bachelors degree, but with a condition to serve in the Army Medical Corps as doctor for a minimum contractual period.
In addition to the degree courses, there are many other openings in this field to the school leavers. There are many institutions, mostly owned by the government, which offer training courses in General Nursing and Midwifery and Health Visitors. Minimum required age is 17 to 18 years and duration of the training ranges from 2.5 years to 3.5 years. Required educational qualification is 10+2 pass or equivalent with Biological and Physical Science subjects.
In the medical line itself, diploma/certificate courses are open to the eligible candidates in the fields of Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Refrectionist and Optician, Vaccinator, Dark Room Assistant, Radiographers, Laboratory Technicians, Sanitary Inspectors etc. The duration of the training courses is 6 months to 2 years and on successful completion of the diploma/certificate course, the candidates may be appointed as technicians in the concerned trade. Required educational qualification is 10+2 or equivalent for Pharmacy and 10th pass for the para-medical courses. Generally the candidates with medical subjects are eligible.
School leavers can also join the teaching and allied professions by acquiring required skills. School leavers may undergo a Diploma course for Nursery and Primary Teachers. The educational qualification required is 10th or 10+2 and the duration of the course is 2 years. The training courses are generally conducted by the Departments of Primary Education in various States and details about the institutions and date of examination can be had from Director of Primary Education of the concerned State government.
Certificate or diploma course in Library Science also offers good opportunities to the school leavers. The qualifications required range from 10th pass to 10+2 and in some cases some experience in recognised libraries is desirable. These courses are conducted by various universities and other institutes.
Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers also trains the willing candidates and awards a Diploma in Telecommunication Engineering. Aspiring candidates are required to have High School qualification with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. They are further required to be enrolled as a student member in the diploma scheme. On successful completion of the course, the students are awarded diploma in various disciplines. Details can be obtained from the Secretary, Institution of Electronics and Telecom Engineering, 21 Institutional Area, Lodhi Road, New Delhi-110 003.
In addition, the Department of Post and Telecommunications also recruits Matriculate/10+2 pass candidates to various posts like Postman, Mail Sorter, Postal Clerks, Telegraph Clerks, Record Clerks and Store Clerks. The age limit is generally 18 to 25 years and there is usual age-relaxation and reservation of vacancies for specified categories as per the government rules.
Architecture, Art and Painting
School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi offers degree courses in Architecture and Physical Planning. Minimum required qualification is 10+2 with English, Physics and Mathematics and 60 per cent aggregate marks. Minimum age is 17 years and the duration of the course is 5 years. Selection is made by way of an entrance examination which includes tests on General Knowledge, I.Q. and Aptitude Test. Candidates who qualify the degree course may pursue careers in architecture and planning both as paid employees or as self-employed professionals.
Artists also have varied opportunities. Exponents of music, dancing and acting have openings in stage, Radio, T.V. or even movies. In many arts, formal training is not required as it mainly depends upon the aptitude and natural talent of the artists. Butit is always better to have formal qualifications in the concerned field from schools or colleges of art. Candidates with matriculation or 10+2 qualifications are generally eligible for diploma or degree courses in arts, which have 3 to 5 years duration, respectively. Career opportunities in the self-employment are also immense for artists in various fields. Art teachers are alsorequired by the educational institutions, polytechnics, galleries, museums, interior decorators, designers etc. Cartoonists and art critics are employed by the newspapers, magazines, publishers, art studios, advertising agencies and film and T.V. studios. Similarly, performing arts like music and dancing also have their own set of opportunities. A few are employed by teaching institutions and performing troupes. They are also employed by Kala Kendras, Academies, Film and T.V. Studios, All India Radio and large hotels.
Printing is yet another area which offer numerous opportunities to the school leavers. There are six Regional Schools of Printing Technology located at Bombay, Allahabad, Madras, Calcutta, Delhi and Pune which provide training to students in all the subjects of pritning technology. These schools offer full-time and part-time courses in printing technology. 12th pass candidates who are 17 to years of age are eligible for Diploma course in Printing Technology.
There are plenty of self-employment opportunities for school leavers. Broadly speaking these are in the fields of Trade and Business, Manufacturing, Professional Practice and Free Lancing. A candidate interested in self-employment may engage in a retail shop, wholesale dealership, commission agency, general order supplier, real-estate business, bakery, confectionary, furniture shops, binding, catering services for marriage parties etc., selling, commercial typing, petition writing, stamp vending, chemist shop etc. There are many other such self-employment avenues which may be taken up, depending upon the aptitude, experience, family business and competition in the close vicinity.
There are various schemes under which loans at subsidised rates are provided by various financial institutions. To name of few, TRYSEM, SEEUY and PMRY are there. Department of Industries in every State also carries out entrepreneurship development programmes for persons interested in any of the manufacturing activities. Trained persons are then provided all possible assistance by the government to set up small and medium sized manufacturing facilities. Loans for self-employment are also provided by the Commercial Banks, State Financial Corporations and various other private and government lending institutions.