Confused about which course to pursue after Class 10 and 12? Here’s a complete guideline

Should India have Reservation of seats in higher education for the upper castes?

Malayala Manorama conducted a phone-in programme on higher education last week. Here are some general guidelines considering the questions that were asked by students and their guardians during the programme.

After clearing the Class 10 exams, when you move to class 11 you should have a clear understanding of the subjects that you choose.

Those who choose science but decide two years later that they don’t want to continue with the subject can shift to commerce or humanities. But those who opt for commerce or humanities in Class 12 cannot later shift to science or technology courses. Here is a list of courses and subjects that one can choose after Class 10 and 12.

After Class 10

Kerala Higher Secondary, Technical Higher Secondary with technological studies, CBSE, ISC, polytechnic diploma, ITI, courses offered by Food Craft Institute, Kochi CIFNET (shipping vessel mate/engine driver), tailoring (Government Institute of Fashion Design centres under the directorate of technical education, accredited tailoring schools, Apparel Training and Design centres), Kerala Government Certificate Examination in Engineering (KGCE) courses, etc, can be considered.

After Class 12

Those who complete class 12 can pursue BA, BSc, BCom, BBA, BCA, BSc Electronics/Computer/IT degree courses. Choose a course by taking into account your interests and aptitude, learning abilities, the potential for higher studies, course duration and job potential.

Five-year integrated programmes

Science: Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs); two institutes Bhubaneswar and Mumbai under atomic energy commission controlled admissions for which are done through NEST; BITS Pilani/Goa/Hyderabad, Cochin University (CUSAT), MG University (Institute of Integrated Programmes)

Science, engineering: IITs; some NITs; Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), Thiruvananthapuram

Other areas: IIM Indore (Management), law colleges and admission to law universities through common law admission test (CLAT), Regional Institute of Education, Mysore (BSc BEd, BA BEd)

Nursing, paramedical

LBS Centre ( is conducting admissions to degree courses, including nursing, and diploma courses, including pharmacy. Those who complete CGFNS/NCLEX - RN besides BSc Nursing can find good opportunities abroad.

Possibilities in Commerce

There are many opportunities in commerce. It is not necessary that you should have studied commerce in Class 12. One can pursue programmes to become chartered accountant, company secretary and cost accountant, besides ACCA, CPA, CIMA (UK), CMA (US) and CFA.

Airlines and merchant Navy

Those who have studied maths and physics and are interested in becoming a pilot can seek admission at Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi (IGRUA) in Amethi, UP, and other such institutions. Merchant navy is also an attractive option for those interested. (

Other courses


Hotel management is a course anyone with a Plus 2 qualification in any stream can pursue. Fashion designing; design and interior designing courses from institutes such as NID, Ahmedabad; National Defence Academy in Pune for boys for Armed Forces training, etc. Physics and Maths in Class 12 are mandatory for entry into the Navy and Air Force.

Fine arts courses, including in painting, at colleges of fine arts in Thiruvananthapuram, Mavelikara, Tripunithura and Thrissur.

For the training of those with disabilities, there are many ‘special education’ courses under the Rehabilitation Council. For details, visit

Those interested in becoming clinical psychologists should opt for a course in psychology.

The path to civil services

There are those who want to know what subjects to pursue for civil services. Those with a degree in any subject can apply for civil services. There is also no requirement for minimum marks. You can pick the subject of your choice to study.

Engineering and science

Those who have studied maths, physics and chemistry can consider engineering. You can seek admission to engineering colleges through the entrance exam in Kerala. Besides, for admission to IITs, NITs and other top-notch engineering colleges, you can consider appearing for JEE Main/Advanced.

Those who also like drawing can appear for NATA to pursue architecture.

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Some other good institutes have their own BTech and BArch admission process.

Candidates wishing to join a BPharm course can take the physics and chemistry papers of the Kerala entrance exams (KEAM).

Those interested in research in science can consider the BS programmes offered by the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) in Thiruvananthapuram and six other places, the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru and the IITs.

Medicine and agriculture

Those who have studied biology, physics and chemistry can appear for NEET for admissions to MBBS, BDS, Ayurveda, Homoeopathy, Unani, agriculture, veterinary science, fisheries and forestry courses.

Candidates taking the exam can also seek admission under the 15% all India quota for all these courses, including MBBS. NEET allows you to get admission in good medical colleges where you can complete your studies by paying affordable fees.


There are also institutes such as CMC Vellore/Ludhiana, Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) in Pune and JIPMER in Puducherry where those from Kerala can seek direct admission.

In Kerala, there are 320 seats under NEET for BSc Agriculture course. Besides this, you can seek admission to 15% of seats in all agriculture universities in India, including the one in Kollam, and all the seats in the two national institutes by taking the entrance test conducted by the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR). For details visit: &

Deciding a career before joining college

Those joining college after completing class 12 can also think about what they would like to do after completing the degree course. There are options besides post-graduation and PhD, like management, civil services, 3-year LLB, film and TV, journalism, library science, physical education, air hostess/flight attendant, travel-tourism, etc.

Those interested in biotechnology, bioinformatics and nanotechnology should be ready for a career in research.

Entrance confusion

Many who have spent a year or two in coaching for MBBS are wondering if they should try for other similar courses because of the uncertainty over entrance examinations for medical courses caused by COVID-19.

The competition for MBBS is fierce. Therefore, you can apply for a bachelor’s course also. You can leave the bachelor’s course if you get an MBBS admission.

While selecting a course

Before joining a new-generation course, study carefully the content, the credibility of the institute and the job potential after completing the course. Keep in mind that many traditional courses will always be relevant.

Most enquired about courses

Food science/food technology: This is a field with great scope for growth and development. NIFTEM ( is one of the best institutes in this field. In Kerala colleges, you can do BSc / MSc courses, or BTech food technology course, admission for which will be through the entrance exam. You can also do MSc from Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore; BTech/MTech from the Indian Institute of Food Processing in Thanjavur; and PG Diploma in food safety and quality management from IGNOU.

Forensic science and criminology

These two fields are related to crimes and criminal investigations. Seek admission only after examining what you will be studying and what the job prospects are. Criminologists can work at correctional facilities, jails and the police department.


This is the highest qualification in pharmacy. You can complete this in 6 years after Class 12, or you can first do the 4-year B Pharm and then complete PharmD in three years. For a list of colleges, visit

Artificial intelligence

This is the technology of the future. This will be a part of any MTech programme in computer science. IIT Hyderabad offers a BTech in artificial intelligence. NIELIT Kozhikode has a PG diploma. If you are just seeking knowledge, then there are free courses on MOOC platforms such as edX and Coursera. You can get a certificate for a fee.

Data science

Artificial Intelligence.

Data science is the highest level of data analytics. There are some entities that offer training in this field: IIT Bengaluru - PG; IITs at Guwahati and Hyderabad - MTech; Amrita Viswa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore - 5-year MSc; NIELIT Kozhikode/Chennai - PG diploma; IIITM-K Thiruvananthapuram - MSc and certificate courses in data analytics; XLRI, Jamshedpur - online executive programme; National Institute of Securities Markets, Mumbai - PG Certificate.

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