Which is the best way to go about choosing a course after 12th for college?
There are a few critical factors that must not be overlooked when it comes to deciding what course or career option to choose after 12th. They are as follows:
Interest: Life has it’s ups and downs and everytime something goes wrong or against your expectations, the only thing that will make you get up, dust yourself and keep trying is passion. In order to help you understand what passion really means, let’s use the late Steve Jobs as an example. This is what he had to say about his public outing from Apple in 1985 “But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.” This is the power passion has on you. If you face difficulty of any kind in your professional life, it is the love that you have for your work that will help you get back on your feet over and again.
Practicality and economic feasibility: Although it is important that you follow your interests in life, there are some courses that may not suit your parent’s budgets as the fees is extremely expensive. In such cases, see if you can do something that is closely related to your first choice but is within your family’s budget. Regarding practicality, there are some fields out there that are great in terms of creativity but have very few job opportunities or are not lucrative enough to make a living out of it. In these cases, you can combine your passion with something more market friendly so that you can keep doing what you love and take care of your finances at the same time. For example, if you are interested in arts such as painting, try following it up with a degree in design or visual communications etc so that you can still do what you love while taking care of your finances at the same time. Many students also follow another approach - they do their undergraduate degrees in traditional areas such as engineering, sciences, commerce etc and devote their free time to their passion, be it singing, writing etc. Once their passion project grows and becomes big or starts bringing in money, they quit their full time job and focus on the project.
Suitability: Having explained enough about passion, there is one more very important factor that many students overlook and that is suitability. Sometimes, no matter how much we like a subject, it just doesn’t suit us. To elucidate this, I will use the example of a nobel prize winning scientist Dr. Shinya Yamanaka. Dr. Yamanaka won the nobel prize in medicine/physiology in year 2012 for his work on stem cells. But before he entered the world of research, he was actually trained to be a surgeon. However, during his first operation, which was to remove a benign tumor, a task that should not take more than 10 minutes, took him more than 2 hours to complete. At that moment, he realized that he did not have the required skills to be a successful surgeon and shifted to research by getting a PhD degree and the rest is history. At the end of the day, if something is not working for you or if you feel you do not have the aptitude for something, it is best to make a smart decision and choose a course that best suits your abilities.