So, you have completed your 12th standard and looking for a college course to join. Amidst the ocean of unsolicited advice on what Career options to choose and what colleges to apply, just take a moment to evaluate where exactly your interest lies. If you are from an Indian family, it goes without saying that engineering will be the natural career option for most ‘parents’ (not students) when you are looking for courses after 12th.
There is nothing wrong with the aspirations of your parents. After all, they want their children to be winners. If your interest lies elsewhere, you must take the time to convince your parents that unconventional professions do pay well if pursued in the right way.
Like most of you guys, I too have a bunch of engineers in my family (none of them are in an engineering job, of course). There is nothing wrong with taking engineering, per se. If you are someone whose core interest lies in engineering, please go ahead with it. For others, there is a lot more to look for in the current scenario. If you are exploring something that is not mainstream, this article is just for you. I have compiled a list of creative courses to do after your 12th graduation.
1. Mass Communication
Mass communication refers to the study of how information is exchanged among the general public with the help of mass media. Considering its recent popularity, Mass Communication course is not longer an unconventional course to study. If you are a high-functioning extrovert with an interest in media, this is certainly the course for you.
This course is especially for the journalist or TV presenter in you. Some of the highest paying career options in India belong to the media. Careerwise, mass communication major is certainly a lucrative option too.
Mass communication degree is offered by various colleges and universities across the country. However, these universities are mostly restricted to metro cities mainly because the takers are high in these locations.
If you are looking forward to becoming a mass communication major, you can check out the colleges and universities here: top 5 colleges to do mass communication courses in India.
2. Museology/Museum Studies
This is one of the most unconventional education courses on this list. An entire course just for the administration and management of a museum. If you are someone with a keen interest in cultural heritage, history, and artifacts, museum studies programs are best suited for you. This program is offered either as a degree course or a diploma course.
As an academic course, museology offers insights into various aspects of museum administration including preservation of artifacts, archiving, exhibition design, public relations, accounting, etc.
Most of these courses are offered only as a masters program. If you have a degree in arts, education, or history, museum studies masters could be ideal for your post-graduation. Once you finish your education, you can pursue a career as a museum curator.
3. Ethical Hacking
This is for the technology geeks in the country. Most of you might already be aware of what Ethical Hacking means. Ethical hacking is all about identifying the vulnerabilities in a computer network or web entity. Ethical hackers hack into a computer network and expose the weaknesses that outsiders can exploit. By doing this, they help their clients fix issues in a timely manner before their data can be compromised.
In India, there are many ways in which you can become an ethical hacker. However, ethical hacking training is not directly offered as a degree course that you can do right after your 12th standard. There are equivalent courses like B.Tech (Cyber Security and Forensics) that could help you sharpen your tools for an ethical hacking course.
There are plenty of ethical hacking certification courses offered by various institutions across the country. You can also do this as a diploma course. There is a great demand for this profession in the recent years.
The entire world runs on data now. Protecting this data from outside threats has become crucial for many companies. An ethical hacking course can help you become an expert in this field and help you find an ideal profession. It must be noted that this is one of the high-paying professions of the 21st century.
4. Hotel Management/Catering Technology
The food industry in India is expected to grow at the rate of 10% every year at least for the next 5 years. In addition to this, the urban working population of the country is showing more interest in traveling and visiting new locations all over the nation. With this changing trend in the working population mindset, the hotel management industry is expected to witness a boom in the coming years.
This could mean that there will be a huge demand for hotel management or catering technology professionals. There are many universities in the country that offer hotel management programs. These courses can be done as diploma courses right after 12th standard.
Also, related courses like hospitality management degree can widen your skill set and increase your chances of getting great career options.
5. Rural Studies
India is a country where 70% of the population still live in rural areas. Rural areas are in constant need of development, and the government is focusing on improving the quality of life in these regions. Rural studies focus on building a resilient rural India through academic curriculum.
The courses given by various universities in this subject focus mainly on rural development and social work. If you are someone fascinated with the life of rural India, this is definitely a course for you. Though this is a very unconventional academic course, the government is promoting this in order to develop sustainable rural livelihoods all over the country.
Most of the rural studies courses are currently offered by government colleges or universities affiliated with the government. The government is also providing aid for those who wish to take this course.
This is a science course with a huge potential in the future. Photonics refers to the study of controlling photons (light particles). The applications of this study are endless with a great career potential. Photonics has its use in various fields including engineering, healthcare, communication, electronics, etc.
One of the major applications of this technology is the use of fiber optics in the field of communication. In addition to its industry usage, photonics also has a great research potential. The field is still evolving, and there is a huge need for researchers in this field.
There are many universities that offer this course across the country. Most of the photonics courses are provided as masters programs. If you already have a Bachelors degree in physics or mathematics, you can enroll in this program.
Archaeology is more than just the study of skeletal remains. Archaeologists have unearthed histories that the world has completely lost. Their contribution to the field of history and anthropology is extremely significant. Most importantly, the artifacts discovered by archaeologists are valuable treasures that money cannot buy.
If you are someone with interests in what mentioned above, archaeology could be your study of choice. As an aspiring archaeologist, you must possess the interest to explore new things. Moreover, knowledge about the history of a specific location and interest in learning new things are key to this profession.
In India, archeology courses are available either as diploma courses or degree programs. Though the masters programs are the most popular choice, archaeology is also available as a bachelors degree.
8. Growth Hacking
This is more of a career option rather than an academic course. Growth hacking is a relatively new term coined specifically for the startup culture that we have today. When a startup company commences operations, the focus is on only one thing – growth. As against a traditional marketer, a growth hacker must narrow the focus to achieve the specific thing that a company wants in the initial stage.
This could be building a brand image or formulating a strategic marketing plan or even simply gaining better visibility for the company. The entire focus here is on the growth of a company.
The concept of growth hacking strategies is still in the nascent stage in India. There are many online courses where you can learn about growth hacking and growth marketing. An experience in digital marketing will also contribute greatly to growth hacking.
In simple terms, cartography refers to the creation of maps. Without a doubt, this is one of the most unconventional courses in our country. Cartographers are the people with a great interest in geography. If you are wondering whether cartography can be a good career choice, the answer is – yes.
With the advent of technology, there is an increase in the need for digital mappers and geographic information system (GIS) developers. Being an unconventional profession, there is a significant demand for people who have this qualification.
Cartographers must have skills in computer, mathematics, designing, spatial awareness, etc. With an array of online courses, cartography can also be self-taught. However, if you are looking for an academic course, you can take various courses including geography, applied geography, geographic information system, remote sensing, etc.
10. Wine Tasting or Sommelier
Yes. This is a real profession. And yes. There are institutes that offer courses in wine tasting. Quite frankly, this may not be a career choice for everyone. Also, the number of vacancies under this profession is most likely be very limited. So, this is a career choice to consider if you have some background in wine tasting or you consider yourself as a wine connoisseur.
There are institutes in India and abroad that offer training as a sommelier. Wine tasting is not just limited to drinking wine and giving feedback. You need a lot more to be considered successful in this profession. You must love traveling as this job would require you to travel many places. Also, you should be proficient in a language (preferably English) to speak or write about your experience.
Courses on wine tasting happen only for a few weeks maximum, and this can be studied while studying a mainstream course. If you want a career as a sommelier, you must be passionate about wine without a doubt. Also, culinary expertise in any international cuisine is certainly an added advantage.
The courses/career options listed here are just a tip of the iceberg. There are many unconventional professions practiced across the world. Choosing an unconventional profession comes with its own set of risks. If you are willing to take the plunge, you must certainly go ahead and pursue something where your true calling lies. These are not just courses after 12th standard. Rather, these are professions where you can carve yourself an identity different from all the mainstream ones.
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