Stream Selection After 10th Can Impact Your Future: How Do You Choose The Right One?

Stream selection after 10th is the first step you need to make for your future career. Selecting the wrong stream for you may result in you dropping out due to complexity or lack of interest in the stream. Otherwise, you may just go down the wrong path and not be as successful as you could have been in another career path. The stream you select after 10th will decide what courses and study you will be doing for the next two years, as well as what options will open up to you for graduations or once you graduate. Once you’ve made this decision and spend the time to learn your stream, it will be challenging to enter different careers that have nothing to do with your chosen stream.

Three Primary Streams

There are three primary streams you can choose from after 10th, this will determine what classes you take and the career you will be headed towards. There are some shared subjects between the streams, but picking the wrong stream will remove specific subjects (courses) you may require for your next stage in life.


Commerce is possibly the popular stream to take. It offers a wide range of career options from the subjects available in it. Some of the common careers you may be working towards in this stream are chartered accountant, financial advisor, investment banker, software developer, and many more. Commerce is a good stream for students skilled in managing people and things and have good problem-solving abilities. The areas of study in this stream are:
  • Accountancy
  • Business Studies
  • Economics
  • English
  • Informatics Practices
  • Mathematics
  • Information Technology
  • Finance


Science is also a popular stream to follow. Being analytical and curious about everything around you will be required in this stream. Popular careers in this stream involve healthcare and research. You’ll notice that commerce and science have some crossover, so it’s essential to delve deeper into the streams to see which subjects will serve you best. The areas of study in this stream are:
  • Biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science (Optional)
  • Physics
  • Mathematics

Arts & Humanities

Arts & Humanities is becoming a more popular stream to follow, especially in the past 20 years with career opportunities opening up. It’s very far removed from the Science and Commerce streams, so taking this stream really sets you on a career path. The areas of study in this stream are:
  • History
  • Geography
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • English
  • Fine Arts
  • Economics
  • Physical Education

Options Outside The Three Streams

If you’re a student that hasn’t done well in school or none of the careers that the three streams direct you towards make sense to you, there are other options. These options can be pursued either in 10th or you can wait until 12th, which gives you more options if you’re not 100% sure about what you want to do right now.

Vocational Schools

You have an option to go to vocational schools that train you in specific subjects for specific jobs. Then, instead of spending your time continuing with school when you know you can’t make it or don’t want to follow the careers available, you can start moving towards a different kind of career now. Perhaps you’re interested in fashion, tourism, or even becoming a commercial pilot. On the other hand, you may have an interest in being an electrician or plumber. You can even look at careers in beauty therapy, secretarial, or other administrative professions. Types of vocational courses are:
  • Agriculture
  • Health & Paramedical
  • Home Science
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Engineering
  • Commerce
So, consider if you really need to wait or if a vocational course is a possibility for you right now. Just make sure you make an informed decision and not one based on fear.

Advice For Selecting The Right Stream

Before you make the selection, consider the advice in this article to make an informed decision on what is best for you and your future.

Proper Research into Different Streams

Countries including India have had significant growth in the past 20 years. As a result, there are no longer 4-5 standard careers you can select from to succeed. Therefore, researching what careers are available now or even emerging careers is an essential step in determining your stream. Don’t assume that your parents’ career choices are all you have, and do your own research. There are now hundreds of modern and diverse career choices available in various streams of study, all of them prestigious and high paying.

Consider Your Interests

A significant factor in what stream to choose will always be how much money you can make. However, it’s challenging to be successful and make money in things you hate or have little interest in. Take a look at your current interests. What do you enjoy doing? Do you love debating? Do you love working on computers? Do you have an interest in health? Taking your interests into consideration when choosing your stream can have a significant impact on your future success. For example, if you hate computers but go down a commerce stream with IT-specific classes, is that really the best option for you?

Don’t Follow Your Friends

Don’t worry about what your friends are taking. They are entirely independent people that don’t have to worry about your future. Suppose most of your friends go towards a science stream, but you are not strong in that area and prefer an arts stream. In that case, you need to consider if science is really for you. There’s nothing to say you can’t go into a science stream due to other factors and decisions you’ve made. However, don’t pick streams based on what your friends are doing as the only factor you consider.

Don’t Be Pushed By Your Families Dreams

This advice may be a tough piece of advice to follow. However, your parents may have dreams about what they wanted to do or want you to do. Maybe they worked hard all their lives and were unhappy they couldn’t be a doctor or lawyer. So now they want their children to enter these professions, whether their children will do well or not. This issue is typical anywhere in the world you go, especially if your parents didn’t have the same opportunities that you have now. It’s often the reason your parents make you play certain sports when you hate them, and it’s the reason they will pressure you into specific streams now. Consider the advice of your family, but don’t let them pick your stream for you or your future career. Instead, discuss with them what you want and where you want to go, and hopefully, they will listen and understand.

Don’t Let Expectations Rule Your Future

People will often have expectations or assumptions about you. However, you don’t have to follow these expectations if they won’t make you happy or successful in life. Take, for example, if your family are all lawyers. Your mother and father are lawyers, your brothers and sisters are lawyers or on their way to being lawyers. But, of course, this doesn’t mean you have to be a lawyer, especially if you don’t have the skills or interest needed to be good at it. On the other hand, perhaps your family aren’t professionals and work in the trades. Maybe a plumber, builders, electricians. These can be great career choices as well, but just like anything else, you may just not be good at it. The advice is, don’t let people assume what you will be and make sure you pick a stream that you will have success in.

Seek Professional Help

Don’t be afraid to discuss your choices with a career counselor or adviser. A career counselor will have access to information that you might not, such as what careers are available that match your interests or skills. As we discussed, there are not hundreds of different career options available to you. Career counselors will be able to provide information on careers in demand and careers that are not going to be easy for you to follow. The counselor will also be able to put you on the stream for what your goals are. Perhaps you don’t really know which stream will have the best courses for you to get the career you want ultimately. The career counselor can also advise you on extracurricular activities that would be helpful in your future career plans. At the very least, a career counselor is an independent observer in your choice of career. They shouldn’t have any preconceived notions on what career path you should be taking. They are simply there to provide options and information to best help you.

Final Thoughts On Stream Selection

Nobody should be making your stream selection for you. Instead, you need to review all streams and consider the advice above to make an informed decision on what is best for you and your future. If you take any advice away from this article, ensure you evaluate your strengths, passions and interests and your goals for the future. It’s possible to enter any stream and tackle any career as long as you’re willing to work hard and have a passion for what you’re doing. The biggest mistake would be not considering all of your options and just blindly choosing a stream because it’s the easiest option right now.

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