Is Offline College Necessary?

Is It Necessary to Join College After Class 12th? 

Even before you have entered Class 12th, you are expected to decide about your next step. With a plethora of options available in every field, it is quite confusing to choose the appropriate path for yourself. While in the yesteryears, most students opted for the medical, engineering, or commerce stream, today, the choices extend to hundreds of different courses.

However, do you really need to attend college after the 12th? According to a recent report, 47% of graduates in India are unemployable. In other words, these youngsters lack the industry-oriented skills needed to fulfil the present job roles. 

Due to the limited number of seats in the top institutes, a majority of the youth end up wasting their resources in pursuing substandard education. But how do you determine the right route for yourself? For this, you need to ponder over a few important factors. Given below is a stepwise overview of these factors and the possible alternatives: 

Step 1: Consider your Interests 

The primary things to consider are your inclinations and preferences. Your ultimate success in any field relies upon what you are most passionate about. Students often tend to select courses under pressure and the influence of their friends and parents. While this may work out in the short term, it generally results in job dissatisfaction and setbacks later in your life. 

The key is to pay attention to the activities you enjoy and revel in. Out of all your hobbies, there are some that can be turned productive and profitable. Hence, it is up to you to judge whether you are disposed to creative, technical, mechanical, or managerial tasks. Today, there are a variety of courses and career options available in almost every field. 

Step 2: Review your Skill Set & Knowledge 

No doubt, there are several things that you like to do. Yet you will be better at some of these more than the rest. Simply put, you have to look into your strengths and weaknesses. For instance, if you are great at sketching, you have definite potential to be an artist, an interior designer, an architect, etc. So, you need to gauge skills prior to shortlisting the corresponding educational opportunities. 

Apart from your inherent aptitude in certain areas, it is your subject knowledge that will help you get into the desired course. For example, if you have studied commerce in your higher secondary, the fields of business, finance, and management would be most apt to you, yet your other options would also extend to disciplines like law, psychology, and even history. However, in order to take up education in the medical or engineering domain, it is mandatory to clear 12th in specific subjects such as mathematics/ biology, chemistry, and physics. 

Step 3: Know the Scope of the Field 

After listing out the feasible areas of study, mark the ones where the three parameters – interest, skills, & knowledge – align. Your expertise serves as an added advantage for the things

you like. No doubt, you can learn everything for free from sites like YouTube, yet it takes well-structured recognized degrees to become employment-ready. So, the next step should be to find out about the scope of your preferred field. To learn about the prospects of any specialization, carry out the following research: 

  • What degree/diploma/online programs are offered in that particular sector?
  •  Is it relevant and competitive in the current professional world? 
  • After the course, what kind of jobs will you be eligible for? 
  • What are the salary packages associated with suitable job profiles?
  •  What is the future scope of growth in the field? 

The above-mentioned questions are critical in estimating the overall ROI of any course. It all boils down to knowing the professional worth of the field before opting for it, such as Chandigarh University’s Online Degree Programs facilitated by upGrad arms you with industry-oriented skills apart from delivering the essential knowledge. After these courses, you get to explore a variety of lucrative career avenues. 

Step 4: Determine your Long-Term Goals 

It is commonly seen that youngsters get swayed by the majority opinion and become indecisive about their long-term goals. However, the ideal approach to determining the best path for yourself is to set your goals first. So, where do you want to see yourself 5-10 years from now? 

Subsequent to deciding your long-term ambitions, chart out your short-term plans. Your short-term objectives may include learning the required skills through a course or training program. Some more specific targets may be getting a high grade in exams, completing an internship project, etc. An important thing to remember is that your short-term goals must lead to your long-term aim within the effective time frame and other constraints. 

Step 5: Evaluate the Available Options 

There is more than one way to obtain the necessary know-how and skills for your dream profession. You will have to weigh different options as per your priorities, personal preferences, resources, and final goals. For instance, if you want to start a business or do a job alongside your studies, you will have to seek programs that extend sufficient flexibility. Likewise, if you cannot relocate yet wish to pursue a course offered in another city/country, you may seek enrolment in the distance/online format of the program. Glimpse through the viable choices you have after class 12th: 

On-campus Programs

1. Regular Degree Programs

Getting into a regular degree course seems like the most obvious route after passing your 12th exams. Admission to the full-time programs is carried out on the basis of your marks in 12th or an entrance test or both. In these programs, you will be required to spend 6-7 hours of the day in your respective college/university. But these courses do not cover training for specific professional goals like govt. Jobs test preparation, industrial mentoring, interview preparation, career guidance, etc.

While there are thousands of institutes in India that provide degree programs, only some of them maintain a good placement record. So, the favourable odds for getting placed depend upon your own proactivity. If you can spare adequate time for attending regular classes in college and stay in the league of top-performing students, this might turn out to be a good investment for you. Alternatively, you can go for the online format of full-time programs like the ones offered by popular universities like CU. 

2. Vocational Courses 

Vocational courses are designed to impart practical skills to the students. These focus less on theoretical knowledge and more on hands-on training. Unlike professional degree courses, which are of 2-4 years, the vocational courses can be completed in 6 months to 3 years. Most vocational programs include diplomas or certifications in specialized fields. 

Similar to standard degree programs, vocational courses follow daylong schedules. However, these courses suffice only for decent job profiles. So, if you want to gain knowledge in a certain domain yet do not have long-term goals for it, this option will work well for you. Besides, vocational courses are more affordable than degree programs. 

Remote Learning Options

1. Distance/Open Learning Programs 

The degree programs, diploma, and certificate courses can also be pursued in distance learning mode. These are specifically devised for people who want to study at their own pace and convenience. During these courses, you will be equipped with all the study notes in the printed or downloadable form. Yet, due to the lack of active student-teacher interaction, your learning process may not be really effective or fruitful. 

As there is no real career-related support provided in distance learning programs, you will need to take up additional skill-based training for finding suitable jobs. Nevertheless, these courses suffice to add a reliable qualification to your profile. 

2. Online Degree Programs 

The latest addition to the field of education is the online mode of learning. In these programs, you can interact with teachers and peers on virtual platforms. Several top universities have collaborated with online portals to deliver their degree programs and diploma courses. In addition, you can also enrol in online internship programs and avail of the customized career-oriented assistance.

For instance, in CU’s online programs powered by upGrad, you can opt for personalized learning tracks and receive career counselling for your chosen professional goals. During these programs, you will be mentored by industry leaders and experts with considerable experience in the field. Besides, you get to earn free additional certifications and job-specific coaching as well as access to facilities like on-campus libraries. 

While the online degree programs cost more than distance learning courses, online programs are developed with greater emphasis on application-based skills and industry requirements. However, in comparison to the regular programs, the online courses are much more cost-efficient as they incorporate both the subject knowledge as well as career support. 

Conclusion 

Hence, with plenty of flexible options available for acquiring the requisite knowledge, it is not really necessary to take up a full-time program in college. Modern technology has enabled innumerable students to complete their education at home. Eventually, the path you choose must be the one that matches your career aspirations.

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