I am a Std 8 student and want to be a space scientist. Please guide me as to what direction I should take after Std 10. Which stream should I choose? What are the qualifications, courses, colleges needed to pursue this career?

To make a career in Space Science, an expertise of the science subjects Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics is a must. These subjects can be pursued at Bachelor's level, i.e., 4-year B.Tech. programme or 3-year B.Sc. course, for which eligibility is 10+2 in Science stream. After completing a Bachelor's degree, go for post-graduation in Space Science and Technology and other space-related fields. To become an expert in any specialized field, pursuing a Ph.D. degree is compulsory. In fact, most professionals working in Space Science are Ph.D. holders.

Some of the good institutes are: Indian Institute of Space science and Technology (IIST), Thiruvananthapuram, Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Dehradun, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore,Indian Institutes of Technology at various places.

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My son is in grade 8. He is not sure what he wants to pursue after the Std 10. We need help to understand how we can guide him and resources we have to look at options. Please advise.

"Which career should your child go for?" There is no straight answer. The reason being that "Each child is unique, with unique set of abilities, potentials and skills." The best career is when we match our preferences to the realities of a job.

Start by checking what your son is good at. His hobbies, the subject he likes most in school, his favourite books, magazines and TV programmes, what he does in his spare time these are all important clues to what kind of career would suit him best. His school results can also give some clues as to what his strong subjects are - is he better in theoretical work or practical work?

He still has two more years before deciding on subject streams. Depending on the subjects he takes, you can explore various career opportunities. You may also contact agencies that conduct aptitude tests.

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What should I do?

I'm in Std X and at the crossroads of my career. According to me, a major in English (and later pursue journalism) or Sociology (and then opt to go for IFS) would suit me the best. But I'm not very sure about the requirements and the basic duties of either of the careers and if they will suit me, so please help.

Looks like you are confused between English and Sociology. So take both the subjects in 10+2. After studying them, you will become better informed about the subjects and the related careers.

After 10+2, go for graduation in Mass Communication. With this degree you can join the field of journalism or even appear for the competition of IFS.

In journalism, personal qualities rather than training are more important. Can you write clear, concise, objective and accurate material quickly? Have you ever written for your school magazine? Do you have comprehensive command of grammar and vocabulary? Can you communicate clearly, confidently and assertively? Are you a natural "people person", finding it easy to meet and talk with new acquaintances?

Indian Foreign Service deals with the country's external affairs. These personnel are responsible for the administration and activities of Indian missions abroad, and for the framing and implementation of the government's foreign policy. Recruitment is through the All India Combined Competitive Examination for the Civil Services which is conducted by UPSC.

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I want to be a psychiatrist

I am a Std X student and I'm good in maths and biology and interested in physics. I want to be a psychiatrist. What subjects should I take in Std XI?

Psychiatrists are professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health problems, illness and emotional disorders such as depression and schizophrenia. Treatments are made on the basis of counselling and then on the basis of medicines.

To become a psychiatrist, you should first do MBBS followed by an M.D. (Psychiatry). You can also do a Diploma in Psychiatric Medicine (DPM) after MBBS. In order to follow this path, you should take Biology, Physics and Chemistry in 10+2.

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I want to become an IAS Officer

I am a Std X student and aspire to be an IAS Officer. Should I do engineering or should I go for any other degree and then do IAS?

In order to become an IAS Officer, you will have to write the Civil Service Examination conducted by Union Public Service Commission. To appear in the exam, eligibility is graduation (any stream). Some students go for a bachelor's in engineering specifically first and then appear for this examination. Their thinking is that if they do not get selected in the competition, at least they can fall back on their engineering degree and get a job. But this path gives them less time to study for the competition. So weigh the pros and cons and do what suits you.

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I want to become car designer

I am a Std X student and I'm interested in car designing. Which are the best colleges and courses related to it?

To pursue a career as a car designer, you should study Automobile Engineering. This field involves understanding the mechanics of vehicle chassis, internal combustion engine, electrical systems, motor transport affairs, workshop technology, research and design. It also deals with the design, development and maintenance of automobile and retail space parts.

For this four-year course you should first clear 10+2 with maths, physics and chemistry and appear in an entrance test for selection to an engineering  college. There are many colleges all over India which offer degrees in automobile engineering. You should have an aptitude for mathematics and design.

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I like software engineering and want to find a career in this field

I am a Std X student. I like software engineering and want to find a career in this field. Which courses should I take after Std X?

In order to become a software engineer, you should first complete 10+2 with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. Then go for Bachelor's in Engineering (B.E./ B.Tech.) and specialize in Computer Science. Admission various engineering colleges is through NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) and other all-India level tests. After 10+2 you can also go for Bachelor's in Computer Applications (BCA).

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I am good at Maths and want to experience Commerce

I like Science, but somehow I am just not very comfortable studying it. I am good at Maths and want to experience Commerce. Will it be okay to take up CBSE Commerce in XI or should I take up CBSE Science? Can I give the SAT exams if I take up either CBSE Science or Commerce?

SAT exam is a standardized entrance test mainly taken by those candidates who want to study in the USA. SAT reasoning test examines skills of writing, critical reading and mathematics. So it does not matter from which stream you do 10+2. If you're not comfortable studying science subjects, then go for the commerce stream. But be prepared to work hard and do higher courses from a reputed institute.

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I am confused about what to take up in Std XI

I have recently given my ICSE Std X examination. I am confused about what to take up in Std XI. I have not taken up Commerce before. Instead, I took computers for my Std X exam.

SAT exam is a standardized entrance test mainly taken by those candidates who want to study in the USA. SAT reasoning test examines skills of writing, critical reading and mathematics. So it does not matter from which stream you do 10+2. If you're not comfortable studying science subjects, then go for the commerce stream. But be prepared to work hard and do higher courses from a reputed institute.

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I want to do B.Tech in computer science

I have just given Std X board exams. I have taken science in Std XI. I want to do B.Tech. in computer science. What are the entrance exams for admission in B.Tech. (Computer Science)? Can I prepare for IIT-JEE after Std XII board exams, taking a year's leap?

You can certainly appear in IIT-JEE after a gap of one year. But often students get distracted assuming that that they have lots of time. So take care and be focussed!

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I am good in history and geography

I am good in history and geography and I love these subjects. I want to choose my career based on these two subjects. Please suggest some career options.

Like most academic subjects History and Geography may not be directly vocational but provide a solid background for general education, international studies, and a variety of professional careers including law, planning, and environmental consulting. During the course study, you'll develop skills in research, analysis, and oral and written communication.

Graduates in Geography find work in cartography, oceanography and land survey. Those with a master's degree get involved in urban and regional planning and development, housing development, town planning, transport planning, environmental planning and monitoring. Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS) technology are the latest fields which utilize the skills of a geographer and a computer professional.

A good history degree is a guarantee that the holder can analyse subjects in depth and develop coherent arguments about them in written and verbal form. Knowledge of history is also an asset in journalism. Historians not only confine themselves to teaching and research jobs but may go for specialized jobs such as archaeologist, epigraphist, archivist or curator.

History is a very popular choice for various competitive examinations at state and central level, like the civil services.

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I am deeply confused between PCM and PCB

I am a student of Std X and I secured 92% in my final exams. I am deeply confused between PCM and PCB. I want a stream through which I can earn well. What scope do the following two streams have today in India and which is better?

What do you like - Biology or Mathematics? In which subject do you score more with less effort? Both these fields have good career options. So choose your stream in XI, which you like more. You can even take PCMB in 10+2, giving you the freedom to decide later.

With PCM (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics) you may take up careers like engineering, architecture, computer programming, merchant navy personnel, meteorologist, scientist, etc. With PCB, you can work as a physiologist, physician, physical therapist, medical illustrator, speech pathologist, dentist, pathologist, pharmacologist, nurse, veterinarian, etc.

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I aspire to become a journalist and want to take up Arts

I recently finished giving my Std X board exams. I am good at writing and I am creative too. I aspire to become a journalist and want to take up Arts. But now I have begun to have doubts whether I should go for it or not. If I do, can you suggest some good junior colleges in Pune for Arts?

Since you are creative and good in writing, you will probably do well in the field of journalism. Aim for courses in journalism, mass media, advertising, etc. But those will be at graduation stage. Take Arts in 10+2. It is offered at all junior colleges in Pune. The better your marks in Std X, better your chances are to get admission in a good college. To judge your capabilities, start writing and send in articles for publication in your school magazine or youth magazines.

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I want to be a gastro-surgeon.

I'm a Std X student and confused what I should choose in Std XI. I want to be a gastro-surgeon. What are the required courses for that and institutions?

Gastrointestinal Surgery (GI surgery) is a branch of medicine that covers all surgeries pertaining to the gastrointestinal tract (oesophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon), pancreas and liver. To become a surgeon in this field, first you should go for MBBS, followed by 3 years Master of Surgery (M.S.). Then go for M.Ch. (GI Surgery). Duration of this course is three years.

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I would like to pursue a career in cardiology

I'm in Std X and would like to pursue a career in cardiology. Please suggest some suitable institutions and courses involved in this field.

A cardiologist is a medical doctor who specializes in treating the heart and associated cardiovascular system. Cardiology is a sub-specialty of internal medicine. Therefore, if you plan to practise cardiology, first you should go for MBBS.

Becoming a cardiologist requires a lot of patience and a detailed study of various subjects pertaining to cardiology. You need to start with science subjects (PCB) in 10+2. Then appear for an entrance examination for admission to MBBS. This is a 5½ years course. After completing MBBS, you should go for 2-3 years of MD/MS followed by DM in Cardiology. Thus becoming a cardiologist is not an easy task, but looking at the high salary ranges and enormous career opportunities, this is an excellent career option.

At present you should think about getting admission to a good medical college for MBBS. CBSE conducts NEET, i.e., National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for admissions to MBBS, BDS and nursing courses offered by 355 medical colleges. There are other institutes like AIIMS, which conduct their own all-India level test. Start preparing now.

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