While it is a known fact that the number of students opting for humanities stream has grown in the last few years, a recent survey found that three out of every four students across the country, including Mumbai, aspiring for a college degree, were interested in humanities.
Out of the 36,000 students who responded to the survey from over nine cities, 74% of students were interested in pursuing humanities. Interestingly, science with biology had only 11% takers, science with mathematics 9% and commerce 6%.
Surprisingly even in Mumbai, where commerce has been the most sought after stream in First Year Junior College (FYJC) admissions in the last two years at least, 63% students said they were interested in humanities. The survey was conducted by a private career solutions firm, CareerCo.
College principals said that they were seeing an increase in number of students opting for humanities. “I am not surprised by the findings of the survey. Career opportunities in humanities have grown in the last few years, while commerce is becoming more and more towards accounting and chartered accountancy (CA), which is tough to crack,” said Jyoti Thakur, external co-ordinator, Jai Hind College, Churchgate. “Students choose streams based on the work options available.”
Thakur added that students are also moving out of science. “Science is getting tougher by the day with government policies and private colleges are charging exorbitant fees,” said Thakur. “So the smarter lot are drifting towards humanities, especially law, economics and media.”
There is also a rise in number of high scorers opting for humanities, compared to previous years, said principals. “During the admissions last year, we did get a lot of students for humanities than usual,” said Marie Fernandes, principal, St Andrew’s College, Bandra. “And the quality of students is also improving. This year, our humanities results were better than science.”
Frazer Mascarenhas, principal, St Xavier’s College, Fort said that students were returning to basic courses in humanities. “We are getting good students who want to basic humanities such as psychology, sociology, economics and literature,” said Mascarenhas. “Our cut-off was above 94% in these subjects for humanities last year.”
Mascarenhas added that ten years ago students were interested in professional, market oriented courses. “But that trend has slowed down today, and we are seeing more students for humanities,” he added.
Thakur added that the trend is more in north-India, but it is now picking up in Mumbai. "I see only business families sending their children to commerce these days, others are going for humanities."