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Rough guide to college

Rajvi Mehta (16) thought she had finally got her life sorted when she decided to take up commerce in junior college. What she did not expect is the choice of subjects in the commerce stream. She is back to being confused.

mumbai Updated: Jul 19, 2010 00:52 IST
Yashshri Soman

Rajvi Mehta (16) thought she had finally got her life sorted when she decided to take up commerce in junior college. What she did not expect is the choice of subjects in the commerce stream. She is back to being confused.

Though the admission process for first year junior college (FYJC) began on Friday, students are still confused about what they want to do. They are still unaware about the various subject options available in their chosen stream, be it arts, science or commerce.

“I am confused whether I should choose vocational subjects or take up information technology or French as an optional subject,” said Mehta who scored 91.09 per cent in the SSC examination. “I don’t know which of these will be the most scoring and which one will interest me the most.”

Student counsellors advise students to understand themselves, their limitations and then make a choice. “Students should choose their stream based on their interest, aptitude and personality type,” said Bharti Gandhi, director, Young Buzz India Ltd, a firm that helps students with their career choices. “They can also do psychometric tests to get a better understanding of their aptitude to choose their subjects.”

College principals warn students against succumbing to parental or peer pressure.

“The subject you choose in FYJC will form the base for the rest of your education so students should not make choices randomly,” said Kavita Rege, principal, Sathaye College, one of the most coveted colleges for science.

Some colleges even offer more choices than the usual suspects. For example, Sathaye, Ruparel and St Xavier’s College offer subjects such as psychology, economics, geology and geography for the science students.

“We offer psychology instead of mathematics and geography instead of biology but only to the Class 12 students,” said Pradeep Kulkarni, principal, Ruparel College. But Sathaye and St Xavier’s College offer these subjects in Class 11 itself. “I advise the students to choose the subjects by their interest and not look at the pay packages that they may get in the future,” added Kulkarni.

At RA Podar College, students can forgo a language or organisation of commerce and instead opt for a more practical subject such as marketing and salesmanship or office management.

While students opting for commerce choose secretarial practice over mathematics because they feel it is an easier, principals caution them against the reasoning. Mathematics is compulsory in the first year of any commerce bachelor’s programme, so avoiding just because it is tough till class 12 is not very useful.

Students can also steer clear of the plain Jane arts, commerce and science courses and take up Minimum Competency Vocational Courses (MCVC). These courses equip you to ake up a job immediately after Class 12. They have subjects such as marketing and salesmanship, office management, accounting and auditing, travel and tourism, electronics and computer science. Students have to take up three languages and then choose from this bouquet of subjects.

“These courses make the students competent to directly pursue a job after its completion,” said Sangita Kher, vice principal of Narsee Monjee College, which offers commerce MCVC options.

But students need not panic. Colleges have assigned their faculty members to counsel students before they make their choices.