Stream Selection 101

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Apr 02, 2019 By Univariety

Most of the students transitioning from grade 10th to 11th have many visions about the future and they want to choose their streams to fulfill their childhood dreams. While some give the career a serious thought, others are still in the fantasy world not able to pick the right stream.

Doctor… Engineer… Lawyer… Pilot… Designer… ???

In search of answers
Many options cross their mind. Let’s begin by first saying, it’s completely okay to be confused about what to do. At least that means you want to find a career where you and your interests belong, rather than settling for any job that comes your way. If you’re feeling the ‘profession-paranoia’ right now, wondering “Where am I heading in life?” and just can’t decide what to do, then counselling can get you the answers.

Pause. Take a deep breath. Reflect.

There are probably 10000000000… options out there that you can choose from. But the key is not to be overwhelmed by it. The key is to analyze your key strengths and interests. What is that one thing, or what are those 10 things that you love doing the most? Figuring out what drives you may seem easier said than done, but maybe deep down you actually know what you want to do. You just need to say it out loud.

Stream Selection is not a daunting task

Now you start thinking about stream selection seriously and list down the major streams and try to map them to your career. At the outset, this may look daunting, but it’s not. Though your rest of the life is based on these 2 years, keep your cool and get a comprehensive view of the streams.

Let’s get to a step-by-step approach.

Firstly, understand the streams in class 11 CBSE - Science, Commerce, Arts/Humanities and the subjects that are part of them.


This is a stream that finds a place in every discussion. If you refresh your memory, you could have listened to many advocates of Science stream saying “Science is a universal subject”, “Science opens up many career avenues” or “Engineers and Doctors are born out of Science streams”.

That gives you a different perception on the Science stream as the most sought after one.

Science entails Physical and Biological Sciences and how they impact our lives. It’s practical-oriented and needs a research mindset. If you are inquisitive and can pepper you thinking faulty with logic, then Science is your cup of tea.

Subjects in Class 11

The Science stream has the following combinations
1. PCM - Physics, Chemistry, Maths, English, Optional Subject
2. PCB - Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English, Optional Subject
3. PCMB - Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Biology, English
The most common optional subjects with Science are Psychology, Biotechnology, Mathematics, Computer Science, Economics, Home Science, Fine Arts, Physical Education, Engineering Drawing, Fine Arts.

Career Options
1) Medicine Stream
- Medicine - MBBS
- Alternate Branches of Medicine - Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Dentistry
- Allied Medicine - Physiotherapy, Clinical Research, Audiology

- Biological Sciences - Zoology, Botany, Microbiology, Biochemistry
- Allied Sciences - Nutrition, Pharmacology, Psychology, Biotechnology
2) Non-Medicine Stream
- Engineering - Electronics, Mechanical, Electrical, Chemical
- Computer Science - Computer Applications, Ethical Hacking, Animation, Gaming
- Physical Sciences - Physics, Chemistry
- Architecture
- Aviation
- Defence
- Design

You might have had strange experiences with Commerce with people saying “Think about Commerce if you are not cut out for Science”, “Commerce suits for those who want to join family business”, “If you want to take the CA route, that’s really tough” and many more. But all these are myths.
Commerce is related to trade, finance and business. The subject deals with the exchange of goods and services, working on the economy, business operations, financial transactions, and more. It houses a wide array of career options and you can touch success if you are a number cruncher and can deal with a large amount of data.

Subjects in Class 11
1. Accountancy, Economics, Business Studies, English, Mathematics (or optional subject) form the crux of Commerce.
2. Accountancy covers expenditure, cash books, trading, profit & loss statements, and making balance sheets.
3. Business Studies deals with types of businesses, international trade, business models, etc.
4. Economics encompasses Demand and Supply, Economic tools, Budget, etc.
5. For the fifth subject, you have an option to choose Maths or any one of these below:
Physical Education, Computer Science, Informatics Practices, Multimedia and Web Technology, Fine Arts, Entrepreneurship, Psychology, and Legal Studies.

Career Options
Chartered Accountancy (CA)
- Company Secretary (CS)
- Actuarial Science
- Management, Investment Banking, Stockbroking, Finance, Entrepreneurship

Humanities spring surprises with each passing day by adding many fields of study and career options under its ambit. The stream covers culture, relationships, society and systems at large.

If you got an eye for History and want to delve into social issues and world affairs, then Humanities can be your choice. Though there are many myths surrounding this stream, the numerous options, and diverse career paths is putting it on a high pedestal.

Subjects in Class 11

Main Subjects:
Geography, Economics, History, Political Science, Sociology, and Psychology.

Some schools are flexible with subject selection whereas others have fixed choices - choosing between Economics and Political Science or History and Geography, etc.
Humanities with Mathematics is the popular option as it opens avenues in Business, Finance, and Economics for students.

Career Options

Traditional Careers:

Law, Psychology, Design, Management, Economics, Journalism, Civil Services, Sociology, Event Management, Hotel Management, Mass Communication, Photography, Social work, and more.

Upcoming Careers:

Public Policy, Public Affairs, Governance, Policymaking, Art restoration, Gender Studies, etc.

Once you get a thorough understanding of the three major streams, map them with your strengths and weaknesses. Ask questions like - Are you good in Maths, are you averse to Zoology, Do you have a research mindset? And more.

By this way, you can knock off a few options and zero in on best-fit options.

You can reach out to career counsellors for an assessment of your personality and learning styles and accordingly choose the stream in grade 11. Alternately, you can also reach out to your seniors on the school’s Alumni Guidance System and seek suggestions.


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