A Strong Foundation Building For Your Child Is A Must: Start Before It’s Too Late

You’re at a major crossroads after Class 10. There is not one but many paths in front of you when selecting the right subjects for Class 11.

Do you pick the one that is considered ‘safe’ by society like STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) or Commerce? Or do you go for the road less taken with offbeat choices driven by your passion? 

More often than not, students are unaware of the fact that Class 11 is the initial and crucial stage of building a career. They end up choosing the wrong stream, courtesy a decision taken with an ambiguous mind. That closes the door to success and instead, opens the door to an unsatisfactory life.

Let’s first understand: The road a student decides to take after Class 10 will define their success and happiness quotient. 

66% of students feel overwhelmed by the process of selecting subjects and streams.

Source: BusinessWire

There’s no doubt that the process can get overwhelming. But, timely planning and guidance can help students make the right decisions without much hindrance. 

The subjects a student picks for higher secondary will have a significant impact on the career options – a few open up, while others are no longer possible. This is the point that’s often overlooked by both students and parents when narrowing down subject choices. 

In this blog, we will tell you how to choose subjects for Class 11, which align with your career goals. 

Why is Choosing the Right Subjects For Class 11 Important? 

The subjects you choose today determine not just the undergraduate courses you will be eligible for but also the career choices you can pick once you’ve graduated.

It might seem like a decision that can wait or that doesn’t have a huge impact on your future. But, let’s bust that myth for you! 

Subjects and careers go hand-in-hand. The best and simplest way to explain the connection between the two major parts of a student’s life is: 

If a career is a mix of your favourite toppings, subjects form the pizza base and the sauce! Sorry if that gave you pizza cravings, but we hope you’ve got the point. 

It’s a known fact that students of a particular stream may not be eligible for a few career options. 

For instance, a student who doesn’t opt for Mathematics, may not be eligible for a degree in Architecture. Similarly, a student who is interested in Psychology could opt for English and one Science subject instead of Mathematics for better value-add and future career prospects.

Hence, understanding that the subjects you study in Class 11-12 will influence your college and career decisions is important before you finalise your streams.

What Subjects to Choose for Class 11?

The range of subjects to choose from is enormous. While IB and Cambridge curricula offer as many as 50 subjects in different broad categories, CBSE and ICSE have three sections – Science, Commerce, and Arts. However, with the National Education Policy 2020, the government aims to increase the number of subjects available for students in the national curriculum as well. 

A student is required to opt for 5 subjects, with a few being mandatory and others being optional. 

Each stream has a recommended set of careers that the student can choose from. Let’s understand the popular streams and a few subjects that fall under each of them, along with the careers that students are eligible for. 

Science: All About The Physical & Natural World

This is one of the most popular streams chosen by students in India, especially in the CBSE and ICSE boards. One of the reasons behind the choice is that it’s the gateway to what’s often considered ‘ideal’ careers by society – Engineering and medicine. 

Many students also opt for this subject because it allows them to move to careers from other streams including Commerce and Arts. Friends and family usually suggest Science if a student is ‘academically strong’ or just because they can go with the top career choices – Doctor or Engineer. 

Let’s dive deep into what this stream offers:

The science stream is further divided into 2 branches – medical (PCB) and non-medical (PCM) science stream.

Here are the mandatory subjects in Science Stream:

Top Subjects in Science Stream

Most Commonly Chosen Optional Subjects

  • Information Practices
  • Psychology
  • Economics
  • Physical Education
  • Computer Science


Top Career Options

  • Doctor
  • Engineer
  • Epidemiologist
  • Architecture
  • Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
  • Data Analyst
  • Ethical Hacking
  • Merchant Navy & Defence
  • Food and Agriculture Scientist


Commerce: All Things Trade & Business

As the heading suggests, Commerce is all about finance, trade, and business. Sadly, students often hear statements like:

“Commerce is good for average students who cannot get into science
Commerce is only suitable for students from business families” and more. 

None of this is true! This is a subject of high value and importance in society. It’s not less or more than any stream. In fact, no stream is better or worse than another one. It is all about what the right stream is for you.

Commerce and all the careers related to it play a significant role in our day-to-day lives including all government activities related to taxes, finance, and economic development. 

A common subject between Science and Commerce is Mathematics. Let’s explore other top subjects under Commerce:

Top Subjects in Commerce Stream

Most Commonly Chosen Optional Subjects

  • Psychology
  • Computer Science
  • History
  • Physical Education
  • Fine Arts


Top Career Options

  • Entrepreneur
  • Chartered Accountant
  • Certified Financial Planner
  • Company Secretary
  • Advertising & Public Relations Professional
  • Lawyer
  • Digital Marketer
  • Stockbroker
  • Investment Banker

Arts & Humanities: Everyday Life & Beyond

Although Arts & Humanities is one of the oldest subjects in the world, it has been disregarded to be a stream for those who are not interested in academics or want to opt for distance education. 

However, in recent times, thanks to technology and a better understanding of fields, society is gradually becoming more aware of the numerous career opportunities in this sector. It covers areas related to human society, culture, and political systems. 

These fields help you gain a deeper understanding of how the world and society around us work and how human society, laws, and norms have evolved over time. 

Top Subjects in Arts & Humanities Stream

Most Commonly Chosen Optional Subjects

  • Mathematics
  • Home Science
  • Legal Studies
  • Fine Arts 
  • Physical Education
  • Media & Mass Communication


Top Career Options

  • Lawyer
  • Designer
  • Psychologist
  • Journalist
  • Archaeologist
  • Hotel Management Professional
  • Photographer
  • Sociologist
  • Environmentalist & Civil Development Professional

‘How do I choose the Right Subjects for My Career Goals?’

We’ve covered all three major streams and subjects for Class 11-12 students. While each stream has a set of mandatory subjects, there are many recommendations that students can choose from to create a mix that not just matches with their interests but also aligns with their career goals. 

While choosing a combination of subjects, experts suggest keeping in mind all the career options that follow. So, it’s highly recommended to choose pre-requisite courses and additional subjects that add value to your future plans. 

For instance, if you’ve chosen Science in Class 11 but you’re also interested in exploring World Economy and International Relations, you can pick Economics as your optional subject. 

We’ve discussed a range of optional subjects under each stream. This is where the confusion among most students lies: 

‘How do I know which additional subjects add value to my career goals?’

In our network of thousands of students across India’s top schools, we’ve been asked this question multiple times in our 1,50,000+ counselling sessions so far. 

After extensive research and ideation, we have come up with the best possible solution: with the perfect mix of science, counselling expertise, self-discovery through immersive experiences and alumni interactions. 

Subject Selector: Expert Guide to Choosing the Right Stream

Univariety’s Subject Selector is the world’s first immersive and experiential tool for students to determine the right combination of subjects to opt for in Class 11. 

Offering a deep analysis of the student’s academics, the 8 well-researched steps will take students from confusion to career clarity by recommending not just pre-requisite subjects for their career goals, but also a list of recommendations to add value to their preferred courses. 

Find the Right Subjects For You

Based on a student’s aptitude and personality, the tool takes him/her through Psychometric Assessments, Career Guide, and Alumni Success Stories to determine the right mix of subjects for a successful career.

Know More Today!

Subject Selector gives students: 

  • Detailed recommendations on stream, subjects, and career choices 
  • Career options for a student’s list of recommended subjects
  • Scientifically designed and formulated test report with accurate and customised results

With Subject Selector, you can:

Benefits of Subject Selector

Start your journey from confusion to clarity by choosing the right subjects. 

Summing It Up

Often, students’ career dreams are influenced by factors such as family expectations, peer pressure, trending options, and childhood dreams.

Most of these students end up choosing subjects for Class 11-12 without spending considerable time understanding their interests, aptitude, and personality. This results in wrong choices and unsatisfactory careers. 

An analysis of each stream, pre-requisite subjects under it, and the right optional subjects that add value to a student’s career goals should form the basis for decision-making. 

That’s exactly what Univariety’s Subject Selector offers – analysis of personality and interests and understanding of family dreams and expectations. 

The tool then offers a scientifically formulated and customised result, a personalised counselling session, and success stories of other students who opted for similar career paths. This helps students understand the A to Z of subject selection, before making the big decision. 

Have more questions about subjects or any career-related issues? Ask us in the comments below!

Assistant Manager - Content at Univariety

When Harini Prasad is not busy researching about top trends in education and learning techniques for students, you will find her writing about all things fashion, travel, cinema, and music. A millennial poster-child, Harini is a former lifestyle journalist with specialisation in child rights, gender, and new media journalism. Currently, she is busy exploring the world of marketing and content creation.


  1. Keerat Kadam Reply

    My daughter is interested animation and illustration. At the same time, I want her to prep for CSE. What subjects / stream she should opt for after 10th?

    • My dream is to become an artist in future. so my question is that which is the best subject should i choose in 11th . PCB , PCM , Commerce or arts?

  2. Akriti Kandwal Reply

    My dream is to become an artist in future. so my question is that what subject is best or should i choose in 11th . PCB , PCM , Commerce or arts?

  3. Agrim Verma Reply

    Sir I want to pursue a research career in astronomy or astrobiology or neuroscience but I am unable to decide which subject to choose pcm or PCB or should I go for pcmb

  4. Hi! My son’s ambition is to become a car racer. Could you kindly advise regarding the subjects he should choose for his 11 std? Thank you

  5. Sachin Hota Reply

    According to new rule If I choose Commerce and in optional Maths, Physics and CS. I know this combination is very different that’s why I am also very confused , is this a right combination of subjects or should I get a good College or not? Please tell me.

  6. Healthy Aging India Reply

    thanks for explaining but I have a doubt like I really want to pursue my career in coding/programming.
    So if I take commerce with IP as my subject then there will be a problem or not???

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