Feeling confused about choosing a career path after class 12th? One such great option is a career in a foreign languages after 12th. But Why and How? Read along.
Picking a career after 12th is one of the most critical decisions you will ever make in life. The career affects all aspects of our life – Personal as well as Professional. With hundreds of ever-growing options, how will you select a career that’s right for you? Choosing the right career can be a daunting task, and hard when you have no idea what you want to do. But having a long term goal will help you stand out and increase your chances of getting a lucrative job in the long run.
Career Options after 12th Class
There might be a lot of questions running into your mind. For example, should I go for B.com and later start preparing for CA, CS or enrol for BBA followed by MBA? And if you are a student from Science stream (PCM or PCB) then you might be thinking like should I try for the entrance exam for Engineering or Medical course or should I switch to commerce or Arts stream? Or you may not want to choose a traditional education field or looking for some creative and sunrise career option. The options are infinite!
There are many interesting career options after 12th apart from the popular ones, namely, engineers, lawyers, doctors, Information technology, government jobs, mass communication, performing arts and design, management studies or civil servants.
Which one is best? — “Nothing And Everything”!
One of the best ways to choose the right career is to go by your hobbies and interests, be it learning languages, travelling, music, dance, teaching, interacting with people, or even interior designing or writing. To be successful is to focus on your strengths; not what you are weak in. If you put enough thought into it, then you will increase your chances of making a good decision.
The uncomfortable truth is that most students are forced to opt for a career according to the choice of their parents. This may be because our outdated and crippled education system promotes rat race. These days, the sole purpose of choosing the career is all about getting highly paid jobs and career success rather identify and pursue the interest, passion and hobbies.
Well, you can make money in literally anything you do. The reality is most students who select a career which they do not enjoy then sooner or later it will lead to anger, dissatisfaction, depression and frustration. Well, you certainly don’t want boredom with work routine and with life. Don’t you?
You can narrow your options by choosing what career fields interest you. Whatever that ends up being — to the best of your ability. The money and success will eventually follow but you’ll also gain the satisfaction and contentment you want from doing a job well and being successful.
Why Choose Foreign Languages as a Career after 12th?
Due to exponential development of communication, the growth of international trade and commerce, widening the scope of specialized studies and employment opportunities across the planet earth, more Indians are now travelling abroad and for them, Ability to speak a foreign language is becoming a necessary requirement and also deemed a necessity in certain fields. This social need is reflected in the growing number of students seeking admission to various language courses in India.
Since those people who speak multiple languages have a major competitive advantage. Thus, Foreign Language is one of the most sought-after career options only not among arts stream but science and commerce stream as well. If you have a deep interest in languages then you have an option to choose from many trending foreign language courses right after 12th grade.
Which foreign language should I learn after 12th?
Have you ever asked yourself this question, “What language should I learn?” The simple question has one of the most complicated answers.
With so many beautiful and important languages to choose from, picking which foreign language to learn can be a challenging task and tricky decision. Whatever you decide, this is something that can have a huge impact on your life and can completely change the rest of your life.
There are many variables you should consider when choosing a career in foreign languages as a 12th pass student. You should take your decision on both subjective (personal reason) and objective (facts and information) criteria. If you’re not sure which language to study, here are some factors to consider:
1) Follow your interest and personal liking when choosing a language.
If you already have any personal preference which language you’d like to learn or one of those things you’ve always wanted to do, that’s the one to choose. The interest is the best way you can remain enough motivated to acquire a language and enable you to persevere and scale through whatever hurdles it contains.
If, for whatever reason, you pick a language that was never your first choice. Or maybe someone might have told you by attending one of the Japanese classes in Delhi will enhance your language job prospects, and so you’re out to learn Japanese (日本語). Well, there is nothing wrong with learning Japanese in India to enhance your language job opportunities, but it is not as inspiring as having a passion for the language you want to pick.
This is the primary reason for language learning failure or whose language learning progress is too slow. It is because they have a low-key interest in the language concerned. One understandable misconception about language learning is the time required to learn a language. So how much time does it take to learn a language? Depending on several factors including methods for language learning, well, it normally takes at least a few years in speaking the language with a higher level of competency.
If you don’t pick a language of your choice, you might lose all the interest and enjoyment in learning somewhere down the line which will make the entire language learning journey boring and difficult. To sum up, learn the language you love!
2) Which language is a match for your other academic interests?
What are your future career plans? Do you anticipate using the language for your future job or profession?
For example, Ability to speak French or Spanish pairs well with majors in many business fields, including the MBA Program in International Marketing. Similarly, German or Japanese is a smart career move for students majoring in engineering since German and Japanese manufacturers rank high in quality. Learning the Arabic language will help you in your conquest of jobs in the Middle East or in other parts of the Arab world.
The Italian studies provide an academic boost for those studying art, fashion, luxury cars, history, designing, culinary arts, humanities, law, robotics, political science, religion and many more. Knowledge of the Chinese language in India is a valuable asset for careers in trade, business, diplomacy, history, humanities, law, philosophy, political science, and religious studies.
With foreign language ability use those skills to assist them in a different career field such as business, education, economics, foreign relations, marketing, travel and tourism, geography, culture and civilization, history, fashion, etc.
3) Is there a country in which you would like to study or work or travel?
The answer to the question will, of course, be different depending on your future planning and ambitions. If you are planning to apply for a master degree in Germany and want to make yourself more employable your best foreign language to learn will be different than if you have a curiosity about this enthralling and vibrant culture aspect of Spain. In short, from the perspective of a learner, you must look at multiple reasons and long term plans.
4) Cultural aspect
The cultural aspect is an essential component of language learning. All language courses contain these elements but in different proportions. When you learn a new foreign tongue, it not only involves learning its vocabulary, the sentence formation, accents and the never-ending grammar rules but also learning about the society’s tradition, history, customs, culture and behaviour.
You might think acquiring cultural knowledge might not be an important reason to learn a language. Well, you’d be surprised to know a majority of language learner choose Korean language or Italian for culture aspect. A desire to understand K-Pop, K-Drama or immerse in the new world of Italian food, music, architecture, history, fashion and the arts has boosted the Korean and Italian language popularity all over the world including India.
5) Language Difficulty
Not all languages are created equal. Learning a new language isn’t easy, and some languages are naturally harder than others. Your English-speaking skills will have an easier time in Sweden or Norway than in Japan or South Korea.
- How successful were you at language learning in school?
- Do you really have a knack or an aptitude for languages?
- Are you better at listening skills or oral communication, or are reading and writing your strengths?
- How long you can study? — 2 or 6 years?
There is no point picking Chinese language in India if you’re not ready to devote at least 4-5 years. Of the hundreds of people I’ve met learning the Mandarin language in India, only about five succeeded in speaking the language with a higher level of fluency. The rest eventually had to quit. Additionally, stopping it midway seems kind of waste of time. Therefore, you need to pick a language that you can actually study till the end and achieve a higher level in one of the foreign language proficiency test.
Whatever language you choose, learning it will make a difference in how you see the world and in how the world sees you. An employer will see you as a bridge to new clients or customers if you know a second language.
Read — (i) Advantages of Learning French (ii) German Language Scope in India (iii) Career Scope of learning Spanish (iv) Benefits of learning Japanese (v) Jobs after Learning Chinese language (vi) Benefits of Learning Korean in India.
Choosing the right foreign language course after 12th
Globalization has played a vital role in the development of international business, and adding foreign language skills is a great-value add on your C.V. There has been a remarkable increase in applications for foreign language courses in the past decade. The foreign language courses in India can broadly be classified into two major categories.
(A) Full-time university level degree courses.
There’s no better way to learn a foreign language than by taking admission in any Full-time foreign language course in College or University. This type of language enables you to focus intensively on your language academic work without any form of interruptions.
To get a Bachelor or BA degree in any foreign language, you must have passed Class 12th Board Examination or any other equivalent examination. The admission is conducted through an entrance exam or on the basis of marks obtained in 12th. Depending on the University, the application window usually opens up sometime in between February to July every year.
(i) Affordable Fees
Tuition and other fees in Indian universities are considerably lower since it is partly or fully funded by the State or Central Government through the University Grants Commission. There is rarely any other cost which would trouble students. It is a student-friendly fees structure. It is very affordable and the overall fees are very nominal and you will never be concerned about fees once you can gain admission to the respective University.
(ii) You’ll earn a degree
You will not only acquire the language through intensive studies but you’ll also receive a University degree at the end of the course.
(iii) You will learn more than Just languages
To study Foreign languages at Colleges or Universities across the country is much more than just learning the language. Other than the language, If you also want to focus on Culture, History, Tradition, Customs, literature, linguistics, etc. in order to become a college lecturer or assistant professor, researcher, translator, the writer then pursuing foreign language courses in Indian Universities is the right thing to do.
(iv) Regular Conferences, Events, Seminars, Exchange programmes
Most universities actively encourage students to participate in a wide range of conferences, discussions, cultural programs, seminars, workshops, events to enhance knowledge in the field of languages.
Many Universities such as JNU, BHU, DU, EFLU, Pune University, MU, etc. has had a long tradition of inviting internationally reputed scholars, intellectuals, eminent researchers, visiting and guest faculty for public lectures, seminars and conferences to address the students on research methodology and state of research in the field of languages.
(v) Exchange programmes and Scholarships
Several Indian Universities currently has Memorandum of Understanding with leading foreign universities across the globe for cultural exchange programmes and scholarships for students. Apart from the university-based scholarships, the Government of India also offers a wide range of scholarship to meritorious students.
1) Admission is difficult
To get admission in Top Universities for Foreign language courses is quite difficult. Admission takes place through a national level entrance test or high cut-off marks. The number of seats is also limited, in most universities only 15 to 40 per course.
2) Only for full-time students
Almost all colleges and Universities conduct regular classes with fixed timing and duration. Universities courses are meant for full-time students and not for working professionals who just want to learn the language to boost the career prospect.
If you are a full-time student who wants to pursue a career in foreign languages, Advantages outweigh the disadvantages!! Today, Many of India’s top universities now offer various full-time degrees in foreign languages.
Read — (i) JNU Language Courses (ii) Language Courses in DU (iii) Mumbai University Language Courses (iv) BHU Language Courses (v) JMI Language Courses (vi) Language Courses in IGNOU (vii) Pune University Language Courses (viii) Kolkata University Language Courses (ix) Language Courses in EFLU (x) Language Courses in Visva Bharati
(B) Part-time courses in any Universities or Private Institutes.
What if you don’t really want to put all the eggs in one basket? Or maybe you have limited time and want to pursue a language course? Well, part-time language courses is a great option.
(i) Admission is Easy
It is easy to take admission in the Embassy’s affiliated learning centre or any Private language Institute. One can even choose the timing and sometimes days as per own convenience. Admission is mostly done on a first-come-first-serve basis.
(ii) Career Diversification
You don’t like to depend on languages and you want to diversify your career options. If you’re not sure about language career prospects and may want to evaluate career choices going forward, part-time courses are your best bet. Moreover, you can choose an additional academic area of study to supplement the foreign language.
(i) Expensive Fees
While the part-time course in any University is usually affordable. If, however students opt for private institutes or embassy cultural centre, they will have to shell out Rs 2-3 lakh for 2-3 year courses in various private language centres.
(ii) You still need a degree
You can acquire language skills from various Institute in India. You will earn a certificate or Diploma at the end of the course or at least Certificate of Completion or Attendance. However, Only Colleges and Universities can offer Language degrees.
While a degree is not the criteria for greater success on the job market. However, to enhance your career prospect and job opportunities, Bachelor or Master’s degrees matters!
If you’ve already completed your undergraduate or postgraduate degree, then it may not be important for you. But those who are just 12th passed or want to study a Master’s degree, have to pursue two courses at the same time. A degree level course and a professional language course. Why study two courses when one is enough if you want to kick-start a career in languages?
Career Options and Job Opportunities
These days, in almost every profession, knowledge of foreign languages is an indispensable skill and highly-desired asset on any CV. As the world shrinks and with more and more businesses and companies going global, communication is no longer limited to English.
Ability to speak a foreign language can prove to be an essential attribute in many professions. Exposure to another culture through its language will position you more favorably for success in your career, whatever career you may choose.
If you have a high level of linguistic ability, you can make your career as a translator or interpreter, corporate trainer or lecturer in any University or foreign language teacher in any institute or school, language specialist in any MNC, KPO and BPO, Jobs in export houses as language learner, tour guide or career in travel and tourism industry, aviation, entertainment, hotel industry, publishing house, marketing, finance, education, PR, government agencies, just to name a few.
Additionally, you can also find employment opportunities in an international organization, research agency or jobs in foreign embassies. The foreign language profession is getting more lucrative and competitive.
Salary and Remuneration
Foreign language specialist usually earns a good salary depending upon numerous factors like level of expertise, nature of the job, experience, location and the type of organization. Language specialist whether working in the corporate world or teaching any language in any educational institution with 0-2 years of experience or Freshers can earn between 3 to 5 lakhs per annum.
Even though you might not find the pay very attractive in starting, it is a good place to start your career, and from there move to higher opportunities after harnessing your language skills. Typically, more experience results in higher pay – up to a point. Like any other career avenue, experience in the field will bring in better-paying jobs.
Remuneration is lucrative for Freelancer. An experienced Interpreter can expect to earn on a daily basis like 4,000 to 10,000 per day whereas a writer and translators can charge anything like Rs. 1000 to Rs. 1500 per page. Freelancers also earn on the basis of the projects they receive.
Foreign language expert salary is normally 20% to 40% higher over their English speaking counterparts. If you’re working in a different field, proficiency in a foreign language can add extra salary and perks.
A word of caution — Today’s language job market is an increasingly competitive job market. Therefore, Language proficiency is extremely important. One should always aim for high-level proficiency in the language concerned to enhance the employment probabilities across the globe.
Selecting a career option after 12th is one of the big decisions in a student’s life thus it must be made wisely after due diligence and proper understanding of the field. The best career for you would be the one which ensures a perfect combination between your dreams, interests, goals, aptitude, abilities and the requirement of the profession, besides giving you the job satisfaction both in terms of work and returns.
If you want to set yourself apart and boost job prospects, knowledge of foreign languages will open a new world of opportunities. The career in foreign languages after 12th can add both features and wings to the résumé. Let me know through a comment if you have any questions. ‘I’d be glad to help you.