Are you feeling confused about choosing a profession after class 12th? One such great option is a career in 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 profession affects all aspects of our life – personal as well as professional. With hundreds of ever-growing options, how will you select a path that’s right for you?
Selecting the right career can be a daunting task 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.
Table of Contents
- Career Options after 12th class
- Why Choose Languages as a Career after 12th?
- Which language should you learn after the 12th?
- Choosing the suitable courses and foreign languages after 12th
- (A) Full-time degree courses at the University
- (B) Part-time courses at University or Private Institutes.
- Career Options and Job Opportunities
- Salary and Remuneration
- Final Words
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 enroll for BBA, followed by MBA?
And if you are a student from the Science stream (PCM or PCB), you might be thinking, like should I try for the Engineering or Medical course entrance exam.
Or should I switch to commerce or Arts stream?
Perhaps, you may not want to choose a traditional education field or looking for some creative and sunrise career option. The options are infinite!
After 12th, apart from the popular ones, there are many exciting career options like 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.
It can be learning languages, traveling, music, dance, teaching, interacting with people, or even interior designing or writing.
To be successful is to focus on your strengths, not your weak points.
If you put enough thought into it, you will increase your chances of making the right decision.
The uncomfortable truth is that most students are forced to opt for a career.
They choose as per their parent’s decision. It may be because our outdated and crippled education system promotes the rat race.
These days, the sole purpose of selecting the career is all about getting highly paid jobs and career success instead of identifying and pursue interests and hobbies.
Well, you can make money in literally anything you do.
The reality is most students who select a career they do not enjoy sooner or later will lead to anger, dissatisfaction, and frustration.
Well, you certainly don’t want boredom with your 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 Languages as a Career after 12th?
Due to the 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 traveling abroad.
And for them, speaking a foreign language is becoming a requirement and deemed necessary in specific fields.
This social need is reflected in the growing number of students seeking admission to various language courses in India.
Those people who speak multiple languages have a significant competitive advantage.
Thus, foreign language is one of the most sought-after career options, not among the arts stream but also in science and commerce.
If you have a deep interest in languages, you can choose from many trending foreign language courses right after 12th grade.
Which language should you learn after the 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 vital languages to choose from, picking the right one can be a tricky conclusion.
Whatever you decide, this can have a considerable 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 languages as a 12th pass student.
It will help if you make your decision on both subjective (personal reason) and objective (facts and information) criteria.
If you’re not uncertain about how to choose a language, here are some factors to consider:
1. Follow your passion when selecting a language
If you already have any personal preference about which language you’d like to learn or one of those things you’ve always wanted to do. Well, that’s the one to choose.
The interest is the best way you can remain motivated enough to acquire a language and enable you to persevere and scale through whatever hurdles it contains.
For example, someone might have told you by attending one of the Japanese classes in Delhi will enhance your language job prospects.
Thus, you’re out to learn Japanese (日本語).
Well, there is nothing wrong with learning Japanese to enhance your chances as a linguist.
But it is not as inspiring as having a passion for the language you want to pick. It is the primary reason for language learning failure or whose language learning progress is too slow.
It is because most have a low-key interest in the language concerned. One understandable misconception about language is the time required to learn a language.
So how much time does it take to learn a language?
Depending on several factors, it typically takes at least a few years to speak the tongue with a higher competency level.
If you don’t pick a language of your choice, you might lose all the interest and enjoyment in learning somewhere down the line.
It will make the entire language learning journey tedious and difficult.
2. Which language matches your academic interests?
What are your future career plans? Do you anticipate using the language for your next job or profession?
For example, your French or Spanish skills pairs well with majors in many business fields like the MBA 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 Arabic will help you in your conquest of jobs in the Middle East or 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.
You can use foreign language skills to assist in a different career field includes business, education, economics, international relations, marketing, travel and tourism, geography, history, fashion, etc.
3. Where would you like to study or work or travel?
The answer to the question will be different depending on your future planning and ambitions.
If you plan to apply for a master’s degree in Germany and want to make yourself more employable.
Your best foreign language to learn will differ if you are curious about Spain’s enthralling cultural aspect.
4. Cultural perspective
The cultural point is an essential component of language learning. All language courses contain these elements but in different proportions.
Learning a new foreign tongue involves learning its vocabulary, sentence formation, accents, and never-ending grammar rules. You also understand society’s customs, culture, and behavior.
You might think acquiring cultural knowledge might not be an important reason to learn a language.
You’d be surprised to know that most language learners pick the Korean language or Italian for cultural aspects.
A desire to understand K-Pop, K-Drama has boosted Korean language popularity.
Likewise, if you want to immerse in the new world of Italian food, music, history, architecture, fashion, and the arts has increased Italian language demand worldwide.
5. Language Difficulty
Not all languages are created equal. Learning a new language isn’t easy, and some tongues are naturally more challenging 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 have a knack or an aptitude for languages?
- Are you better at listening skills or oral communication, or are you reading and writing your strengths?
- How long can you study? — 2 or 6 years?
There is no point picking Chinese if you’re not ready to devote at least 3-5 years.
Of the hundreds of people I’ve met learning the Mandarin language in India, only about five succeeded in speaking the tongue with a higher fluency level.
The rest eventually had to quit. Additionally, stopping it midway seems kind of a waste of time.
Therefore, you need to pick a language that you can study until the end and achieve higher language proficiency tests.
Whatever language you choose, learning it will make a difference in how you see the world and how it views you.
An employer will see you as a bridge to new clients or customers if you know a second language.
Choosing the suitable courses and foreign languages after 12th
Globalization has played a vital role in the development of international business.
And adding foreign language skills is a great value add to 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 degree courses at the University
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 interruptions.
To get a BA 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 based on marks obtained in 12th.
Depending on the University, the application window usually opens up sometime between February to July every year.
(i) Affordable Fees
Tuition and other fees in Indian universities are considerably lower since they are partly funded by the state or central Government through the University Grants Commission (UGC).
There is rarely any other cost that would trouble students. It is a student-friendly fee structure.
It is very affordable, and the overall fees are very nominal.
You will never be concerned about costs once you can gain admission to the respective University.
(ii) You’ll earn a degree
You will acquire the language through intensive studies. And you’ll also receive a University degree at the end of the course.
(iii) You will learn more than Just languages
Studying a foreign tongue at any university across India is much more than just learning the language.
Do you want to focus on culture, history, literature, and linguistics to become a college lecturer or assistant professor, researcher, translator, the writer? Then, Indian Universities is the right place to be.
(iv) Regular Events and Exchange program
Most universities actively encourage students to participate in a wide range of conferences, discussions, cultural programs, seminars, workshops, and events to enhance their knowledge of languages.
Many universities such as JNU, BHU, DU, EFLU, Pune University, MU, etc., have had a long tradition of inviting internationally reputed scholars, intellectuals, eminent researchers, and visiting faculty for public lectures, seminars, and conferences.
They address the students on language techniques and state of research in languages.
(v) Exchange programs and Scholarships
Several Indian Universities currently have a Memorandum of Understanding with leading foreign universities worldwide for students’ cultural exchange programs and scholarships.
Apart from the university-based award, India’s Government also offers a wide range of scholarships to deserving students.
1) Admission is difficult
Getting access to Top Universities for Foreign language courses is quite tricky.
The enrollment 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 want to learn the language to boost the career prospect.
If you are a full-time student who wants to pursue a foreign language career after 12th, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages!!
Today, many of India’s top universities now offer various full-time degrees in foreign languages.
(B) Part-time courses at University or Private Institutes.
What if you don’t 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 are a great option.
(i) Admission is Easy
It is easy to take admission in the Embassy’s affiliated learning center or any Private language Institute.
One can even choose the timing and sometimes days as per own convenience. The enrollment is mainly made 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 unsure about language career prospects and may wish to evaluate career choices in the future. Then, 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 at any University is usually affordable.
Assume students opt for private institutes or embassy cultural centers. In that situation, they will have to shell out Rs 2-3 lakh for 2-3 year courses in various private language centers.
(ii) You still need a degree
You can acquire language skills from different Institutes in India.
You will earn a certificate or diploma at the end of the course or at least a certificate of completion or attendance.
However, Only Colleges and Universities can offer UG and PG degrees in languages.
While a degree is not the criteria for tremendous success on the job market, to enhance your career prospects, Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees matter!
If you’ve already completed your undergraduate or postgraduate degree, it may not be essential.
But those who are just 12th passed or want to study for a Master’s degree have to pursue two courses simultaneously. A degree-level program 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 a requisite skill and highly-desired asset on any CV.
As the world shrinks and more and more businesses and companies are going global, communication is no longer limited to English.
Know how 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 your career, whatever career you may choose.
If you have high linguistic expertise, you can make your career as a translator or interpreter.
As a corporate trainer, lecturer in any University, or foreign language teacher in any institute or school.
You can work as a language specialist in any MNC, KPO, and BPO.
There is also a possibility to find linguist Jobs in export houses, tour guides, careers in the tourism industry, aviation, entertainment, hotel, publishing house, marketing, finance, education, PR, government agencies, and many more.
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
A foreign language specialist usually earns a good salary depending upon numerous factors like level of expertise, nature of the job, experience, location, and organization type.
Language specialists, 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.
You might not find the pay very attractive in starting.
It is nevertheless an excellent place to start your career. 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, expertise in the field will bring in better-paying jobs.
Remuneration is lucrative for Freelancers. An experienced Interpreter can expect to earn daily, like 4,000 to 10,000 per day.
Whereas a writer and translator can charge anything like Rs. 1000 to Rs. 1500 per page. Freelancer linguists also draw based on the projects they receive.
The Foreign language salary of experts usually is 20% to 40% higher than 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 increasingly competitive.
Language proficiency is extremely valuable. One should always aim for high-level competence 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 to ensure a perfect combination between your dreams, interests, goals, aptitude, abilities, and the profession’s requirements.
Plus, giving you 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 possibilities.
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.