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Degree Courses

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DegreeAfter completion 12th Std what next?
Many of our students and their parents are confused with this puzzle.
There are various options are available after giving 12th standard, like

  • Degree courses
  • Diploma courses
  • ITI (industrial training institute) and vocational courses
  • Certificate courses  

What to choose from available option is a million dollar question

Before taking any decision I would like to suggest you that you should know some of the basics of all above categories. This could help you to understand the exact career prospects of individual courses

First we will discuss the details of degree courses program

Indian System of higher education - In India the Graduation system is classified into two

  • Undergraduate (UG) and
  • Postgraduate (PG) Systems

1In India it takes three or four years to complete an "undergraduate" degree. The three year undergraduate programs are mostly in the fields of arts, commerce, science etc., and the four year programs are mostly in the fields of technology, engineering, pharmaceutical sciences, agriculture etc. However, for medicine, law and architecture, the period has been five years.

What is degree course/ program?
Degree is the basic for higher studies, without which we cannot pursue further higher studies.
We can describe a degree/ bachelor degree programme is an undergraduate academic degree which is awarded to a student upon the completion of a chosen bachelor degree course. It is the first academic degree and widely accepted one, which a student earns in his career. or
An academic degree conferred by a college or university upon those who complete the undergraduate curriculum
There are various types of bachelor degree and we can classify based on subject wise, course duration etc.

2 Various Types of Degree programmes

  • Regular bachelor degree
  • Honours bachelor degree
  • Professional degree
  • Dual bachelor degree
  • Distance learning Bachelor degree

Regular Bachelor Degree - It is the most common type of degree because of its flexibility in choice of elective subjects. The award of Pass degrees in the arts, sciences or commerce is based on the study of English and one Indian language in addition to two or three other subject areas. Students who complete the three-year program are awarded a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Commerce (B.A., B.Sc., and B.Com).

3Honors bachelor degree - Honors Bachelor Degree is one, in which students focus on an area of specialization in the third year after completing core courses in the second year. As such, honors bachelor degree course has a higher academic standard course as it requires in-depth study of the chosen subject matter.

Professional degreeprofessional degree is generally a college degree that allows you to work in a certain profession.  There are some types of employment that are not open to people without a professional degree.  For instance you can’t be a doctor, a nurse, a physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner without obtaining the appropriate degrees first.  In most cases, some fields require a professional degree before you can even be considered for hire in your chosen career.  Further, many licensing agencies, may not agree to give testing or licensing to those who don’t have a degree. 

4Or simple term we can say
A professional course is a course that leads to a professional qualification. A professional qualification will entitle u to register with a professional body like the Institution of Engineers, Medical Association, Association of Chartered Accountants, etc.

Dual bachelor degree - Dual Bachelor Degree is the one which requires a Single Course of Study but the degree awarded is equivalent to 2 Degrees in a shorter span of time. For example B. Tech.- M. Tech. Dual Degree Course requires only 5 years of education whereas, if these were to be pursued individually they would require 6 years of study (4 for B. Tech. + 2 for M. Tech.)

  • This saves a candidate a year and plus two degrees. Because of their dual nature they are known as Double Degree Courses in India.
  • Dual degrees were introduced by the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) with an aim to encourage research among under-graduate students.
  • The main aim of this bachelor degree is to make students more research oriented and take up further research in the branch of their study.
  • The concept of dual bachelor degree has been influenced by foreign education systems where such degrees were a norm, since long.
  • Indian students would study abroad to take benefit of these degrees and to counter this trend, these were introduced in the Indian education system as well.

5Distance learning Bachelor degree - Distance Bachelor Degree is the one which can be pursued through correspondence, i.e. through lectures, notes or literature delivered through post, internet etc. For acquiring distance learning bachelor degree, one does no need to follow the conventional norms as compared to full time or general degree. The courses of distance bachelor degree are also referred as part time degree courses or correspondence degree courses.

Degree courses classified based on college/ university offering

  • Bachelor/ undergraduate degree
  • Master degree
  • Pre doctorate degree
  • Doctorate degree
  • Post doctorate fellow (PDF) 

Bachelor/ undergraduate degree – we thoroughly discussed the same in above paragraphs.

6Master Degree - it is also called post graduate courses / degree or master degree. It can be pursued only after completion of undergraduate degree courses.

  • Indian Masters Degree Course provide a wider base of study in terms of academic disciplines, i.e. a B.A. degree holder can opt for M.A. in various streams of Arts, like M.A. in English, Punjabi and other subjects.
  • Indian post graduate Courses therefore can be studied in even more variety of academic streams as compared to under graduate courses.
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  • These courses are generally of 2 years duration, barring a few exceptions. In most cases, one can pursue post graduate courses in only those streams which were taken during graduation. However there are certain exceptions, like a Science Graduate can pursue Post Graduation in Arts. I
  • n this manner, they provide flexibility of education, apart from the fact that they further expand the knowledge you already have through a deeper exploration of your chosen field of study. These also help in the advancement of one’s career.

Pre doctorate degree - Pre-Doctorate Courses in India are a type of post graduate research based courses. Since these courses prepare a candidate for doctorate study, they are known as pre doctorate i.e. before doctorate. They are also known as master of philosophy courses in India as these indulge in critical study of the basic principles and concepts of a particular branch of knowledge.

  • They are commonly known as M. Phil.
  • Courses and are of 1-2 years in duration.
  • M.Phil. Courses in India can be pursued only by those candidates who have acquired Post-Graduate Degree.
  • Indian Pre-Doctorate Courses can be pursued in only one discipline or one subject. 

8Doctorate degree - Doctorate Courses in India are those Courses which are Advanced Academic Courses. These Courses can be pursued by only those candidates who have completed their M.Phil course or master’s degree course as per an institute’s policy, professional course students can pursue Ph.D directly after completing master degree programme (Medicine, Veterinary, Agriculture and engineering).

  • These Courses require mostly Thesis work and very less course-work.
  • Indian Doctorate Degree Courses are generally of 2-3 years duration.
  • The terminology of this Course is known as Ph.D. which means 'Doctor of Philosophy'.
  • It is known so because it indulges in the critical study of the basic principles and concepts of a particular branch of knowledge

Post doctorate fellow (PDF)  - After competition of Ph. D one can pursue PDF, but in India very less programmes are available. Most of the people pursuing their PDF programme in foreign universities through fellowship.

The details of diploma courses, ITI (industrial training institute), vocational courses, and certificate courses are discussed in other section and you can get all the details from the consent web page.
Various undergraduate courses available in India

  • Biology and Maths stream in 12th
  • Science stream in 12th
  • Arts stream in 12th
  • Commerce stream in 12th

Guidelines to choosing a prospective career
Choosing a career that is right for you can be very difficult. You think you have found the perfect career path and suddenly it strikes you that you don't really want to do it.
This happens often among college students who either graduate or dropout half the way during their college years. Choosing the right direction to take your career process would become sometime frustrating one for many students. So before choosing right path please follow some guidelines as mentioned below

  • You should give due consideration to the circumstances, social status, priorities of your family, your physical attributes, your own limitations and capabilities
  • You should keep an open mind you should not go for the traditional careers just because somebody suggested or tried to convince you.
  • Self evaluationin this you should factor, your like or dislike of a particular subject, your aptitude, proficiency and fundamental knowledge, etc

In addition to the above guidelines, if you gather as much information as possible on diverse professions and educational opportunities would help you to arrive at your best career option.
In no way you should be prejudiced about a job and end up attaching unqualified superiority for professions like medicine, engineering, and the civil services, though one can always have preferences for.
Remember at the end of the day all it matters is how much you excel in a profession and the rest follows.

Details of various undergraduate courses available in India