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If you are an aspiring journalist, you probably will have a lot of questions after 10th standard. How will English help me? Would fluency in Hindi be even considered, to begin with? Should I take my love for history forward?

Look, there’s no perfect educational recipe or magic wand to become a journalist! Today, it’s not unusual to hear how renowned journalists had no formal education in journalism. There’s an increasing number of engineers, photographers, dancers or even IT professionals who have dared to break the mold and take up writing as a career. However, the competition for jobs has become increasingly fierce now. Apart from getting a Bachelor’s or Postgraduate Degree in Journalism, your subject choices in the 11th and 12th standard also have an enormous impact on your career graph.

To start with, you need to pick subjects you enjoy or have a natural inclination for. Keep in mind that you’ll need to study the subjects you select in 11th and 12th in much more detail later (possibly to degree level). You will be eligible to take up journalism in recognized universities only if you have achieved a minimum 55% in your 12th exam (any stream).

If you were to ask me, I don’t think subject choices would be a hindrance to your success as a journalist. But a good English result is extremely helpful and often necessary. Most media firms will require you to have some journalism training or freelance experience after school, but they won’t mind what your subjects are. If you excel in geography or history, it only shows that you can handle abstract ideas and write about them. We still cannot rule out jobs in technical magazines and newspapers, where employees are expected to write about science, technology, and finance. So, even an education background of chemistry, biology, accounts or business studies might turn out to be useful.

If you are a creative writer or dreamer at heart and keen on pursuing a career in Mass Media or Journalism, take up subjects such as Modern Indian Language, Hindi, Political Science, Psychology and Sociology from the arts stream. A liberal arts education is an excellent starting point for the journalism foundation. It gives an in-depth knowledge of many topics, thus helping you to master the skill of asking good questions. A widespread myth about Arts or Humanities is that it’s for the students who do not have a high IQ. But the fact is that the subjects included in the curriculum are best-suited for journalism aspirants with linguistic, social, artistic and interpersonal intelligence. Today, the best journalists, writers, reporters, news anchors and editors have a humanities background.

Once you get started with your 11th, it’s crucial to sharpen your writing skills. Take up some freelance writing and send it to publications. No matter which subject you pick, you can review at the end of 12th whether your interest remains as strong to deep dive into the sea of journalism. Education requirements for journalists may vary, but a solid foundation of subjects in senior secondary school is recommended in virtually all lines of work within the field.

At the risk of sounding pompous, I feel that the world might crumble without the expertise of media and journalists. This assertion doesn’t crop up from the mere fact that I hold a degree in mass communications or have worked with media companies. It’s just food for thought, guys. If not for the media, would there be anyone to spread the news from one place to another and keep people connected through the thread of humanity?

Journalism is certainly an offbeat profession to take up. Find out more such off-the-beaten-track career options in this article!

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