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High Paying Career Options After 12th Arts in 2024 (Updated)

After choosing your stream, one of the most crucial decisions is choosing the best career options after 12th arts. This becomes furthermore important for the Arts stream students because the subjects taught to them in school open up a wide array of lucrative opportunities. 

Career after 12th Arts 10 best courses list

Although while deciding your stream, students have an idea on a subconscious level of the career fields that they are interested in, but in my opinion, it’s best to back your gut feeling with relevant data so that it becomes easy to make the right career choice after 12th.


To arrive at the best career options after 12th Arts, you need extensive research into the industry and the colleges that will help in guiding you in the right direction. But worry not, if you read this blog till the end, you will get an idea about each of the above and hence leading you one step closer to the career of your dreams. These topics will be covered:


  1. Introduction to arts & arts stream
  2. Fields of Arts
  3. Career options in alignment with academic interests
  4. Career options in alignment with extra-curricular interests
  5. Summing up


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Introduction for career options after 12th arts


From time immemorial, art has played a prominent role in humanity’s intellectual development. High-functioning people, who were able to capture human emotions and worldly beauty creatively were known as artists, many of whom are still remembered through their art. Davinci, Shakespear, Picasso & Michelangelo are just a few names in the long list of luminaries that have creatively graced humankind, and the many prominent ideas & concepts of the world as we know them now have been hugely inspired by them.


Traditionally, only the sculptors & painters were recognized as artists but today, the definition has expanded widely to include people from many fields. From chefs, designers, musicians & writers to digital creators, all can be termed as artists when they create products & offerings that add value to their industry at some level.


Every year in India, thousands of students graduate from higher secondary art streams to pursue a Bachelor’s degree and take admission in top colleges across the country. While very few at this age have a clear sense of direction in what to do after 12th, a lot of us just wander around searching for the answers to such an important question and – What should I do after 12th? is one of them. If this is you and is stressed about the fact that you still don’t have a path, I would personally like to request you to mull over it wholeheartedly.


Society has liked to label people according to the tags it created while evolving and it would pressure you to fall into the same traps as well. It will force you to figure your life out at 18 yrs of age and if you are confused or even uncertain, it will label you as lazy, delusional, or lost.


While it’s always easy to start blaming the parents or the circumstances, it’s never the best idea. Almost everybody at your age does not know what they want to do for the rest of their life & it’s okay to be lost and confused for a while, it is just that you have to keep looking. Remember to be kind to yourself and to the people who label you, it’s not always their fault that they fell for this trap.


“We all are fighting our devils, we might be running the same race, but are on different levels”.


So NEVER compare.


Now coming back to the point, by the virtue of the subjects taught in arts stream that encapsulate the creative faculties via the knowledge of subjects like history, geography, sociology, political science & linguistics; art students have a host of career opportunities available for them to pursue a great career after 12th.


The positives of pursuing a career via arts are that the chances to get a high paying job are directly related to how knowledgeable & talented/creative you are, so it is common for art students to open their studios and start working on many projects as a freelancer and offer their expertise to clients.


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Fields of Arts


The field of arts has been influenced by the socio-cultural circumstances that have happened around the artists who through their creative instincts, created art forms that evolved. There is no generally agreed definition of what can be called art, but in a general sense, any product or activity that involves the conscious use of creative imagination to express beauty, emotion, or a conceptual idea may be termed art. Though traditionally, the classification of art has gone through periods of change marked by time, in modern parlance arts have been classified into three major forms.


  • Fine arts/Visual Arts
  • Applied/DecorativeArts
  • Performing Arts


  1. Fine arts/Visual Arts 


Roughly, a form whose main objective is producing aesthetically pleasing products & services. Fine arts usually include trades like Painting, Sketching & Acting (for movies). This is the most sought-after field of study for art students who want to make a name for themselves nationally and globally.


  1. Applied/DecorativeArts


Applied or Decorative art is mainly concerned with designing and manufacturing products that serve both functions of aesthetics & usability. All modern design types such as Interior, Fashion, Jewellery, & Textile with pottery & even metalworks & culinary art may come under this gamut.


For obvious reasons, this is the field of choice for someone aspiring to work with the biggest companies in the world with an opportunity to earn good pay at the same time. Since this field caters to a very niche market, opening your own business is an option albeit a risky one, because you need to establish a rapport in the market first to be able to attract traffic.


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  1. Performing Arts


Anything that can be shown to a live audience on a stage can be called performance art. Classical performance art included – Poetry, Music, Theatre & Dance and did not see much changes up until recently when the arrival of digital platforms & augmented reality products added the elements of space & depth to the equation.


Now that you know all about the various fields that you can go after taking arts, you might be wondering – What are the best career options after 12th arts for me?. Let me tell you that there is no single answer to that and what’s best for you depends completely on you, your interests, and your aspirations. What works for you might not work for the classmate sitting next to you.


So you need to assess yourself first and decide on the path you want to make your career in. Whether it is academic (subjects taught in arts stream in school), extra-curricular (subjects that are not necessarily taught in school), you need to factor in your interests as well.


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Career Options in alignment with Academic Interests  


The emphasis of the schools has always been to raise students who have a keen interest in the world and through that, pave a path of deep understanding of the subjects. Hence to create the base for art students to build upon, subjects like History, Geography, Sociology, Economics, Mass Communication, Law, Psychology, Political Science, Linguistics, and Language studies are taught in school.


Since this is such a diverse knowledge base, students of the art stream find it easy to prepare for Civil Services after 12th. Top career options after 12th arts in alignment with academics are –


  1. Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
  2. Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.)
  3. Bachelors in Journalism & Mass communication (B.J.M.)
  4. Integrated Law (B.A. + L.L.B.)
  5. Civil Services


Keep in mind that these courses are aligned with academics and hence are a good choice for anyone who is inclined towards the application of theoretical knowledge in their field of work. The details of the courses above are as follows –


  •   Bachelor’s in Arts (B.A.) 


Bachelor’s in Arts (B.A.) is an undergrad course that takes three years to complete in India. This is also the course of choice for thousands of art students that need to condition themselves to go into IAS, IPS, or IFS later in their career. This is because most of the syllabus of the exam gets covered while pursuing the BA course which is why this course is one of the best career options after 12th arts.


While this is just the name of the Degree, there are plenty of specializations of choice for students to pursue as a major. So, if you decide that your major is going to be Psychology, then the course that you will be pursuing, will be called BA in Psychology.


The minimum requirement for students to get into any BA course is an all-pass in 10+2 Examinations with a minimum of 50% in all subjects, but it’s always better to check with the respective college that you are applying to for the same.


The most popular specializations in BA are –


  •  B.A. in Psychology 
  •  B.A. in History
  • B.A. in Geography
  • B.A. in Political Science
  •  B.A. in Public Policy Administration
  • B.A. in Archeology
  • B.A. in Sociology
  • B.A. in English


  •  Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.)


Since the industrial revolution businesses all around the world have expanded and adapted to the dynamics of the countries they operate in. Any successful business needs four departments namely – Human Resources, Marketing, Finance & Sales to function properly with some these days needing the IT department as well.


To be profitable, a business needs to be flexible in the face of dynamism & that demands deep insight into the workings of its departments & their respective interaction with the environment around them. Since any business is only as good as the professionals working in it, BBA has a huge significance for art students who would like to work for a corporate.


BBA is a 3-year degree that is open to students of all streams and what makes it one of the best career options after 12th arts is that it can be done full-time or via correspondence. Prerequisites include command over written and spoken English, Public speaking skills, Confidence & good grooming standards to make him/her stand out from the competition. The most promising specializations under BBA are –


  • BBA in HR
  • BBA in Sales & Marketing
  • BBA in Finance
  • BBA in Information Technology


  •  Bachelors in Journalism & Mass communication (B.J.M.)


Aimed at creating ethical journalists and mass media professionals of the future, the BJM course provides a good balance of each facet of the journalism Industry. Topics like Public Relations, Media Law and Ethics, Print Journalism, Television Production & Advertising to name a few allow the students to get well versed about the prominent skills used in the industry.


This makes them ready to handle important roles in their field & hence this makes this course one of the best career options after 12th arts. A Journalism graduate can pursue a career in Radio houses, Print Media & Publishing Houses, Television & Film companies and also can look forward to a job in Public Relations, among other things.


  •  Integrated Law (B.A. + L.L.B.)


In addition to a bachelor’s degree in arts, the integrated degree of Bachelors of Legislative Law introduces its students to the legal framework of the country. Subjects like Civil Law, Criminal Law, Labour Law, Tax Law, Administrative Law, Corporate Law to name a few, give an in-depth idea of the applications of law on different occasions to safeguard the interests of the general public & corporation in some cases.


This is a 5-year integrated course, in which the students are taught the regular art subjects that are taught in any BA with a mix of law subjects in each semester. The main advantage of this course is that students get a dual degree within a space of 5-years without taking a break year, which makes this course one of the best career options after 12th arts as well. Although, you need a bachelors degree to pursue LLB although, since the Bar Council of India recognizes this integrated course, you can sit for the bar council exam after the end of this course and earn yourself a license to practice law or join a law firm and become the next Harvey specter!


Although the minimum requirement for taking admission in the course is 50% marks in 10+2 examinations, top institutes offering this course generally conduct an entrance exam of their own to shortlist potential candidates.


  •  Civil Services 


During the three years that students spend in their B.A. undergrad, they learn a lot about the world, the major events, wars, cultural and historical background of major world powers & the ideologies that emerged during their becoming. This not only makes them knowledgeable beings but also makes them confident in their selves. Growing up & serving the country in a way that creates a difference in society is a privilege that only a very few get to experience.


Although the minimum requirement for pursuing civil services as one of the career options after 12th arts is an undergraduate degree, if you want to give it a go, you have to start the preparations from your undergrad only.


Although some people are of the philosophy that civil servants are born and not made, I beg to differ & so should you. All you need is a passion not just for this, for anything in life to be successful. I understand that you need an excellent work ethic, a well thought out flexible schedule, good reading, comprehension, and writing skills but these skills are nothing that can’t be developed.


Career options after 12th arts alignment with extra-curricular interests


Just like there are two different hemispheres of the brain with localized & specific functions to perform, there are different personalities that make up the world we live in.


First are analytical types, the studious ones who have their eyes set on goals to achieve in their personal and professional lives. These people operate on a set structure & probably keep a timetable or a to-do list with them to navigate the day.


While there are others, who don’t usually consort to society’s ways and spend their days moving with the flow, they might not be into studies that much but they love learning new skills, and reading a new book, paint or sketching something new. The creatives if you like to call them.


While I don’t say that any one of these two is better than the other but my point is that the two are better suited to different careers due to their personalities and if make the right choices, they can choose the best careers option after the 12th arts.


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Some of the rather creative people choose arts intending to make their mark in the arts industry and introduce their perspectives to the world. And with the advent of social media and other digital platforms, they can share their work just at the click of a button. So here are some of the best career options after 12th arts in alignment with extra-curricular interests –


  • Bachelor’s in Fine Arts (BFA)- 


As we discussed in one of the sections above, the field of fine arts is concerned with making aesthetically pleasing products that are sometimes based on a theme. A career in fine arts is best for those who have a creative instinct and like to see or experience things from a unique perspective given they know how to express it.


Just like the field itself, there are a plethora of options for a student to pursue a career in fine arts. The four-year BFA course can be done in various specializations like Theatre, Film Making, Painting, Sculpting, Pottery, Designing (Fashion, Textile, Architectural, and even Automotive design).


The three main subdomains under the Bachelor’s in Fine Arts degree are – Visual Arts, Performing Arts & Literary Arts, under which one can choose their specialization.


Doing this course opens up many great career paths for you some of which can lead to teaching the skills to & coming talents online and offline.


The minimum qualification for getting into college is the same as B.A., minimum 50% in 10+2 Exams although some colleges conduct their entrance tests too on top of that so you might need to check again. Top colleges include Banaras Hindu University, College of Art, New Delhi & Sir JJ college of Applied arts among others.


Due to the recent surge in online content, the demand for people with artistic skills has never been higher. Many production houses need people to reproduce their vision sets to reality through the artefacts & products designed to create aesthetic appeal, which is why this is also one of the promising career options after 12th arts.


  • Bachelor’s in Fashion Design 


The Bachelor’s in fashion design (BFD) is a 3-4 year course, designed to impart the skills and knowledge to create great apparel for the fashion industry. Aimed at the future fashionistas who have an eye for details when it comes to the clothes they or someone wears.


This course takes you on a journey of the fashion industry, starting from the history of apparel and western clothing and teaching you elements of apparel design that have stood the test of time. Also one of the things that make this field one of the brightest career options after 12th arts, is that the knowledge imparted through this course is practical and applications in daily life.


Your knowledge and expertise, while it can be used in choosing the best dresses for your family for social events, is not limited to that & can lead you to open up your line of fashion as a niche offering to Gen-Z or millennials who are looking for a unique taste in fashion. Alternatively, you can also find a job at any apparel brand you wear and start learning if that is what you need for a start.


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Regardless of the way you choose to go, make sure that you have in-depth knowledge of the required skills and are confident enough to show it to the world, even if it’s a bit off mainstream.


  • Bachelor’s In Hotel Management (BHM)


The hotel industry being one of the biggest employers of manpower in the world means that if you get in the industry, you would never go home empty stomach, quite literally as well. The list of best career options after 12th arts would not have been complete if I didn’t include it here.


The industry is full of opportunities in itself & allied industries as well. Whether it is the Airlines Industry, the Shipping Industry, Or the Travel & tourism industry, all rely heavily on hospitality graduates who are well versed in guest handling, communication and are presentable to handle simple to complex job roles.


BHM is a three-year degree that teaches everything you need to know about the four major departments of any 5-star hotel, namely – Front Office, Housekeeping, Food & Beverage Service, Food Production, and their interaction with each other to run the hotel operations smoothly. Contrary to public perception, during the three years of college, a student learns the work of every department via theory and practical classes. So as a student you will learn everything right from cooking to cleaning the washrooms.


In India, the NCHMCT is the autonomous body that monitors the course structure of the central schools called Institutes of Hotel Management. It conducts the NCHMCT JEE every year for taking admissions into the IHMs & SIHMs all around the country which are nationally recognized and have a great alumni network that you can tap into & that is why they are recommended as well.


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Summing up on career options after 12th arts


For a country where a student’s potential was judged on whether they were able to take science or biology in school, we have come a long way to accept diversity and individual creativity.


Arts has always been a field of promise, flair, and dynamism; and the people who added to its value are still remembered for good. And artists continue to create a new wave of ideas still for many brands, fashion houses, studios, and culinary schools.


If you have a creative flair and passion for any of the above career options after 12th arts, then you should go ahead and book a seat. The application of knowledge to normal life that the arts stream gives you is just next to none and it should be something for you to consider while planning your career.


I hope that this helps you make the right decision for your career. Good Luck! 🙂


Hospitality Graduate|| Guest blogger at iimskills.com || Travel Marketer || Learner

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