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List of Top Professional Courses in India after 12th and Graduation

Abhinav Chamoli
Abhinav ChamoliUpdated On: November 03, 2023 04:18 pm IST

Due to changing trends in the job market and economy, professional courses after the 12th and graduation have grown in popularity in comparison to traditional courses. Here is a list of professional courses available after high school and graduation to help you choose the best course for you.

Professional Courses

Professional courses after 12th and graduation are the most sought-after courses in India today. These courses give students the opportunity to pursue top-tier employment globally, advancing their professional careers. These professional courses can help students land the job they've been hoping for. In comparison to more traditional academic programmes like BA or BSc, professional courses after 12th have experienced enormous and unprecedented growth due to shifting economic and job market trends.

Also Read: Best Certificate Courses in India

What are Professional Courses?

Professional courses, also known as vocational graduation courses, are courses that prepare students for jobs in specific industries. These graduation courses depart sharply from the academic-oriented approach of traditional courses and frequently emphasise more practical aspects such as skill development, gaining hands-on experience, learning the latest industry methods and trends, and so on.

Professional Courses include teaching students industry-specific skills. A professional course gives students hands-on experience. After completing the course, students are job-ready. In contrast, the goal of a degree programme is to provide students with a solid academic foundation and expertise in a specific subject. The goal of these courses is skill development, career advancement, and self-improvement. This gives the students an advantage over their peers while also encouraging creativity. Professional courses instill in students the necessary soft skills required in the industry.

Even the most sought-after professional courses after 12th used to have a shortage of applicants because the typical class 10th or class 12th student was frequently encouraged by their parents, teachers, and peers to get admission into a "respected" course or college. The emphasis on career development has changed, though, and students now have more resources at their fingertips for research and exploration. Because of this, there is a focus on developing a skilled workforce for India's expanding industrial sector, and both the number of vocational colleges in India and the demand for these courses have increased. But there is one question that students must still answer, and we've covered it below.

Types of Professional Courses

There are mainly four types of professional courses:

Top Professional Courses After 12th

Professional Courses imply that students will be taught industry-specific skills. Professional courses provide students with hands-on experience. Following completion of professional courses, students are job-ready. A degree programme, on the other hand, aims to provide students with a solid academic foundation and expertise in a single subject.

Here is a list of the top 10 professional courses after 12th tabulated below:
CoursesEducational requirementsColleges
Professional courses after 12th Science
Engineering12th Science PCM;
National Level entrance test- IIT-JEE Mains & Advanced, BITSAT, SRMJEE or State level entrances
IITs, BITS, VIT, NITs, DTU, etc.
Architecture12th Science PCM;
National Level entrance test- NATA, IIT-JEE Main Paper-2
SPA, IIT Roorkee, IIT Kharagpur, Sir JJ College of Architecture, etc.
Commercial Pilot12th Science PCM
Min 50%;
Written test + PAT+interview
Medicine12th Science PCB;
AIIMS Delhi, CMC, JIPMER, AFMC- Pune, BHU, etc
Professional courses after 12th Commerce
Chartered Accountancy10+2 with minimum 55% aggregate;
Exam- CA Foundation after 12th or IPCC after graduation
Registration with ICAI
Cost and Management AccountantAfter 10+2- Foundation course or Intermediate course after graduationRegistration with- ICMAI
Company SecretaryAfter 10+2- Foundation prog.
Or Exec. Prog. after graduation
Registration with- ICSI
Professional courses after 12th Arts
LawEntrance exams like CLAT, LSATNLSIU, NLU, NALSAR, etc.
DesignMin 50%;
Entrance Exams- NID, NIFT, UCEED, etc.
NID Ahmedabad, IIT Bombay, NIFTs, Pearl Academy,etc.
Mass Communication & JournalismMin 50-60% in 10+2 from a recognized board;
Entrance Exams/Merit-based
GGSIPU, VIPS, St Xavier’s, etc.

If you are still undecided, you can take this psychometric test to choose the best career option for you! Career Compass is an intuitive test that will answer a very important question - can career counselling help?

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Top 10 Professional Courses after Graduation

After graduation, you can pursue a variety of job-related short-term courses and degrees. However, selecting out of the best professional courses for advancing your career can be difficult. So, here is a list of top 10 professional courses / best courses after graduation:

  1. PG Diploma in Management (PGDM)
  2. MBA (Masters in Business Administration)
  3. MTech
  4. PGD in Hotel Management
  5. PGPM
  6. Certification in Finance and Accounting (CFA)
  7. Project Management
  8. PG Diploma in Digital Marketing or PGDM in Business Analytics
  9. Business Accounting and Taxation [BAT Course]
  10. Masters in Data Science or Machine Learning

List of Professional Diploma/Certificate Courses in India

For the student who wishes to start early, there are a lot of options of diploma courses after 12th / certificate courses at class 10 or class 12 level. These graduation courses offer excellent prospects of professional growth and can form a solid base before one pursues a degree.

CourseDurationEligibility LevelColleges
Certificate in Digital Marketing3 - 6 months10thCertificate in Digital Marketing Colleges in India
ITI Courses1 - 3 years10th--
Diploma in Nursing Care Assistant (DNCA)1 - 2 years10thDiploma in Nursing Assistant Colleges in India
Diploma in Rural Healthcare1 year10th--
Certificate in General Duty Assistant2 - 6 months10th--
Certificate in Home Health Aide2 - 6 months10th--
Diploma in Construction Management1 year10thDiploma in Construction Management Colleges in India
Diploma in Hotel Management (DHM)3 years12thDiploma in Hotel Management Colleges in India
Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology (DMLT)2 years10th, 12thDMLT Colleges in India
Diploma in X-Ray Technician2 years12thDiploma in X-Ray Technician Colleges in India
Certificate in X-Ray Technician1 year10thCertificate in X-Ray Technician Colleges in India
Diploma in Gemology2 months - 1 year12thDiploma in Gemology Colleges in India
Certificate in Gemology2 - 6 months10thCertificate in Gemology Colleges in India
Diploma in Photography1 year12thDiploma in Photography Colleges in India
Certificate in Photography3 months - 1 year10th, 12thCertificate in Photography Colleges in India
Diploma in Nutrition and Dietetics1 year12thDiploma in Nutrition and Dietetics Colleges in India
Diploma in Airline, Travel and Tourism Management1 year12th--
Diploma in Food and Beverage Services6 months - 1 year12thDiploma in Food and Beverage Colleges in India
Diploma in Bakery and Confectionery1 - 1.5 year12thDiploma in Bakery and Confectionery Colleges in India
Advanced Diploma in Cosmetology8 months10th--
Certificate in 2D/3D Animation3 months - 1 year10th, 12thCertificate in 2D/3D Animation Colleges in India
Diploma in Animation and Multimedia1 year12th--
Diploma in Visual Merchandising3 months - 1 year12thDiploma in Visual Merchandising Colleges in India
Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication (DJMC)1 year12thDJMC Colleges in India
Diploma in Office Management1 year12thDiploma in Office Management Colleges in India
Diploma in Communicative English1 year12thDiploma in Communicative English Colleges in India
Diploma in Scriptwriting/Creative Writing1 year12thDiploma in Creative Writing Colleges in India

Also Read: Diploma Courses After 10th

List of Professional Degree Courses in India

If you have the time and resources to pursue a professional degree course, it is highly recommended that you take admission into one of the colleges offering vocational degrees in India. A professional degree course will not only open more pathways for you to find a job but it will also keep the door open for you to pursue a master's degree. Plus, a degree course covers multiple subjects and widens the scope for the future.

Bachelor of Optometry4 years12th PCBBachelor of Optometry Colleges in India
BA in Fashion and Textile Design4 years12thBA Fashion and Textile Design Colleges in India
Bachelor of Visual Communication (BVC)3 years12thBVC Colleges in India
BSc in Physiology3 years12thBSc Physiology Colleges in India
BA in Visual Communication3 years12thBA Visual Communication Colleges in India
BSc in Animation3 years12thBSc Animation Colleges in India
Bachelor of Tourism and Travel Management (BTTM)3 years12thBTTM Colleges in India
Bachelor of Vocation (BVoc) in Software Development3 years12thBVoc Software Development Colleges in India
Bachelor of Fine Arts3 years12thBFA Colleges in India
BA in Jewellery and Accessory Design3 years12thBA Jewellery and Accessory Design Colleges in India
Post Graduate Diploma in Technical Writing1 yearBachelor's Degree--

How to Choose the Best Professional Course?

Not every student can feel equally comfortable pursuing the same trade. A top-tier student in a Bachelor of Technology (BTech) programme may suffer if he/she has to sit through a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) programme. The following steps can help you simplify things if you are confused about which course should you go for after school.

  1. List the areas of interest that you would like to study and your priorities. Your interests may be shaped by factors such as your surroundings, family businesses/trades, city/place of growth etc. and your priorities may include pursuing higher education, research, getting a job as early as possible, building a career in a particular organisation such as Banks, Civil Services etc.
  2. Research: The internet can be your best friend here. Use it to find courses related to your interests and note down attributes such as:
    • Type (Degree/Diploma/Certificate or Full-Time/Part-Time/Distance Learning etc.)
    • Duration
    • Broad Curriculum
    • Average Fees
    • Career Prospects
  3. Match the courses that you find with your interests and priorities and shortlist the best courses for you.
  4. Once you have shortlisted the courses, talk to a career counsellor and professionals in the field. These are experienced people who can help you find your way to your goal but for that, you will have to realise what your goals are.
  5. Include other factors. Entry requirements, availability of seats, cost of education (and return on investment) are all valid concerns that may also shape your choice but these should not be the defining factors in your decision.

Top Professional Courses 2023

Here is the list of Top Professional Courses in 2023:

  1. Engineering
  2. Medicine
  3. Law
  4. Chartered Accountancy (CA)
  5. Company Secretary (CS)
  6. Cost and Management Accountant (CMA)
  7. Architecture
  8. Mass Communication and Journalism
  9. Hotel Management
  10. Fashion Designing
  11. Graphic Designing
  12. Animation and Multimedia
  13. Digital Marketing
  14. Web Design and Development
  15. Data Science and Analytics

Also Read: Top Vocational Courses After 10th and 12th

List of Best Professional Courses in India

While programmes in the field of Engineering, Medicine, Law etc. are good professional course with an already established reputation for great career prospects and growth, here are some of the unconventional professional courses as well in India. There are numerous top professional courses in India that can be pursued by people from various backgrounds. Students with diverse interests can select their preferred course from the professional courses list given below.

  • Management Stream: MBA/BBA
  • Engineering Stream: BTech and BArch, MTech, ME, BE
  • Arts Stream: Psychology, History, Sociology
  • Computer Application Stream: BCA/MCA
  • Fine Arts Stream: BFA
  • Education Stream: B Ed, M Ed
  • Designing Stream: Fashion/Interior/Web
  • Communication Stream: Mass-communication/Journalism BJMC
  • Pharmacy Stream: BPharma, MPharm
  • Hospitality Stream: Hotel Management
  • Medical Stream: BDS and MBBS
  • Nursing Stream: BSc and MSc
  • Dental: BDS
  • Finance Stream: BCom/CA/CFA/ CS
  • Architecture Stream: BArch

Professional Courses Admission 2023

Typically, colleges accept admission to professional courses based on merit calculated from qualifying examination marks. Some colleges may also set minimum percentage criteria for graduation course admissions (usually between 40% and 50% aggregate marks). For the complete admission process and eligibility criteria for the professional course, consult the admission brochure of the course/college to which you are applying.

In conclusion, professional courses are the gateway to some of the most lucrative careers in India. Many industries stay on the lookout for skilled candidates that have knowledge of the course and although the salary after a vocational course might seem low to many, the low course fee of these courses and good chances of growth in the future help overlook these shortcomings. However, care must be taken while choosing which professional course to take admission into as it might limit your options for choosing a higher education course.

Also Read: Diploma Courses that you can Pursue after Class 12 Arts Stream

Why Pursue Professional Courses?

After the 12th grade or graduation, professional courses place a greater emphasis on the acquisition of workplace-relevant skills and practises. Professional courses, in other words, bridge the gap between an employee's current skill set and what is actually required on the job. Professional courses after 12th grade or after graduation are now the clear choice among today's youth because employees are rewarded with extraordinarily generous packages in exchange for meeting industry demands.

High Salary Professional Courses After Graduation

The following are some of the profession courses that pay well after graduation:
Course NameDurationGeneral
Eligibility Criteria
Average Salary
(per year)
MBA2 yearsGraduation in any of the subjectsINR 8 lakh to INR 18 lakh
MTech2 yearsBE/BTech degree
with a valid GATE score
INR 6 lakh to INR 12 lakh
MCom2 yearsBCom or BCom (H)
from a recognized university or institution
INR 5 lakh to INR 12 lakh
PGDM2 yearsBachelor’s degree in any stream or subjectINR 5 lakh to INR 20 lakh
LLB (Hons)3 years10+2 or equivalent qualification from a recognized board or institutionINR 5 lakh to INR 10 lakh
MA/MSc Economics2 yearsBachelor’s degree in any stream or subjectINR 8 lakh to INR 14 lakh
MA/MSc Statistics/Mathematics2 yearsBSc degree in Statistics/Mathematics or any equivalent
INR 8 lakh to INR 14 lakh
MCA/MSc Computer Science2 yearsBCA/BSc/BCom or BA degreeINR 7 lakh to INR 20 lakh
PGP-BAT3-4 months to 1 yearBachelor’s degree in
a Commerce-related specialisation or equivalent
INR 5 lakh to INR 12 lakh
PGD Hotel Management1 to 2 years10+2+3 or 10+2+4 is requiredINR 6 lakh to INR 14 lakh
Note: The figures mentioned above are subject to change.

Related Links
List of Diploma Courses in DesignDiploma Courses after 12th Science
Diploma Courses in Fashion DesigningDiploma Courses in Interior Design in India

For more updates on Top Professional Courses in India, stay tuned to Collegedekho!


What is the best one-year course after high school?

Some of the top Science 1 Year Diploma Courses after 12th are: Interior Design Certificate, Advertising diploma, Medical Laboratory Technology Diploma (DMLT), Animation Diploma, Banking Diploma, Diploma in Business Administration, Hotel Management Diploma, Foreign Language Diploma, etc.

Which 6 month professional course is the best?

Some of the top 6 months Certificate Programs are: Laboratory Techniques Certificate, Organic Farming Certification, Clinical Psychology certification, Certificate in Naturopathy & Yoga Science, Beekeeping Certificate, PG Certificate in Agriculture Policy, Sericulture Auxiliary Nursing Midwifery (ANM) Certificate, etc.

What professional course should I pursue after graduation?

Some of the the top 10 best courses to take after graduation: Management Postgraduate Diploma (PGDM), MBA (Masters in Business Administration), MTech, Hotel Management PGD, PGPM, Project Management Certification in Finance and Accounting (CFA), etc.

What exactly is a professional course?

A professional course is one that teaches you practical skills and prepares you for employment at the end of the course. In contrast, the goal of a degree programme is to provide you with a solid academic foundation in a specific subject, not necessarily to prepare you for employment.

what are the qualifications needed for professional courses?

To be considered eligible for any professional courses, a student must have completed the 10th or 12th grade with a minimum of 40 to 50%.

What are the best professional courses to pursue after 12th grade?

After 10+2 commerce, the best professional courses are CA, CMA, CS, Actuarial Sciences, and Management.

How long does it take to complete the CMA course?

The Certified Management Accountant certification takes about 6 months to 4 years to complete.

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