Rahul: I failed in NEET! I don’t have any other options left now. My life is over!
Rahul has cleared his class 12th but wasn’t able to make it through the NEET exam. After looking at his results, he feels he has let himself and his family down. He is stressed and apprehensive about his future, believing that there are no good career prospects left for him.
Rahul has good reason to be upset. Of course, he has hardly any options left now, right?
What Rahul doesn’t know is that Medicine is only one amongst a hundred career options with equally good (or even better) scope and opportunities. Many of these options are even related to Biology, Medicine and Science.
If you are like Rahul and have been unable to clear the NEET exam or think that you will not be able to, then I have some relief for your anxiety. There are many viable alternate options you can consider if you couldn’t clear the NEET this year.
Career Options After NEET
1. Look for Courses in Biology and Life Sciences
A lot of students get into the PCB stream because they like studying Biology but then get lured away by the charm of Medicine. With Medicine sidelined as an option, you can go on to explore your love for Biology again, that too in many different forms!
From well-known fields like Botany, Zoology and Microbiology to upcoming ones like Marine Biology, Biochemistry and Genetics, the fields of Biology and the Life Sciences have a lot to offer you.
The biggest avenue for work in this field is Research and Development. With cutting-edge advances in research in the fields of health, medicine and even technology, competent researchers are very much in demand. But don’t think the scope of these fields is only limited to research. There are many other jobs and professional opportunities available in different industries, depending upon the field in question.
If you were a PCMB student, then you can even look at inter-disciplinary fields in Biology, such as Biotechnology, Genetic Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Biostatistics, etc.
Since these are undergraduate degrees, you can even go on to pursue a variety of courses in Biology, Life Sciences, Health Management, Education, etc. for your post-graduation, giving you a diverse number of career options at hand.
Learn More: Career Options for PCB Students Beyond Medicine
2. Try out the World of Allied Medicine
You don’t have to be a doctor to fulfil your passion for medicine. The entire branch of Allied Medicine forms the backbone of the healthcare system. Professionals in these fields assist doctors in their work and make patient care, diagnosis and treatment possible.
With career paths ranging from Optometry, Audiology and Physiotherapy to Medical Lab Technology, Nursing, Radio Technology and Clinical Research, there are a vast number of opportunities to explore. All of these fields have diverse types of work you’ll get to do. While Physiotherapists use physical techniques to reduce pains in muscles, Occupational Therapists help clients with physical disabilities to attain a normal level of functioning in day-to-day life.
Thus, you get to keep in touch with the medicine line, that too without investing the years of education required to be a doctor.
Learn More: Career Options in Allied Medicine
3. Give a Chance to Fields Associated with Biology
Biology being such a wide and diverse field, has applications in many areas, all of which are good options for you to consider.
Why not help people get fit and maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating right? Careers in the domain of Nutrition and Fitness allow you to do that, with options such as becoming a Dietician/Nutritionist, Fitness Trainer, Yoga Practitioner, etc. These are all lucrative options because people are increasingly becoming concerned with their health, leading to a sudden boom in the health and nutrition industry.
Or look at building the backbone of the country’s GDP through Agriculture. There are a number of career options to explore in the field of Agriculture, such as Horticulture, Dairy Technology, Agricultural Engineering, Fisheries Science, Agricultural Economics, and more. Contrary to the general notion, these are all in-demand fields and definitely do not involve farming! Learn More: Career Options in Agriculture
Yet another option related to Biology is Pharmacology. It’s a great combination of science, healthcare, research and technology. Learn More: Pharmacology as a Career
4. Consider Management Courses in Healthcare
This could be a brilliant route if you wish to combine your inclination for Management with Medicine. People in these fields manage the administration of hospitals including hospital supplies, personnel, finance, patient care services and other areas to ensure smooth functioning. Hospital Management and Hospital Administration are the two courses you can pursue to get into this field.
Public Health Administration is another area that would give you the opportunity to work for the healthcare of the lower socio-economic strata of society through government health projects.
Although Hospital Management programs are available mostly at the Master’s Level (can be coupled with any other UG course in Biology), you can find Public Health Administration courses at the undergraduate level too.
5. Look at the Field of Mental Health Care
Doctors mostly cater to the physical well-being of people, but what about their mental well-being?
Clinical Psychology is the field where you work to understand why people suffer from mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, hallucinations, etc. The field is very close to being a doctor since you get to work closely with clients in hospitals and healthcare settings, and understand, diagnose and treat their problems.
Other related areas in psychology include counselling psychology, health psychology, child psychology, neuropsychology, etc.
6. Join a Liberal Arts Institute
If NEET has put you off and you are not even sure about Biology anymore, a Liberal Arts course could give you the opportunity to validate your interests.
Liberal Arts is a system of education which gives you a lot of flexibility in choosing your subjects, and you can combine Biology with any other subject of your choice. Possible Combinations could be Biology with Psychology, Mathematics, Music, Economics and even Entrepreneurship.
This way you can explore other options without closing doors on Biology for the future.
Another good thing about such colleges is that they give equal importance to extracurriculars, projects, presentations and holistic learning. So, if don’t like to spend all your time around books, this is a good way to go.
Note – The applications to liberal arts courses start around October. If you already have your NEET result in hand, you would have to wait for the next year to apply.
7. Evaluate if a Year Drop is Good for You
There are many students who take a year drop to appear for the NEET exam the next year. For some it works out, for many it doesn’t. The important thing to evaluate is whether a year drop is the right option in your case or not.
Think about your level of preparation and your reasons for not clearing the exam. If you believe that pursuing medicine is your only career goal, and missed the exam by just a few marks, then re-working on your strategy and dropping your year can prove beneficial.
And if you don’t fall in the above category, just don’t drop your year thinking that this is your only option (I just listen many others) or following others who are doing the same. Evaluate all factors carefully and talk to an expert before making your decision.
Recommended Read: Should You Drop a Year After Class 12th? Answers from a Career Coach
8. Give a Thought to Career Options Outside PCB
There is a possibility that while you are stressing over NEET, there is some other career out there that’s a better match for you. You may not have given a thought to this before, but with your original option off the table, you have the perfect opportunity to do so.
Don’t limit your options to Biology just because you had PCB in class 11th and 12th. Look beyond your field to consider the hundreds of alternate career options available. Management, Design, Languages, Economics, Hotel Management, Law, Mass Communication – the list is endless!
With so many options available, the best thing to do is to take a career assessment to see which careers fit best with your unique set of aptitudes, skills, personality traits, interests and more. It’ll make it easier to take a wise call.
It may seem like your career and life has come to an end with your NEET result, but it is certainly not so. There are various alternative options for you to live your dream and build a successful career.
So stop stressing over NEET, and start working towards your next plan of action. Invest your time in the future because life has a lot to offer!
Did you fail to crack the NEET this year? What are your thoughts about your career right now? Share with us in the comments.