Are you a senior high school (SHS) student having doubts about the current strand you are in? Or are you still a junior high school student worrying that you might get stuck in a strand that you will not enjoy? If you answer yes to either one of these questions, then you are not alone. More and more students are facing these dilemmas in their high school life.
I do not blame you or them though–SHS can be exciting and intimidating at the same time. Choosing the right strand for you can be fun at first, but actually taking and studying specialized courses is way different. It is like college where the courses you would pick would determine the specific subjects you would study; but in senior high school’s case, the subjects are more general.
To simply put it, YES, you can switch senior high school strand. Just like college, students have a choice in determining the track that they want to specialize in. But it is not that simple–there are a lot of considerations that students must take in order to make this decision.
In the K-12 curriculum, the number of years of basic education might have increased, but it offers an alternative to fast-track your career. After graduating from senior high school or in Grade 12, you have a choice whether to continue to college or look for a job already. So as early as junior high school (JHS), you can now decide for your future. To know more about K-12, click here.
Before deciding your post-grade 12 plans, it is, however, important to note that being an SHS graduate does not guarantee you a job upon graduation.
What SHS does is equip you with necessary skills though, along with avenues to make you competitive enough in the job market. You can be eligible to apply for courses too in the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and receive Certificates of Competency and National Certificates. This is perfect for students who want to earn for themselves and their families already.
If you would want to have a job already, then picking the right strand is really important. You would not want to be in a strand that you don’t like or do not match with the job you will be looking for. Some jobs that can be available for you are content writer, programmer, graphic artist, and even entrepreneur. Be guided in everything about SHS.
But of course, studying in college will not only provide you specialized skills in the course you will be taking, but also a degree which you can use to apply to the jobs you desire. Right now, employers especially in the government still prefer college graduates when looking for applicants. But there is less pressure in SHS if this is your plan, as you can take a course in college that is not related to your track.
After knowing what you want to do after SHS, it is crucial that you learn more about the four tracks. You should pick a track that is in line with the job that you are planning to have after SHS or college.
Currently, there are seven tracks: Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS), Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), Accounting, Business, and Management (ABM), and General Academic Strand (GAS), Technical-Vocational-Livelihood Track (TVL), Arts and Design Track, and Sports Track.
The first four are the academic tracks. If you are interested in arts, politics, and culture, then HUMSS is the way. Science and math? Then STEM will be perfect for you. If you are business-savvy, ABM will provide you with the necessary skills. But if you are unsure yet of the track you want or would want to study bits of the first three, then GAS would surely be helpful.
On the other hand, finishing TVL would give you a TESDA National Certificate for Home Economics and Information and Communications Technology right after, which would instantly make you employable already. Arts and Design Track will be perfect for the creative types of people, while Sports Track will be apt for those wanting to be professional athletes or more involved with sports. Know more about all the seven tracks here.
Is It Worth It?
After deciding on the track that you would really want to pursue with consideration on your future plans, then you should assess everything. Switching strands would entail extra work which can delay your graduation, just like in college. Students must complete all the pre-requisite subjects of the new strand they would shift in.
You should then ask yourself if it is really worth it. Consider your real passion and interest, and if they are worth pursuing. Know more about the ways you can choose the best SHS track for you. Read also some tips you can follow before changing strands in senior high.
Switching SHS strands might be stressful, but you can always count on your family, friends, and guidance counselor for advice. You got this!