Backup Plan for UPSC Aspirants

4 minute read
Backup Plan for UPSC Aspirants

The UPSC Civil Services Examination is known for its formidable challenges. Attaining success in this endeavor is far from assured, and many aspirants encounter setbacks along the way. Notably, even individuals of prominence have grappled with the complexities of this examination. Nevertheless, the rigorous preparation required for this test cultivates essential habits that can contribute to a prosperous career. In this article, we will delve into alternative career pathways for UPSC aspirants and address three frequently asked questions regarding these backup options.

Must Read: How to Prepare for UPSC: Best Study Material & Tips 2023

7 Backup Options for UPSC Aspirants

Here are seven diverse backup options for UPSC aspirants:

1. Other Competitive Exams: Explore exams like IBPS (Bank), CPF, SSC, State PSC, CAT, and CMAT to prevent skills from getting rusty and provide backup career options. A subscription to job vacancy updates can be beneficial.

2. Distance Learning Post Graduation: Pursue post-graduation courses from IGNOU in fields like Public Administration, Sociology, Political Science, or History. IGNOU offers quality study material, allowing you to earn a PG degree from home.

3. Specialized Courses: Consider courses in Economics or Statistics from IGNOU to become eligible for UPSC’s Indian Economy Services (IES) and Indian Statistical Services. If you have a non-IT engineering or relevant background, think about Indian Forest Services (IFS).

4. Computer Course Certificate: Obtain a Course on Computer Concepts (CCC) certificate, recognised for government job exams, to prove your computer proficiency.

5. Activity Engagement: Engage in activities such as NGO work, part-time jobs, or social service to enhance your biodata during interviews for UPSC, bank exams, the State PSC, or private companies.

6. Teaching: Explore opportunities as a teacher, lecturer, coach, or mentor in coaching institutes, schools, or colleges. Many ex-UPSC aspirants have found success in the education sector.

7. Coding and Programming: There are many online platforms or websites through which candidates can learn coding and programming courses. The candidates can further go on to become tech giants and join different IT programs.

Also Read: IAS Exam Pattern [UPSC Exam Pattern 2023] – Leverage Edu 

Backup Plan for UPSC Aspirants – Suggestions from Past UPSC Aspirants

The UPSC exam is tough, and it’s okay if you didn’t clear it this time. There are many successful people who didn’t pass the UPSC, and there are still great options for you!

Here are some ideas from past UPSC aspirants:

  • Try other government exams: There are many other government jobs you can apply for, like exams for the State Public Service Commission (PSC), Staff Selection Commission (SSC), Railway Recruitment Board (RRB), Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). These exams are generally less competitive than the UPSC and may have similar study material.
  • Look for government jobs based on your UPSC performance: Some government organizations, like SJVN Limited and Sports Authority of India (SAI), hire candidates who did well in the UPSC mains or interviews but didn’t make the final cut. Keep a close eye out for such opportunities.
  • Consider fellowship programs: Fellowships are like paid internships that can help you gain valuable experience. There are programs on research, teaching, public policy, and even working directly with a Member of Parliament (MP)!

Remember, the UPSC isn’t the only path to success. There are many exciting options out there for you!


What are some alternative career paths for UPSC aspirants who couldn’t clear the exam?

Many aspirants pivot towards other government exams like State PSC, SSC, RRB, RBI, and CAPF. These exams often have more manageable syllabi and competition, making them a logical next step. Adapting their UPSC preparation can prove beneficial.

Are there government initiatives that consider UPSC performance for recruitment?

Yes, several government entities, such as SJVN Limited, Sports Authority of India (SAI), and NTPC, have offered job opportunities to UPSC interview-selected candidates who didn’t make the final UPSC list. These initiatives demonstrate that clearing UPSC-CSE isn’t the only path to success.

Can UPSC aspirants pursue fellowship programs or higher education as backup plans?

Answer: Absolutely. Fellowship programs like Ramanujan Fellowship, Teach for India, Gandhi Fellowship, Young India Fellowship, and SBI Youth for India Fellowship provide opportunities for high-paying jobs in the private sector or research scholarships abroad. Additionally, programs like LAMP (Legislative Assistants to Members of Parliament) offer unique insights into law-making and public policy.


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