Guidance Careers

A case for career counselling

Students at a free of cost career counselling session in progress during an education fair. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar  

In India, the Class X exams have been made out to be the ‘be all and end all’ of life. It is after these exams that the really tough decisions need to be made regarding the choice of one’s stream for further studies. Increasing competition and peer and parental pressure are the major stumbling blocks that make students refrain from choosing the right career path for themselves. A lot of analysis, research as well as introspection go into taking the final call, not to forget, the opinion of parents, judgment of teachers and advice of friends, which play a crucial role in moulding the decision of students.

This situation creates stress and puts an immense burden on students, which finally leads to a compromised career choice.

An imperfect decision lurches students into a bubble of dissatisfaction and low self-esteem. The forced career choice also leads to stream switchover in mid-session which is quite an ordeal on its own. On the contrary, if they decide to carry on with their original choice, they turn into the unlucky fish which are judged by their ability to climb a tree. The obvious upshot of this is the plummeting self-confidence of students.

For a long time, it has been a trend in families of doctors and engineers to brainwash their children and push them into opting for the same professions. Also, many parents who are not able to prosper in such venerable streams suggest the options of engineering and science to their children in order to fulfil their own personal goals vicariously.

The phase post-Class X is the crossroads where students have to gauge the pros and cons of the decision they take. Career counselling can help turn this burdensome task into a breeze. With career counselling at the school level, students get the right direction on how to proceed further and channelise their energies into a stream that is best for them.

Some students, even parents, have this preconceived notion that career counselling does not do any good and that it just presents students with a multitude of career options to choose from, adding to the confusion. This is because they are not aware of the fact that career counselling has attained a new definition now, focussing on providing holistic help to students regarding their career.

Some of the reasons why career counselling is hugely advantageous for students are as follows:

Career counselling involves holding aptitude tests for students to make them aware of their strong areas as well as the weak points. This way, they can find out their actual interests and then make a well-informed choice.

It gives students a clear idea of all the subjects, their scope and their job prospects. This fends off confusion and helps them find the areas of their interest and take a decision accordingly.

It gives students a bird’s-eye-view of the market scenario and which streams can lead them to the path of success. It also educates them about the opportunities available in the streams they wish to opt for.

Career counselling also presents innumerable options to students, besides the traditional ones. They get a glimpse of the positives and negatives of those streams for their better understanding.

Counselling sessions are not just limited to PowerPoint slides any more. They work on scientifically-developed patterns backed by academic psychology to analyse the minds of students and suggest suitable career options that are in tandem with their personality type.

With new streams bombarding the market today, students are spoilt for choice.

This leaves them in a predicament where they have to focus on one particular stream that they wish to excel in. Career counselling has become essential today owing to the wide range of courses available for students. It lets them determine their career trajectory that further defines the course for the rest of their lives.

Proper career counselling acts as a supporting hand in this critical situation, when students usually go blank. Hence, students should go for counselling and listen to their inner voice before taking a life-changing step.

The writer is director, Aakash Educational Services.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 10:53:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/education/careers/a-case-for-career-counselling/article7489266.ece

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