Schools beckon career counsellors to campuses


WINDOW TO CAREERS: The counseling session was useful to students and parents alike.

WINDOW TO CAREERS: The counseling session was useful to students and parents alike.  

THE IMPORTANCE of career guidance is increasingly felt on our school and college campuses. Many higher secondary schools and colleges have begun to arrange guidance sessions for their students. Many others are considering the idea, but without knowing whom to approach to give their children the wisest advice in selecting a career.

St. Gemma's Girls Higher Secondary School at Malappuram last week introduced its Class XII students to a guidance session where they explored a new world of careers. Thanks to Kozhikode-based Centre for Information and Guidance India (CIGI), the 50-odd students and parents who sat through the session agreed that their perspective on courses and employments had undergone a change.

It was useful for students and parents alike. "In fact, more for parents," said Mohammed Kutty V., a businessman from Iringalloor near Malappuram, whose daughter's interest in journalism increased after the session. Mr. Kutty agreed that he was all for sending his daughter for TTC. After the session, he said he came to know about a wide variety of job opportunities.

M.S. Jalil, the principal counsellor of CIGI, looked ecstatic after seeing the response of the students. He held separate sessions for the students of humanities, science and commerce.

CIGI is also conducting counselling sessions at several institutions across the State. Some of them are Bafaqi Vocational Higher Secondary School, Puthanathani, Malappuram; Medical College Campus Higher Secondary School, Kozhikode; Government Vocational Higher Secondary School, Kuttichira; Sir Syed College, Thaliparamba, Kannur; IHRD College, Pathanamthitta; and T.K.M. Arts and Science College, Kollam.

Mr. Jalil's session for Plus Two students looked slightly different from his regular career guidance programmes. Instead of exposing students to information fatigue by bombarding them with a whole lot of information on various career opportunities, Mr. Jalil chose a method where the children's curiosity could be kindled.

"Rather than giving complete information, I prefer to motivate the students at this stage," he said.

He was right. Curious as they turned, the St. Gemma's girls started asking questions on various subjects they were till then ignorant of. Many of them appeared keen to take up journalism. Some of them, like Vandana T., have already started preparing for a Master's Degree in Mass Communication.

Mr. Jalil gave them a variety of options in almost all fields. For example, he explained, within mass communication there are 40-odd specialisations, including advertising, multimedia and public relations.

Psychology and social work, particularly clinical psychology, was an area Mr. Jalil recommended to the girls. Explaining the subject's scope and potential, he said: "I guarantee you a good job if you take up clinical sociology... . That is the subject for tomorrow."

Humanity subjects are regaining their past glory, he explained. There are many jobs in subjects like economics and statistics. Explaining the vast scope of accountancy and finance, Mr. Jalil said: "In India, B.Com. is considered a degree with the greatest job potential."

He advised the students to do job-oriented courses even while they continue their main studies.

Distance education is possible today in almost all subjects. "Gone are the days when you could learn only history and economics through correspondence," he said.

He had plenty of examples to quote for each subject he dealt with. The students listened in awe to the episodes of school or college dropouts becoming achievers in new fields.